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24 Bronze Age axes found in Norway

History Blog - Tue, 2017-05-02 23:15

The first finds were made by metal detecting brothers Joakim and Jørgen Korstad on January 25th of this year. Scanning a field in the village of Hegra, about 25 miles east of Trondheim, Norway, they discovered nine socketed axes (known as Celts), a spearhead, a casting mould and a fragment that may be a piece of an ancient horn called a lur. Realizing they had stumbled on an archaeological mother lode, the brothers called Nord-Trøndelag County Council archaeologist Eirik Solheim, who immediately had the area secured and inspected the finds on the spot. He dated the axe heads and other artifacts to the Late Bronze Age, between 1100-500 B.C.

Last week, a more thorough excavation of the site was undertaken funded by Cultural Heritage and the Nord-Trøndelag County Council. The Korstad brothers and their trusty metal detectors aided Eirik Solheim archaeologist Merete Moe Henriksen from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). The second search unearthed another 15 axeheads and additional metal objects and fragments. That brings the total of the Hegra Bronze Age hoard up to 30 artifacts, 24 of them axes.

This is the largest number of axes ever found in a single deposit in Norway. As if that weren’t significant enough, only about 800 metal artifacts from the Bronze Age have been recovered in Norway, so 30 in one fell swoop is a finding of sizeable proportions. In the county of Trøndelag only about 150 metal objects from the period have been unearthed, so the county’s Bronze Age metallic artifacts have just increased by 20 percent.

Stjørdal municipality is one of the areas in central Norway that has a concentration of ancient rock art and rock carvings. Solheim has wished for a museum to showcase the rock art of the area.

“We know that there’s been a lot of activity in this area, but we’ve lacked artefacts. Now this shows up and it’s infinitely more than we could have asked for. It’s so spectacular and totally cool,” he says.

NTNU researchers will now study the objects in the hope of determining the nature of the hoard, why the artifacts were buried there. The always popular religious ritual is a possibility, but there may have been a more practical motive as well. They could have been hoarded temporarily for safekeeping before being melted down and recast, only for the plan to be interrupted.

The axeheads have already revealed a Kinder egg-like surprise inside: there appear to be other metal objects encased within some of them. The team will also test the objects using XRF analysis to determine what alloy they are composed of. The type of alloy will indicate whether the axes were tools used for work or if they were decorative. Small samples of the metal will be analyzed to determine the origin of the copper. Copper is known to have been mined locally in the Bronze Age, including in what is now the municipality of Meråker, about 50 miles east of Trondheim.

Archaeologists hope to return to Hegra in the fall to look for more artifacts and get some answers to some of the questions about this unique hoard.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Pennsic YouthU and TeenU Seek Teachers / L’Université de Pennsic recherche Enseignants jeunesse

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-05-02 20:21

En français

Greetings to the Teachers of the Known World,

We are very excited to announce  the YouthU and TeenU tracks of Pennsic University this year.  We are looking for teachers who are interested in teaching classes to 11-13 year olds or to those gentles who are 14-17. These classes will be taught in the Pennsic University tents.  Please make sure to include a 2nd, unrelated adult in your planning and description for all classes. No youth teaching experience or certification is required

Our youth are looking for a variety of classes, with beginning and intermediate arts classes often requested, hands on activities, classes about certain time periods, and practically everything SCAdians are interested in.

If you are willing to teach a class, please contact us and let us know:

Class Name:
Short Description:
Best for Teens/Youth or Both
2-3 Days that are best for you, and morning or afternoon preference.
You may also register directly with PennsicU as explained above and send us an email so that we can look for your class.

Email leonetedangely@gmail.com and cc youth@pennsicwar.org

We look forward to serving the youth and teens of Pennsic,

Leonete D’Angely
Ardenia ARuadh

En français

Traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

Salutations aux Enseignants du Monde Connu,

Nous sommes très heureux d’annoncer les cheminements Université des Jeunes (YouthU) et Université des Adolescents (TeenU) à L’université de Pennsic cette année.

Nous recherchons des enseignants qui sont intéressés à enseigner des classes pour les 11 à 13 ans, ou aux 14 à 17 ans. Ces classes seront enseignées dans les tentes de l’Université de Pennsic. Veuillez vous assurer d’inclure un deuxième adulte avec qui vous n’avez pas de liens familiaux dans la planification et la description de toutes vos classes. Il n’est pas nécessaire d’avoir de l’expérience d’enseignement avec les jeunes ou de certification pour enseigner aux mineurs.

Notre Jeunesse recherche une variété de classes, pratiquement tout ce qui intéresse un SCAdien normalement; mais notez que des classes débutantes ou intermédiaires en arts sont souvent demandées, des activités pratiques, ainsi que des classes présentant certaines époques spécifiques.

Si vous désirez enseigner une classe, veuillez nous contacter pour nous laisser savoir: le nom de la classe, une courte description, à quelle catégorie d’âge s’adresse la classe, un choix de dates vous convenant pour donner la classe, ainsi que votre préférence selon le matin ou le soir.

Vous pouvez aussi directement vous enregistrer avec l’Université de Pennsic, et nous envoyer un courriel pour que nous puissions trouver votre classe. Envoyez un courriel à leonetedangely@gmail.com et mettez en copie confirme youth@pennsicwar.org.

Nous avons hâte de servir la jeunesse présente à Pennsic.

Leonete D’Angely & Ardenia ARuadh

Filed under: Arts and Sciences, En français, Pennsic

Pennsic A & S Champions Team Announced

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-05-02 19:35

On behalf of Their Most Glorious and Fierce Imperial Majesties, Ioannes and Honig, I am excited and pleased to announce the Champions for the Arts and Sciences War Point at Pennsic.

The War Point will be on Thursday of War Week, in the Great Hall, 11:30-5:00. These are the changes from years past: All are welcome to come view and vote on the amazing works of all of the artisans. Artisans are entering a single, new item and are anonymous. Voting is from 12:00-4:00; from 4:00-5:00 the Artisans will return and discuss their work with interested populace members. The war point will be awarded at 5 o’clock.

The Artisans representing the East: Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste, Duke Kenric aet Essex, Lord Stefan of Silverforge, Duchess Thyra Eiriksdottir, and Baroness Katheryn Fontayne.

Please come out and support these amazingly talented artisans with your votes!

In service,

Meisterin Agatha Wanderer, Arts and Sciences War Point General

Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences, Pennsic Tagged: Arts and Sciences, Pennsic

Rodin’s unique Absolution on display for the first time

History Blog - Mon, 2017-05-01 23:10

Absolution, a unique and mysterious work by Auguste Rodin, has gone on display at Paris’ Musée Rodin for the first time since its creation in around 1900. Very little is known about this sculpture. There is no documentation about it in the artist’s archives, and he never made a marble, terracotta or bronze version of it. It’s such an experimental piece with no directly comparable works in Rodin’s oeuvre that curators aren’t even sure if it’s finished. The fact that he kept it at all suggests Rodin was at least satisfied with it.

It has never been exhibited before because it is incredibly fragile. Three plaster sculptures are draped with a fabric coated in plaster, the latter of which posed a particularly thorny conservation challenge. It was kept in storage wrapped in paper, and when conservators removed the wrapping, they found the piece coated in dust and broken in several places. The three plaster figures had come apart and the fabric had lost a good portion of its plaster coating. In order to even get to the figures, the draping had to be lifted which, given its extreme fragility, was a risky operation. Then the broken figures had to be put back together and the fabric, cleaned and repaired, put back in place. They had to accomplish all of this with just an old black and white photograph of how the sculpture had once looked to go on.

This video shows the difficulties conservators had to overcome to stabilize Absolution enough to put it on display, albeit in a glass box to protect it from even the smallest breeze that might cause the textile to move.

Rodin was one of the first sculptors to include textiles in his artworks. He took advantage of the flexibility of the medium to drape and mold the fabric, which he would then coat in plaster. The integration of textiles lent his sculptures a soft, fluid element in marked contrast with the hardness of plaster and stone. In Absolution the textile envelopes the figures of a man, Ugolino della Gherardesca, betrayer of his benefactor, condemned to the lowest circle of Hell in Dante’s Inferno; a woman, representing the Earth; and the head of a martyr. The draping obscures many details of the sculpture within, framing and highlighting the thematic significance of the kiss of forgiveness, the eponymous absolution.

Absolution has been on display since last month at the Kiefer-Rodin exhibit. The exhibition commemorates the centenary of Rodin’s death by pairing his work with pieces by contemporary artist Anselm Kiefer that were inspired by sculptures and drawings by Rodin. Like Rodin, Kiefer experimented with contrasting media, hard and soft, textile and stone. By putting Kiefer and Rodin together, the exhibition emphasizes the modernity of Rodin’s vision. It will run through the end of the year.

The original plan was for Absolution to travel to the Barnes in Philadelphia where it would be on display from November 2017 until March 2018 before returning for permanent display in Paris, but the Musée Rodin’s conservators determined that it is impossible to transport the delicate sculpture anywhere, never mind across the Atlantic, without damaging it. The textile is the main sticking point. Any vibration or movement can cause the gypsum to flake off, and because of the way it is draped over the plaster figures, it can’t be packed or wedged in a way that supports it during transit. Figuring out protective packaging for the textile would be so complex and experimental an engineering challenge that the Musée Rodin is unwilling to take the risk.

So Absolution is staying in Paris, safe from people’s breath and air currents in its glass box.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Happy New Year!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-05-01 17:56

Happy New Year! It is now Anno Societatis LII (AS 52).

From the SCA website:

SCA newsletters and award ceremonies use a special calendar, numbering our years starting with the year the SCA was founded. Years are specified as “Anno Societatis, or A.S. – (Latin for “in the year of the Society”) followed by a number, usually expressed in Roman numerals.

Our “New Year’s Day” is May 1st, the day that the First Tournament was held in 1966.

History of the West Kingdom – The First Year

Information on Society Calendar Dates

Special thanks to Her Excellency Desiderata Drake of Delftwood for inspiring this article. 

Categories: SCA news sites

Polling Deadline is Tonight at Midnight

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-05-01 08:12

Responses to the second poll of Their Majesties Ioannes and Honig need to be sent before midnight TONIGHT – Monday, May 1st. The polls close at 11:59 pm, and the polling link will be inactive after that time.

Polls are sent to the members of the Orders of High Merit and the Peerages so that they may provide input to the Crown on future members.  Orders which conduct polls include the Chivalry, Laurel, Pelican, Defense, Silver Crescent, Tygers Combatant, Sagittarius, Maunche, Golden Rapier, and Golden Lance.

If you are a member of one of the Orders of High Merit or the Peerage and are not currently receiving polling emails, please sign up via the instructions on the East Kingdom Polling Lists page. Please note that the discussion lists and the polling lists must be subscribed separately.

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: polling deadlines, polling orders, pollings, polls

Denmark’s oldest grape seeds were locally grown

History Blog - Sun, 2017-04-30 23:53

Archaeologists have found evidence of homegrown grapes in late Iron Age and Viking Denmark: two charred grape seeds unearthed from a site on the west shore of Lake Tissø, Western Zealand. This is one of the richest sites from the late Germanic Iron Age and Viking Age ever discovered in Denmark. Since the 1990s, excavations have unearthed two aristocratic residences (one dating to 550–700 A.D., the second to 700–1050 A.D.), pit houses, assembly places, a market and artisan workshop area and ritual sites.

In the 2012-2013 dig season, the team collected soil samples for macrofossil analysis from both the aristocratic residences. In 2015, archaeobotanist and curator at the National Museum Peter Steen Henriksen recovered one charred seed while sifting through a five liter soil sample from Bulbrogård, the oldest of the royal complexes. Examining it under the microscope, Henriksen could see that it looked like a grape seed; the charring had not altered its shape. A colleague confirmed the identification. It was indeed a seed from the common grapevine (Vitis vinifera). He found a second grape seed in a soil sample taken from the later royal complex, Fugledegård.

Before this find, the earliest grape seeds found in Denmark date to the late Middle Ages, and historical records from the 13th century support that grapes were grown in Denmark during the medieval warm period. Because this was such an exceptional discovery, the grape seeds were studied in further detail. Each seed was subjected to archaeobotanical analysis. One of them, the one from Fugledegård was radiocarbon tested. The C14 result dated it to between 780 and 980 A.D., the Viking Age. The Bulbrogård was not dated because researchers wanted to preserve it for strontium isotope analysis. (The testable cores of the seeds are so small it wasn’t possible to run both tests on each.) The strontium isotope results placed the grape seed squarely in the range characteristic for Denmark, specifically Zealand.

They are by far the oldest grape seeds discovered in Denmark, and the first potential evidence of local viticulture in late Iron Age/Viking Age Denmark. There’s no way to confirm the seeds were used to grow grapes at Lake Tissø. They could have been in the lees of a wine barrel, although that would not explain how the seeds were found in two complexes that were 600 meters and at least a hundred years apart. Besides, it’s hardly an import if the raw material was grown on the island.

“This is the first discovery and sign of wine production in Denmark, with all that that entails in terms of status and power. We do not know how [the grapes] were used – it may have been just to have a pretty bunch of grapes decorating a table, for example – but it is reasonable to believe that they made wine,” archaeological botanist and museum curator Peter Steen Henriksen of Denmark’s National Museum told Videnskab.dk. [...]

“Before we only had suspicions, but now we can see that they actually had grapes and therefore the resources to produce [wine] themselves. Suddenly it all becomes very real,” professor Karin Margarita Frei of the National Museum told Videnskab.dk.

The results of the study have been published in the Danish Journal of Archaeology and can be read here.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Reports: Last Court of Marcus and Margerite, and Coronation of Timothy and Gabrielle

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2017-04-30 10:31

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Marcus & Margerite, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of the Coronation of Timothy III and Gabrielle III, April 22, Anno Societatis LI, in the Barony of Thescorre. As recorded by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald, and Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald.

Their Majesties awarded Elizabeth Von Halstern and Isabelle Von Halstern each a Silver Sycamore in absentia. Scrolls by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

The children of Æthelmearc were then invited forward and were given a token by Their Majesties.

Next, Steinervor Hest was invited before the Court. Their Majesties spoke of her diverse service, skills, and arts; from woodworking to brewing, her hospitality, her service and graciousness at demonstrations and events, and her willingness to teach others. Thus, Their Majesties were minded to raise her to the ranks of the nobility and did Award her Arms. Scroll illuminated by THL Elyse la Bref, with calligraphy by Lady Vivienne of Yardley, upon words by THL Padraig O’Branduibh.

Lady Steinervor receives an AoA. Photo by Doña Alessandra Bentivegna da Faenza, called Yasmina.

Effen Lavosch then attend Their Majesties, who spoke of her eagerness to assist at feasts and event, her enthusiasm, and her sharing her joy of the Society with others, and so did create her a Lady of the court by Awarding her Arms. Calligraphy and illumination by Abigail Kelhoge with words by Abigail Kelhoge and Jean Hope.

Lady Effen receives her AoA. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Katherine Restrider was awarded Arms in absentia. Scroll by Fa Ren Zhang Ming Li.

Artemisa de Manorola was awarded Arms in absentia. Scroll by Catherine Wolf and Brynna Barth of Bonn with calligraphy by Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella.

Lady Edana the Red was named a companion of the Keystone in absentia. Scroll forthcoming.

Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth was created a companion of the Sycamore in absentia. Scroll by Master Caleb Reynolds.

Lady Mollie O’Donnell was created a companion of the Keystone in absentia. Scroll forthcoming.

Lord Seamus Morgan was created a companion of the Keystone in absentia. Scroll by Master Caleb Reynolds.

Lady Magdelena Txoperena was created a companion of the Keystone in absentia. Scroll forthcoming.

Lord Padraig Ua Ceileachair was awarded a Cornelian. Scroll by THL Minamoto Roku-I Sakurako, with text and calligraphy by Lady Brigette de Sainte Mere-Eglise.

Lord Padraig receives a Cornelian. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Her Majesty then called for her Rapier Champion, Lord Durante de Caravaggio. She spoke of the quest She placed on him to speak to others and to learn the history of the creation and bearers of the rapier of the Queen’s Champion. She told of Lord Durante’s successful completion of that quest, and his presentation of his findings to Her. However, She went on to explain that not only did he complete the quest, but that he then went further by creating a lineage book of the Queen’s Rapier Champions that will be passed to each successive Champion so that each champion may add their name and the name of the Queen they serve, and may know of the history and lineage of the sword they carry and of their predecessors and the Queens they served. For this act above and beyond what was asked of him, Her Majesty named Lord Durante her Inspiration and did bestow upon him a Golden Escarbuncle.

Lord Durante receives a Golden Escarbuncle. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties then called forward the scribes and artisans who contributed works for Their court and presented them with tokens of appreciation.

Their Majesties invited His Highness, Prince Timothy of Æthelmearc, into Their Court. His Highness thanked Their Majesties for Their time on the thrones, during which They stewarded Æthelmearc with boundless love and generosity, but reminded Them that He had been promised the throne on this day. Duke Sir Christopher Rawlyns, Kingdom Seneschal, confirmed that there had been a tournament held in accordance with Society and Kingdom law, and that His Highness had been victorious. He then carried words from Master William Parris, Kingdom Earl Marshal, that the tournament had been held in accordance with the laws of the Earl Marshal and that His Highness was the right and honorable champion. Baroness Aemilia Soteria brought words from Baroness Rynea von Ingen, Kingdom Minister of Lists, that the list had been right and true and His Highness had emerged victorious. Kameshima Silver Buccle testified that he had been present that day, and that His Majesty had indeed crowned His Highness as His heir and promised Him the throne.

Prince Timothy asserts his claim to the throne. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Knowing that Their time on the thrones was nearing an end, Their Majesties bid His Highness hold for a few moments, that They might properly thank those who assisted in Their reign before departing the thrones.

In recognition of Their gratitude for service rendered throughout Their reign, Their Majesties then called forward the following individuals and presented them with Sigils: THL Aine inghean Riocaird, Lady Aine O’Muirghesan, Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella,Countess Anna Leigh, Lady Beatrice van Cleef, Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede, Dorothea Stark Shultz, Lord Durante de Caravaggio, Lady Edana the Red, Lady Elena de Palma, Mistress Elizabeth Lovelle, Lady Fenna Rioux, Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen, Lord Horatius Cincinnatus, THL Isabel Fleuretan, Duke James Ahearn, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Baroness Kelda Jungensdottir, Lord Laegaire macConaill Meic Shiadail-Vigdisson, Lady Maeve Aislynn Ronan, Mistress Mahin Banu Tibrizi, Lady Meg MacNeil, Sir Olafr Thorvardarson, Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Simon Fjarfell, Sir Tristan Sexwolf, and Lady Venezia of Thescore. Scrolls by Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen; pewter tokens by Lady Edana the Red.

Their Majesties then called forward Mester Meszaros Janos, Baroness Rowena Moore, Don Jacob of Dumore, Duke Christopher Rawlyns, Master Tofi Kerthjalfadsson, and Mistress Isabeau de l’Isle. Their Majesties spoke high words of praise for these individuals who, throughout Their reign, provided exemplary and invaluable service and assistance. In recognition of this service, Their Majesties presented each with an Award of Excellence and provided a personal gift to each. Scrolls illuminated by Mistress Elizabeth Lovell and calligraphed by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai upon wording by Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi.

Countess Isabeau, Master Tofi, Duke Christopher, Master Janos, Don Jacob, and Baroness Rowena receive Awards of Excellence. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Her Majesty then called for Her Captain of the Guard, Don Jacob of Dunmore, who then called to be attended by the Queen’s Guard. Her Majesty thanked Don Jacob and the Guard for their service to Her and then did release them from their duties, bidding each of them keep their guard’s scarf as token of their service.

Maestro Orlando steps down as Jewel Herald. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties next were attended by their Majordomo Mester Mazaros Janos and Their Head Retainer Baroness Rowena Moore, and upon thanking them for their service, released them from their duties.

Kameshima Silver Buccle then called for Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, divested him of the title and position of Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, and released him from the oaths to which he had been bound, save that of the confidences entrusted to him by Their Majesties.

Their business being concluded, Their Majesties once again called for Their Heir, Prince Timothy. King Marcus thanked his Lady Queen for her companionship, guidance and wisdom through Their reign. Then He removed Her crown and placed it into the trust of Silver Buccle.

As his last act as King, Marcus III placed the Crown upon the head of Timothy III and proclaimed him King of Æthelmearc.

Timothy is crowned King of Æthelmearc. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Thus ends the Scrolls of the Reign of Marcus & Margerite, King and Queen of Æthelmearc.

Thus begins the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy III and Gabrielle III, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Coronation, April 22, Anno Societatis LI, in the Barony of Thescorre. As recorded by Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald, and Dame Kateryna Ty Isaf, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald.

His Majesty called for Her Highness, Princess Gabrielle of Æthelmearc. Hearing Her confirmation that it was indeed Her desire to serve as His Queen once again, His Majesty took the Consort’s Crown from the care of Silver Buccle and crowned Her Highness Gabrielle III, Queen of Æthelmearc.

Timothy crowns Gabrielle Queen of Æthelmearc. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

The lineage of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc was read.

The Kingdom Officers of Æthelmearc swore their fealty unto Their Majesties.

The Kingdom Officers swear their fealty. Photo by Doña Alessandra Bentivegna da Faenza, called Yasmina.

The Barons and Baronesses of the Debatable Lands, Thescorre, Rhydderich Hael, Delftwood, Blackstone Mountain and Endless Hills swore their fealty unto Their Majesties.

Click to view slideshow.

The Landed Barons and Baronesses swear fealty. All photos by Lady Amalie.

Those Royal Peers and members of the Order of Chivalry, the Order of the Laurel, the Order of the Pelican and the Order of Defense as were present pledged their service unto Their Majesties.

Kameshima-kyō Silver Buccle did call Dame Kateryna ty Isaf before him and, upon receiving her oath, did name her Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald. Kateryna Jewel of Æthelmearc then swore her service and fealty to Their Majesties.

Dame Kat is invested as Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties called before them Baroness Amelia Soteria, Head of Their Royal Household and received her oaths to keep Their Household and Confidence and accepted her as Their head of household and staff.

Baroness Soteria swears fealty as head of household. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties then invited before them His Excellency, Sir Murdoch Bayne and Her Majesty requested that he act as the Chivalry Advisor to Her Majesty’s Guard.  Sir Murdoch accepted the position and advised that he was ready to instruct and stand as council for Her Guard.

Sir Murdoch accepts the post of Chivalry Advisor. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Her Majesty called forth Lord Cormacc mac Gilla Brigde as Captain of the Queens Guard and the members of Her Guard.  Lord Cormacc swore oaths on behalf of all Her Majesty’s Guardfolk to protect Her person so long as She is the Queen of the Sylvan Lands.

Their Majesties called forth Lady Elena de la Palma and the members of the Royal Retinue.  Lady Elena swore oaths on behalf of the Royal Retainers to serve Their Majesties throughout Their Reign.

Lady Elena swears fealty on behalf of the retainers. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties invited before Them Duke Marcus Eisenwald and Baroness Margerite Eisenwald. His Majesty spoke of the inspiration both the former King and Queen had been during Their time upon the Sylvan Thrones.  His Majesty in particular was moved by Duke Marcus’s artistry and comportment and knowing that His Grace had no Ducal coronet, gifted him with the Second Coronet made by His Majesty’s own hands.  They reaffirmed his rank as Duke and thanked him for his fine stewardship of Æthelmearc.  Their Majesties remarked upon the grace her Excellency had shown during her time as Queen and the inspiration the populace took from her love of the Kingdom.  They conferred upon her the title of Countess and placed her Diadem upon her brow to mark her status while his Grace held her hand.  They then called upon the Orders of the Rose and Garnet to invest Her Excellency as the newest Rose of Æthelmearc. Countess Caryl spoke of the particular duties of being a Queen and how well Margerite had fulfilled those duties and welcomed her on behalf of the full order to take her place among them.  The Roses placed the cloak of the Order upon her shoulders knowing she would bear its weight with diginity. County scroll by Maighstir Kieran MacRae.

Countess Margerite’s scroll by Maighstir Kieran MacRae. Photo by Dame Kateryna Ty Isaf.

Margerite is made a Countess, while Marcus is confirmed in his status as a Duke. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

The Court of Their Majesties was then suspended.

From the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy and Gabrielle, Third of Their name as recorded by Dame Kateryna ty Isaf, Jewel Herald with the assistance of Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald, at Their Coronation in the Barony of Thescorre on April 22, Anno Societatis LI.

The Court of Their Majesties was resumed to read following pieces of business: On April 22, 2017, do We, Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of Aethelmearc, expel Dan Heyman, known in the Society as Dan of the Debatable Lands, from participation in any SCA Activity. On April 22, 2017, do We, Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of Aethelmearc, expel Derek Holton, known in the Society as Bluestar, from participation in any SCA Activity. On April 22, 2017, do We, Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of Aethelmearc, expel James Henry Schaffer IV, known in the Society as Cadan Buri, from participation in any SCA Activity. The Court of Their Majesties was then suspended. The Court of Their Majesties, Timothy and Gabrielle resumed in the afternoon. The Sylvan Bard, Lady Magge Illfoster performed a piece entitled “The Rose of Arindale” in honor of Her Majesty and written for Their Coronation at the invitation of His Majesty to “surprise Him”.  Their Majesties took a moment to regain composure and His Majesty thanked Lady Magge and the Court for gifting Them with a moment of magic in the Society.  His Majesty accounted it among the most memorable moments of his SCA life.

Lady Magge singing for the Crown. Photo courtesy of Master Tigernach ma Cathail.

Their Majesties called forth Lord Snori skyti Bjarnson and praised him for his extensive work in the archery community.  They inducted him into the Order of the Keystone with a scroll Painted by Anngs de Vaille and calligraphed by Mistress Graidhne ni Ruadh.  They then asked him to remain before Them and called forth his son.

Lord Snori receives a Keystone Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

 Their Majesties inquired as to if the young Snorison had heard of the tradition of the chasing of the toy chest.  When he advised he had not, They called forth all the children present and explained that They had instructed Lady Svava of the Bog to take the chest of toys and run away from the children with a small head start and squires acting as blockers.  Once the host of children descended upon said lady, they were to take one toy each, beginning with the youngest child present and leave her otherwise intact.  A countdown was made and the children chased the toy chest bearer from the court.

Lady Svava gets ready to run with the chest of toys. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties called forth Lord Sebastian Mora advising that he was known to be a consistent hand in helping cooks and autocrats. Further was he known to be a person who helps with the set up and take down of event sites at every location he was present.  Seeing the fine work behind the scenes done by Lord Sebastian, Their Majesties inducted him into the Order of the Keystone with a scroll by Lady Vivienne of Yardley.

Lord Sebastian receives a Keystone. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Lord Sebastian’s Keystone scroll made by Lady Vivienne of Yardley. Photo by Dame Kateryna Ty Isaf.

Their Majesties then invited Baron Tigernach mac Cathail and Lady Margareta Le Sayre to speak of the Spark Challenge.  Baron Tigernach and Lady Margareta explained that Their Majesties,  seeking to enrich the Kingdom, its populace both new and old are charged with a quest to try new things they have never before done or have not done in a great deal of time.  They further charged all gentles of the Kingdom with the task of recognizing such new endeavors by bestowing a pearl or similar token upon the person.  When a noble citizen of Æthelmearc has received 8 such tokens, they may present themselves to Their Majesties to receive a token marking the completion of the quest. Their Majesties invited Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella, Sylvan Signet to present herself to them and agreed that the time had come for her to step down.  They asked if she had a successor and she advised she actually had two.  Their Majesties invited Mistress Antionette de la Croix and Lady Shirin of Susa before Them and taking their oaths of Service, accepted Them as the new Sylvan Signets.

The new Signets and their deputies are appointed. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Among the scribes who bore witness to the oath of the new Sylvan Signets was Baroness Juliana Rosalia Dolce da Siena.  Their Majesties bid her to please kneel before Them.  They called forth the most Noble Order of the Pelican.  Speaking of all her great work where often it is not seen, They advised there were many who saw her and spoke of her worth.  She was commanded to attend Their Majesties at Pax Interuptus to sit vigil and contemplate induction into the Order.  The writ scroll was created by THLady Zofia Kowalewska.

Baroness Juliana receives a Writ for the Pelican. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Baroness Julianna’s Pelican Writ, crafted by THLady Zofia Kowalewska. Photo by Dame Kat.

Their Majesties invited before them the Ambassador of the Mid Realm, Lord Michael of Exeter.  Lord Michael advised he came bearing gifts of friendship from Their Highnesses William and Isolde.  Having accepted the gifts of friendship, Their Majesties advised Lord Exeter to convey that They returned that friendship.

Their Majesties called forth Lady Elska Fjarfell.  They spoke to her of how impressed They were with the works she has created and how They have seen the entries she made for Ice Dragon and knew her handiwork from the level of detail and research that went into each entry.  They called forth the Order of the Fleur d’Aethelmearc and asked that she be welcomed as their newest companion, changing her title to The Honorable Lady Elska Fjarfell.  Scroll created by THL Mairghread ni Stilbheard uu Coinn.

Lady Elska receives a Fleur. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Lady Elska’s Fleur scroll, crafted by THL Mairghread ni Stilbheard uu Coinn. Photo by Dame Kat.

Their Majesties invited before Them Mistress Alicia Langland, Master Robert of Sugargrove and The Honorable Lady Jacqueline de Molieres.  They thanked the three for the creation of the Royal Throne and its beautiful baldequin.  Their Majesties remarked that the Kingdom has benefited from the beauty of the embroidery of THL Jacqueline and They felt there were others who concurred.  Their Majesties called for the most noble Order of the Laurel to attend Them and delivered to THL Jacqueline a Writ of summons to attend Them at Æthelmearc Academy to sit vigil and contemplate induction to said Order.  The scroll was calligraphed by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix with wording by Mistress Marguerite d’Honfleur.

THL Jacqueline receives a Writ for the Laurel. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

THLady Jacqueline’s Laurel Writ, calligraphed by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix with wording by Mistress Marguerite d’Honfleur. Photo by Dame Kat.

Their Majesties bid Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella to remain before Them and spoke directly to the Populace.  They thanked Duke Tindal for his service as Kingdom Warlord but noted that with his move to the East Kingdom, They found Themselves in need of a new Warlord for the coming Pennsic War.  They then advised that Mistress Alexandra had agreed to serve her Kingdom as Warlord and advised that in matters marshal for the betterment of the Kingdom War host, she speaks with Their authority.

Mistress Alexandra is named Warlord. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties invited before Them the autocrats of the event Baroness Orianna and Lady Venezia.  They thanked both for the wonderful event and asked that this thanks be passed to the entire staff.  Her Excellency commented that it is a great joy to have a staff that can be entrusted with all tasks great and small and that she would thank them outside of court as well.

The autocrats, Lady Venezia and Mistress Orianna, address the populace. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their Majesties asked that the scribes who contributed to the works of art presented this day to the members of the populace please stand and be acknowledged for their selfless gifts.

Her Majesty then asked that Lady Felice de Thorton come forth.  Her Majesty spoke of the particular difficulties in having a spouse far away when one travels to events.  She advised that She too has felt this burden when the King is called from Her side and that She appreciates and values the effort Lady Felice showed to come to the event and further to be such a joyous presence in the day.  She asked all to recognize Lady Felice as Her Majesties inspiration of the day and bestowed upon her a Golden Escarbuncle.

Lady Felice receives a Golden Escarbuncle. Photo by Doña Alessandra (Yasmina).

Their being no further business this day, Their Majesties court was thus concluded.

As reported by Dame Kateryna ty Isaf, Jewel Herald with assistance from Master Kameshima Zentarou Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald.
Categories: SCA news sites

Guennol Stargazer sells for $14,471,500, or does it?

History Blog - Sat, 2017-04-29 23:31

The Guennol Stargazer, an Anatolian marble idol carved in the Chalcolithic period, around 3000-2200 B.C., sold at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in New York on Friday for $14,471,500. The idol is of the Kiliya type, a stylized, geometric female figure known as “Stargazers” because their flat, wedge-shaped heads perched on slender necks give the appearance that they are looking up at the skies. They’re usually found in fragments — breaking them at the necks may have been part of a ritual burial of the figurines — and broken heads and bodies are fairly common.

This example, however, is one of only about 15 complete Stargazers (it has been repaired to reattach the head to the neck), and it is widely acknowledged as the greatest of them all. She is the tallest at nine inches and is more long-limbed than her sisters, who tend towards a squatter proportion. The Schuster Stargazer, the last marble Kiliya-type idol to sell at auction, went for a bargain $1,808,000 in 2005. It’s not surprising that the Guennol Stargazer as the preeminent example of the type smashed through that ceiling. While some press outlets reported an estimated sale price of $3 million, Christie’s did not have a pre-sale estimate posted on its website like it usually does. They made one available by request only, which may be an indication that they knew the sky was the limit. Also, estimates usually rely on comparables as well as market determinations, and in terms of quality, design and provenance, the Guennol is in a category of her own.

The fact that it was part of the Guennol Collection is a testament to its exceptional quality and enhances its already superlative reputation. Edith and Alastair Martin began collecting ancient works of art in 1947 when they were ensourceled into obsession by a few pieces they’d acquired. Their approach was not the usual one. They did not focus on a particular time period, geographical area or motif. They simply bought pieces that they and the experts they consulted with thought were exceptionally beautiful examples of their art. The Guennol Collection (so named because Guennol is the Welsh word for Martin, and they spent their honeymoon in Wales) was small — at around a hundred pieces — but so prestigious that the Metropolitan Museum of Art was thrilled to exhibit it in its entirety for years. Another figurine from the collection, the powerful and evocative Guennol Lioness, set a still-unbroken record for an ancient work of art when it sold in 2007 for $57.2 million. (Aww, look at my dinky old entry. And the nice picture I added just now because the original was 1) a terrible thumbnail, and 2) broken.)

There is something of a cliffhanger ending to this episode. The person who made the winning bid may or may not get his or her hands on the Stargazer after all. Culture Minister Nabi Avcı announced to the press on Friday that Turkey has opened proceedings in US court to stop the sale. The Turkish government believes the idol was unearthed in Gallipoli (Kilia, the town where the first figure of the type was found, is on the Gallipoli peninsula) and that it is therefore the legitimate owner.

Because the Martins have owned the Guennol Stargazer since 1948, comfortably before the 1970 cutoff date established by the UNESCO Convention, Turkey’s legal claim is grounded in Turkish law. There has been a law on the books since 1906, when Turkey was still the Ottoman Empire, decreeing that all antiquities discovered on private or public land are the property of the state and cannot be legally exported from the country. That decree was maintained with the adoption of the Turkish Civil Code in the newly formed Republic of Turkey in 1926. It was in effect until 1973 when a new law was written which again declared all antiquities property of the state. This was broadened in 1983 to change “antiquities” to “cultural and natural properties requiring protection.”

In order to successfully pursue its case in a US court, Turkey needs to have relevant law establishing state ownership of antiquities, which it clearly has, and, the big challenge in this instance, it has to prove that the disputed artifact was unearthed within its national boundaries. The court has given Turkey 60 days to provide said proof. Minister Avcı says they have the “necessary scientific reports showing the statue belongs to Turkey” and will submit them within the two month deadline.

Meanwhile, Christie’s is enjoined from transferring the Guennol Stargazer to the buyer until the case has been decided.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Song: The Rose of Arindale

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-04-29 20:19

Lady Magge singing for the Crown. Photo courtesy of Master Tigernach ma Cathail.

By Lady Magge Illefoster and Lord Gregory Hillson.

These are the lyrics of the song that was performed at the Coronation of Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle. So many people asked for the words and if I would please publish them, so those who wished to learn it could. I am humbled and pleased to present them to you now.  ~ Lady Magge


The Rose of Arindale

(Sung to the Tune “The Rose of Allendale”)

When’er I travel east or west,
To every knowned land,
The goodness of our own dear Queen
Is known to every man.
With an unassuming dignity
And a backbone made of stone,
The brightest jewel in Æthelmearc,
Gabrielle van Nijenrode.

Our Rose of Arindale,
Sweet Rose of Arindale,
The fairest flower in all the land,
Is the Rose of Arindale!

Her laughter bright, her gaze is clear,
Her countenance is fair
With a temperament that is so mild,
And wise beyond compare.
She listens e’er she speaks her mind
Her words are soft and few
When you see her with our own good King,
You know their love is true.


When a highway man of little wit,
Did try them to waylay,
Our gentle Queen, our quiet Rose,
Did not give into dismay.
Her courage swelled within her heart
To protect both kith and kin,
A thorned Rose she proved to be
A fighter deep within.


Against the vast assorted host,
Upon the Pennsic field,
Her inspiration spurs all on,
That they should never yield.
Be they fencer, archer, artisan
Or fight with sword and shield,
Our courageous Queen reminds us all
So our best should be revealed.


But the one she does inspire most
The very best to be,
Is the one who fought to make her Queen,
Beloved by all and he.
His life had been adrift at sea
With no star to guide his trail
Had fate not linked his love to hers,
His Grace of Arindale.


Categories: SCA news sites

Out-of-kingdom event: Autocrats’ Colloquium

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-04-29 18:35

by Eleazar ha-Levi

Do you have a great idea for an event, but you don’t have the vaguest idea how to do it?

Are you a novice autocrat who wants to learn more of the techniques of running an event?

On May 13, the East Kingdom Shire of Blak Rose (Harrisburg, PA) will be running a one-day Autocrats’ Colloquium for people like you.

Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, we must have at least 15 more registered attendees on Monday, May 1, 2017, or we may have to cancel this event.

This event will be a series of classes — so you don’t have to come in garb – covered topics include:

  • Real World and SCA Laws – What you need to know as an autocrat about dealing with SCA and real world laws.  Mistress Katherine Barr is a former Kingdom Seneschal and currently works as an intellectual property paralegal with a background in contract work.
  • Food:  Options and Considerations – What an autocrat needs to know about dayboards and feasts at events.  Meister Dietrich Schwelgengräber is a veteran of many feasts, a Laurel for cooking and a professionally trained chef.
  • Guide to Jewish Holidays – Which Jewish holidays is it important to avoid? Reb Eleazar ha-Levi, author of Compleat Anachronist 110, “An SCA Guide to Jewish Persona”, does an overview of the Jewish holidays for those who don’t understand them.  “If you don’t know what Goyim means, it means you.”
  • Publicizing Events – Today an autocrat has a wide variety of powerful tools available to publicize your event.  A roundtable discussion on how to make sure you are choosing the right tools to get the word out, and that you are sending out the messages that you intend to send.
  • Making New People Welcome – Recruitment and retention are key to the health of the SCA.  How can an autocrat make new people feel more welcome? Lady Dara von Halstern has autocrated over 100 in her thirty years in the Society
  • Special Needs – Accessibility issues and food allergies are two needs that an autocrat needs to consider.  How can and should you take these into account when planning?  Mistress Alayne Alexandra Nyvern Nightwatcher is East Kingdom Accessibility Porter.
  • Budgeting – How to develop the budget for your event, projecting attendance, considering expenses.  Lady Tuathflaith ingen huí Chleirigh has done budgeting for a variety of events, activities, and programs conducted by a number of different groups, including, among others, the SCA, the Mid-State Swim League, and the Girl Scouts.
  • Camping Events – Camping events create their own set of challenges in both mechanical infrastructure and staffing.  To run a successful event an autocrat needs to be aware of these challenges and have strategies for overcoming them. Mistress Linette de Gallardon has been autocrat for a number of camping events including Southern Regional War Practice.
  • Children at Events – How and what to plan for the youngest members of the Society.  The class will use a presentation prepared by Mistress Leonete D’Angely, East Kingdom Chancellor of Minors, who is herself unable to attend.


Registration Fees

Cost is $20, with a $5 discount for members.  This includes a do-it-yourself lunch board.  Deadline is May 6, 2017. Make checks payable to: SCA, Inc. — Shire of Blak Rose.

Contact Information

Event Steward Reb Eleazar ha-Levi (mka Lew Wolkoff), 2118 Penn Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Email.

Send reservations to: Lady Alana O’Keeve (mka Rachel Wright), 4809 Brian Road, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050. Email.

For more information, including directions to the site, go to the entry for the Autocrats’ Colloquium in the East Kingdom Calendar.

The Google Map at the event announcement includes links to several hotels adjacent to the event site for those who might want to stay overnight.

Categories: SCA news sites

Spring Crown Tourney: Food, Heralds, Dayshades, Beds!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-04-29 18:08
Spring Crown is just mere weeks away now (May 12) and we are busy with the finalizing details. The following are the menus for the meals: Travelers Repast (Friday, 6 to 9 p.m.)
  • Sloppy Joes (aka steamers)
  • Vegetable soup
  • Chili
  • Cheese
  • Bread
  • Veggie straws
  • Crackers
  • Assorted fruits
  • Assorted veggies
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Lemonade
Breakfast (Saturday, 7 to 9 a.m.)
  • Ham
  • Sausage
  • Bread
  • Margarine
  • Assorted fruit
  • Cheese
  • Assorted jams and jellies
  • Honey
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Lemonade

Dayboard (Saturday, beginning around 10:30 a.m.)

Our head cook, Lady Arianna del Vallone, has come up with a fantastic progressive menu that will start with brunch-like items and end with more dinner type offerings. Dietary  concerns should be directed to her. The dayboard will be revolving through the day from brunch style items to more dinner like items later in the day. GF denotes gluten-free items, V denotes vegetarian (some of these items would be considered vegan but not most) All-Day items
  • Assorted fresh fruits-GF,V
  • Assorted fresh veggies with dip-GF,V
  • Assorted breads, including a lovely rosemary bread -V
  • butter and honey butter-GF,V
  • Assorted cheeses-GF,V
  • Assorted crackers or alternative breads- GF,V
  • Hummus-GF, V
Brunch items (coming out around 10-10:30 a.m.)
  • Crustless cheese mini tortes-GF
  • Sweet Brie cheese toast- GF (this will be labeled as some will have wheat)
  • Bacon-wrapped almond-stuffed dates-GF
  • Fighter breakfast biscuits (sausage and cheese biscuits)

Lunch items (coming out between 12-1 p.m.)

  • Amarretti Di Sarrano (almond cookies)- GF
  • Andalusian Stuffed Eggs (period deviled eggs)-GF
  • Meatballs or Skinless sausage (period beef meatballs)-GF
  • Leche lumbarde (date bars)-GF, V
Dinner Items (coming out around 3 p.m.)
  • Bacon-wrapped chicken kabobs-GF (some of these will be made bacon free for those that do not do pork).
  • Beef Kabobs-GF
  • Roasted Veggie Kabobs-GF, V
  • Fine Cakes (Period short Bread)- V
The site will open on Friday, May 12 at 5 p.m. and close on Sunday, May 14 at noon. Whatever leftovers we may have will be offered on Sunday morning. Entrant Heralds!
  • If you are a combatant or a consort and have a herald…
  • If you are a combatant or consort in need of a herald…
  • If you are a herald and wish to assist with heralding combatants or lysts at Crown Tournament…

…Please contact Maighstir Liam MacantSaoir, Sycamore Herald.


The following is the list of combatant dayshade requests received so far. If you have sent in a request, please check this list for accuracy and let dayshade coordinator Lady Margarita De’ Siena know about any changes needed. If you have not sent us a request, please do so by Monday, May 8.

  • Duke Sven Gunnarsson for Duchess Siobhán inghean uíLiatháin – (10×12 with 2 ft for ropes. Note: This one has a back wall)
  • Duke Sir Malcolm Duncan MacEoghainn for Viscountess Rosalinde Ashworth (10×20)
  • Duke Marcus Eisenwald for Countess Margerite Eisenwald
  • Duke Sir Titus Scipio Germanicus for Countess Anna Leigh
  • Count Sir Andreas Morgan for Countess Kallista Morgunova – 21×21
  • Earl Sir Thomas Byron of Haverford and Countess Sir Ariella of Thornbury, each for the other – (16×16)
  • Baron Sir Maghnus an Chnoic na n’Iora for Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful (12×12 plus ropes)
  • Sir Angus MacBain for Maîtresse Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon (16×18 plus ropes)
  • Baron Sir Murdoch Bayne for Baroness Rioghnach niRose
  • Sir Finn Marland O’Shannon for Lady Sigrid Wilhelm –(9×12 not including ropes)
  • Baron Sir Alonzio of the Peacemakers for Baroness Alexandra dei Campagnella
  • Sir Gareth Kincaid for Mistress Juliana Delamare
  • THL Rouland of Willowbrooke and Mistress Jenna MacPherson of the Lion’s Tower, each for the other (Ssaring space with Sir Angus & Maîtresse Yvianne)
  • Master Tigernach mac Cathail for Dame Bronwyn MacFhionghuin
  • Lord Gregory Hillson for Dame Kateryna Ty Isaf (12×15 tent with a 3 ft rope line)
  • Sir Hauoc the Wild for Lady Raven Hildebrand (18×20 with the 18 ft side facing the list) 
  • Sir Arnþorr inn sterki for Lady Ceirech Na Hinsi
  • Sir Marek Viacheldrago for Lady Sybilla Julianna Daetwyller (12×12)
  • Baroness Beatrix Krieger and THL Thorsol Solinauga, each for the other (10×10 wall tent preferably near Hus Faerhaga)
  • THL Lothar Hügelmann for Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth
  • THL Madison Morai for Lady Stasha Sebastian – (12×12)
  • Lord Leo Dietrich for Baroness Aemelia Soteria
  • Lord Arden Scot of Clann Scot for Lady Dierdre Scot of Clann Scot (sharing with Duke Malcolm and Viscountess Rosalinde)
  • Lord Cormacc mac Gilla Bridghe for Lady Elena de la Palma
  • Lord Oliver Sutton for Lady Grainne Shionnach
  • Lord Cheng Tai Ren for Dai Li –(9×9)C
  • id Hiyo for Diana Hiyo
  • Salvidore Moro di Medici for Kaelena Kobor

Noncombatant Dayshades

  • Royal Pavilion – (20x 20 pending confirmation)
  • Arindale – (20 x30 place near Royal)
  • Heralds – (2 spots each 10×10 – 1 for the Heralds dayshade and 1 for the shield tree, near the Royal pavilion
  • MOL – (12×12 pending confirmation. This will be between the Heralds and the tourney tree)
  • Combatant First Aid and Hydration Services Dame Morwenna Trevethan– (12×12 dayshade with 3 feet clearance on the sides)
  • Hospitality Tent Mistress AElfrun Ketta– (20×20 and close to the fighting)
  • Samin – (12×16)
  • Duke Marcus and Countess Margarite – (12×15 plus ropes)


We have well over 200 beds available at no additional charge for Crown Tourney. You can stay just Friday night or just Saturday night, or for both nights and there is no additional charge. You will need to bring your own bedding, however. Here is the link  for the Camp Frame, http://www.campframe.org/facilities. The populace will be directed to the Girls Dorm and to a new smaller dorm.  The Girls Dorm has showers and flushies. While the smaller dorm does not have these, it is quite close to the girls dorm. We have a limited amount of tent space available as well for those who might wish to camp. Just contact me ahead of time with your tent size so we can plan where to put it. There are also a number of hotels within a short drive to the site.
  1. Quality Inn Spring Mills, Martinsburg North, 3-star hotel, average price $63/night 1220 T J Jackson Dr, Falling Waters, WV 25419, qualityinnmartinsburg.com (304) 274-6100
  2. Motel 6, 2-star hotel, average price $53/night, 5595 Hammonds Mill Rd, Martinsburg, WV 25404, motel6.com (304) 274-2181
  3. Super 8 Martinsburg, 2-star hotel, average price $51/night, 2048 Edwin Miller Blvd, Martinsburg, WV 25404, super8.com (304) 263-0801
  4. Comfort Inn Aikens Center, 2-star hotel, average price $87/night, 1872 Edwin Miller Blvd, Martinsburg, WV 25404, choicehotels.com (304) 263-6200
  5. Holiday Inn Martinsburg, 3-star hotel, average price $105/night, 301 Foxcroft Ave, Martinsburg, WV 25401, ihg.com (304) 267-5500

If you have any general questions about the event, please feel free to contact the autocrat, Dame Hrefna Ulfvarinnsdottir.

Official event announcement is here.

Facebook event page is here.

Categories: SCA news sites

Quiver of arrows found in Fregerslev Viking grave

History Blog - Fri, 2017-04-28 23:42

Archaeologists excavating the Fregerslev Viking grave south of Hørning near Skanderborg in Jutland, Denmark, have discovered a bundle of arrowheads at the bottom of the grave. The bundle appears to contain six heart-shaped iron arrowheads. There’s a layer of black organic material at the pointed end of the arrowheads that archaeologists believe to be the remnants of the quiver, long-since decayed.

These were probably not weapons of war. They were likely used for hunting deer and wild boar. It’s even more evidence of what an elevated position the Fregerslev Viking held in society. Only the elite would have had the opportunity and means to go hunting, so the bundle of arrows buried with him are symbols of high status.

Arrowheads are very rare discoveries in Viking rider graves. A whole quiver of them is practically unheard of, and the Skanderborg Museum archaeologists are justifiably elated by the find. As with the other rich discoveries in the grave, the arrowheads were not fully excavated in situ. They were removed in a soil block earlier this week and taken to the museum laboratory to be X-rayed. The X-ray should show archaeologists how many arrows are in the bundle and give them a roadmap for excavation of the block in the lab.

Reaching the bottom of the rider’s grave is an important milestone. It’s only 28 centimeters (11 inches) deep at the deepest point — it’s a miracle that it wasn’t destroyed by agricultural activity — but the sheer amount of corrosion from metals including gold, bronze and silver visible on the surface of the trench indicates there are still an extraordinary number of expensive grave goods under there.

Experts are still in the process of X-raying the soil blocks that have already been removed. One lifted from the foot of the grave near the block that was already found to contain star-shaped bridle fittings contains even more fittings. The ones showing as bright white in the X-ray are silver or silver-plated. There are new types of hardware in the block that archaeologists believe to be decorative elements from a harness and/or stirrups. There is no sign of the stirrups themselves, however, which the team are keen to find. They hope excavation and X-rays of other soil blocks will find evidence of the stirrups.

The shiny things aren’t the only archaeological treasures in the grave. Archaeologists will be using the latest and greatest technology to analyze the soil for microscopic remains that will allow them to identify species of plants that were once inside the grave but have decayed along with the human and horse remains. They’re also going to look for DNA in the soil. German archaeologists have recently had a breakthrough in this cutting-edge technology, successfully isolating prehistoric DNA from the soil and clay of caves with nary a bone or tooth in sight.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Call for Nominations

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2017-04-28 17:21

The Board of Directors is seeking nominations from the populace for individuals to serve as members of the following Board Committees:

Finance and Audit Committee

Mission:  to assist the Board’s oversight of the Company’s accounting and financial reporting processes, the audit and integrity of the Company’s financial statements and the qualifications and independence of the Company’s independent auditor.

Communications Committee

Mission:  to develop and oversee advertising; public relations; publications, social media and other communications initiatives of the Society.

Membership Committee

Mission:  grow and sustain membership in the Society; evaluate and oversee implementation of programs and initiatives for membership support.

If you are interested in serving on any of these Committees, please send a letter of interest, together with your SCA and mundane resumes to the following committee chairpersons:

Finance Committee: Richard Sherman (rsherman@director.sca.org)

Communications Committee: Vandy Donelson (vdonelson@director.sca.org)

Membership Committee: Chele Martines (cmartines@director.sca.org)

If you would like additional information, or have any questions about the Committees or the nomination process please contact the Committee chairperson or the Corporate Office.
Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

Filed under: Announcements, Corporate Tagged: BoD, corporate

Unofficial Court Report – First Court of Ioannes and Honig

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2017-04-28 16:39

Their Imperial Majesties Ioannes and Honig opened Their First Court at Their Coronation, held in the Barony of Dragonship Haven on the 1st of April, Anno Societatis LI, also counted as 2017 in the Common Era.

For Their first item of business, they called for Lady Kit de Coldwood and named her Captain of the Queen’s Guard. Lady Kit then called for each Guard to take their place and Empress Honig draped them each with the baldric of their appointment.

Their Majesties invited William and Isolde, Prince and Princess of the Middle Kingdom, to join Them in Court. Their Majesties gave Their Highnesses gifts of embroidered books, made by Baroness Cateline la Broderesse. Their Highnesses gave gifts to Their Majesties in turn.

Next, Their Majesties invited the Baron and Baroness of Dragonship Haven, Joseph of the Red Griffin and Bronwen Rose of Greyling, to join them on the dias. Their Excellencies offered gifts to the Crown with were accepted with appreciation.

The Crown called for Duke Brion Anthony Uriel Tarragon and Duchess Anna Ophelia Holloway Tarragon. Their Majesties gave them bottles of fine spirits and accepted gifts from them in return. Their Graces then swore fealty to the Crown of the East.

Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig then called for those newcomers attending their first Royal event and gave them tokens of welcome.

Their Majesties called for the children of the East and offered them toys from the Royal toy chest. Jarl Thorvald Halversson called Thorson was given the box and the children ran after him with much exuberance.

Lady Liadin ingen Chineada was summoned and Their Majesties spoke of her skill in the rapier lists and her work building a local rapier practice. For these things, Their Majesties called for the Order of the Silver Rapier and named her a Companion. A scroll will be forthcoming.

Following that, Lady Arabella de Mere was called forward. Their Majesties spoke of her work as a fiber artist and weaver and made her a Companion of the Order of the Silver Brooch. She was given a scroll calligraphed by Baroness Marieta Charay with illumination by Lady Triona MacCaskey.

Emperor Ioannes and Empress Honig then requested the presence of Siona Dunleavy. They spoke of her garb-making, her jewelry-crafting, and her singing. Finding these things worthy of recognition, they Awarded her Arms. She was given a scroll with calligraphy and words by Lord Faolan an Sccreccain and illumination by Lady Lorita de Siena.

Matthias von Würzburg was summoned before the throne. The Crown spoke of his work with the webminstry and help problem solving in that venue. They called for the Order of the Silver Wheel and named him a Companion of that Order. To remember the day, he was given a scroll with words by Baroness Aislinn Chiabach, calligraphy by Master Jonathan Blaecstan, and illumination by Lady Triona MacCasky.

Next there was a presentation of the Venaralia of Venus. Drumming filled the air, flower petals were strew in front of the ladies processing, and much joy was had.

The Crown Province of Ostgardr made a presentation of gifts to the Crown, to fill the largess coffers.

Lord Gaius Claudius Valerianus came before the throne and made a presentation of coins he had minted in the Emperor and Empress’ honor.

His Majesty called for the drummers who had contributed much to the day. Ce’ol  of Glenwood, Aidan of La Familia Gladiatoria, Caius Pontus, and Cassius Pontus were all awarded the Order of the Troubadour for their work that day and at many Pennsic Wars. Each was given a cup as the token of the Order. His Majesty announced that scrolls would be forthcoming.

The event steward, Don Thomas of Effingham, was thanked for his work putting the event together and he, in turn, thanked his staff.

Their Majesties then called for the answer to the question set before Lord Alexandre Saint Pierre at the Last Court of Brion III and Anna III. Various worthies were asked to speak on his behalf. Sir Ivan Ulrickson, with “help” from Sir Ane du Vey and Sir Edward MacGyver dos Scorpus, spoke for the Order of Chivalry. For the Order of the Pelican, Mistress Anastasia Guta spoke the words of Master Christian Wolfe of Edinburgh then spoke briefly on her own behalf. Master Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova spoke the words of Master Frasier MacLeod for the Order of Defense. The Order of the Rose found its voice with Chatricam Meghanta called Countess Meggie. And for the Order of the Laurel, Mistress Kayleigh Mac Whyte spoke. Finding these words worthy, Their Majesties called for the Order of the Laurel. Alexandre was released from his apprenticeship by his apprentice sister Maitresse Camille desJardins on behalf of his peer, Mistress Carolyne de la Pointe. He was then given the regalia of his peerage – a cloak, a medallion, and a wreath. Now Master Alexandre then gave fealty to the Crown. The event was recorded in a scroll with words by Mistress Anastasia Guta, calligraphed by Duchess Thyra Eiriksdottir with ink made by Ian the Green, and illuminated by Maitresse Camille desJardins and Lady Adrienne d’Everus.

There being no further business, the First Court of Their Imperial Majesties Ioannes and Honig was closed.

These are the events as I recall them. My thanks to all those who attended the event and all those who aided the Crown with the day.

Pray know I remain,

For Crown and College,

 – Master Rowen Cloteworthy

Filed under: Court Tagged: court report

Their Majesties’ Spark Challenge

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-04-28 16:30

Unto Glorious Æthelmearc do Timothy and Gabrielle send greetings,

At Our Coronation this past weekend, We announced Our Spark Challenge: Our way of encouraging folks to discover, or rediscover the magic that Our Kingdom and the Society as a whole offer. Any and all are invited to give pearls, any and all are invited to receive pearls. We distributed about 1,000 at Coronation to the Landed Barons and Baronesses, the Kingdom officers and the Peers we could, but that was just to get the ball rolling.

The idea is simple. Try something out of your usual range of activities. You may find yourself in love with your hobby all over again in ways you never thought possible. The things available to do are quite literally innumerable. Broaden your horizons. Never thrown axes or knives? Go to a thrown weapons practice. Are you comfortable at calligraphy and Illumination but afraid to try gilding? We are sure there is someone willing to teach you. Always curious about fighting heavy, but could never get up the nerve? Give it a shot. There are dozens of folks who would love to show you how it is done. Attend a class or a Curia. Sit through a court. Submit a device. Go to a bardic circle. Volunteer at Troll or in the kitchen. You’ll have fun, and hopefully meet new people and make new friends. At Melee Madness, Timothy will be doing something way, way out of his comfort zone (ask any of the equestrians about Tim and horses).

At any time after Crown Tournament, please come up to Us and show Us your 8 pearls, and better still, tell us a story or two of how much fun you had. We will gladly present you with a token commemorating the completion of your quest, and hopefully, the beginning of a magical new chapter in your SCA career.

In service to Æthelmearc ,
Timothy and Gabrielle

The Spark Challenge FAQ:

• Am I giving pearls out or am I trying to earn them?

Both! The spirit of the challenge is to encourage everyone to try something new and to recognize the effort that others are putting into the Society. If you are teaching a class, running an event, or organizing a marshal activity, TRMs hope that you would present a pearl to those individuals who are new to the activity or coming back after an extended absence.

• Is this for new people or everyone?

Both! New members are encouraged to explore all that the Society has to offer. However, long-time participants are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and try something different.

• What if I’ve already done a lot of things?

There are many different aspects of the Society. Some possible activities include retaining, teaching, taking classes, or participating in different martial activities.

• What do I do with the pearls?

Anything you want! You can add them to garb, make jewelry, give them to a special friend, or recognize someone else doing something new. Just make a point to show your collection to TRMs.

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report – The Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-04-28 10:56

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Marcus & Margerite, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of The Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon, April 8, Anno Societatis LI, in the Barony of the Rhydderich Hael. Accompanied this day by Their Heirs, Timothy and Gabrielle. As recorded by Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with assistance from Dame Kateryna Ty Isaf, Kameshima-kyo Zentarou Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald, and Baron Fridrikr Tomasson.

In the morning Their Majesties invited Their Imperial Majesties of the East Kingdom, Ioannes and Ro Honig, to join them in Their court. Their Majesties then invited the Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael to join Them.

Their Majesties called forward Baroness Miriel du Lac and, telling of her prowess in fencing, did award unto her a Golden Alce. Scroll by THL Isabel Fleuretan and Kameshima-kyo Zentarou Umakai.

Baroness Miriel receives a Golden Alce.

Their Majesties next were attended by Lord Laegaire Mac Conaill Meic Shiadahail. They told of his prowess upon the rattan field and of the praise They had received on his behalf, and so They were mindful to award him a Golden Alce. Scroll by Baroness Juliana Rosalia Dolce da Siena

Lord Laegaire receives a Golden Alce. Photo by Baron Steffan.

Next, Their Majesties received Lady Sybilla Detwyller and Sir Marek Viacheldrago. Their Majesties praised them both for their nobility and graciousness to the people of not just their local barony, but of the kingdom, and to the Crown, and so Their Majesties created them a Baron and Baroness of the Court. Scroll forthcoming.

Lady Sybilla and Sir Marek receive Court Baronies. Photo by Lady Àine ny Allane.

Duke Mathew Blackleaf was then called before the Throne and answered the writ of summons by proclaiming his desire to join the ranks of the Order of the Pelican. Their Majesties then called for the Order the Pelican to join Them. Next, Baroness Slaine an Einigh and Baron Tadhg Sotal O’Neill spoke as members of the populace and told of Mathew as a quiet servant and that through his efforts has brought others into the joy of service. Viscountess Eria av Attemark spoke of how service comes naturally, and how Mathew sets not only an example for others, but also willingly joins others in service. Duchess Dorinda Courtenay spoke by letter of how, despite his moving around, Mathew served wherever he went doing whatever was needed. Duchess Anna Blackleaf spoke of how his service to the arts and sciences community has caused that community to grow and flourish. His Majesty Marcus spoke of Mathew’s willingness to serve no matter his station, and Duke Sven Gunnarsson stated that Mathew is honorable and displays generosity without bounds. Duchess Liadain ni Dheirdre Chaomhanaigh spoke of how Mathew gives of himself for the benefit of other and can simultaneously work and play hard. Having heard these words of Their peers, Their Majesties placed around his neck the medallion of the Order, and commanded a cloak be placed about his shoulders. Then, They received his oath and created Mathew a member of the Order of the Pelican. Scroll by Raven Heraldson.

Duke Matthew swears fealty as a Pelican. Photo by Baron Steffan.

Next, Their Majesties called for Baron Robert O’Conner, who stated that, in answer to his writ of summons, it was his desire to sit vigil this day in contemplation of joining the Order of the Pelican. Hearing these words, Their Majesties released Baron Robert into the care of the Order of the Pelican to escort him to vigil.

Baron Robert is sent to vigil for the Pelican. Photo by Baron Steffan.

Duchess Morgen of Rye was then called before the Sylvan Throne, and she did affirm her desire to sit vigil this day in contemplation of joining the ranks of the Order of Chivalry. Hearing these words, Their Majesties released Duchess Morgan into the care of the Order of Chivalry to escort her to vigil.

Duchess Morgen is sent to vigil for the Chivalry. Photo by Baron Steffan.

Court suspended.

In the evening, Their Majesties invited Their Imperial Majesties of the East Kingdom, Ioannes and Ro Honig, to join them in Their court. Their Majesties then invited the Baron and Baroness of the Rhydderich Hael to join Them.

Their Majesties were attended by Syeira of the Hael Hounds and spoke of her prowess with a bow, and so did create her a companion of the Silver Alce. Scroll by Mistress Solveig Throndardottir.

Syeira receives a Silver Alce. Photo by Lord Mikus.

The children of Æthelmearc were then invited forward and were given leave to chase after the toy chest.

Next, Their Majesties gave leave to Their Excellencies Rhydderich Hael to hold their baronial court.

Their Majesties Æthelmearc and Their Imperial Majesties of the East then exchanged gift baskets in honor of Their shared friendship and esteem. Their Imperial Majesties also presented a gift basket of toys from the children of the East Kingdom to the children of Æthelmearc.

Lord Wolfgang Starke then presented himself before Their Majesties and transferred leadership of the Æthelmearc Brewer’s Guild from himself to THL Madoc Arundel.

Lord Wolfgang and THLord Madoc. Photo by Lord Mikus.

Mistress Alicia Langland then addressed the populace to announce the next Æthelmearc Æcademy and to request teachers and attendees. She also stated that they are still looking for a bid to host the fall Æthelmearc Æcademy.

Their Majesties invited Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima ​Zentarō Umakai, into Their Court. He invited Master Edmund Tregelles and Maestra Giulietta da Venezia, second and third Silver Buccle Principal Heralds of the Kingdom of Æthelmearc, to join them. In keeping with the duty charged to the office of Principal Herald by the Laurel King of Arms in AS XVI, he then raised Master Edmund and Maestra Giulietta to the station of Herald Extraordinary.

Maestra Giulietta and Master Edmund are named Heralds Extraordinary. Photo by Lord Mikus.

Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, was then invited before Their Majesties, who spoke at length of his service as Herald and counselor during Their reign. In recognition of his voluminous service, They created him a Baron of the Court. Scroll by THL Alianora Bronhulle upon wording by Don Po Silvertop the Rogue.

Maestro Orlando is named a Baron of the Court. Photo by Lord Mikus.

Cvria Epicvrivs was awarded Arms in absentia. Scroll by Baroness Anastasie de Lamoure.

Vrsvs Epicvrivs was awarded a Keystone in absentia. Scroll by Master Caleb Reynolds.

Next, Their Majesties called for Mikus and awarded him Arms for his service and his photography. Scroll by Lady Kadlin Sigvaldakona.

Mikus receives an Award of Arms. Photo by Baron Steffan.

Lord Gawin Hawkseye was invited into court where he was awarded a Golden Alce for his prowess and skill with archery. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Lord Gawin receives a Golden Alce. Photo by Lord Mikus.

Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria appeared before Their Majesties. They spoke of his ongoing service to the Shire of Port Oasis as an event steward, and did bestow upon him a Keystone in recognition of this service. They also expressed Their regret over his imminent departure from Their kingdom but assured him that he would always have a home here in Æthelmearc. Scroll by THL Astridr Vigaskegg with calligraphy by Kameshima-kyo Zentarou Umakai.

Lord Sasson receives a Keystone. Photo by Lady Àine.

Mistress Ysabeau Tiercelin and Lord Jok MacPherson next presented themselves to Their Majesties, who spoke of their enduring courtesy and kindness, and how they emulate qualities that members of the populace can aspire to, and so presented each of them with a Cornelian. Scroll for Mistress Tiercelin by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix, with calligraphy by Mistress Graidhne ni Ruaidh upon words by Baron Magnus de Lyons. Scroll for Lord Jok limned by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix with illumination and calligraphy by Mistress Graidhne ni Ruaidh upon words by Baron Rhiannon Elandris.

Lord Jok and Mistress Tiercelin receive Cornelians. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Their Majesties then called to be attended by Lady Katerin Starke. Speaking words of praise for her skill in the arts and sciences, Their Majesties were minded to award her with a Sycamore. Scroll by THL Zosia Kowalewska.

Lady Katerin receives a Sycamore. Photo by Baron Steffan.

THLady Astridr Vigaskegg next appeared before the Court with her protégé sister, THLady Hara Kikumatsu. Their Majesties told of Astridr’s excellent service in the kitchen and as an event steward. They spoke of Hara’s service to her barony in the office of exchequer. They spoke of the service each gives continually to their local groups and to the kingdom. And so, Their Majesties called forward Their Order of the Millrind and did induct Astridr and Hara both into that Order and granted arms to each. Scroll for Lady Astridr by THL Sophie Davenport with words by Baron Fridrikr Tomasson. Scroll for THL Hara forthcoming.

THLady Astridr and THLady Hara receive Millrinds. Photo by Lord Mikus.

Next, Their Majesties called forward THL Renata Rouge. They spoke at length of her skill with thrown weapons, and of her scores upon the range. Seeing that this level of excellence could not go unrewarded, Their Majesties called for the Order of the White Horn and did induct Renata into that Order. Scroll by Baroness Helena Mützhasenin.

THLady Renata receives a White Horn. Photo by Baron Steffan.

Lord Sid Hiyo next entered the Court of Their Majesties. Telling of the prowess he had achieved upon the rattan field, and of the praise Their Majesties had heard in recognition of him, Their Majesties saw fit to call forward the Order of the Gage and induct Sid into their ranks. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

Lord Sid receives a Gage. Photo by Lord Mikus.

THL Thorsol Solinauga was then brought before Their Majesties where His Imperial Majesty of The East Kingdom, Ioannes, presented Thorsol with a personal token of inspiration in recognition of his prowess upon the field this day in the rattan lists.

THLord Thorsol is named the inspiration of King Ioannes of the East. Photo by Lord Mikus.

Baron Robert O’Conner was next received into court. His Excellency stated that he had received good counsel this day and that, after contemplation, it was his desire to join the Order of the Pelican. Their Majesties called to be attended by the Order of the Pelican, and then called for a royal peer to speak on Robert’s behalf. Countess Elena d’Artois told of how Robert has always been there and that he makes things happen; even to the point of his own exhaustion. Count Andreas Morgan told of Robert’s ability to dispense carnage upon the field and of his service to the fighting community. Maestro Orlando di Bene del VInta spoke of Robert’s courage, particularly as a herald, to be willing to stand before crowds of people while in the service of others and lend his talents to be their voice as a herald. The words of Master Erwillian MacFergus, as read by Countess Kallista Morgunova, enumerated many acts of service, and spoke of Robert’s integrity, humility, courtesy, and kindness. By letter, Mistress George Anne told of Robert’s generosity and his ability to get things done, and Countess Caryl Olesdatter told of Robert’s excitement about helping people, and how his joy of service is infectious to others. Countess Kallista Morgunova spoke of Robert’s kindness and generosity, and how he will speak to anyone and make them feel welcome. Having heard these words, Their Majesties were indeed moved to elevate Robert, and so called for a hood, the ancestral medallion, and a personal medallion and then, receiving his oath, did name Baron Robert a Master of the Order of the Pelican. Scroll is a work in progress.

Master Robert swears fealty as a Pelican. Photo by Lord Mikus.

Their Majesties requested the presence of Her Grace, Duchess Morgen of Rye, daimyo of Clan Yama Kaminari, for They had set her a task earlier that day and wished an answer to Their question. Her Grace confirmed that it was indeed her desire to be named a Knight of the Realm. Countess Sir Ariella recalled how Their Graces had welcomed Their Excellencies into the SCA with selflessness and generosity, and spoke of her as a role model and leader. Viscount Sir Haakon, 1st Jewel of Æthelmearc, spoke of a conversation he had had as Prince with Viscount Syr Bear and Viscountess Judith about who to choose as his Jewel, and how Her Grace embodies all the best that the Society should be about. Mistress Katryne of Bakestonden praised Her Grace’s perseverance, as integral to mastery of combat as the arts. Mistress Hilderun Hügelman conveyed the words of Mistress Ts’vee’a bas Zipporah Levi, who testified of Her Grace’s generosity, offering hospitality and her experience to both new and experienced fighters. Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne simply called Her Grace the greatest inspiration that she knew. Duke Sir Christopher Rawlyns presented the words of Ogami-sama Akira, o-daimyo of Yama Kaminari, spoke of watching her grow from a small candle to a raging fire, and the faith and trust he placed in her. Being more than pleased with the good words of Their Peers, Their Majesties refused to make of Her Grace a Knight, but agreed eagerly to recognize her as the Knight she already was. Sir Maghnus de C’noc an’Iora presented her with spurs, Duke Sir Christopher Rawlyns presented her with a belt, and Her Majesty presented her with two chains: one from her household, along with the Ancestral Knight’s Chain of the Kingdom, the lineage of which was read by Sir Marek Viacheldrago. Finally, Her Grace was presented with a jinbaori commemorating her new station. Her Grace gave her oath of fealty, and being satisfied with her words, His Majesty, with the assistance of Duke Sir Christopher, dubbed Duchess Sir Morgen a Knight of the Society. His Majesty then presented Her Grace with her last unanswered blow. Scroll illuminated by Mistress Roxanne de St. Luc and calligraphed by Mistress Sthurrim Caithness upon words by Sir Ogami Akira.

Duke Christopher ties a white obi around the waist of his lady, Sir Morgen. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Her Majesty then awarded Donnan Fitzgerald of the Kingdom of the East a Golden Escarbuncle and name him as her inspiration for the day.

Their Majesties thanked the scribes and artisans who contributed works for Their court.

Their Majesties then gave leave to THL Zosia Kowalewska to read the list of the winners from the Pent.

There being no further business, this court of Marcus and Margerite was closed.

Faithfully submitted,

Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta,
Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald

Categories: SCA news sites

Tour Ireland’s Sheela-na-Gigs with Heritage Maps

History Blog - Thu, 2017-04-27 21:51

Ireland’s Heritage Council and Heritage Maps have launched a new dataset mapping all the Sheela-na-Gigs in situ and in collections around Ireland. Sheela-na-Gigs are female figures often characterized by bands across the forehead, visible ribs, and most notably, their hands spreading their vulvas wide open. They are found in the UK and to a lesser degree on the continent (mainly France and Spain), but Ireland has the greatest number of Sheela-na-Gigs. They are most commonly seen in churches and monasteries, usually ones of medieval Romanesque design or in newer ones that incorporate salvaged elements of earlier religious structures on the site. They are also found in lay buildings like castles.

Discussing the launch of this new cultural resource and the St. Patrick connection, renowned UCC folklorist Shane Lehane suggests “that perhaps the key to understanding the inherited notion that St Patrick had a wife, Sheela, is to explore the hugely interesting archaeological manifestation that also bears her name: the Sheela-na-Gig”.

“In Ireland, there are over 110 examples of these, oft misunderstood, medieval stone carvings of naked, old women exposing their genitalia. They are often positioned in medieval tower-houses, medieval church sites and holy wells. Up to recently these were seen as figures representing the evils of lust or as ways of averting the ‘evil eye’. More convincing reassessments have reinterpreted the Sheela-na-gig, in line with the Cailleach, as belonging to the realm of vernacular folk deities associated with the life-giving powers of birth and death. Placed with the cycles of both the natural and agricultural year and the human life cycle, she can be regarded as the embodiment of the cycle of fertility that overarches natural, agricultural and human procreation and death”.

Speaking about the launch of the Sheela-na-Gig map, Beatrice Kelly, Heritage Council Head of Policy & Research, stated, “Sheela-na-Gigs are very evocative symbols of the feminine in old Irish culture and their prominent positions in medieval churches and castles attests to the importance of the female in Irish society. As modern Ireland strives for equality in all aspects of life this map can help us all to understand the important place women have traditionally held within our culture and society.”

There are probably more Sheelas that haven’t been officially documented yet. The Heritage Council is hoping to add to the layer with new information and asks that members of the public contact them if they know of any Sheela-na-Gigs that are not yet marked on the map.

As the name suggests, Heritage Maps is a collection of culture-related data sets marked on a map of Ireland. You can select different layers to view on the map — shipwrecks, UNESCO World Heritage sites, burial grounds, walled towns, museums, protected architectural sites, and hundreds more — and create the mother of all heritage tours customized to your interests. There are more than 150,000 sites pinpointed in all of the layers, and the number increases all the time.

To view the new Sheela-na-Gig dataset, click on the Archaeology category in the Layer List and check the Sheela-na-Gig box. You’ll see the map populate with data points. Click on one of the points and then on the right arrow after the name for the full information to drop down, including a photo (just thumbnails, alas).


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Massasoit Ousamequin’s relics to be reburied

History Blog - Wed, 2017-04-26 23:25

Artifacts and remains of the Wampanoag leader who forged the first alliance with the Pilgrims are being reburied in his original grave after a two-decade search for the scattered relics.

The Pilgrims called him Massasoit as if it were his first name and it has stuck, but in fact it’s a hereditary title meaning “Great Leader.” His name was Ousamequin. As Great Leader of the Pokanoket Wampanoags, he held the allegiance of numerous chieftains and villages in the Wampanoag Confederation stretching from Narragansett Bay east to Cape Cod, most of modern-day southeastern Massachusetts.

In the six years before the Mayflower landed at Plymouth, two smallpox outbreaks had decimated the Pokanoket, reducing their warrior ranks from a formidable 3,000 to a mere 300. With their enemies the Narragansetts at their doorstep (they controlled the territory west of Narragansett Bay), ready to take advantage of the Pokanoket’s military weakness, in March of 1621 Ousamequin entered into a treaty of nonaggression and mutual defense with the newly arrived English colonists. They agreed not to attack each other and to come to each other’s aid if either one were attacked by third parties.

The English had weapons and the ability to use them; the Pokanoket knew how to grow, make and find food. The military alliance was advantageous to both, since the Narragansetts were as ill-disposed towards the English as they were toward the Pokanoket, and good relations with their indigenous neighbors were essential to the survival of the colony. Without them, the Plymouth colony would quickly go the way of their countrymen at Jamestown and starve to death. As it was, they only had a place to live because they had moved into a Pokanoket village (Patuxet) left abandoned after a smallpox epidemic, and although Ousamequin didn’t know this, at the time of the alliance barely three months after their arrival, almost half of the colonists and Mayflower crew had already died from diseases contracted during the Atlantic crossing.

The alliance lasted 40 years, ending only with Massasoit Ousamequin’s death in 1661. English sources acknowledge that the colony would almost certainly have died on the vine in those difficult first few years without his invaluable aid and recognized him as a man of unimpeachable integrity, loyalty and generosity. That didn’t stop the growing colony from encroaching ever more on Pokanoket lands, of course, and as the decades passed, the alliance became increasingly strained. Under pressure from all sides, Ousamequin chose to keep the alliance together and repeatedly sold the colonists ever-larger sections of Pokanoket territory. In 1653, he and his eldest son Wamsutta sold land known as Sowams which included most of the present-day towns of Warren and Barrington, Rhode Island, and Somerset, Massachusetts, for 35 pounds sterling. The buyers were a who’s who of early New England history: Miles Standish, Josiah Winslow, William Bradford, John Winslow, et al.

One small piece of Sowams was not part of the sale: the “neck,” meaning the uplands overlooking the bay. Called Montaup, anglicized as Mount Hope, this was Ousamequin’s hometown and was to be reserved for the Pokanoket until such time as they chose to leave. After his death, he was buried there. By the end of King Philip’s War (King Philip was the English name of Massasoit Metacom, Ousamequin’s second son, who took up arms against the Plymouth Colony in 1675 to stop their untrammeled expansionism) in 1678, the surviving Pokanoket fled to Maine and Mount Hope Neck was absorbed into Warren, Rhode Island.

Neglected and unprotected, Massasoit Ousamequin’s grave was destroyed during construction of the Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad, which opened in Warren on July 4th, 1851, 190 years after Massasoit’s death. His wasn’t the only grave on the hilltop, and souvenir hunters and archaeologists (who at this time were also largely souvenir hunters) dug up the site, collecting artifacts and human remains which wound up dispersed throughout personal collections and museums.

In 1990, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act made it federal law that grave goods and human remains held in collections, institutions of learning and museums be returned to related tribes for reburial according to their religious traditions.

Members of the Wampanoag Nation have spent 20 years tracking down the remains and artifacts of Massasoit Ousamequin. It was their “spiritual and cultural obligation,” said Ramona Peters, who coordinated the effort. [...]

Ousamequin’s artifacts include a pipe, knife, beads and arrowheads.

The Rhode Island Historical Society has repatriated about 75 items to the appropriate tribes since the law’s passage, including artifacts belong [sic] to Ousamequin. They were donated as relics in the 1800s, but collections aren’t assembled in that way today, said Kirsten Hammerstrom, director of collections.

“Grave goods are not something we dig up and accept. They belong to the tribe,” she said. [...]

The Wampanoags have collected hundreds of funerary objects that were removed from the burial ground on the hill and held dozens of burials for their ancestors whose graves were disturbed, Peters said.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to do this for our ancestors,” she said.

Now it’s Massasoit Ousamequin’s turn.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Church mural painted by Jewish “degenerate artist” revealed after 44 years

History Blog - Tue, 2017-04-25 23:32

A monumental mural painted by Jewish artist Hans Feibusch in St Mark’s Church in Coventry has been revealed after spending 44 years hidden behind a brick wall. It’s been hidden more than four times longer than it was in view, but now it’s out in the open for good.

A Victorian Gothic Revival church built in 1868, St Mark’s managed to survive the levelling of the Medieval city of Coventry by German bombing raids in World War II. The great stained glass window in the west wall was the only casualty. The church couldn’t afford to replace the window in the lean war and post-war years, so they bricked up the hole and the church was left with a very large, very plain wall where the window had once been.

In 1963, Hans Feibusch was commissioned to paint a mural depicting the Ascension of Christ on that plain wall. Born in Frankfurt in 1898, Feibusch served two years on the Eastern Front during World War I. After the war, he studied art and began working as a professional artist in 1925. He was quickly successful, winning an award from the Prussian Academy of Arts in 1931. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, Feibusch saw the writing on the wall and hightailed it out of Germany to England.

While he built a new life for himself in England, back in Germany Hitler’s personal taste in art was being enshrined as the ideal while the avant-garde that had thrived under the Weimar Republic was reviled as “degenerate,” the nobility of classical forms distorted and deformed by Jewish contamination of the culture. In 1937, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels put together a Degenerate Art (Entartete Kunst) exhibition in Munich that collected the modern art his ministry had pulled from the walls of galleries, museums and private collections. Feibusch’s work was displayed alongside Jankel Adler’s and Marc Chagall’s next to the slogan “Revelation of the Jewish racial soul” written on the wall.

Feibusch’s career really took off in England after the end of World War II, thanks largely to the destruction wrought by German bombs. He became known as a muralist, especially as a church muralist. His main patron was the Bishop of Chichester Dr. G.K.A. Bell, who commissioned murals in Chichester Cathedral and in the bishop’s palace. Churches in Brighton, Portsmouth, Eastbourne and other cities small and large also commissioned murals from Feibusch. He ultimately painted murals for 30 churches, including St Mark’s, and major civic buildings like Dudley Town Hall in Worcestershire.

St Mark’s Church was deconsecrated in 1973 and converted into the outpatients department of the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital. For the mural’s own protection (and maybe to make the space a little less obviously a church), the Ascension was bricked over. Even though out of view, it wasn’t forgotten.

The Coventry Society said: “Feibusch’s work is now recognised as being of national importance. In 2011 the Coventry Society noted that the listing particulars for the building did not include the mural. We therefore put in a formal request to English Heritage to amend the listing to include the mural and revise other details of the listing. This was approved by the Secretary of State for Culture, Leisure and Sport in January 2013.”

“In March 2017 it was announced that the building is to be re-opened as a City Centre Resource Church in September 2017. We are delighted to learn that the future of the building is now safe and that it is going to be restored.”

Hans Feibusch lived a very long life, dying four weeks shy of his 100th birthday in 1998. He not only outlived all of the Nazis who labelled his art degenerate, but also all of his fellow so-called “degenerate artists.” He is buried in Golders Green Jewish Cemetery.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History