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Armada Portrait of Elizabeth I saved!

History Blog - 1 hour 27 min ago

Thanks to an outpouring of support from the public and big donations from private organizations, the Armada Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I has been purchased by the Royal Museums Greenwich for £10 million ($13,225,500). It will now enter public ownership for the first time in its more than four centuries of existence.

The Royal Museums Greenwich and the Art Fund launched the campaign needing to raise £8.6 million ($11,374,000) to meet the asking price for the painting. The museum had contributed its entire annual acquisitions budget, £400,000 ($530,000), the Art Fund £1 million, but unless they could the full asking price, the painting would be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

Painted in around 1590, the oil-on-panel depicts Queen Elizabeth I presiding serenely over a vast new global empire while in the windows behind her the English navy and divine intervention in the form of great winds defeat the Spanish Armada. The unusual landscape orientation, the queen’s lavish adornment, the famous sea battle in the background have made this portrait iconic, used in textbooks and period movies alike as a classic image of Elizabeth’s rule and the English Renaissance.

Two other versions of this portrait, probably by different unknown artists, are already in public museums, but this version is exceptional because it was owned by Sir Francis Drake, who probably commissioned it. Drake was vice admiral in command of the English fleet when it went up against the great Spanish Armada in 1588, so he was in the thick of the action depicted at Queen Elizabeth’s back. The painting has been passed down by his descendants ever since, for 425 years. When they decided to sell, the Tyrwhitt-Drake family offered the state first crack at it.

The campaign was launched on May 23rd and quickly captured the public’s imagination. Prominent historians vocally supported the cause. Seven-year-old Christina Ryder threw a bake sale at her school to donate to the fund, making cupcakes with an awesome frosting Elizabeth I on top inspired by the Armada Portrait.

An overwhelming response from the public saw 8,000 donations in just 10 weeks, with every donation matched pound for pound, raising £1.5m in total. Major contributions were made by the Linbury Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Headley Trust. In total, £10.3m has now been raised. The extraordinary level of support from the public makes this one of the most successful campaigns ever for a work of art.

Stephen Deuchar, Director, Art Fund, said, ‘This campaign has been a triumph of popular will. The painting captured the national imagination in 2016 as surely as the defeat of the Armada itself had done in 1588. Record numbers of donors, large and small, stepped forward with determination and generosity, creating an irresistible momentum that has brought this great work into public ownership at last.’

A big grant of £7.4 million ($9,787,000) from the Heritage Lottery Fund took them over the top.

The portrait will go on display at the newly renovated Queen’s House (construction completed in 1635), today part of the Royal Museums Greenwich. Designed by Inigo Jones, the Queen’s House was built just south of former Greenwich Palace, demolished in the 17th century, where Elizabeth I was born. The renovated museum will be able to maintain the fragile work in ideal environmental conditions. On October 11th, the portrait will be the star of the official reopening of the Queen’s House.

After a brief showing, the portrait will spend 2017 in treatment. It’s in dire need of conservation. It spent most of its life hanging over the mantlepiece of a fireplace in Shardeloes, the Buckinghamshire country house built for William Drake in the 18th century, ravaged by constant heat and moisture fluctuations, never kind to panel paintings. The all-important background was overpainted at same point in its past. There are areas of paint loss and varnish discoloration has given it an overall bilious hue. Once the Armada Portrait is conserved, cleaned and stabilized, it will go on permanent display at Queen’s House.

Here is historian David Starkey explaining the significance of the painting:

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Duke Timothy and Prince Marcus to Hold the Field at Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-07-29 13:28

Unto all those who aspire to the Order of Chivalry does Sir Timothy of Arindale send greetings,

Good gentles, noble warriors, on Thursday August 4th and Friday August 5th, I will once again be taking the field from 9am until 5pm to fight you, to train you, to spar with you until such time as I no longer have the energy to lift my sword. Æthelmearc’s Prince Marcus has vowed to be at my side on both days, and our King and Queen Sirs Thomas Byron and Ariella have graciously offered to join us on Friday.

We invite the chivalry from throughout the Known World to join us.

If you want to be a knight, with all your heart and soul, this is the place to show us you will one day belong at the side of your brothers, at the side of your King and Queen. Push yourselves. Bring your friends. Please spread word of this such that others throughout the Known World join us,

In service to the Society, I remain,

Sir Timothy of Arindale

Duke Timothy vs. THLord Guillaume le Noir. Photo by Lady Mary Christina Lowe.


Categories: SCA news sites

Beasts and Monsters are coming to Pennsic!

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-07-29 11:26

There are Medieval Heraldic Beasts at Pennsic. Don’t count on your electronics to catch them, though. Some of you may have seen earlier posts about this, and it is indeed true. Beasts and Monsters are coming to Pennsic! Actual beasts you can see and touch.

The medieval & analogue fix for avid Pokemon hunters (and those who just enjoy a good challenge) is coming to Pennsic during War Week. Pensimon Go: The Menagerie Quest will run from 9 AM Mon morning on August 8th through noon on Wed August 11th, is intended for all ages, and will have you finding public places at war you may never have visited.

Supplies are slightly limited (privately funded and free to participate), but sharing is allowed. Participants will collect sightings of magical creatures hidden in public spaces (please leave the critters where you find them). Prizes will be awarded for both over age 12 and under age 12 players. Results will be tallied and the winners announced in the Independent after the contest closes. Come by the offices of the Pennsic Independent Monday morning to pick up your very own Pensidex! Tour Pennsic’s public spaces, aided by location clues, to catch them all.

An online printable Pensidex, for those with electronic wizardry skills, will also be available soon.  This project is sponsored in part by Viceroy Gui avec Cheval.

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Pennsic

Beasts and Monsters are Coming to Pennsic!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-07-29 06:59



There are Medieval Heraldic Beasts at Pennsic. Don’t count on your electronics to catch them, though. Some of you may have seen earlier posts about this, and it is indeed true. Beasts and Monsters are coming to Pennsic! Actual beasts you can see and touch.

The medieval & analog fix for avid Pokemon hunters (and those who just enjoy a good challenge) is coming to Pennsic during War Week. Pensimon Go: The Menagerie Quest will run from 9 AM Mon morning on August 8th through noon on Wed August 11th, is intended for all ages, and will have you finding public places at war you may never have visited.

Supplies are slightly limited (privately funded and free to participate), but sharing is allowed. Participants will collect sightings of magical creatures hidden in public spaces (please leave the critters where you find them). Prizes will be awarded for both over age 12 and under age 12 players. Results will be tallied and the winners announced in the Independent after the contest closes. Come by the offices of the Pennsic Independent Monday morning to pick up your very own Pensidex! Tour Pennsic’s public spaces, aided by location clues, to catch them all.

An online printable Pensidex, for those with electronic wizardry skills, will also be available soon – stay tuned!




Categories: SCA news sites

Grave of early Celtic woman found in Germany

History Blog - Fri, 2016-07-29 02:17

The burial an early Celtic woman with rich grave goods was unearthed last August at Kirchheim unter Teck, 20 or so miles southeast of Stuttgart in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg. State Conservation Office archaeologists had been excavating the site slated for development on the outskirts of city since July of 2014, a comprehensive and thorough salvage operation to recover any remains from a Neolithic settlement from the sixth millennium B.C. that was known to have been at that location. They were shocked to find a far more recent archaeological treasure.

No skeletal remains have survived due to the high levels of lime in the soil, but archaeologists were able to get some idea of the layout of the burial from the position of the artifacts. Immediately visible were three small gold rings which may have been earrings and/or hair jewels, so they marked where he head would have been. Underneath the presumed skull area were two round objects made of sheet gold. Archaeologists believe they were part of a headpiece or hood of some kind which has not survived. A pair of bronze anklets and a bracelet of jet beads were also found.

The style of the gold jewelry dates the grave to around 500 B.C., which puts it within a few decades of the fabulously rich chieftain’s grave mound discovered at Hochdorf, less than five miles north of Kirchheim unter Teck, in 1978. Very few graves of Celtic women from such an early date have been found, even fewer with such high quality goods. It’s possible she too may have had a burial mound marking her grave. It has eroded to nothingness, but there are discolorations in the soil which suggest the was once a burial mound surrounded by a rectangular enclosure. She may not have been alone either, as evidence of two more enclosures was found nearby, but there were no artifacts or remains of any kind within them.

To preserve whatever microscopic fragments of organic material might be present and make sure they covered as much ground as possible, the team excavated a big soil block weighing 500 kilos (1100 pounds) which encompassed the artifacts. The block was then moved to the State Conservation Office in Esslingen where archaeologists could excavate it punctiliously in laboratory conditions. Quite literally punctilious, in fact, since among the tools used to excavate the artifacts from the soil block were porcupine quills.

It took two months to dig through the thick soil block with quills and small spatulas. They unearthed a total of six ornate gold rings and five sheet gold spherical objects. The pressure of being underground for 2,500 years has deformed the sheet gold artifacts, but the gold rings are in very fine condition.

The excavation of the Neolithic settlement ended in September of last year and the development of the industrial park on the site went forward. The artifacts from the Celtic woman’s grave will likely go on display at a museum in Kirchheim near where they were found.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

When Is My Kingdom Thing at Pennsic?

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2016-07-28 17:05

Mistress Ts’vee’a, the Kingdom Camp Scheduler, gives us this list of Æthelmearc Happenings at Pennsic – parties, vigils, Courts, Order Meetings, tournaments, and more! All activities are in Æthelmearc Royal Encampment unless otherwise noted:

Social Gatherings

Open Bardic Circle: Tuesday, August 2, 8-10pm

Haakon Oaktall Anniversary Bardic Circle: Wednesday, August 3, 8-10:30pm

Æthelmearc Bardic – Come and Perform!: Thursday, August 4, 8-10pm

Æthelmearc Teen and Tween Party: Saturday, August 6, 7-9pm

Laurel Vigil for AElfrun Ketta: Saturday, August 6, 8-11pm in Akeru Thunder (E17)

MOD Vigil for Clewin Kupferhelbelinc: Sunday, August 7, following Rapier Champion  battles, Æthelmearc Rapier Shade, Rapier field

*Known World Queens’ Tea: Sunday, August 7, 2-4pm

Debatable Lands Potluck Dinner and Court: Sunday, August 7, 5-8pm

Pelican Vigil for Timothy of Arindale: Sunday, August 7, 6-?pm in Camp Arindale (B08)

Laurel Vigil for Irene von Schmetterling: Sunday, August 7, 8:30-12 in Debatable Lands (N10, Fletcher Rd) (send-off in Debatable Lands court in AE Royal ~7-8pm)

Celebration of Life of Countess Aidan ni Lear: Sunday, August 7, 8:30-10:30pm

*Scribal Tea: Monday, August 8, 2-4pm

Memorial for Dave Cooper: Monday, August 8, 4-5pm, Dave’s Drive on the Battlefield

Æthelmearc Family and Children Party: Monday, August 8, 6-8pm

Æthelmearc Party: Arthurian Legends: Monday, August 8, 8:30-11pm

Known World Hatter’s Tea: Tuesday, August 9, 11:30am-1pm

Kingdom Exchequer Meet ‘n Greet: Tuesday, August 9, 4-5pm

Known World Chatelaine Meeting: Wednesday, August 10, 9-11am

Known World Equestrian Gathering: Wednesday, August 10, 4-5pm

*Seven Pearls Dinner: Wednesday, August 10, 6-9pm

*Ladies of the Rose Happy Hour: Thursday, August 11, 3-6pm

*Private or semi-restricted event

Musters and Courts

Muster for Opening Ceremonies: Saturday, August 6, 5:15pm

Opening Ceremonies: Saturday, August 6, 6-7pm in the Great Hall (New Barn)

Muster for and Procession to Æthelmearc Court: Tuesday, August 9, 5:30pm

Æthelmearc Court: Tuesday, August 9, 6-9pm in Great Hall (New Barn)

Muster for Closing Ceremonies: Friday, August 12, when war points end, on the Battlefield

Closing Ceremonies: Friday, August 12, after the war points, at the Fort on the Battlefield

Note: Their Majesties will be on the battlefield approximately half an hour before each War Point battle to rally the troops and distribute Queen Ariella’s favors.

Order Meetings

Chivalry: Wednesday, August 10, 2:30-3:30pm, AE Pavilion on Battlefield
Laurel: Saturday, August 6, 1-3pm
Pelican: Saturday, August 6 10am-12pm
Fleur d’AEthelmearc: Saturday, August 6, 9-10am
Gage: Wednesday, August 10, 1:30-2:30pm, AE Pavilion on Battlefield
Millrind: Saturday, August 6, 3-4pm
Scarlet Battery: Saturday, August 6, 2-3pm, AE Pavilion on Battlefield
White Scarf: Saturday, August 6, 1-2pm, AE Pavilion on Battlefield

No Pennsic Order Meeting:

Order of Defense
Golden Lance
Scarlet Guard
White Horn

Æthelmearc-hosted Pennsic events (not in AE Royal)

Ædult Swim  (Battlefield): Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5, 9am-5pm, Red and Green lists

Æthelmearc Rapier Novice Tournament: Wednesday, August 10, 12-2pm, Rapier List 1

Youth Combat Night with the Knights: Sunday, August 7, 7-9 pm, Youth list
Youth Polearm Tourney, Monday, August 8, 7-9 pm, Youth list
Æthelmearc Youth/Adult Tag Team Tournament: Wednesday, August 10, 7-9pm, Blue List
Youth Combat Reindeer Games (melees), Thursday, August 11, 7-9 pm, Youth list

 Scribal Tent Schedule (Located in Æthelmearc Royal)

Tent # Date Time Title Scribal tent  2 08-03 9-10am A Hand A Day: Uncial and Artificial Uncial Scribal tent  2 08-03 12-1pm How to Draw Manuscript Flora Scribal tent 1 08-03 1-3pm Open Scribal Time/Scribal Play Time Scribal tent 1 08-04 12-1:30pm Introduction to Scribal Materials Scribal tent  2 08-04 2-4pm Open Scribal Time/Scribal Play Time Scribal tent  2 08-05 9-10am A Hand A Day: Early Gothic Calligraphy Scribal tent  2 08-05 10am-12pm Open Scribal Time/Scribal Play Time Scribal tent  2 08-05 1-3pm *Shūji*: Taking the Brush – Japanese Calligraphy Scribal tent 1 08-05 2-3pm How to Draw Manuscript Flora Scribal tent  2 08-06 9-10am A Hand A Day: Insular Majuscule Scribal tent 1 08-06 2-4pm Open Scribal Time/Scribal Play Time Scribal tent  2 08-07 10am-12pm Open Scribal Time/Scribal Play Time Scribal tent 1 08-07 1-3pm I Spy: Calligraphy Scribal tent  2 08-07 1-2pm At a Loss for Words Scribal tent  2 08-07 2-3pm Developing a Flourished Hand by Bocskay Scribal tent 1 08-08 9-10am A Hand A Day: Rotunda Minuscule Scribal tent  2 08-08 12:30-1:30pm Gothic Hybrid Drolleries and Grotesques Scribal tent 1 08-08 2-4pm Æthelmearc Scribal Tea Scribal tent  2 08-09 9-10am A Hand A Day: Rotunda Capitals Calligraphy Scribal tent  2 08-09 10-11am Redaction: A Recipe for Scrolls – First Course Scribal tent  2 08-09 11am-12pm Left-Handed Calligraphy Scribal tent  2 08-09 12-1pm How to Draw Manuscript Flora Scribal tent 1 08-09 1-2pm Beginning Celtic Knotwork Scribal tent 1 08-10 9-10am A Hand A Day: Italic Calligraphy Scribal tent  2 08-10 10-11am Beginning Scribal…A Family Affair Scribal tent  2 08-10 11am-12pm Whitework Illumination Scribal tent 1 08-10 3-4pm Painting Italian Renaissance Gems and Pearls Scribal tent  2 08-10 4-5pm Visualizing Scrolls from Manuscripts Scribal tent 1 08-11 9-11am A Hand A Day: Gilded Letters Scribal tent  2 08-11 10-11am Redaction: A Recipe for Scrolls – Second Course Scribal tent 1 08-11 11am-12pm Wordsmithing for Everyone


Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Court Report – Southern Region War Practice

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-07-28 11:33

At Southern Region War Camp, in the Barony of Carillion, on June 10, 2016, the following awards were given by Their Majesties, Kenric and Avelina, Reporting Herald – Master Thomas de Castellan, Treblerose.

Silver Tyger:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Vachir Arslajim                                             Elisabeth Greenleaf

Alexi Gensel                                                 C&I: Mari Clock van Hoorne, Words: Shoshana Gryffyth

Brom Der Fechten                                        Elen Alswyth of Eriskay

Alexandros von Halstern                               Wynefryde Bredhers, c: Nest verch Tangwistel

Order of the Tygers Combattant:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Rory MacClellan                                            Elizabeth eleanor Lovel, c: Alys Mackyntoich

Anton Machinevik                                         Randall Vihar Farkas & Camma an Daraich

Simon Montgomery

Order of the Pelican:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Erhart von Stutgart                                      Christiana Crane

Silver Wheel:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Lu Ann Hua                                                  Sakurai no Kesame

Dionise O’ Towie                                           Ignacia la Ciega

Arnora Ketilsdottir                                        Sarah Davies of Monmouth

Margretha La Fauvelle                                  Sorcha Dhocair inghean Uí Ruairc

Order of Chivalry:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Erich Hunderman                                         Vettorio Antonello

Silver Wheel:

Recipient                                                     Scroll

Declan Gobha                                              Aesa Lokabrenna Sturladottir

Evalina von Schaidag                                   Marieta Charay

Katherine Meade                                          Conor O Ceallaigh, c: Lada Monguligin

Sybilla of Rona                                             Aaradyn Ghyoot

Silver Brooch:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Tim the Humble                                           Magdalena Lantfarerin

Mongu Chinua

Engracia de Madrigal                                     Aziza al Shirazi

Apollo’s Arrow:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Suuder Saran                                               i:Mergriet van Wijenhorst, c:Nest verch Tangwistel

Order of the Maunche:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Vivian de Dunbar                                          Jonathan Blaecstan

Order of the Silver Crescent:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Tanczos Ilona                                               i:Ellesbeth Donofrey, c:Palotzi Marti, w: Alys Mackyntoich

Robert the Doubtful                                      i:Lillian atte Valleye, c: Kayleigh Mac Whyte

Order of the Laurel:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Naomi bat Avraham                                      Lada Monguligin

Writ for Laurel:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Brunissende Dragonette                                Alys Mackyntoich

Order of the Master of Defense:

Recipient                                                      Scroll

Orlando Sforza                                              i:Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova, i: Alys MAckyntoich

Filed under: Court, Uncategorized Tagged: court

Gotta Catch Them All – A Pennsic Challenge

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-07-28 11:19

The following is being posted on behalf of Her Grace, Mary of Northshield, formerly of the East.

Greetings unto the Known World and those going to Pennsic from Duchess Mary of Northshield!

If you were ‘going to catch them all’ at Pennsic, what would you catch?  We have the most exotic creatures all around us, we just have to look.  This year I am sponsoring a quest for young and old to ‘catch’ – SCA style.

The goal is simple – seek and find people from every stage of progression from every kingdom.  I have a form to help you keep track and if you bring that form back to the Games Tent by 8/11 you will get a prize for your efforts. Whoever caught the most/’them all’ gets a special prize.

Truly, the real prize will be the people you meet and the things you learn!

Forms can be obtained at the Games Tent, or you can print the PDF: Pennsiccatchthemall

And since we are an increasingly digital society if you feel inclined, and, it is not offensive to your ‘catch’ please post pictures with #Pennsiccatchthemall

Duchess Mary of Carrigart, Kingdom of Northshield

Filed under: Pennsic

East-Middle Bardic Showcase at Pennsic War

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2016-07-28 11:18
East-Middle Bardic Showcase When: 6:30-9:30 p.m., Sunday, August 7th Where: East Kingdom Royal Mistress Alys, Queen’s Bard, and Lady AEthelflied, King’s Bard, along with Mistress Zsof, King’s Bard of the Midrealm, invite one and all to attend the annual East Middle Bardic Showcase at Pennsic.  The Showcase is not a competition; it is intended as a celebration of the performing arts.  Each Kingdom that can trace its descent from the East or the Midrealm has been asked to send one experienced performer and one newer performer to present on the Kingdom’s behalf.  Performers will then have the opportunity to talk to other performing artists about their presentations.  Members of the public are also welcome and encouraged to attend.   Questions can be directed to Mistress Alys (alys.mackyntoich@gmail.com OR Shark Pit, N21) or Lady AEthelflied (Shauna’s Camp), or Mistress Zsof (Camp Spartii, N15, Brewers & By The Way) 
Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic, Tidings Tagged: Bardic, Pennsic

Spanish colonial adobe bricks found at the Alamo

History Blog - Thu, 2016-07-28 10:07

The Alamo Mission of San Antonio, location of an 1836 battle during the Texas Revolution that has attained legendary status and given the site reputation as “the shrine of Texas liberty,” is Texas’ greatest tourist draw, with approximately 2.5 million visitors a year. It isn’t in the greatest condition, however. Many of its walls were torn down and outbuildings burned by the retreating Mexican army when the war ended a few months after the Battle of the Alamo. Later construction, poor moisture control and political conflicts over ownership and restorations have left the complex in need of extensive refurbishing to emphasize its historical features. In conjunction with the 180th anniversary of the famous siege, the Reimagine the Alamo project seeks to effectuate much-needed renovations, repairing rotting wood beams and roof damage, removing eyesores like random storage shacks attached to the historic walls and condenser units and building new visitor and museum facilities.

As part of the Reimagine project, earlier this month archaeologists began the first systematic archaeological study of all five and a half acres of the Alamo complex. Only the the church and the lower floor of the long barracks of the 1836 fort still stand above ground. The project’s aim is to rediscover the footprint and any remains of the original 18th century Spanish mission, the Mission San Antonio de Valero, and the 19th century fortress, particularly the mission’s western and southern walls. They also hope to find materials from the mission period — ceramics, trash, glass, personal items — and from its military days — weapons, ammunition, household goods. The archaeology is integral to determining where the new facilities will be built and in the accuracy and rigor of the historical interpretation of the Alamo which last year was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The team started with a geophysical survey of the complex, using ground penetrating radar to narrow down areas of interest. Then they raised the flagstone pavers and began digging. On July 22nd, the excavation team unearthed the remnants of an adobe brick wall 23 inches below the surface. The Spanish colonial adobe bricks were found in what archaeologists believe was the location of the original mission’s west wall.

Discovery of the bricks on Friday marked a major step toward uncovering the construction history of the world-famous Texas landmark.

“Because we’ve got something from the Spanish colonial period, we know we are digging in the right place,” archaeologist Nesta Anderson said in a press conference Monday. “Now we know we can get information from the ground over here that will support the master plan and the reinterpretation.”

Adobe is very delicate and soft and these bricks have been hard-used by centuries of conflict and the elements. The team is studying the bricks to confirm their Spanish origin, pin down the date of construction and determine the wall’s place in the structure of the 18th century mission. As far as we know, the mission didn’t have a full exterior wall around its perimeter. Instead, the walls of some of the buildings became defacto outside walls. If the adobe bricks were not part of the western wall, they could have been part of another building on the mission grounds or even one of the Native American dwellings that grew up around the mission.

Here’s a short video of an archaeologist pointing out the adobe bricks in the trench.

The excavation is scheduled to last four weeks. For regular updates on the dig, follow Reimagine the Alamo’s Facebook page.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Æthelmearc Royal Camp Set-up and Tear-down Help Needed

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-07-27 21:23

Hello fellow citizens of Æthelmearc!

As we all finish packing up for War, your help is needed to make our Kingdom shine and to provide the space for all people of Æthelmearc to use! Many hands make light work, and a few hours of your time (or as much as you can offer) will make the effort much lighter for all.

The AE Royal Setup-Takedown schedule is:

Sunday July 31
9AM – 1130AM Truck at Trailer, 4-6 person truck crew loads the truck and brings the material over to Royal. Then unloads it there. Truck team released.

12 NOON – 5PM Set up team starts with Scribe 1 and begins to set up all the canvas. By 5 everything should be up. The ground team is released with many thanks.

Friday, August 12
9AM – 1PM Break down of camp commences. The truck will be onsite and as things are broken down, they go right into the truck. Once loaded the ground crew is released.

1 PM – 5PM Loaded truck heads over to the trailer. Unload team will be there to move items from in the truck into the trailer. Once loaded and closed the truck crew is released and we are done for the year.

Please consider coming out and donating a bit of your time to help out. You simply need to show up at the appointed time. If you want to be part of the truck crew send a note to Master Janos (caseyodonovan@yahoo.com). Pains have been taken to make sure that no-one’s time will be wasted and refreshments will be available at both set up and take down.

Thank you in advance for your service!

In Gloriam AEthelmearc!


Categories: SCA news sites

Stinky cheese found on 17th c. Swedish shipwreck

History Blog - Wed, 2016-07-27 15:09

Divers have recovered a tin of very old, very stinky cheese from the wreck of the Swedish royal ship Kronan off the coast of Öland in the Baltic Sea. The ship went down in 1676, so the cheese is 340 years old. (One hopes it hadn’t been on the ship a full year or more before it went down.)

“It looks a bit like some kind of granular Roquefort cheese. It’s been in the mud, so it’s reasonably well preserved, but at the same time it has been at the bottom of the sea for 340 years – we’re not talking Tutankhamun’s burial chamber,” [Lars Einarsson of the Kalmar County Museum] said.

Einarsson said the thick, gooey find smells strongly of cheese and yeast.

“I think it smells quite nice, because I like exotic food. But I would not want to taste it.”

I wonder why. What, you can’t handle 340-years worth of bacterial growth in unpasteurized cheese, Mr. Einarsson? Somebody get Andrew Zimmern over there.

The cheese is being kept cool at the Kalmar County Museum for now. It will be subjected to a battery of scientific test to identify it first as cheese (it’s almost certainly a dairy product, but it could have gone bad and been contaminated by God knows what to make it clumpy and smell like cheese), and then perhaps what type it is.

The royal ship Kronan was built by shipwright Francis Sheldon who had fled England after participating in a failed attempt to free King Charles I from prison. He was received in Sweden most warmly by King Charles X Gustavus who promptly put him to work building ships for his navy. In 1655, the Swedish admiralty hired Sheldon as master shipwright of the navy. He was in the right place at the right time. In the 1660s Sweden began a program of replacing its aging fleet with new warships, larger, more heavily armoured and armed, capable of withstanding the popular tactic of brutal broadside attacks that had replaced the old-fashioned style of short-range artillery exchanges culminating in boarding the wounded but functional enemy vessel.

Construction on the Kronan began on October 27th, 1665, when the keel was laid in Stockholm’s royal shipyard. It was meant to replace the previous flagship and bearer of the name which was by then 33 years old. Made entirely out of oak (about 20 acres of a 100-year-old oak forest was cut down to make the ship), the Kronan was 197 feet long and 42 feet wide, the third or fourth largest ship in the world at that time. It took another three years before the hull was laid. The admiralty and Sheldon fought the whole time, them accusing him of delaying construction by working on private projects, including a lucrative side business selling some of that oak to England; he accused them of holding back promised funds making it impossible for him and his crew to do the job.

Finally in 1672 the Kronan was finished. The gaudy ship, so known because of the decorative style meant to intimidate the enemy with gloriously gilded details, sailed for the first time in December in the celebration of Charles XI’s coronation. When loaded for bear, the ship carried 126 bronze cannons on three decks. It was manned by a large crew of 500 sailors and 350 soldiers. In 1675, the new Kronan officially became the flagship of Sweden’s royal navy. It only had a year to live.

During a storm before the beginning of an action at the Battle of Öland on June 1st, 1676, the Kronan capsized after making a sharp turn with too much sail unfurled. The gunpowder stores ignited and the bow of the ship exploded. Laden with cannon, coin, weapons and the personal items of nearly a thousand men who called it home much of the year, the Kronan sank rapidly, taking 800 souls with it. Only 50 men survived. Its fellow gaudy ship the Svärdet, whose wreck was found in 2011, sank after a fireship attack in the same battle, an immense toll on Sweden’s navy inflicted in just one encounter.

Some of the cannons were salvaged from the Kronan wreck in the 1680s, but it wasn’t until 200 years later that the wreck of the Kronan was rediscovered off the southwest coast of Öland and fully explored by maritime archaeologists. It was found by Anders Franzén, famous for having found the exceptional wreck of the Vasa in Stockholm harbour, and has been dived regularly ever since. In the 36 years since its discovery, more than 30,000 artifacts have been recovered from the wreck site, including Sweden’s largest ever find of gold coins — 255 ducats minted in Sweden, central Europe, Egypt, Syria and Turkey — and Sweden’s largest ever find of silver coins.

The dives this month that discovered the cheese also found another 14 gold coins, the most that have been recovered the Kronan in 16 years, a large number of pharmaceuticals, many of them for gastrointestinal illnesses (cheese, we’re looking in your direction), and a very rare gold and diamond ring. A jeweler in Kalmar who examined the ring said it was the oldest diamond ring he’d ever seen.

The wreck is about 90% mapped now. Lars Einarsson estimates it will take another three years of summer dives to complete the survey, which means the Kronan will have provided archaeologists with fascinating new material every year for 40 years. The Kalmar County Museum has a permanent exhibition dedicated to the Kronan with many of the artifacts recovered from wreck on display. Visitors can even load one of the cannons.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Her Majesty’s Garden at Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-07-27 11:27

Fountain that will be in the Queen’s Garden.

Greetings from Filipia Capriotti, OL, Head Gardener for Her Majesty!

It is my pleasure to invite all to visit, enjoy and participate in the Queen’s Garden, featuring a  labyrinth by Master Ambros Kyriel.  It will be open to the public whenever the Royal encampment is open to the public.

We will begin assembling the Queen’s Garden and Labyrinth on Monday, August 1. Those who are bringing plants for the garden may drop them at Æthelmearc Kingdom Encampment beginning the first Sunday evening, through the middle Saturday. If you wish to retrieve your plants at the end of Pennsic, please mark them with a wooden stake, there will be some available. There will be a visitors book, with an area to communicate with other gardeners for possible swaps, and I will have a number of plants in the ‘nursery’ for sale to defray costs of the garden. I will need a small amount of muscular assistance for placing boards and fencing; if you can cut neat turf blocks there is a bonus for you!

Please contact me if you have questions or contributions.

Yours in Service – maestro Filipia

Example of a renaissance garden with a labyrinth. Image courtesy of Mistress Filipia.

Categories: SCA news sites

Canal system found under Pakal’s tomb

History Blog - Tue, 2016-07-26 11:30

Archaeologists with Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) have discovered a system of canals that was built underneath the Temple of Inscriptions in Palenque where the Maya king K’inich Janaab’ Pakal (603-683 A.D.) was buried. The main canal is made of rows of large cut stones, clay and rubble. It has a limestone floor and is capped by a roof made of larger stones. It is a near square at 50 x 40 cm (1.6 x 1.3 feet) and is about 17 meters (55.8 feet) long. The main channel follows a straight line south under the temple, eventually widening into a basin 80 x 90 x 60 cm. To the southeast, there’s a second smaller channel (40 x 20 cm) that runs parallel to the main channel but about 20 cm higher level. The second channel eventually joins the main one which changes direction to the southwest and goes on at least another five meters (16.4 feet).

Because the canals are so small, archaeologists could only explore them by sending a remote-controlled vehicle equipped with a camera. The vehicle could not go around the sharp turn in the main canal, so as of now we don’t know where the canal ends. Archaeologists believe they are connected to an active water source as there is still running water in the canals today. Construction dates to the Maya late Classic Period (600-900 A.D.).

Excavations began in 2012 after a crack developed in the pyramid. A geophysical study found anomalies under the pyramid’s front steps. Concerned there might be a sinkhole or weak spot that could lead to serious structural damage to the pyramid, archaeologists dug test pits at the bottom of the temple’s main facade. They encountered a layer of large stones sealed together with clay. Underneath that was another layer of heavy stones packed with mud, and then a third and fourth layer of the same. It was under the fourth stone layer than the channel was found. The stone layers are all level and their width matches that of the north wall of Pakal’s burial chamber.

Pakal, who ruled the city-state of Palenque for 68 years, the longest known reign of any ruler in the Western hemisphere and the 30th longest reign in the world, began construction of his funerary monument in the last decade of his life. After he died, Pakal was deified and the temple completed by his son and successor K’inich Kan Bahlam II. When the tomb was discovered by archaeologist Alberto Ruz Lhuillier in 1952, Pakal’s remains were found in a sarcophagus with an elaborately carved lid. His face was covered by a jade death mask with large ear flares, also made of jade. The ear pieces have an inscription that claims that in order to be received by the god of the underworld, Pakal had to submerge himself in the waters of the rain god Chaac.

One of the newly discovered canals run directly underneath Pakal’s burial chamber, and the matching dimensions of the stone cap layers are probably not a coincidence. Archaeologists believe the canals were built first, tapping into the unknown source that is still supplying fresh water to the tunnels today, and the funerary pyramid constructed above them. One possibility is that they were originally built to drain rainwater from the terraces of Temple XXIV, just south of the Temple of the Inscriptions, but they wouldn’t need a river or spring source for that purpose. Although there has been no vertical conduit found connecting the burial chamber to the canal below, archaeologists believe there was a religious significance to the canals in keeping with the inscription on the ear flares on top of any practical purpose. The builders may have directed a river to flow under his tomb so that the king’s soul could travel unimpeded to the underworld via the waters of Chaac.

Investigations into the channel system will continue. Archaeologists would like to explore the main channel to its end, if not by remote camera that by using geophysical tools like ground penetrating radar to track the underground architectural features.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Unofficial Court Report: GNEW

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2016-07-26 08:43

Here follows the unofficial court report from Great Northeastern War, held in the Province of Malagentia, on July 9, 2016.  Reporting herald: Donovan Shinnock

Item Recipient Award Scribe 1 Magnus the Broken AoA   2 Matteo AoA   3 William of Wyndhaven Silver Tyger Mari Clock van Hoorne 4 Fionn Mac Con Dhuibh Silver Tyger Camille des Jardins 5 Hugh of Ruantallan Silver Tyger Harold von Auerbarch 6 Greadden Scath Cath Beirte Olthurson Silver Tyger Wulfgar Silverbraid and Treannah 7 Eoghan Bastard Mac Lachlainn OTC   8 Matthias Grunwald Chivalry (Knight) Eva Woderose 9 Abigail Crane Tyger’s Cub Rhonwen Glyn Conwy 10 Leon Cristo del Camino AoA Myrun Leifsdottir

c: Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova 11 Ragnarr Inn Grai AoA Constance de St. Denis 12 Cuan hua hOcain AoA Leonete d’Angely 13 Roslyn of Giggleswick AoA Mariette de Bretagne 14 Odam an Doire AoA Nyfain merch Cohel 15 Shadiya al-Zahra Laurel Kayleigh Mac Whyte 16 Peter of Ruantallan AoA Sorcha Dhocair inghean Ui Ruairc 17 Benjamin of Thanet House AoA Sunniva Ormstung 18 Axyl Steinhoffman AoA Eowyn Eilonwy of Alewife Brook 19 Myrun Leifsdottir AoA Aaradyn Ghyoot 20 Urraka al-Tha’labiyya AoA Svea the Short Sighted 21 Eva Sutherland AoA Aleksei Dmitriev 22 Albrecht Ostergaard AoA Aziza al Shirazi 23 Wynefryd Bredhers Silver Wheel Lisabetta Medaglia

c: Faolan an Screcain 24 Katherine Murray Silver Wheel Aesa Feilinn Jossursdottir 25 Margaret Twygge of Sky Hill Silver Brooch Isa of Ruantallan 26 Delyth ferch Aeron Silver Brooch Vettorio Antonello 27 Garth of Golden Oak Silver Brooch Eleanor Catlyng 28 Mallaidh of Huntley Silver Brooch Mergriet van Wijenhorst 29 Izzo Silver Brooch Katherine Barr 30 Sunnifa Heinreksdottir Laurel Nest verch Tangwistel 31 Sabina Luttrel Court Barony Nest verch Tangwistel 32 Seamus na Coille Aosda Maunche Agatha Wanderer

c: Nest verch Tangwistel 33 Mary Elizabeth Ryan Silver Crescent Eadaoin Chruitire 34 Isobel Mowbray Silver Crescent Fiona O’Maille o Chaun Coille

w: Guthfrith Yrlingson 35 Erik Oxnalls Silver Crescent   36 Guthfrith Yrlingson Golden Rapier Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova 37 Barbeta Kirkland Writ for Laurel Henna Sinclair 38 Agatha Wanderer Laurel Edward MacGyver dos Scorpus


Filed under: Court

A&S War Point Artisans for Pennsic

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-07-25 21:54

Their Majesties are pleased to announce the following individuals are representing Æthelmearc for the Arts & Sciences War Point this year:

Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen
Mistress Irene von Schmetterling
THL Ian Campbell of Glen Muir
Lady Elska Fjarfell
Lady Kalishka Peredslava

From the Pennsic website: For the second year in a row, the Artisans and Scientists throughout the Known World have the chance to compete for a War Point! Teams were preselected from throughout their Kingdoms and allies, but we need YOU to determine the winners! All are welcome to view, and anyone with a Kingdom level A&S award may vote (this would mean a Sycamore or higher in Æthelmearc, or the equivalent from another Kingdom)! The War Point takes place in the Great Hall on Thursday, August 11 from 9 -3.

So come support Æthelmearc and add your voice to the War Point determination this year.

In service,
Fridrikr and Orianna
Kingdom Ministers of the Arts & Sciences

Categories: SCA news sites

Explore the Apollo 11 Command Module

History Blog - Mon, 2016-07-25 02:20

The Smithsonian’s 3D model of the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia is complete and ready to explore with a click of a mouse. The incredibly close quarters were home to Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins during the first manned lunar landing voyage from the launch of the Saturn V rocket on July 16th, 1969, until splashdown on July 24th. (Armstrong and Aldrin spent a day or so on the Lunar Module Eagle.)

The creation of the model was challenging thanks to the reflective aluminium surfaces and the intricacies of the interior dashboard. All the buttons, toggles and gizmos put the laser scanners through their paces, so much so that the technology used by the institution to scan other objects in its collection couldn’t quite cut it. The Smithsonian partnered with Autodesk Inc. whose experts created custom scanning equipment and whose advanced software converted the scan data into a model that is pretty damn amazing, to my civilian eye.

Now you can turn around in the cramped space, examining every detail in high resolution. You couldn’t get anywhere near that close at the National Air and Space Museum. You can’t see inside the Command Module at all, in fact. Click the quote bubble icon on the top left of the screen to get a diagram and annotations about the compartment. If you also click on the marker icon (the one that looks like a Ouija paddle), labels will pop up throughout the space. Click on the labels to get more details. The globe icon at the top gives you an excellent guided tour through the labeled areas. That was my favorite because of how smoothly it moves from stage to stage.

The Smithsonian has also made 3D print ready files available for download should you wish to print up a your own miniature Apollo 11 Command Module, and virtual reality renders for viewing with VR goggles. They have also some of the raw data available in medium resolution. They’re working on getting the highest resolution models available.

This video gives an overview of the complex laser scanning process of the Command Module.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

40,000-year-old rope-making tool found in famed German cave

History Blog - Sun, 2016-07-24 01:06

Archaeologists excavating the Hohle Fels Cave in the Swabian Jura of southwestern Germany have discovered a 40,000-year-old tool used to make rope. The piece was unearthed in August of last year by an international team led by Prof. Nicholas Conard of the University of Tübingen. Carved from mammoth ivory, the object is eight inches long and the wider side is dotted with four holes 7-9 millimeters in diameter. The holes are incised with deep spirals which are not decorative, but practical features that help thread plant fibers into strong rope.

Some of the most important Paleolithic artifacts in the world have been found in the Hohle Fels Cave, including the Venus of Schelklingen, the oldest known human figurative art, and the world’s oldest flutes. The recently discovered tool was found in the same layer of the cave as the Venus and flute, which is how it was dated to around 40,000 years ago.

Rope or string prints have been found before in Paleolithic clay and there are some depictions of ropes in artwork from this period, but next to nothing is known about the process by which the first anatomically modern humans in Europe produced rope.

Similar finds in the past have usually been interpreted as shaft-straighteners, decorated artworks or even musical instruments. Thanks to the exceptional preservation of the find and rigorous testing by the team in Liège, the researchers have demonstrated that the tool was used for making rope out of plant fibers available near Hohle Fels. “This tool answers the question of how rope was made in the Paleolithic”, says Veerle Rots, “a question that has puzzled scientists for decades.”

Excavators found the rope-making tool in archaeological horizon Va near the base of the Aurignacian deposits of the site. Like the famous female figurines and the flutes recovered from the Hohle Fels, the rope-making tool dates to about 40,000 years ago, the time when modern humans arrived in Europe. The discovery underlines the importance of fiber technology and the importance of rope and string for mobile hunters and gatherers trying to cope with challenges of life in the Ice Age.

Researchers from the University of Liège in Belgium demonstrate how the tool was used to make rope from green plants:

Researchers test the durability of the finished rope:

The ivory tool went on display yesterday at the Blaubeuren Prehistoric Museum where the Hohle Fels Venus and three bone and ivory flutes are already on view to the public.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic Scribal Gathering / Rencontre des Scribes de l’Est à Pennsic

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2016-07-23 22:14

En français

The Signet’s Office will be hosting an East Kingdom Scribal Get
Together at Pennsic, in EK Royal at 2pm on Sunday, August 7. Goodies
will be served!

This is an informal gathering: a chance for the scribes to get to know
each other a bit better, to see each other’s work, and for the Office
to show its appreciation for all the amazing work of the scribes of
the East.

Please bring your portfolios! I know we’re all living in the digital
age, but if you can possibly bring something that shows your work
(even just printing out your 3 favorite pieces), that would be great.
It is always inspiring to see other scribes’ work, and get to talk to
them about it.

New scribes are also very welcome.

Please contact Mistress Eva Woderose with any questions.

En français
traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

L’Office du Signet sera hôte d’une rencontre des Scribes du Royaume de l’Est à Pennsic, dans le campement Royal de l’Est le dimanche 7 août, à 2pm. De petites gâteries vous seront servies !

Ceci se veut une rencontre informelle: une chance pour les scribes d’apprendre à se connaître un peu mieux, d’apprécier le travail des autres, ainsi qu’une occasion pour l’Office de démontrer son appréciation pour le travail extraordinaire effectué par les scribes de l’Est.

Veuillez amener vos portfolios ! Je sais que nous vivons tous dans une ère digitale, mais si vous pouviez possiblement emmener quelque chose qui démontre votre travail (même peut-être seulement imprimer vos 3 pièces préférées), ce serait fortement apprécié. Il est toujours inspirant de voir le travail d’autres scribes, en plus de pouvoir en discuter avec eux.

Les nouveaux scribes sont aussi les bienvenus.

Veuillez contacter Maîtresse Eva Woderose avec vos questions:

Filed under: Announcements, En français Tagged: Pennsic, Scribal

Roman coin hoard found by students in Spain

History Blog - Sat, 2016-07-23 04:00

A team of archaeology students has unearthed a Republican-era Roman coin hoard at the Empúries site on the Costa Brava of Catalonia, northeastern Spain. The hoard was discovered secreted in a hole in the ground inside a 1st century B.C. domus. A small ceramic pot shaped like an amphora contained silver denarii from the same period as the home. This was a great deal of money in the 1st century B.C. when a soldier’s yearly pay was 225 denarii and two denarii would pay rent for a month. There is evidence of a fire destroying the property shortly thereafter, likely making the treasure irretrievable.

The vessel still holding its hoard of coins was carefully excavated in a lab. Much to the archaeologists astonishment, the little amphora held 200 coins, the largest group of coins ever found in the Roman city of Empúries. They appear to be in good condition. Once the coins are cleaned and conserved, they will be identified and catalogued.

The ancient city of Emporion was founded in the 6th century B.C. by Greek colonists from Phocaea in western Anatolia (modern-day Turkey). Its coastal location between Massalia (Marseille), also founded by Phocaeans, and the major trade center of Tartessos in southwestern Iberia, made Emporion a prosperous town. Its population boomed when the Phocaea was conquered by Cyrus II of Persia in 530 B.C. and refugees moved to the colony, making it the largest Greek settlement on the Iberian Peninsula.

When much of the rest of Iberia was conquered by Rome, Emporion was allowed to remain independent, but the city backed the wrong horse during the civil wars of the 1st century B.C., and when Pompey was defeated by Caesar, Emporion was occupied by Roman legions. A new city, Emporiae, was built adjacent to the Greek town and populated by Roman veterans. The domus and insula are part of the Roman city.

The students are part of the Empúries Archaeology Course offered by the Archaeological Museum of Catalonia. It’s open to students working on an Archaeology or History degrees and graduate students, ideally with excavation experience. The program has been running every year without interruption since 1908. This year, the 30 students enrolled in the course have been excavating the tabernae (shops) and living spaces on the southern side of an insula (apartment building), with a particular focus on ceramics from the Late Republican period. The domus and its wine cellar occupied the southern side of Insula 30 in the earliest days of the Roman city. The room with the hoard was on the southwest side of the building.

The pot in which the denarii were stashed puts the discovery of the hoard exactly on topic, plus a nice bonus of 200 silver coins. Even more on topic, the team also found 24 wine amphorae of Italian origin and a bronze simpulum, a long-handled ladle used to extract wine from the large vessels, in the wine cellar of the domus.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History