Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Time Team to show special on Dover Castle

The recent restoration of Great Tower at Dover Castle is the subject of a special Time Team programme, which will be broadcast in the United Kingdom on Saturday, December 19.

The castle has dominated the town and the White Cliffs since it was built in 1180 by Henry II to show off the best England could offer.

But it had become a shadow of its former self and in 2008 English Heritage decided to undertake a bold piece of restoration and recreate the rooms of the castle propelling it back to the world of King Henry II.

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Sunday, 13 December 2009

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Monday, 26 October 2009

Historians Reassess Battle of Agincourt

The heavy clay-laced mud behind the cattle pen on Antoine Renault’s farm looks as treacherous as it must have been nearly 600 years ago, when King Henry V rode from a spot near here to lead a sodden and exhausted English Army against a French force that was said to outnumber his by as much as five to one.

No one can ever take away the shocking victory by Henry and his “band of brothers,” as Shakespeare would famously call them, on St. Crispin’s Day, Oct. 25, 1415. They devastated a force of heavily armored French nobles who had gotten bogged down in the region’s sucking mud, riddled by thousands of arrows from English longbowmen and outmaneuvered by common soldiers with much lighter gear. It would become known as the Battle of Agincourt.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Online Courses in Archaeology

Cave paintings, castles and pyramids, Neanderthals, Romans and Vikings - archaeology is about the excitement of discovery, finding out about our ancestors, exploring landscape through time, piecing together puzzles of the past from material remains.

Our courses enable you to experience all this through online archaeological resources based on primary evidence from excavations and artefacts and from complex scientific processes and current thinking. Together with guided reading, discussion and activities you can experience how archaeologists work today to increase our knowledge of people and societies from the past.

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Friday, 31 July 2009

Henry II 'spent a fortune on Dover Castle to counter Becket cult'

Henry II spent vast sums on Dover Castle as an international public relations exercise to counter the growing "anti-monarchial cult" of Thomas Becket's shrine in nearby Canterbury, according to a new analysis.

The fiery monarch spent at least £6,440 throughout the 1180s – more than a quarter of his average annual income – building and furnishing the impressive keep at the castle, according to a study of his finances by John Gillingham, Professor Emeritus in medieval history at the London School of Economics.

The rooms have just been renovated and refurbished in a £2.45 million project managed by English Heritage, to resemble how they would have done in Henry's day.

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King's tower of 'bling' recreated

The opulent interiors of King Henry II's Dover Castle have been recreated by English Heritage in a £2.45m project lasting two years.

The Kent castle's Great Tower has been brought back to life with almost psychedelic colour and drama, its restorers said. It reopens on Saturday.

It follows extensive research by a team of historians who worked closely with artists and craftspeople.

English Heritage said the castle had been a palace of "Versace-esque bling".

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Friday, 3 July 2009

Remains of a medieval castle found at St. Adrian's tunnel in Basque Region

Those responsible for leading excavations into the St Adrian tunnel (between Gipuzkoa and Alava) which started a year ago have been amazed by recent findings.

"This is double what we expected (to find)," said one archaeologist. "Without doubt, what is emerging here is a big surprise."

Remains which have been found inside the tunnel, where today only the old Roman road and an ancient chapel still stand, have lead archaeologists to conclude that there once stool a medieval castle of some magnitude, as well as possibly an inn and a cemetery. All of these are evidence of the importance of the underpass which joins the Basque provinces of Gipuzkoa and Alava.

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Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Secrets of Oystermouth to be unearthed

Fascinating discoveries are hoped for as archaeologists today start a dig on the site of Swansea's 12th century Oystermouth Castle.

Volunteers will work alongside experts as the group excavates outside the castle's west tower, explores the knoll area and looks for the outer wall and ditch.

Daily guided tours are being organised within a few days of starting the dig and everyone taking part will have the chance to learn about excavation techniques, how to record discoveries and how to deal with objects that are found.

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Skeleton reveals violent life and death of medieval knight

A 620-year-old skeleton discovered under the floor of Stirling Castle has shed new light on the violent life of a medieval knight.

Archaeologists believe that bones found in an ancient chapel on the site are those of an English knight named Robert Morley who died in a tournament there in 1388.

Radio carbon dating has confirmed that the skeleton is from that period, and detailed analysis suggests that he was in his mid-20s, was heavily muscled and had suffered several serious wounds in earlier contests.

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Hard days for Stirling knight who'd been hit by axe, arrow and sword

WHEN the skeleton was discovered buried beneath Stirling Castle more than a decade ago, archaeologists knew only that the man had been someone important, possibly a priest.

However, new analytical techniques have revealed the 600-year-old bones had a very different past – as they are those of a horrifically injured knight who lived a short but "incredibly violent" life.

Research has shown the man, who was in his twenties, was killed by a sword slicing through his nose and jaw. It also revealed he had previously survived both an axe wound to the forehead and a large arrowhead being embedded in his chest.

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Dig aims to uncover castle past

The first major archaeological dig to take place at a medieval castle near Swansea is underway.

Experts and volunteers are hoping to uncover artefacts along with clues as the original layout of Oystermouth Castle in Mumbles.

They will be on site digging and examining trenches for three weeks.

The ruined castle was recently given a £1.7m restoration lifeline which will pay for conservation works and for a new interpretation centre.

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Monday, 29 June 2009

Castle bones may belong to knight

Archaeologists believe that bones discovered at Stirling Castle may have belonged to a knight killed in battle or during a siege in the early 1400s.

It is thought that despite the warrior's relatively young age of about 25, he may have suffered several serious wounds from earlier fights.

Researchers thinks it is also possible he may have been living for some time with a large arrowhead in his chest.

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Monday, 20 April 2009

Secrets of castle to be unlocked

Archaeologists are using radar to try and discover what is hidden under the mound of Oxford castle.

Researchers hope to get a picture of what the original structure looked like during a month long project.

Subsidence work carried out last year uncovered evidence a ten-sided tower once stood on the site.

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Sunday, 19 April 2009

New search to find ancient tower at castle site

ARCHAEOLOGISTS are using hi-tech radar equipment to find the historic position of a wooden tower built for William the Conqueror.

In August last year, the historic mound at Oxford Castle reopened to the public following costly repair work.

A substantial part of the 900-year-old Norman structure slipped several metres towards New Road in February 2007, following heavy rain.

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Saturday, 18 April 2009

Harbour site excavated at castle

An archaeological dig at a medieval castle in East Sussex is expected to reveal evidence of the harbour and trading post on the site.

Experts from Archaeology South East are beginning a three-day dig at Bodiam, a moated castle near Robertsbridge.

The archaeologists are also expected to discover evidence of the leat, or stream, which fed the mill pond.

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Monday, 9 March 2009

North Yorkshire's heritage goes on line

FULL details of some of North Yorkshire’s finest historic monuments is being published on the internet for the first time.

The Historic Environment Record, owned and maintained by the county council, is a database of information about archaeology, historic buildings and landscapes.

Primarily used by the authority and others to help manage and protect them, it is also often of use to researchers and of interest to the public.

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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Heritage at Risk from Nighthawking

New Survey Reveals Low Levels of Prosecution and Crime Reporting

A national survey commissioned by English Heritage and supported by its counterparts across the UK and Crown Dependencies has revealed that the threat to heritage posed by illegal metal detecting, or nighthawking, is high but arrest or prosecution remains at an all time low and penalties are woefully insufficient.

The Nighthawking Survey, published today (16th February 2009), found out that over a third of sites attacked by illegal metal detectorists between 1995 and 2008 are Scheduled Monuments and another 152 undesignated sites are also known to have been raided, but secrecy surrounding the crime means that it is significantly under-reported. Only 26 cases have resulted in formal legal action, with the punishment usually being a small fine from as little as £38. (Illegally parking a car carries a £120 fine.)

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Wednesday, 28 January 2009

History group excited by rath survey findings

MEMBERS of Newbuildings and District Archaeological and Hiscoriccal Society are up-beat about the initial findings of last week's survey of the Rath off Duncastle Road.

The survey of the proposed dig site was carried out on Thursday and Friday by LTU Utility Location Intelligence, based in Oldham, England, and was organised through Precision Industrial Services Ltd, at Campsie Industrial Estate.

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