Face of medieval knight revealed


As yet another version of Robin Hood tops the UK Box Office, it’s medieval history in the headlines this week.


For those interested in the outlaw’s choice of attire, there’s a look back at the history of men in tights, from Henry VIII to Tony Curtis.

Elsewhere, scientists have been busy digitally reconstructing the face of the knightly skeleton discovered at Stirling Castle this week, revealing a nobleman comparable to the modern day rugby player.

The medieval answer to the filofax has also come to attention at Cambridge University, where a collection of diary entries, jokes and recipies written in 15th-century English are to be put online.

Also hitting the internet soon are 40 million pages from the British Library’s newspaper collection. Spreading across three centuries and including articles from over 50,000 newspapers, the London based archive will be available to researchers from around the world in the next decade.

Fresh from another archive this week were secret documents revealing British interest in biological warfare during the Second World War. Scientists linked to the War Cabinet committee investigated the effectiveness of cholera, typhoid and dysentery as a wartime weapon.

Elsewhere in London, there are ambitious proposals for a Battle of Britain memorial from the Royal Air Force Museum. Plans for an £85 million metal structure have been met with apprehension from some London residents, who fear the 116-metre-high design will dominate the London skyline.

Another cause for concern this week is the danger posed to six historic cathedrals by the recession, while debate has sprung up over the true origin of the Devonshire cream tea.


Finally and slightly further afield, archeologists in Mexico claim to have found the oldest burial site in a Mesoamerican pyramid. One of the four skeletons discovered inside the tomb is believed to be the ruler of Chiapo de Corzo, an ancient and important settlement of the area.