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middle ages

The Medieval skeleton was found still in its boots

Mystery Man in High Leather Boots: How Did His Medieval Skeleton End Up in London’s River Thames?

Archaeologists working at London’s 'super sewer' in Bermondsey have recovered the skeletal remains of a man, wearing high leather boots, lying face-down in the silt of the River Thames. Much about...
Detail of ‘Brawl between soldiers and peasants’ (1565-1570) by the Circle of Marten van Cleve. A new ‘murder map’ shows that Medieval London streets were the backdrop to many murders.

Beaten to Death for Littering with Eel Skins: ‘Murder Map’ Reveals Medieval London’s Meanest Streets

The first digital map of the murders recorded by the city's Coroner in early 1300s shows Cheapside and Cornhill were homicide ‘hot spots’, and Sundays held the highest risk of violent death for...
Kit Harington appears in a scene from HBO's, 'Game of Thrones,' 2017. Game of Thrones is a seemingly authentic portrayal of a pseudo-medieval world. But it is ahistortical and actually reveals much more about how we imagine the past and view our society today.

Game of Thrones Creates a Romantic and Grotesque Pseudo-Medieval World, Revealing Modern Perceptions of the Past

Take the dragons and the zombies away from the television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic A Song of Ice and Fire novels and you are left with the seemingly authentic portrayal of a pseudo-...
A 17th century engraving depicting an ordeal by water.

Trial by Ordeal: A Life or Death Method of Judgement

In the modern judicial system, the innocence or guilt of an accused may be established based on the evidence brought against him or her. In ancient and medieval societies, however, a different way of...
A cloaked witch (Leo Lintang / Fotolia)

The Evolution of The Medieval Witch – And Why She’s Usually a Woman

Flying through the skies on a broomstick, the popular image of a witch is as a predominantly female figure – so much so that the costume has become the go-to Halloween outfit for women and girls...
A photo of Shambles, York, UK

The Shambles: Medieval Slaughterhouse Street Turned Tourist Hotspot

The Shambles (known officially as Shambles) is a street in York dating to the Middle Ages. Shambles has been called the best-preserved Medieval street in Europe and has been voted as the most...
Detail of an illustration of a woman emptying her chamber pot out the window. Medieval sanitation wasn’t very sanitary.

Cheerio and Gardi Loo! Words of Warning Prompted By Medieval Human Waste Disposal

In 1775, the Scottish inventor Alexander Cumming was granted the first patent for the design of a flushing toilet. Although the Romans were known for their innovation in sanitation, which included...
This is the skeleton discovered during excavations exploring Medieval life on Torcello Island, Venice, Italy.

Scholars Uncover Signs of Medieval Life and Death on an Italian Island

On the island of Torcello, at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice excavation site, some protagonists of the island's thousand-year history have begun to emerge. A tomb datable to around 700 AD has...
Eketorp Fort in Sweden

Eketorp Fort in Sweden

Stora Alvaret, home to the Eketorp Fort, is a barren limestone terrace found in the southern half of the island of Öland, Sweden. The area of this formation exceeds 100 square miles (260 square...
‘The Unicorn is Found’ in one of the Unicorn Tapestries in Stirling Castle. Medieval science fiction had a convergence of science, technology and the imagination

Medieval Science Fiction Existed – Here’s What it Looked Like

Carl Kears & James Paz / The Conversation Science fiction may seem resolutely modern, but the genre could actually be considered hundreds of years old. There are the alien green “ children of...
Detail, the medieval Hereford Mappa Mundi, “Cloth of the World” in Hereford, England. Circa 1300.

Hereford Mappa Mundi: Legendary Cities, Monstrous Races, and Curious Beasts in a Single World Map

Secreted away beneath the floor of an English cathedral was a large calfskin canvas featuring what, at first glance, appeared to be a map of the world. Once recovered and repaired, the map now known...
Comb with etui recovered from the Alemannic warrior burials.

Medieval Alemannic Warriors Welcomed Foreigners into their Fold

In 1962, an Alemannic burial site containing human skeletal remains was discovered in Niederstotzingen (Baden-Württemberg, Germany). Researchers at the Eurac Research Centre in Bozen-Bolzano, Italy,...
: A segment of the exquisite Bayeux Tapestry. In this scene Odo, Bishop of Bayeux (with raised club), half-brother to William the Great, rallies the troops in the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Nearly 1,000 Years Old, the Bayeux Tapestry is An Epic Tale and Medieval Masterpiece

The ancient Bayeux Tapestry, famous for its epic representation of medieval history, is a long, vividly embroidered cloth stretching hundreds of feet. Through exciting imagery it retells the events...
Two hand-painted Mamluk playing cards and two Venetian playing cards.

Before They Were Divination Tools, Tarot Cards Were Playing Cards

In the English-speaking world, the word ‘tarot’ is most commonly associated with the occult and divination. It is one of the oldest forms of fortune telling, although its origins are somewhat obscure...
Medieval Knights are viewed as moral do-gooders.

Medieval Chivalry Wasn’t Just Knights and Valor

By Kathleen McGarvey / University of Rochester Our popular ideas of the chivalric world are off base, according to historian Richard Kaeuper. The gallant knights on horseback and banners unfurling...
Illustration of a monk tending to a sick patient.

The Incredible Medical Interventions of the Monks of Soutra Aisle

Soutra Aisle refers to a set of ruins in Scotland that were once part of a larger complex comprising a hospital and a friar. Excavations at Soutra Aisle have provided an extraordinary window into the...

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