ZINIO logo
Kids & Teens
Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children

Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children April 2019

Budding archaeologists are off to new adventures at archaeological sites around the world, where they look over the shoulders of professional archaeologists working in the field to unearth important finds. DIG also brings readers right into working laboratories and museums to learn about cutting-edge conservation techniques. Interviews with onsite archaeologists give children a well-rounded view what archaeology is really all about. Grades 5-9

Read More
United States
Cricket Media, Inc.

in this issue

2 min.
why anglo-saxons?

Now that is a great question! I had read that phrase many times as I researched material for DIG Into History, but had never really given it much thought. “Early English,” I thought, and kept it on my “to do” list of themes. Then came an email from Dana Sajdi, who is the director of the Grad Program at the History Department at Boston College and who had written for DIG’s March 2018 issue on Syria. She loved the Syria issue and was wondering if I might want to consider a collaboration with BC graduate students on another issue. I was intrigued! I answered “Sure!” I then followed with a question, “What topics might DIG cover?”. She sent me several —and there it was — “Anglo-Saxons”! The time had come…

5 min.
rome's grip weakens

We often look back to the Anglo-Saxons as a way to help explain the world today. Why? The Anglo-Saxons spoke the earliest forms of English. Their kingdoms were the foundation of present-day England. Even the word “English” derives from an Anglo-Saxon root — Englisc, which referred to the Angles tribe and the language that the Angles spoke. Since the Early Middle Ages, people have thought that the Angles — along with other Germanic tribes called the Saxons and the Jutes — conquered Britain when the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 400s. C.E. Such thinking has led present-day scholars to refer to England between 400 and 1100 C.E. as Anglo-Saxon England. The people who lived there during this time have come to be called the Anglo-Saxons, even though that term was…

5 min.
isotopes offer clues

A lot of what we know about the arrival of the Angles, Saxons, and other people to Britain in the fifth century comes from archaeology. There are many cemeteries and settlements with “Anglo-Saxon” material culture from the early fifth century C.E. onward, such as the cremation cemetery at Spong Hill in Norfolk County and the settlement at Mucking in southern Essex County with its nearby burial grounds. But no records written by these people have survived. So, we have many questions that only archaeology can answer. For example: How many people actually came? Was it families, with mothers and children and grandparents, or was it mostly men? What happened to the people already living in Britain? Did they manage to live with their new neighbors, or were they forced out…

6 min.
meet 4 kings

King Offa (757–796 c.e.) During the Early Middle Ages, England was divided into seven kingdoms, known as the heptarchy. They included East Anglia, Essex, Kent, Mercia, Northumbria, Sussex, and Wessex. The seven were always competing against each other, with some kings gaining power over other kingdoms through conquest or alliance. In the eighth century, the kingdom of Mercia rose to prominence under the rule of Offa. After becoming king of Mercia in 757, Offa began to extend his rule into neighboring kingdoms. Offa proved to be an able general and politician. Throughout his reign, he exercised power over nearly all the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. Northumbria was the only kingdom able to resist his control. He did, however, have influence in that region through a marriage alliance. The most significant piece of Offa’s legacy…

2 min.
king cnut’s commands

A 12th-century English chronicler named Henry of Huntingdon included this story about King Cnut in his Historia Anglorum, or “History of the English People.” Henry’s source for this tale is not known for sure. Historians think he probably created it from his own imagination. Many versions of the story have been told for centuries. “Truly, King Cnut, you are the greatest ruler of this land!” said one of Cnut’s advisers. The king raised one eyebrow. “Indeed, King Cnut, you are the most powerful king who ever lived!” said another. The king looked thoughtful. “Yes, King Cnut, your commands rule the entire world!” said a third. The king smiled and said, “Follow me, then! We will see how all is ruled by my commands!” The advisers nodded enthusiastically. “Take my royal throne to the seashore,…

2 min.
a look at the ‘goods’

A study of Anglo-Saxon female burials in Britain reveals that they are somewhat more elaborate than male burials. This is because adult women were buried with dress accessories such as beads, brooches, and chatelaines (see Fun Fact opposite). Interestingly, the style of the brooches varies greatly from region to region, and this variation is similar to regional variations in brooch styles in Germany. Yet, the manner in which brooches of all types were usually worn — paired on the shoulders with beads strung between them — was much the same in both Britain and Germany. Adult men were usually buried with just a plain buckle, a knife, and sometimes a spear. In some graves, a single bead accompanies the remains of a sword. We do not know if the clothes in…