World Archaeology

Silver Thor's Hammer found in Norway


A beautiful silver Thor’s Hammer has been discovered in Norway. Found over the Easter weekend by Magne Øksnes, the hammer is decorated with punched circle motifs and measures 34 mm long by 24 mm wide. It probably dates from the...Read More »

Magnificent Iron Age cauldron discovered in France

Depiction of Acheloos on one of the cauldron handles © Denis Gliksman Inrap

Very interesting news from France where archaeologists working for INRAP have found the remains of a magnificent bronze cauldron. It was discovered inside a large burial...Read More »

Site of famous 19th century 'shipwreck' discovered in Dundrum Bay, Co. Down

ss Great Britain (source)


Archaeologists have located the exact position where a famous 19th century ship, the ss Great Britain, was grounded for nearly a year in 1846. Designed by Read More »

Neolithic flint axe and preserved wooden handle discovered in Denmark

Flint Axe and wooden handle (Museum Lolland-Falster)

Another fantastic find by archaeologists working on the Fehmarn Belt Tunnel scheme in Denmark. They have uncovered a Neolithic flint axe that is still held within its wooden handle. The...Read More »

Five-thousand-year-old footprints found in Denmark

Prehistoric footprints (image Museum Lolland-Falster)

Exciting news from Denmark: archaeologists working on the Fehmarn Belt Tunnel scheme, have uncovered evidence for 5,000-year-old human footprints (source Museum Lolland-Falster). The footprints were identified along the edge of an...Read More »

2000-year-old seeds bring an extinct tree back to life

This unassuming looking plant is the only living representative of the Judean Date Palm, a species of tree, which became extinct in antiquity. It was grown from one of a collection of seeds found inside a pottery jar at Masada, a historic mountain fortress in southern Israel. Subsequent radiocarbon...Read More »

The Helgo Treasure: A Viking Age Buddha

A remarkable collection of religious items sourced from diverse lands was discovered during archaeological excavations on the Swedish island of Helgo. Located in Lake Malaren, to the west of Stockholm, this small island was an important Viking trading and manufacturing centre (6th-11th centuries AD)....Read More »

Grotesques and Gargoyles: A Modern Twist

For this weeks Friday fun I have shown a number of grotesques and gargoyles that have undergone modern twists, often to comic effect. These distinctive stone sculptures adorn the walls of many of the great medieval cathedrals of Europe....Read More »

La Tène Era 'Celtic' Burials from France

Quadrangular enclosure defining two burials (© Denis Gliksman, Inrap)

A number of spectacular La Tène era ‘Celtic’ burials have recently been uncovered by archaeologists working at Buchères in north central France. Dating from...Read More »

St. George's Church, Ethiopia

St. George’s church (by George Steinmetz)

Hewn out of solid rock, the extraordinary church of St. George (Bet Giorgis), Ethiopia, represents one of the wonders of the ancient world. Dating from the late 12th or early 13th century AD, the construction of the church...Read More »

A hoard of 16th and 17th century children's toys


Detail from Children’s Games by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1560

In the course of my research of VikingAge woodcraft, I somewhat unexpectedly turned up information about a most delightful archaeological find: an entire hoard of children’s toys, found at Market Harborough...Read More »

The world's oldest spears, the Schöningen javelins

One of the Schöningen spears (Image: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution)

The image on the right is of an amazing artefact that was found in Germany during the 1990s. Dating to approximately 300,000 BC it shows the world’s oldest wooden spear. It was discovered in...Read More »

The Oseberg Viking ship burial


Animal head post from the Oseberg ship burial

In 1904 a remarkable archaeological site was uncovered at Oseberg, Norway. It consisted of an astonishingly well-preserved Viking ship that contained the remains of two women along with a wide array of accompanying grave...Read More »

Monte Testaccio: a mountain of Roman amphorae

Monte Testaccio

At first glance Monte Testaccio seems just like any other overgrown hill on the outskirts of Rome. However, it is anything but ordinary.  This amazing site is actually made up entirely out of Roman amphorae, specifically olive jars. It is truly enormous,...Read More »

Orkney excavation reveals stunning Neolithic site

Aerial view of Ness of Brodgar (by Sigurd Towrie)

Ongoing archaeological excavations, by Nick Card of the Orkney Research Centre for Archaeology (ORCA), have revealed the remains of a stunning Neolithic site at the Ness of Brodgar, in Read More »

Bones of the Vikings: when raiding goes wrong

The ninth and tenth centuries saw the arrival of a new force on the Irish political scene, the Vikings. These Scandinavian warriors were attracted by the wealth of the Irish monasteries and they came in search of booty and glory. The initial attacks were mainly confined to the coastline,...Read More »

Decapitated skull reveals brain!

The above image shows a gruesome find from Yorkshire where archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a decapitated skull that still contained brain matter! The skull was recovered from a pit and it appears as if the poor unfortunate man was hanged before being beheaded.  The head was then carefully placed in the pit...Read More »