Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Popular Archaeology Magazine Launched

Popular Archaeology magazine is a 100% online periodical dedicated to participatory, or public, archaeology. Unlike most other major magazines related to archaeology, no paper copies will ever be produced and distributed, so it will always be "green", and it will always be less costly to produce and therefore far less costly to purchase by premium subscribers (although regular subscriptions are always free). Most of our writers and contributors are either professionals or top experts in their fields, or are individuals relating first-hand experiences; however, the magazine is unique among other archaeology-related magazines in that it makes it easy to invite and encourage members of the public (YOU) to submit pertinent articles, blogs, events, directory listings, and classified ads for publication. As a volunteer or student, do you have a fascinating story to tell about an archaeological experience? As a professional archaeologist, scholar, educator, or scientist, do you have a discovery, program or project that you think would be of interest to the world? Do you have an archaeology-related service or item for sale? Would you like to have your archaeology-related blog post featured on the front page? ( Ad and specially featured item prices are lower than what you will find in any other major archaeology magazine). Through Popular Archaeology, you can realize all of these things. Moreover, because the content is produced by a very broad spectrum of contributors, you will see more feature articles than what you would typically find in the major print publications, with the same content quality.

As a community of professionals, writers, students, and volunteers, we invite you to join us as subscribers in this adventure of archaeological discovery. It could open up a whole new world for you.

Read the magazine...

Friday, 3 December 2010

First bullets ever fired in battle found in Yorkshire

Evidence of the first use of firearms on a British battlefield nearly 550 years ago has been uncovered.

Bronze barrel fragments and very early lead shot were unearthed by a metal detectorist at the site of the 1461 battle of Towton in Yorkshire.

The clash between Lancastrian king Henry VI and England’s first Yorkist king, Edward IV, during the Wars of the Roses, has gone down in history as one of the bloodiest ever fought.

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Thursday, 2 December 2010

Pictures: Medieval Cave Tunnels Revealed as Never Before

Carved from sandstone, the dungeon (foreground) beneath England's Nottingham Castle (top)—scanned in 3-D via lasers—is superimposed on an image of the aboveground buildings.

The pictures were created as part of the ongoing Nottingham Caves Survey, which began in March and intends to use the scans to help safeguard the man-made caves from "development, erosion, and ignorance," survey leader David Walker said. "We can compare future scans with current scans to see whether change has taken place."

For centuries, Nottingham residents have taken advantage of the stable yet pliable sandstone beneath the city, carving everything from holding pens to World War II air raid shelters to beer cellars (some still in use).

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Site of Britain's first ever gunbattle revealed

Archaeologists believe they have found evidence of the first use of firearms on a British battlefield after fragments of shattered guns were unearthed on a site that saw one of the bloodiest battles ever fought on English soil.

The bronze barrel fragments and a very early lead shot were discovered by a metal detectorist working closely with a team that has been trying to unlock the secrets of the 1461 battle of Towton, in Yorkshire, northern England.

The battle, fought over the throne between Lancastrian King Henry VI and England's first Yorkist king, Edward IV during the War of the Roses, has gone down in history as the bloodiest ever fought on the island.

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Saturday, 27 November 2010

Underground tunnel discovered by archaeologists at Lincoln Castle

A PREVIOUSLY unknown underground tunnel has been discovered at Lincoln Castle.

Archaeologists uncovered the medieval structure during exploratory work at ground level prior to the installation of a lift that would take people on to the castle walls.

The tunnel, which is linked to a circular room or structure, was uncovered by Lincoln Cathedral archaeologist Dr Philip Dixon and is fast becoming the talk among archaeologists and history buffs.

County archaeologist Beryl Lott described it as an exciting and unique discovery.

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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Online Courses in Archaeology with the University of Oxford

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.

View the courses available this term...

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Medieval history in the making

Eleven years ago, John Lichfield witnessed the birth of Château de Guédelon, the 13th-century castle being built by hand in modern day France. This week he went back to see how work is progressing

It is the year 1241. Good King Louis XI is on the throne of France. The son of Bad King John, "average" King Henry III is on the throne of England and struggling, as ever, against his revolting barons. Medievally speaking, we are in a prosperous and peaceful period. There is a brief lull between two crusades. The Black Death is still a century away.

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Medieval prison’s future as an attraction

A historic prison which has operated in a castle for centuries looks set to close.


Lancaster Castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century, is thought to be the only prison and court still operating in a medieval castle.

But the building in the city centre is also a popular tourist destination and theatre venue, which is said to have become outdated and too expensive to maintain.

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Sunday, 18 July 2010

2,200 'knights' reenact medieval battle in Poland

Some 2,200 "knights" from across Europe donned suits of armour, flowing capes and linen shirts on Sunday to reenact one of medieval Europe's bloodiest battles.The Battle of Grunwald, which took place 600 years ago, still raises emotions among Poles and Lithuanians, who it as a symbol of national pride.

The nights sweat it out during the hour-long reenactment held in a meadow at the village of Grunwald, northern Poland, where Poles, Lithuanians and Tatars united to defeat invading Teutonic Knights in 1410. The spectacle drew 100,000 tourists, leading to traffic jams several miles long and several serious car accidents, the Polish Press Agency PAP reported.

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Sunday, 27 June 2010

Nevern Castle dig unearths tower block

Exciting excavations at Nevern Castle recently unearthed what is thought to be the largest group of 12th century buildings in Pembrokeshire.

The third season of excavations were directed by Dr Chris Caple from Durham University, supported by national park archaeologist Peter Crane.

The team also included students from Durham and Lampeter University and volunteers from Cardigan, Newport and Nevern.

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Wednesday, 26 May 2010

National Treasure

A silver boar badge dropped in the mud on a Leicestershire battlefield more than 500 years ago has been officially declared treasure.

Historians believe the tiny emblem fell from a knight's tunic as he foughtalongside Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth.

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Saturday, 22 May 2010

Stirling Castle knight revealed as English nobleman

A skeleton discovered at Stirling Castle may have been an English knight who died in the 14th Century.

Sir John de Stricheley died in 1341, when the English held the castle.

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Friday, 21 May 2010

Stirling Castle skeleton warrior to be revealed in BBC2 History Cold Case

The identity of a sword-swinging War of Independence warrior whose executed skeleton was discovered buried in a forgotten chapel at Stirling Castle 13 years ago is set to be revealed this week in a BBC investigation using the latest scientific tests.

BBC Two's History Cold Case has reconstructed the face of the Medieval Knight after archaeologists found his bludgeoned body in a mass grave of 10 skeletons thought to have been slaughtered in a siege during the Anglo-Scottish wars of the late 13th and 14th centuries.

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Face of medieval knight reconstructed by computers

The face of a medieval knight who was killed 700 years ago has been revealed through state-of-the-art forensic techniques.

The mysterious skeleton was uncovered along with nine other people's remains underneath a chapel at Stirling Castle in 1997.

It is not known whether the man, who was killed during Scotland's Wars of Independence, is English, Scottish or even French, due to the fact the castle changed hands several times.

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Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Carlisle Castle's decade dig is completed

An internationally important archaeological dig in Carlisle has unearthed rare articulated armour and a nit comb, with a louse still in it.

The dig, which took place over a decade in front of Carlisle Castle, has uncovered about 80,000 Roman artefacts.

The evidence provides Carlisle with almost 2,000 years of documented history.

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Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Laser to scan Robin Hood's prison under Nottingham city

dungeon believed to have housed Robin Hood when he was caught by the Sheriff of Nottingham is to be surveyed using a laser.

It is part of a major project to explore every cave in Nottingham.

Robin Hood is believed to have been held captive in an oubliette (underground dungeon) located at what is now the Galleries of Justice.

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Battle of Prestonpans took place 'further east'

A report has claimed that the Battle of Prestonpans actually took place 500 metres (0.3 miles) further east than previously thought.

A team from the University of Glasgow's Centre for Battlefield Archaeology (Guard) has been working in the area over the last 18 months.

It said the main area of attack happened further east towards Seton, not south of Cockenzie Power Station.

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Archaeological investigation to take place for Nottingham's Robin Hood Month

The Galleries of Justice in Nottingham is holding a special archaeological investigation into the dungeons under Shire Hall.

Experts from Trent and Peak Archaeology, based at the University of Nottingham, have started laser scanning in the hope of discovering exactly when these mysterious dungeons were first carved out of the sandstone rock.

"Now is the time to uncover the mystery that surrounds this grim and eerie space and link the site to Nottingham's most famous outlaw," declared Tim Desmond, Chief Executive of the Galleries of Justice Museum.

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Sunday, 18 April 2010

Social Networks for Archaeology

The power and importance of social networks are growing all the time, not least in the field of archaeology.

I thought that it would be useful to compile a list of these sites for archaeology. The list as it stands at the moment can be found here….

Obviously, this list is very incomplete at the moment, so if you know of any archaeological social network site that should be added, please give details on the form here…

Friday, 16 April 2010

New gallery at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre reveals secrets behind Tudor scrap

Two months after the exact location of the bloody 15th century battle which killed King Richard III was officially identified, a new gallery at Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre will divulge how experts pinpointed the fatal field alongside a deadly display of weapons and ammunition.

Historians had spent decades debating the true location where Henry Tudor and King Richard clashed on August 22 1485, but a groundbreaking metal detecting survey named the previously unsuspected Fenn Lane field as the definitive spot.

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New Bosworth Battlefield gallery opens

Leicestershire County Council (LCC) has officially unveiled a new gallery at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre,Sutton Cheney, near Market Bosworth.

The attraction boasts a range of archaeological objects uncovered at the nearby 15th century battlefield site, which was the scene for the penultimate battle of the War of the Roses in 1485.

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Bosworth battle gallery to open

A new gallery showcasing objects from a 15th Century battlefield site is opening in Leicestershire.

The display at the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre will display artillery and bullets from the actual battle.

It shows how archaeologists found the true location of the conflict, centuries after it happened.

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Saturday, 10 April 2010

Launch of the Online Froissart provides digital access to famous medieval chronicle

A unique website showcasing virtual manuscripts chronicling the Hundred Years´ War was launched online this month thanks to the work of academics from the universities of Sheffield and Liverpool.

The website, which was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) will offer more than 100 transcriptions from the renowned Chronicles of Jehan Froissart, which provide a unique account of the epic battle between the English and the French.

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Thursday, 18 March 2010

Illegal metal detecting crackdown

Archaeologists are to team up with police in a bid to crack down on illegal metal detecting in Norfolk.

Norfolk has the highest number of recovered artefacts in the country declared treasure and a successful long-established working relationship with legitimate metal- detecting enthusiasts.

There were 109 cases of items found in Norfolk being declared treasure in 2008-09. Recent finds include a hoard of 24 Henry III short-cross pennies in Breckland, and an early Saxon gold spangle from south Norfolk.

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Sunday, 7 March 2010

Change in Blog Address

As you will have noticed, the address for this blog has changed.

This is because Blogger are phasing out their FTP service.

If you have been using an RSS feed for this blog, then you will need to change the address. Simply click on the “Subscribe to Posts [Atom]” at the bottom of the right-hand sidebar.

Similarly, if you have been receiving email notifications, you will have to register again using the form in the right-hand sidebar.

Sorry for the inconvenience,

David Beard

Friday, 5 March 2010

Balls of destruction discovered under the stairs at Goodrich Castle

Staff at Goodrich Castle have unearthed a stash of 17th century cannon balls thought to have been placed under a flight of stairs during restoration and renovation in the 1970s.

The balls of destruction have been examined by an English Heritage archaeologist and are thought to have been fired during either the English Civil War or The Siege of Goodrich in 1646.

"Lots of leaves had blown through the open wooden staircase, and with little light to reveal them, the cannon balls had become a forgotten relic of the castle until they were re-discovered last year," says visitor operations manager, Wendy Amer.

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Monday, 22 February 2010

True site of Richard III battlefield found

Archaeologists said on Friday they had finally found the true location of one of England's most important battles and possibly the very spot where the island's last Medieval king was slain.

For centuries, enthusiasts have trudged to the top of a remote hill in Leicestershire, central England, believing it be the site of the Battle of Bosworth where King Richard III was defeated by Henry Tudor's superior forces in 1485.

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Sunday, 17 January 2010

Medieval defences found at Edinburgh Castle

Late medieval walls and the foundations of what appears to be a military spur, which formed part of the outer defences at Edinburgh Castle, have been found.

The defences, which date from at least the 16th Century, were discovered by archaeologists during foundation works for new Military Tattoo stands.

Service trenches were opened which revealed two structures about 2m beneath the esplanade.

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