SCA news sites

Stinky surprise for Danish archaeologists - Mon, 2014-04-28 06:49

 Archaeologists working on a site in Odense on Funen, Denmark were treated to an odiferous surprise recently with the discovry of 14th century barrels used to contain the contents of latrines.

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Categories: SCA news sites

"Stunning" Roman bracelet on display in Furness - Sun, 2014-04-27 23:46

Trade between the Roman and the British locals may be enbodied by a single silver bracelet, dating to the second century, discovered recently by a metal detectorist near Dalton-in-Furness, England. Probably traded by a Roman soldier visiting the town, the "stunning" bracelet is now on display at Barrow's Dock Museum in Furness. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Sir Kenneth Branagh wins awards with "Scottish play" - Sun, 2014-04-27 17:05

Kenneth Branagh, who has stirred audiences with his portrayals of such diverse characters as Henry V and Gilderoy Lockhart, has won over ciritcs in a new version of Shakespeare's Macbeth, which garnered three prizes at the Manchester Theatre Awards.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Latest Issue of A&S Newsletter is Available

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2014-04-27 15:17

The newest Ars Scientia Orientalis, the quarterly Arts & Sciences publication of the East, is now online at:

The contents include:

  • Cooking from Medieval Recipes, a Very Simple Introduction by Mistress Brunissende Dragonette
  • Music-Dramas in the Medieval Church by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich
  • Observations on an Elizabethan Blackwork Smock by Countess Ianthé d’Averoigne
  • Insights Into the Use of Astrology In the European Middle Ages by Xanthippe Ouranina
  • Period vs. Periodesque: Considerations for Creating Arts and Science Projects by Baroness Rainillt de Bello Marisco
  • Philosophies of Recreation by Lady Elizabeth Underhill
  • Praise of the East: Seasons by Mistress Dorigen of the Gray Gate

Filed under: Arts and Sciences

Vikings invade British Museum - Sat, 2014-04-26 18:17

Not since the 11th century have Vikings made such a big splash in England as with the opening of the new BP-sponsored exhibition at the British Museum in London, Vikings: life and legend. The exhibit opened march 6, 2014 and will close June 22. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Retired professor saves 8th century Indian mint - Sat, 2014-04-26 15:30

Manmohan Kumar, a retired professor from Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, India, was concerned about urbanization engulfing historic archaeological sites near Haryana. His pleas motivated a team from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to explore the area, where it unearthed the remains of an 8th century mint. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Court Report from Balfar’s Challenge

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-04-26 14:42

And it came to pass on 19 April 2014, AS XLVIII that Their Majesties Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta, Emperor and Empress of the Kingdom of the East, held court at Balfar’s Challenge.

Katherine Ramsey, Autocrat for the event, and Duke Balfar were called forth, wherein they named and awarded the winners of the tourneys for archery, heavy combat and rapier.

Cedric of Armorica stepped forth, and announced the victors of the Youth Combat Tournaments.

Next, Miron d’Allaines-le-Comte was called before Their Majesties. Thus was he made a Lord of the court, and received an AoA with a scroll featuring words and illumination by Adrienne d’Evreaux, and calligraphy by Alexandre Saint Pierre.

Then Guillome de Naverre was called forth before Their Majesties. He was made a Lord of the court, and received an AoA with a scroll by Xandra Rozina Xiberras Galea, called Rozi.

His Grace Duke Kenric presented himself to the court, and swore his fealty to Their Majesties. So too did Vienna de la Mer, East Kingdom Chatelaine.

Tristan de Worrell was next requested to be present before Their Majesties. His many good works noted, the companions of the Order of the Silver Crescent were called forth so he may join their ranks. Tristan received a medallion, and a scroll featuring illumination by Lisabetta Medaglia, calligraphy from Eleanor Catlyng, and words by Bronwen Rose of Greyling.

Sir Osgkar, East Kingdom Earl Marshal, presented himself to Their Majesties and swore his fealty.

Patrick Michael of Dragonship Haven was called before Their Majesties. He was unfortunately not present, and thus his squire brother approached the thrones in his place. He was in absentia made a Lord of the court, and received an AoA with a scroll by Elisenda de Luna.

Next was Her Majesty’s guard, Clarice d’Allaines-le-Comte, called forth. Much was said of her combat prowess, and thus was she inducted into the Order of the Gawain. She was presented with a garter from the arm of His Majesty, and a scroll by Katherine Stanhope.

Next Her Majesty Caoilfhionn did call forth the nine children who had been participants in her service initiative. All were awarded beads for their participation, and given thanks.

The rest of the children present were called forth. The Royal Toybox was presented, and a merry chase ensued around the field. Before this, Her Majesty was presented with a step to extend her stature when standing before the thrones.

Gwilym of Fflint was called forward. He had, in the court of Their Majesties Kenric II and Avelina II been awarded arms. He was this day presented an AoA scroll with calligraphy by Elizabeth Greenleaf and illumination by Deirdre O’Roarke.

Their Majesties invited before them Naomi bat Avraham. They spoke of her great service to the Kingdom, and requested the presence once again of the companions of the Order of the Silver Crescent. She was so inducted into the order, and presented a medallion and a scroll by Chrestienne la Pecheresse featuring words by Lillia de Vaux.

Their Majesties did mark that the order was still incomplete. Thus was called forward Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven. He was inducted into the order for his long service, receiving a medallion and a scroll with illumination by Aesa feilinn Jossurdottir, calligraphy by Constance de St Denis, and words by Thyra Eiriksdottir.

Her Majesty Caoilfhionn requested a moment before the Order. She thus read the words of Her Majesty Violante Regina Occidentalis, Queen of the West, awarding Duke Edward with Her Cypher.

Their Majesties demanded the presence of Saerlaith Ingen Taithlig before their court. Though his Majesty spoke of her troublemaking nature, she was elevated to a Lady of the court, and presented an AoA with a scroll by Saerlaith ingen Chennetig.

Next was Murdock MacRae called before the court. He was thus made a Lord of the court, and presented an AoA with a scroll by Aleksei Dmitriev.

Called before the court of Their Majesties, Marieta Charay presented herself. She was made a Lady of the court, and received an AoA with a scroll by Cezilia Rapossa.

At the start of the day, Their Majesties had held a brief court. Therein, they called forth Reyne Wurm, who had received writ from Their Majesties Kenric II and Avelina II to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Pelican. She was sent out on vigil to consider her answer.

Now was Reyne Wurm called forth, as were the Peers of the Order of the Pelican. Following words commending Reyne to their majesties from Duke Balfar for the Order of the Chivalry; words were read from Master Adhemar for the Order of the Laurel; words were sent by Duchess Luna for the Lady of the Rose; and Master Joseph spoke for the Order of the Pelican. A mantle, pin and cap were brought forth as regalia. Reyne Wurm was then elevated to the Order of the Pelican, receiving a scroll that featured a woodcut block by Naomi bat Avraham, printing by Markesa Manuel de Carvahal and Fearghus O Conchobhair, with words by Adhemar de Villarquemada.

Their Majesties thanked both their hosts and all attendees of the event for a wonderful day. Thus closed the court of Their Imperial Majesties, Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta. Long may they reign over the Empire of the East!

In service,

Malcolm Bowman

Eastern Crown Herald

PS – Thank you to the Heraldic staff for the day! Kenric æt Essex, Ryan McWhyte, Jehane de Fenwyk, Donnovan Shinnock, Anastasia da Monte, and Caitriona of Greenwood Isle.

Photos by Mistress Ygraine of Kellswood

Filed under: Court Tagged: Balfar's Challenge, court, court report

Viking mass grave findings generate book and museum exhibition - Fri, 2014-04-25 17:00

In 2009, a Dorset County, England road project uncovered the remains of 50 decapitated skeletons, later identified as Viking. Now the mass grave is the subject of a book, Given to the Ground: A Viking Age Mass Grave on Ridgeway Hill by members of the team that subsequently studied the remains. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Old Nieszawa virtually rebuilt - Fri, 2014-04-25 14:23

The original Polish town of Nieszawa, on the Vistula River, only existed for 35 years before it was demolished and rebuilt 32 km upstream, but now it lives again - virtually - thanks to a two-year non-invasive investigation including geophysics and aerial prospection.

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Categories: SCA news sites

The "peaceful conquest" of Roman Britain - Fri, 2014-04-25 10:03

Everyone knows that the transition from Roman Britain to Anglo-Saxon England was a brutal time -- everyone but Dr Andrew Millard, from Durham University, whose new study in the Journal of Archaeological Science, shows a more peaceful process. (maps)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Ooh, Shiny! The Birth and Life of an East Kingdom Scroll

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-04-24 12:47

The following article was written by Mistress Eleanor Catlyng, New Scribes Deputy, as part of the Gazette’s ongoing series of informational articles about the East Kingdom.

Held high in court, the gold leaf glinting, the beautiful portrait evoking the recipient, the elaborate calligraphy catching your eye – an East Kingdom scroll creates a moment. Whether an Award of Arms or a Peerage scroll, each one is unique – designed especially for the recipient – and carefully created by the scribes of the Kingdom.

Unlike the other regalia, medallions, and tokens of some awards, a scroll begins its life at the hands of the Tyger Clerk of the Signet (or Signet, for short). Before that, conception originates with the Royalty. Taking the words of Their people, the consultation of Their Orders, and Their own knowledge of the good works of Their people, Their Majesties choose to give an award. Behind the scenes, the Royalty’s Scheduler (person designated to schedule awards) discreetly works on scheduling the award – contacting those who recommended, a person’s Peer, or a loved one to find out what Royal Progresses they are likely to attend. A date determined, the Scheduler then relays the news to the Signet.

Our Signet coordinates all the scribes. She (or he) knows who is active, who prefers what types of work, what experience they have, what media they work in, what other scribes they like to work with, their typically needed lead time, and all the details necessary to assign the scroll to a person or people who will lovingly create this work of art. The Signet searches the rolls of active scribes to find one who is both available and, when possible, has a personal connection to the recipient (someone who is local to them, a member of their household, or someone who shares a common interest).

At this point, the Signet, in strict confidence, contacts the available scribe they feel is best suited to the assignment. Once a scribe agrees to midwife the assignment, they use the information provided (usually the recipient’s full name, details of the recommendation(s) their Majesties received about the person, and their registered arms) to design a scroll. Many scribes will try to include some personal aspect in the design – an element of the recipient’s heraldry, a small portrait or illuminated items that match their interests, wording that is unique to the person’s deeds, or details that are specific to their period and persona. For armigerous awards, registered arms will also be both illuminated and calligraphed on the scroll. The scroll then comes to life within their hands. Most commonly, these labors unfold over the weeks preceding the event, but sometimes late tidings diminish the gestation to days.

Finally, the scribe or a trusted courier delivers the scroll to Their Majesties or Their Herald, and the moment arrives at Court. The recipient is called, the Herald reads the words, and the scroll is held aloft to greet the Known World. A cascade of “oohs” and “ahs” precedes the final celebration, an uproarious “Vivant”.

This is so cool! How can I become a scribe?

Most importantly, no experience is necessary! We are happy to work with people with no art experience as well as with people who have other art training. You can work on the whole scroll, or just the components that are most interesting to you (calligraphy, illumination, wording). If you focus on only one component, we can match you up with others to complete full scrolls. Those who may wish to work in alternate media (glass, wood, stone, embroidery, etc.) are also encouraged to contact us.

Contact the Signet ( or her New Scribes Deputy ( and let them know. We’ll introduce you to other scribes who are local to you, point you at local scribal workshops or nearby events with scribal classes, and try to coach you via email as best possible. You can also look to a scribe you know to mentor you into the process.

As you practice, we’ll ask you send us a sample of your work. As your skills and confidence evolve, the Signet’s office can assign you backlogs (awards given without a scroll) which have long lead times (12 or more weeks) and “live” award assignments for upcoming courts when you are able to handle a shorter lead time (usually 2-12 weeks at most). New scribes can also work on “blanks” (scrolls that are just illuminated, to be calligraphed at a later date) with no deadline. Blanks are often used when last minute assignments don’t allow for the completion of a full scroll, but an experienced calligrapher can quickly complete the work on something already illuminated. Some Baronies and other groups give award scrolls with their local awards or tournaments, which are typically arranged directly with the Baron/Baroness or other local head, and scribes both within those areas and outside are welcome to offer their services in this way. If you are not interested in completing assignments for the Kingdom, we are still happy to foster your learning in the scribal arts, but forgive us if we do ask you from time to time!

Extensive information, including the East Kingdom Scribes Handbook, is available on our website where you can explore and find resources including our interest questionnaire, which goes directly to the Signet.

So, I’m not sure I want to scribe regularly, but I’d like to help with my friend’s award…

Contact the Signet and let her know your interest. If the scroll is not already assigned, she will ask you for some detail of your prior experience (and possibly images if she is unfamiliar with your work), to help determine how best for you to be involved in the project. If the scroll is already assigned, she will try see if there is a way you can support the already assigned scribe. Please do not be offended if she has to say no. Some scribes prefer to work alone, or the time frame may not allow for collaboration. You are always welcome to give a friend a personal token after Court so that they know of your support and love.

I’m a scribe for the Kingdom already, and I’d like to help with an award I heard about…

Contact the Signet as soon as possible, and let her know. Again, if the assignment is already given and the other scribe has begun, this may not be possible, but sometimes she can reassign or arrange for you to work with the other scribe. If it doesn’t work out this time, she’ll keep your request on file in case the person receives another award which can be assigned to you. If the award is on the backlog, please contact the Backlog Deputy ( about the assignment.

Someone contacted me privately about doing a scroll assignment, but I haven’t heard anything from the Signet about it…

Contact the Signet, and let her know, even if the someone is the Royalty or a member of Their Household. If the assignment is not already given, she can usually just officially confirm the assignment is yours. If the assignment has been given to another scribe, she’ll see if it can be reassigned to you or if you can work with the other scribe. If that isn’t possible, she’ll keep you in mind for future assignments. If the scroll is a backlog, contact the Backlog Deputy.

I received an award, but no scroll…

Contact the Backlog Deputy. Chances are, if it’s relatively recent, he (or she) already knows and is working to assign it. He can confirm if your scroll is on the list or not, and add it if not. Once you are on the list, hopefully, you can expect to get this scroll within a year. If it’s been more than a year, it’s ok to contact him again, as it may have gotten mislaid somewhere along the way. No statute of limitations applies, even if it the award is decades old. You may make arrangements privately with a scribe, but please inform the Backlog Deputy of the details so that they can make note and track it until it is complete.

My scroll was lost or damaged, what do I do…

Contact the Backlog Deputy. He’ll add it to our list of backlog scrolls to assign it. The age of the scroll doesn’t matter, and we always have newer scribes or other scribes who appreciate the relaxed completion schedule. You may also make private arrangements for this, but please keep the Backlog Deputy apprised so that the scribe gets credit for their work.

My arms have passed since I received my Award (Grant, Patent, Augmentation) of Arms…

You are welcome to engage any scribe to fill these in once they are registered. If you don’t know any scribes available to do this, please feel free to contact the Signet, and she can find you someone to work on it. Occasionally we have a drop-in table at events where you can bring your scroll to do this; watch event details for information. Contacting the Signet is not necessary in either of these cases, unless you want to acknowledge someone’s good work for her records.

I don’t live in the East, but am interested in helping with scrolls…

While we do give preference to local scribes, we welcome your interest and will consider you for assignments as well. Donation of scroll blanks is also welcome from any scribe regardless of residence. Please contact the Signet to let her know of your interest.

Other questions?
Please feel free to contact us directly!

Mistress Kayleigh McWhyte, Tyger Clerk of the Signet
Baroness Nest verch Tangwistel, Emergency Deputy
Mistress Eleanor Catlyng, New Scribes Deputy
Lady Lada Monguligin, Schola and Special Projects Deputy
Lord Hugh Tauerner, Backlog Deputy
Baroness Shadiyah al-Zahra, Western Tir Mara Deputy
Baroness Nest verch Tangwistel, (Interim) Eastern Tir Mara Deputy
Mistress Ro Honig von Sommerfeldt, Northern Region Deputy
Lady Heather Rose de Gordoun, Central Region Deputy
Mistress Safia al-Khansaa’, Southern Region Deputy

Filed under: Arts and Sciences

Tournament in Support of Philippe Provost

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2014-04-23 16:56

Ken and Mali How (Baron Ceawlin Alreding and Baroness Molly Blythe of Smoking Rocks) are hosting a fencing tournament fundraiser and silent auction on Sunday, April 27, from 1 – 5 p.m. at the Police Athletic League of Fall River, 31 Franklin Street, Fall River to benefit the family of the late Phil Packard (known in the SCA as Philippe Provost). The tournament will be open to SCA and Living History Association fencers and will follow LHA rules. There will be a $10 fee to enter the tournament. The tournament prize is a rapier donated by Master Llewlyn Gododdin or a $140 gift certificate towards a blade made by him. Please use this e-mail for more information about the event.  A webpage has also bet set up to receive donations.

Please note that this is not an SCA event.  The funds raised will be used to pay for outstanding bills as a result of Philippe’s cancer treatment and funeral expenses. In compliance with state and federal laws for fundraising for specific individuals, the sponsors inform everyone that donations made to the Phil Packard Memorial Fund are NOT tax-deductible and that donations in excess of $13,000 may be subject to taxation.

Filed under: Tidings

Candelabra might be key to medieval Spanish navigation - Wed, 2014-04-23 16:51

In 1970, a diver off the coast of Spain found a rare 10th century bronze candelabra. Since then, experts have studied the artifact as verification of a trade routes between Spanish cities and southern France, a topic about which little is known.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Second oldest church "a big surprise" - Wed, 2014-04-23 12:15

Archaeologists in Mainz, Germany have discovered the second oldest church and the only surviving Carolingian cathedral in Germany. Within the walls of the city's Church of St John lie the remains of a 9th century structure whose walls "stretch from the basement to the roof."

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Ludus on the Danube - Wed, 2014-04-23 07:37

For over 100 years, archaeologists have been stydying Roman Carnuntum, on the Danube River near Vienna, but only recently were they aware of the existence of a ludus, or gladiator school, covering 30,138 square feet (2,800 square meters). The new research has been used to construct a 3D model of the site. (photos)

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John Barleycorn Brewing Competition Announced

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2014-04-22 19:10

Raisin Wine

The Canton of Northpass would like to announce that they will be holding the annual John Barleycorn Memorial Brewing Competition at their “Barleycorn” event this September 5-7. The competition, which will be run with the assistance of the East Kingdom Brewers Guild, will have five categories: Beer, Wine, Mead, “Other” (any Period-style beverage – cordials, kumiss, etc. – that doesn’t fit into the first three categories), and an “Open” category.

  For the first four categories, recipes will be required. The judges will need to know what it was you were trying to make. Documentation will be strongly recommended. For the “Open” category, recipes will not be required, nor will documentation be necessary. That bottle of mead that’s been sitting so long in your basement that the label fell off? The grapefruit melomel you tried just to see if you could do it? Enter them in the “Open” category!    Other details, such as scoring and prizes, are not available at the time of this writing.   The event, “The Funeral Games for John Barleycorn”, will be held at Mountain Lakes Camp in North Salem, NY, on the weekend of Sept. 5 – 7. The event will be based on Book V of The Aeneid, “The Funeral Games for Anchises”.    For further information, contact the autocrat, Richard the Poor of Ely (
Filed under: Events Tagged: Brewing

Thanks from the former Vox Regis

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2014-04-22 18:54


Photo by Baroness Cateline la broderesse

To all of you who came out to help herald the reign of Kenric II and
Avelina II, and most especially to Their (now) Graces, my thanks and
appreciation. You all did very good work and I’m proud of what we

In the last six months, we heralded 19 Royal Progresses, 2 Highness
Progresses, and 2 Baronial Progresses across the Kingdom.

We had, if my counting is accurate, 41 heralds read in court this
reign, nine of them reading for the first time. Others learned the
chancery work of setting up and coordinating court.

We had 14 heralds read in Birka Court and everything ran smoothly and quickly.

Six heralds – Conogan, Erec, Donovan, Eginhard, Rozi, and Mylisant -
ran courts for the first time; some were smaller, some larger, some
had coaching, some not, but they all took that step.

To Alesone Gray of Cranleigh, Alethea Eastriding, Alys Mackyntoich,
Amy verch Rychard, Anastasia da Monte, Andreas von Meißen, Audrye
Beneyt, Brighid MacCumhal, Brita Mairi Svensdottir, Catrin o’r Rhyd
For, Cezilia Raposa, Conogan mab Rioc, Donovan Shinnock, Aildreda de
Tamwurthe called Dreda, Eginhard d’Aix la Chapelle, Erec le Clair,
Galefridus Peregrinus, Gregory of York, Grim the Skald, Katrusha the
Skomorokh, Kay Leigh Mac Whyte, Jean de la Montagne, Judith Fitzhenry
the Uncertain, Justin du Coeur, Lucien de Pontivi, Mael Eoin mac
Echuid, Malcolm Bowman, Marguerite ingen Lachlainn, Martyn de
Halliwell, Mithgiladan the Herald, Mylisant Grey, Phillip Reed the
Facetious, Rosina von Schaffhausen, Ryan McWhyte, Sabine de Kerbriant,
Steffan ap Cenydd of Silverwing, Theodora Bryennissa called Treannah,
Ulric von der Insel, Xandra Rozina Xiberras Galea called Rozi, and
Yehuda ben Moshe, thank you all for your help

Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: heraldry

Ancient barley virus carried by Crusaders - Tue, 2014-04-22 13:45

A team of British scientists from the University of Warwick has been able to sequence the genome of ancient RNA thanks to the study of ancient barley from Egypt. The fossilized grain contained the Barley Stripe Mosaic Virus, believed to be a modern disease, which may have been transported to Egypt by Crusaders in the Seventh Crusade.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Murder declared in Scotland - Tue, 2014-04-22 10:10

An unidentified 20-year-old man has been found murdered in Kirk Ness in East Lothian, Scotland, but the murderer will not likely be found. The victim, fatally stabbed four times in the back, was killed in the 12th or 13th century.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Vikings gather for Ragnarok - Mon, 2014-04-21 13:39

How did you spend Ragnarok? If you are British, you might have celebrated at the JORVIK Viking Festival where warriors fought the Norse gods in an epic battle. Festival director Danielle Daglan spoke with NPR's All Thing's Considered about the event. (podcast)

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Categories: SCA news sites