Medieval Ages

Ingeborg Hornkjøl poses with a piece of wood inscribed with Nordic runes. 

Cool Finds

Archaeologists Discover—and Start to Decode—Rare Medieval Runes

One of the newly unearthed objects, an inscribed bone, is the first of its kind found in Oslo in decades

In the largest-ever study of horse bones to date, researchers examined equine remains from 171 unique archaeological sites including castles and medieval horse cemeteries.

The Horses of Medieval Times Weren't Much Bigger Than Modern-Day Ponies

A study of the remains of 2,000 specimens reveals the steeds were around 4 feet 10 inches tall

Archaeologists search for artifacts at a dig in Rendlesham, where local craftsmen may have made the items found at the Sutton Hoo burial site.

Cool Finds

Sutton Hoo's Treasures Were Likely Crafted at This 1,400-Year-Old Workshop

Archaeologists found evidence of metalworking near the famed English burial ground

Brunhild and Fredegund were two lesser-known but long-reigning and influential Frankish queens.

The Medieval Queens Whose Daring, Murderous Reigns Were Quickly Forgotten

Over the centuries, Brunhild and Fredegund were dismissed and even parodied. But a new book shows how they outwitted their enemies like few in history

Discovered with the Galloway Hoard in Scotland, a gold-wrapped rock crystal jar includes the name of a previously unknown bishop from medieval Britain.

Cool Finds

A Rare, Gold-Wrapped Jar May Reveal the Splendor of Early Medieval Britain

After going through an extensive conservation process, researchers found that the rock crystal artifact was inscribed with the name of a mysterious bishop

Unearthed in Norway, this crowned figure with a falcon on its right arm dates to the 13th century, and may be the oldest depiction of falconry discovered in Scandinavia.

Cool Finds

One of the Oldest Depictions of Falconry in Scandinavia Is Discovered

The 800-year-old carved figure holding a falcon was found at a dig site in Norway

A medieval composite pen made out of animal bone and a copper alloy was found in an 11th-century settlement in Ireland. The tool's secular setting is a rare find, as literacy in Ireland was generally associated with the church.

Cool Finds

Medieval Ink Pen Testifies to the Rise of Secular Literacy in Ireland

The 11th-century tool may have been used to record family lineages and trade agreements

In each of the extant nine accounts, the victim is captured in battle and has an eagle of some sort carved into their back.

New Research

Did the Vikings Actually Torture Victims With the Brutal 'Blood Eagle'?

New research reveals the feasibility of the infamous execution method

The term “Crusade” has always been an anachronism—a way of looking back at complex, often disconnected movements with a wide array of motivations, membership, tactics and results and organizing them into a single coherent theology or identity. Pictured: A 19th-century painting of the 1177 Battle of Montgisard by Charles-Philippe Larivière

The Many Myths of the Term 'Crusader'

Conceptions of the medieval Crusades tend to lump disparate movements together, ignoring the complexity and diversity of these military campaigns

Minted in Canterbury between 1493 and 1499, the silver half groat dates to the middle of Henry VII's reign, when a rebellion led by pretender Perkin Warbeck threatened to unseat the nascent Tudor dynasty. 

Cool Finds

How Did a 15th-Century Coin Minted Under Henry VII End Up in Newfoundland?

Dated to between 1493 and 1499, the silver half-groat is the oldest English coin ever found in Canada

A supporter of the doomed Tudor queen may have hidden the falcon following Anne's downfall.

Cool Finds

Wooden Falcon Sold for $101 Originally Belonged to Anne Boleyn

The discovery is striking because Henry VIII removed almost all traces of his second queen following her execution in 1536

Living Like a Tudor draws on the five senses to offer a vivid portrait of Tudor life. Pictured here is a procession overseen by the last Tudor monarch, Elizabeth I.

What Did Tudor England Look, Smell and Sound Like?

A new book by scholar Amy Licence vividly transports readers back to the 16th century

An unnamed treasure hunter discovered the majority of the coins and gold objects between 2014 and 2020.

Cool Finds

See the Largest Trove of Early Medieval Gold Coins Ever Found in England

Discovered in a West Norfolk field, the cache of 131 coins and 4 gold objects dates to around 600 C.E.

Ary Scheffer, The Ghosts of Paolo and Francesca Appear to Dante and Virgil, 1835

Before Romeo and Juliet, Paolo and Francesca Were Literature's Star-Crossed Lovers

Centuries after Italian poet Dante published "The Divine Comedy," Romantic artists and writers reimagined the tragedy as a tale of female agency

Archaeologists have discovered the foundations of a major medieval tannery at a former monastery in northern England.

New Research

Large Medieval Tannery Discovered at Monastic Abbey in England

A sizable community of monks made leather for paper and printing at the major industrial site

During the Middle Ages, dragons more often figured in accounts about the lives of saints and religious figures than stories of heists and adventures.

Why Dragons Dominated the Landscape of Medieval Monsters

The mythical beasts were often cast as agents of the devil or demons in disguise

Illustration of Marie de France, poet who lived in England in the late 12th century

The Unheralded Women Scribes Who Brought Medieval Manuscripts to Life

A new book by scholar Mary Wellesley spotlights the anonymous artisans behind Europe's richly illuminated volumes

The timbers of a 500-year-old ship rest on the floor of the Baltic Sea. Scholars and divers are studying the legendary wreck.

An Extraordinary 500-Year-Old Shipwreck Is Rewriting the History of the Age of Discovery

In the frigid Baltic Sea, archaeologists probing the surprisingly well-preserved remains of a revolutionary warship are seeing the era in a new way

Adam Driver (left) plays Jacques Le Gris, a French squire accused of raping Marguerite, wife of knight Jean de Carrouges (right, played by Matt Damon).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'The Last Duel'

A new film from Ridley Scott dramatizes the 1386 trial by combat of a medieval man accused of a horrific crime

Dee may have bought the mirror in Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) in the 1580s.

Obsidian 'Spirit Mirror' Used by Elizabeth I's Court Astrologer Has Aztec Origins

Tudor polymath John Dee used the artifact in his attempts to communicate with angels and apparitions

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