Recent finds shine a new light on Charlemagne. The head of the Holy Roman Empire was not holy, never Roman and no emperor. Instead, he and his family all founded secular abbeys - in the days before abbeys excluded women, of course.
Although little physical evidence survives from that era, these few remaining vestiges speak volumes. The advances made in Iron Age archaeology open new views of a beautiful medieval world long dismissed as barbaric. A buried cosmopolitan past is coming to life in all its flourish, bustle and elegance.