Completely different, but very enriching information about the early history of the Saxons was the archaeological research in Saksenland (Old Saxony). One of the archaeologists looked at the contributions of his colleagues as some parts of a great mosaic which was far from complete. But the excavating of settlements, the exposing of numerous grave-fields and the many artefacts gave not only an image of the daily lives of the Saxons in the early Middle Ages; they also gave information about:
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Confirmation that bones found in a tomb in Magdeburg Cathedral, Germany, are of a Saxon princess, the oldest English royal remains to be found. The bones are part of the body of the Saxon princess Eadgyth, the granddaughter of King Alfred the Great, who died more than 1,000 years ago.
The tomb where they were found was first investigated in 2009, but it was then believed the bones had been moved. Two years ago German archaeologists opened the tomb, expecting it to be empty, but found it contained a lead box with the inscription, “The remains of Queen Eadgyth are in this sarcophagus”. The bones were inside, wrapped in silk.
The latest techniques have been used by experts from the University of Mainz and the University of Bristol to analyze the bones and some teeth found in the upper jaw. It was discovered they belonged to a female who died aged between…
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LYING crookedly in a shallow grave, its bones have existed undiscovered for more than 1,000 years.
But the discovery of this ancient skeleton could shed new light on the history of the Vikings in Wales
The unearthing skeleton in at Llanbedrgoch on Anglesey has given historians important new clues on the impact of both Anglo-Saxons and Vikings operating around the Irish Sea.
Archaeologists from the National Museum Wales said the burial find is an unexpected addition to a group of five – two adolescents, two adult males and one woman – discovered in 1998-99.
Originally thought to be victims of Viking raiding, which began in the 850s, this interpretation is now being revised.
The unusual non-Christian positioning of the body, and its treatment, point to distinctions being made in the burial practices for Christians and other…
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Over the last few years the three giant round mounds of Wessex have seen some form of archaeological work. In 2007 and 2008 Silbury Hill was the focus of a multi-million pound project which included opening and retracing the 1968 tunnel into the heart of the Hill. 2010 saw excavations at Marden, one of the largest Neolithic henge monuments in Britain, which provided evidence for the now demolished mound known as the Hatfield Barrow – said to have been as much as 15m tall. Whilst, in the autumn of that year coring work through the Marlborough Mound produced six…
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Topic: Ancient village
Archaeology: Europe’s ‘oldest town’ found near Bulgaria’s Varna, professor says
Europe’s oldest urban settlement is near Provadia, a town of about 13 000 people about 40km inland from Bulgaria’s Black Sea city of Varna, according to archaeology Professor Vassil Nikolov, citing evidence from work done at the Provadia – Solnitsata archaeological site in summer 2012.
The team of archaeologists headed by Nikolov excavated stone walls estimated to date from 4700 to 4200 BCE. The walls are two metres thick and three metres high, and according to Nikolov are the earliest and most massive fortifications from Europe’s pre-history.
There were about 300 to 350 people living at the site in those times, living in two-storey houses and earning their living by salt mining.
To this day, Provadia is an important salt centre, with a large-scale foreign investor represented in the area. Estimates are that salt has been extracted…
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Settlement and Field Structures in continental North-West Europe from the Ninth to the Thirteenth Centuries
By Adriaan Verhulst
Medieval Settlement Research Group, Vol.13 (1998)
Introduction: Since the eighties and increasingly during the nineties there has been a renewed interest on the continent in medieval rural settlement, mainly among archaeologists and geographers. This overview of research in this field in continental north-west Europe during recent decades is intended to explain this development.
From the middle of the fifties English scholars pioneered medieval field archaeology. They founded the Deserted Medieval Villages Research Group, later changed to Medieval Village Research Group and now since 1985 the Medieval Settlement Research Group. Their work, set up by Maurice Beresford and John Hurst, provoked great interest on the continent.
Although the German geographical tradition in the field of “Settlement History” (Siedlungsgeschichte) with illustrious names like Gradmann, Martiny, Niemeier, Muller-Wille and Mortensen. was continued after the war by Anneliese Krenzlin, Martin Born and Hans-Jurgen Nitz, a decisive step to a renewal of the subject on the English model were the conferences organised during the seventies by the famous archaeologist Herbert Jankuhn under the auspices of the Gottingen Academy. Several volumes on the early medieval village and on early medieval fields resulted from these meetings between archaeologists, historians, geographers and linguists. The importance of the yearbook Siedlungsforschung. Archdologie-Geschichte-Geographie, edited since 1983 by Klaus Fehn, testifies to the liveliness of research on rural settlements in central and continental north-west Europe.
Kite Aerial Photograph by Bill Blake Heritage Documentation: all rights reserved, used with permission. Note path on the left which leads from Bartlow Church
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Topic: More on Neanderthal
The Lozoya River Valley, in the Madrid mountain range of Guadarrama, could easily be called “Neanderthal Valley,” says the paleontologist Juan Luis Arsuaga.
“It is protected by two strings of mountains, it is rich in fauna, it is a privileged spot from an environmental viewpoint, and it is ideal for the Neanderthal, given that it provided the with good hunting grounds.”
This is not just a hypothesis: scientists working on site in Pinilla del Valle, near the reservoir, have already found nine Neanderthal teeth, remains of bonfires and thousands of animal fossils, including some from enormous aurochs (the ancestor of cattle, each the length of two bulls), rhinoceros and fallow deer.
The Neanderthal is a human species that is well known and unknown at the same time. It is well known because numerous vestiges have been found from the time when they lived in Europe, between…
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As reported in the Albuquerque Journal on August 24th racist skinhead and Aryan Nations member Brian Pulliam was arrested as a suspect in the killing of his girlfriend, Kirsten Landeau and her 20 year old nephew Dillon Cearfoss. On the 26th Albuquerque Journal writer Scott Sandlin exposed that previous to Pulliman’s release, the killer tried to claim that his religion prevented him from being released. Pulliam said his religion would set him at odds with the terms of his probation as he has to consume alcohol beverages as an adherent of Asatru. Obviously this is total nonsense. But the bigger picture here is how Asatru is reported in the mainstream media. It is no wonder the outside world thinks Heathens are all male, White, violent and Nazis. It seems as if the only time we are covered by the media is in relation to racial violence and…
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Not for the first time the setting of Duddo Stone Circle, said to be the most complete and dramatically situated of Northumbrian stone circles, has been under threat from a proposal to build a wind turbine.
Scottish company 3R Energy Solutons want to build a 74-metre, 800 kilowatt machine on farmland at Shoreswood, south of Berwick but the proposal has just been unanimously rejected by county councillors, following advice from the County Archaeologist that it would result in “significant and unacceptable” impact on the setting of the monument which is less than two miles away.
Case officer Frances Wilkinson said: “It is considered that the proposal would have a very damaging effect on the appreciation of the Duddo Stone Circle from the main approach and that its setting would not be preserved. Significant weight does need to be given to the benefits of the proposal, however, the harm to…
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I mentioned in an earlier post that I would write about myths about the Vikings. One of the biggest myths is that the Vikings were dirty and unwashed. Everything is relative, of course, and compared to people of today who shower every day and use tons of beauty products, they may seem rather poorly groomed.
But compared to their contemporaries – not to mention people who lived a couple of hundred years later when washing was considered life threatening – the Vikings were very cleanly. Archaeologists have found a large number of tweezers, combs, nail cleaners, ear cleaners and tooth picks.
There are also reports to support idea of the clean Vikings, like this one from John of Wallingford:
Apparently the incoming Danes “…caused much trouble to the natives of the land; for they were wont, after the fashion of their country, to comb their hair every day, to…
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Controversy over how the bluestones arrived at Stonehenge – by human transport or glaciers – has been raging for decades but we noticed two recent stories that seem to boost the lead enjoyed by the proponents of human transport.
First, there’s English Heritage’s Stonehenge Cycle Challenge. Next year Members will be invited to “an exclusive sponsored cycle ride, which traces the route of the Stonehenge bluestones from Wales to Wiltshire.” The 3-day journey will comprise Preseli Hills to Llandovery (day one), Llandovery to Chepstow via Brecon Beacons (day two) and Chepstow to Stonehenge (day three). So not exactly the proposed original route (or is it?) as there’s no mention of sailing across the Bristol Channel, but still it’s a sort of acknowledgement that human legs, not ice, were originally involved. EH seem to have made one big mistake though: the ride will end “inside the stone circle with…
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Historic Scotland TV writes –
The chambered tomb of Maeshowe is in The Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site. Along with the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, the Barnhouse settlement and Skara Brae prehistoric village, it allows visitors to understand the landscape and monuments of our ancestors more than 5000 years ago.
In 2011 laser scanners were used to record the site and create a three dimensional model to show the intricacies of this incredible site.
Writing in Current Archaeology, Carly Hilts reports that –
Orkney is world-famous for its spectacular Neolithic archaeology, and now visitors from all over the globe will be able to explore one of its most enigmatic monuments, after a new virtual tour of Maeshowe chambered tomb went live today (29 August).
In a video unveiled yesterday by Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the structure of the 5,000 year old monument…
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An Acallam na nÉces Special
In the West of Ireland, every hill is a hollow hill, and every well is a source. But the hill we live on has many legends…
Join the Story Archaeologists on an aerial survey of the story-scape of Sídh Beag, the Small Fairy Hill.
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Music: “Sheemore and Sheebeg” by Turlough O’Carolan, performed byRehouven Libine
Researchers from Spain, the UK and Australia combined pyrolysis gas-chromatography-mass spectrometry with morphological analysis of plant microfossils to identify material trapped in dental calculus – calcified dental plaque – from five Neanderthals from the north Spanish site of El Sidrón.