Badger unearths medieval grave

From Fox News:

Some archaeologists pore over old maps and manuscripts to make historical discoveries. Others rely on pick axes, trowels and other tools.

But archaeologists in Germany simply turned to badgers, the digging mammals that are the bane of gardeners everywhere. A badger living in the countryside near the town of Stolpe recently uncovered a remarkable site: the 12th-century burial ground of eight people, two of whom were apparently Slavic warlords.

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Coffin within a coffin found at Richard III’s grave

From Fox News:

Archaeologists have uncovered a mysterious coffin-within-a-coffin while excavating the final resting place of King Richard III.

The University of Leicester team opened the lid of a medieval stone coffin this week during the final week of their second dig at the Grey Friars site where the British king was found last September.

The stone coffin is thought to contain one of the friary’s founders or a medieval monk.

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Mysterious medieval mansion uncovered at British construction site

From Fox News:

It sounds like a case for Sherlock Holmes: a 900-year-old medieval manor mysteriously vanishes, only to be uncovered later by British archaeologists.

The ancient site has been stripped of its materials except for the foundation — and there is no record of it ever existing…

…”This is a significant find and therefore very exciting, particularly as there are no documentary records that such a site ever existed here,” said Wessex Archaeology’s senior buildings archaeologist Bob Davis, who participated in the excavation.

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Medieval city discovered in Cambodian jungle

From LiveScience.com:

A lost city known only from inscriptions that existed some 1,200 years ago near Angkor in what is now Cambodia has been uncovered using airborne laser scanning.

The previously undocumented cityscape, called Mahendraparvata, is hidden beneath a dense forest on the holy mountain Phnom Kulen, which means “Mountain of the Lychees.”

The cityscape came into clear view, along with a vast expanse of ancient urban spaces that made up Greater Angkor, the large area where one of the largest religious monuments ever constructed — Angkor Wat, meaning “temple city” — was built between A.D. 1113 and 1150.

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Did the medieval population drink more water than alcohol?

Article by Tim O’Neil, medievalist:

Contrary to what is found all over the Internet on the subject, the most common drink was water, for the obvious reason: It’s free. Medieval villages and towns were built around sources of fresh water. This could be fresh running water, a spring or, in many cases, wells. All of these could easily provide fresh, disease- and impurity-free water; the idea that water from these sources would be the causes of disease and so had to be made into ale or beer is fanciful.

Where water was more likely to be contaminated, largely by tanning, slaughtering, or dying facilities, was in larger towns. But since medieval people were not idiots, they dealt with this in several ways. There were ordinances on where tanners and dyers could operate so that water for domestic use could be drawn from rivers and streams in the town to ensure the water was clean. And there were fines for contaminating areas of streams used for household consumption.

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I can’t recall any sources I’ve read off-hand that would dispute this. Tim does cite Ian Mortimer as a source, a well-known medieval historian, so I would have to say this is probably accurate. It’s very interesting and contrary to what most people believe. Thoughts?

Medieval knight buried in parking lot

This story is a couple of months old, but I didn’t see it until now. Thought it was interesting and that I would post all the same. The bones have been buried for eight centuries, so I figured being a couple of months late on the news is not all that important. Timeliness in archaeology is a little different than timeliness in other news, I think.

From the Huffington Post:

Archeologists this week announced the discovery of an unidentified medieval knight’s skeleton buried along with several other bodies under a Scottish parking lot.

The knight — or possibly nobleman — was uncovered during construction work, according to The Scotsman. Also found was an intricately carved sandstone slab, several other human burial plots and a variety of artifacts researchers believe are from the 13th-century Blackfriars Monastery.

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Pre-Viking tunic found on glacier

Reuters:

OSLO — A pre-Viking woolen tunic found beside a thawing glacier in south Norway shows how global warming is proving something of a boon for archaeology, scientists said on Thursday.

The greenish-brown, loose-fitting outer clothing — suitable for a person up to about 5 feet, 9 inches tall (176 centimeters) — was found 6,560 feet (2,000 meters) above sea level on what may have been a Roman-era trade route in south Norway. Carbon dating showed it was made around the year 300.

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Previously unknown medieval village unearthed in Scotland

From the BBC:

The remains of a medieval village in the Borders have been uncovered during the laying of a new water main.

Scottish Water was carrying out the works at Philiphaugh on the outskirts of Selkirk.

It was laying new pipes between Howden and Yarrowford water treatment works when the discovery was made.

Initial studies suggested it was an Anglo-Saxon settlement, but closer inspection indicated it may have been the site of a medieval village.

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