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East-Middle Bardic Showcase at Pennsic War

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

Spanish colonial adobe bricks found at the Alamo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

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

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

Hello fellow citizens of Æthelmearc!

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

The AE Royal Setup-Takedown schedule is:

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you in advance for your service!

In Gloriam AEthelmearc!


Categories: SCA news sites

Stinky cheese found on 17th c. Swedish shipwreck

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Her Majesty’s Garden at Pennsic

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

Fountain that will be in the Queen’s Garden.

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

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

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

Please contact me if you have questions or contributions.

Yours in Service – maestro Filipia

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

Categories: SCA news sites

Canal system found under Pakal’s tomb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Unofficial Court Report: GNEW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Filed under: Court

A&S War Point Artisans for Pennsic

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: SCA news sites

Explore the Apollo 11 Command Module

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researchers test the durability of the finished rope:

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

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

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

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

En français

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

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

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

New scribes are also very welcome.

Please contact Mistress Eva Woderose with any questions.

En français
traduction: Behi Kirsa Oyutai

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

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

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

Les nouveaux scribes sont aussi les bienvenus.

Veuillez contacter Maîtresse Eva Woderose avec vos questions:

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

Roman coin hoard found by students in Spain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Gems of Australia’s rich quilting history

History Blog - Fri, 2016-07-22 06:01

A new exhibit at the National Gallery of Victoria is putting on display an exceptional collection of quilts and related pieces from Australia’s rich history of patchwork. Making the Australian Quilt: 1800–1950 brings together almost 100 quilts, blankets, coverlets, and patchwork clothes from museums and private collections all over the country. They date to the first decades of English colonization through the middle of the 20th century. Some of the pieces have never been on public display, like the Hexagon quilt made in 1811 by Sarah Wall (nee Litherland or Leatherland), an English convict who arrived in Australia about the HMS Earl Cornwallis in 1801, 13 years after the first convicts arrived in Botany Bay and eight years after the first free settlers. Hers is the earliest known pierced hexagon quilt made in Australia.

Others are so fragile they’ve only been shown very rarely. The most signficant of these is The Rajah Quilt, made in 1841 by the female convicts transported to Australia aboard the HMS Rajah. It is the only known surviving quilt made during the voyage from London to Van Diemen’s Land. The necessary supplies were donated by The British Ladies Society for Promoting the Reformation of Female Prisoners. Founded in 1821 by the Quaker prison reform advocate Elizabeth Fry, the society distributed bibles, combs, sewing supplies for personal use and all the materials needed for a collaborative quilt — 100 needles, pins, white, black, red and blue cotton thread, black wool, 24 hanks of coloured thread, and two pounds of patchwork pieces — to female convicts, first at Newgate prison, and then to transportees.

Elizabeth Fry had a great impact on the way women sentenced to transportation were treated. She ensured they were taken to the ships in closed carriages so they wouldn’t be subject to the stone-throwing, filth projectiles and derision of the public. Loaded onto ships weeks before they sailed, the prisoners were horribly neglected. Fry and the ladies of the Society visited them every day, tending to their needs and giving them care packages that included the needlecraft supplies.

Fry thought patchwork in particular was ideal employment for women prisoners, because it taught them how to sew and, because it’s so complex and time-consuming, it gave them something to focus on during the long dreary hours of confinement. At the end, they’d have new skills and a beautiful result to show for their hard work. Patchwork converted the drudgery of a prison sentence, or a dangerous, unpleasant three-month ship voyage across the world, into productive time. It also had a meditative quality, an inward-looking contemplation which in Fry’s Quaker philosophy led to spiritual salvation.

The 180 female convicts on the Rajah were given patchwork materials by the Society and guidance in the person of Miss Keiza Hayter. Hayter was not a convict. She had worked with Fry at the Millbank Penitentiary, and Fry recommended her to Lady Jane Franklin to help found the Tasmanian Ladies’ Society for the Reformation of Female Prisoners. Yes, that Lady Jane Franklin. John Franklin was lieutenant-governor of Van Diemen’s Land when the Rajah unloaded its women convicts and their quilt, and Lady Franklin was in regular contact with Elizabeth Fry. It was Fry who inspired her prison reform efforts in Tasmania, a colony largely populated with current and former convicts, although Jane did not share Fry’s focus on rehabilitation. Lady Franklin believed hard labour, long stretches of solitary confinement and shaving female prisoners’ heads were more effective means to instill “corrective discipline” than contemplation and job training.

Keiza Hayter’s mission on the Rajah was to instill useful values and skills in the transportees. Part of that was the improvement of their minds and characters through needlework. Experts believe Hayter oversaw the design of the quilt. It has a central square of Broderie Perse (appliquéd chintz that resembles Persian embroidery) from which twelve frames radiate forming a medallion quilt. Florals and birds decorate the center and frames. Experts believe at least 29 of the transportees worked on the quilt. The passenger manifest lists 15 women whose professions were tailoring/needlework, but there’s evidence on the quilt itself that novices worked on it as well. Small bloodstains were probably left by less experienced women when they stuck themselves with needles.

A silk yarn inscription expresses the convicts’ proper sentiments of gratitude and industriousness.

of the
Convict ship committee.
This quilt worked by the Convicts
of the ship Rajah during their voyage
to van Diemans Land is presented as a
testimony to the gratitude with which
they remember their exertions for their
welfare while in England and during
their passage and also as proof that
they have not neglected the Ladies
kind admonition of being industrious.

June 1841

The quilt is now in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Australia. It has survived in remarkable condition, all told, but it is very fragile and light-sensitive so for conservation’s sake, it is only displayed once a year.

That’s just scratching the surface of the beautiful works on view at this exhibition which opens today and runs through November 16th. Because the museum was kind enough to supply outstanding photographs of many stand-out pieces and because I know there are many needlework afficionados reading this, here’s a generous complement of quilt porn to take you into the weekend. And not just quilts either. The Press Dress, an unbelievable ball gown worn by Mrs. William W. Dobbs to the the Mayor of Melbourne’s fancy dress ball in 1866, was made of silk satin printed with pages of 14 different Melbourne newspapers, including The Age, The Australasian, Herald and Punch. I love the table cover made from cigar silk, too. Oh! And the Westbury Sampler quilt! It’s all deadly.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History


East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-07-22 05:58

The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.

An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.

The following results are from the April 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings. These results include the last batch of submissions from Pennsic 2015, as well as the new badges and Order names for the awards created by King Brennan II and Queen Caoilfhionn II.

EAST acceptances

Alana Snowe. Reblazon of device. Gyronny sable and Or, a New World dogwood blossom and an orle azure.

Registered in October of 2014 as Gyronny sable and Or, a dogwood blossom and an orle azure, the default dogwood has been declared to be the European version.

Alexandre Saint Pierre. Device change. Quarterly vert and sable, in saltire a key Or and a key argent.

The question was raised of whether the association of the byname Saint Pierre with the crossed keys should be considered presumptuous. It is not. It should more likely be understood as a cant.

The submitter’s old device, Quarterly vert and sable, a swept-hilt rapier bendwise proper between two roses argent barbed and seeded proper, is retained as a badge.

Alexandria Guyon de Champagne. Name and device. Argent, two fish haurient embowed respectant azure, maintaining between their tails a roundel sable, between three fleurs-de-lys azure.

Submitted as Alexandrea Guyon de Champange, the name was changed in kingdom to Alexandrea Guyon de Champagne to correct the spelling of the second byname to the submitter’s preferred form. The given name Alexandrea was crossed out on the form and Alexandria typed in its place. However, the spelling of this element was not changed in the Letter of Intent.

No evidence was found to support the submitted spelling of the given name. We have changed the given name to Alexandria, which was documented in the Letter of Intent as a German given name from 1560. It is also a 16th-17th century English given name used by both men and women, found in the FamilySearch Historical Records.

This name combines a German or English given name and a French double byname. This is an acceptable lingual mix under Appendix C of SENA.

An Dubhaigeainn, Barony. Order name Order of Drakes Spur.

An Dubhaigeainn, Barony. Order name Order of Perseverance and badge. (Fieldless) A duck’s foot affronty argent.

An Dubhaigeainn, Barony. Badge for Order of Sylvanus. (Fieldless) In saltire a shepherd’s crook and a feather argent.

Antonius Blandus. Name and device. Argent, three lozenges gules and a chief triangular vert.

Arron Guyon de Champagne. Name and device. Argent, an eagle with its head facing to sinister azure sustaining an arrow fesswise sable all between three fleurs-de-lys azure.

Submitted as Arron Guyon de Champang, the second byname was spelled de Champange in the Letter of Intent. A timely correction to the Letter of Intent noted that the submitter wanted the spellingChampagne. We have made this change to register this name.

This name combines a Dutch or Flemish given name with two French bynames. This is an acceptable lingual mix under Appendix C of SENA.

Cecily of Elfhollow. Reblazon of device. Per fess azure and vert, a fess wavy Or between a portative organ and a New World dogwood blossom argent seeded vert.

Registered in April of 1989 as Per fess azure and vert, a fess wavy Or between a portative organ and a dogwood blossom argent, seeded vert, the default dogwood has been declared to be the European version.

Christiana Crane. Badge for Fulton House. (Fieldless) In pale a martlet conjoined to three annulets interlaced in fess argent.

Culen mac Cianain. Badge. Sable, a boar statant contourny and a bordure embattled argent.

Please advise the submitter to draw the embattlements deeper.

East, Kingdom of the. Order name Order of Apollos Arrow and badge. (Fieldless) On a sun argent an arrow azure.

East, Kingdom of the. Order name Order of the Silver Brooch and badge. (Fieldless) A closed brooch argent.

This badge does not conflict with the badge of Morgan Catriona Bruce, (Fieldless) An open penannular brooch bendwise argent or the badge of David MacColin, Sable, an open penannular brooch, pin to base, argent. In each case, there is a DC for fieldlessness and another DC for orientation. We decline at this time to decide whether there is a DC between the types of brooches.

Nice badge!

East, Kingdom of the. Badge for Order of the Silver Brooch. Per pale argent and azure, a closed brooch counterchanged.

Nice badge!

East, Kingdom of the. Order name Order of the Silver Tyger and badge. Azure, a tyger rampant and an orle argent.

The submitter has permission to conflict with the device of Þórý Veðardóttir: Azure, a winged ounce segreant within an orle argent.

East, Kingdom of the. Order name Order of the Silver Wheel and badge. (Fieldless) A cartwheel argent.

The submitter has permission to conflict with the badge of Serena Lascelles: (Fieldless) A Catherine’s wheel argent and the device of Raichbhe Walkman, Per bend sinister gules and purpure, a cartwheel argent.

Nice badge!

East, Kingdom of the. Acceptance of transfer of badge from Jadwiga Zajaczkowa for East Kingdom Herbalist’s Guild. (Fieldless) On a mortar and pestle Or a sage leaf bendwise sinister vert.

East Kingdom Herbalist’s Guild is a generic identifier.

Edwyn Le Clerc. Name.

Fiona MacNeill. Reblazon of device. Purpure, on a chevron between three drop-spindles Or three New World dogwood flowers gules seeded Or barbed vert.

Registered in February of 1989 as Purpure, on a chevron between three threaded drop spindles Or, three dogwood flowers gules, seeded Or, leaved vert, the default dogwood has been declared to be the European version.

Gyða Úlfsdóttir. Name.

Havre de Glace, Barony of. Heraldic title Nef Poursivant.

Submitted as Poursuivant de la Nef, the pattern of [rank] of the [charge] was not documented in the Letter of Intent or by commenters.

Juliana de Luna’s article “Heraldic Titles from the Middle Ages and Renaissance” (http://medievalscotland.org/jes/HeraldicTitles/) provides several examples of French titles named for charges, such asOliffantEspy, and Sanglier. Another source is Michael Jones, “Vers une prosopographie des hérauts bretons médiévaux : une enquête à poursuivre” [In: Comptes rendus des séances de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, 2001;145(3):1399-1426; http://www.persee.fr/doc/crai_0065-0536_2001_num_145_3_16352%5D.

These sources rarely show how the French heralds were titled or addressed in full in the primary sources, and usually provide only the substantive elements. Some examples include Monffort le Herault,Guingamp le poursuivantDinan poursivant, and Orlyans poursuivant et herault de mons, named after places, and Espy heraud de Bretaigne and Fuzil, porsuivant d’armes de mondit seigneur, named after charges. Therefore, we have changed this title to Nef Poursivant to more closely match the attested patterns.

Hedda Bonesetter. Name.

Helen Attebroke. Name and device. Per chevron vert and argent, two pairs of barnacles and a harp counterchanged.

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa. Transfer of badge to East, Kingdom of the. (Fieldless) On a mortar and pestle Or a sage leaf bendwise sinister vert.

Juliota de Castelnau d’Arri. Name and device. Quarterly vert and ermine, on a key cross Or a cross clechy purpure.

Submitted as Juliota de Castèlnòu d’Arri, the name was changed to Juliota de Castelnau d’Arri to match the documentation that could be found.

Juliota was documented in the Letter of Intent as a possible, but less likely, diminutive form of Julia or Juliana from the Occitan region, citing an Academy of Saint Gabriel report, but no dated instances of this form were included in the documentation. Juliota is found as a Latinized form dated to 1353 in Documents inédits pour servir à l’histoire du Maine au XIVe siècle(https://books.google.com/books?id=IXhAAQAAMAAJ). It is also dated to 1318 in Mémoires de la Société des antiquaires de Normandie(http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k2000762/f332.image.r=Juliota).

The submitter requested authenticity for “Southern France, 14th-15th century”. The given name was firmly dated to northern France in the 14th century. The byname was dated to the early 17th century in the Letter of Intent, citing a French book published in Geneva. As neither element was documented in an Occitan source and the byname could not be documented earlier than 1618, this name does not meet the submitter’s request for authenticity, but it is registerable.

Kathryn of Pinkie Cleugh. Name and device. Sable, a panther rampant gardant Or spotted purpure and on a chief Or a furison sable between two thistles proper.

Pinkie Cleugh is a lingua Anglica form of the site of a battle in Scotland in 1547, but both elements use 16th or 17th century Scots spellings. Pinkie and Pinky are found in The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 (RPS) (http://www.rps.ac.uk/mss/1641/8/455), dated to 1641, and in ‘Supplementary extracts: 1580’, in Extracts From the Records of the Burgh of Edinburgh, 1573-1589 (British History Online http://www.british-history.ac.uk/edinburgh-burgh-records/1573-89/pp547-556), respectively. A cleugh is a glen or valley. This spelling is found as a deuterotheme (as part of the place name Bugcleugh) in RPS, dated to 1625 (http://www.rps.ac.uk/mss/A1625/10/1). The spelling cleughe appears as a deuterotheme (as part of the place name Merche Cleughe) in ‘Henry VIII: September 1545, 26-30’, in Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 20 Part 2, August-December 1545 (http://www.british-history.ac.uk/letters-papers-hen8/vol20/no2/pp195-233).

Magnús Surtsson. Device. Vert, three triangles inverted conjoined two and one between three stag’s attires each in annulo and conjoined to itself Or.

Mikulaj von Meissen. Badge. (Fieldless) On a tankard argent foaming Or a mallet sable.

Miriam Giant Killer. Device. Per fess vert and argent, in pale a sun Or charged with a sword azure and a pomegranate slipped and leaved gules seeded Or.

Rennata von Landstuhl. Reblazon of device. Quarterly purpure and vert, a fret couped argent and an orle of New World dogwood blossoms argent seeded Or.

Registered in October of 2014 Quarterly purpure and vert, a fret couped argent and an orle of dogwood blossoms argent seeded Or, the default dogwood has been declared to be the European version.

Sewolt Belßner. Badge. (Fieldless) A coney sejant sable maintaining beneath its foreleg an annulet Or.

Shannon inghean Bhriain uí Dhuilleáin. Badge. Argent, an escallop azure within a chaplet of ivy vert.

Sofya Gianetta di Trieste. Name.

This name combines a Hungarian given name and an Italian given name and locative byname. This is an acceptable lingual mix under Appendix C of SENA.

Sylvana Dagfinsdottir. Reblazon of device. Vert, in bend sinister three New World dogwood blossoms argent seeded sable between two scarpes Or.

Registered in July of 1980 Vert, on a bend sinister vert fimbriated Or three dogwood blossoms proper. [Cornus florida], the default dogwood has been declared to be the European version. Additionally, an ordinary may not be of the same tincture as the field, even when fimbriated.

Syszczyna z Pieszczatki. Name and device. Per pale Or and purpure, perched atop a key fesswise counterchanged a crow sable.

Submitted as Syszczyna z Piszczatka, the name was changed in kingdom to Syszczyna z Pieszczatky to try to change the locative to the genitive form. However, no documentation was provided to show that this was a plausible genitive form in Polish.

The apparent genitive form Pieszczatki is found in Sumptibus Societatis Scientiarum Wratislaviensis, Prace Wroc{l/}awskiego Towarzystwa Naukowego (https://books.google.com/books?id=iSpDAQAAIAAJ), possibly dated to 1530. Therefore, we have changed the byname to z Pieszczatki to register this name.

Temyl von Zweibrucken. Name and device. Per pall inverted sable, Or, and vairy Or and sable, in chief a mask of comedy counterchanged.

The Letter of Intent included documentation of the form Zweibruckn in a 1635 map. In addition, Noir Licorne documented the spelling Zweibrücken during the Pelican decision meeting, dated to 1616. The latter instance is found in Erzehlung welcher gestalt nach Absterben des … Herren Ruprechts römischen Königs … (dessen) Erblandt under dero Söhn vertheilt by Jacob-Ludwig Beuther (https://books.google.com/books?id=RURRAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA17). Therefore, we are able to register this name.

Tiberius Sergius Valens. Name (see RETURNS for device).

William of Wyndhaven. Device. Vert, a bar gemel Or between an aeolus and a seahorse argent.

Ynés Balam. Name and device. Or, a panther salient contourny sable spotted argent and incensed gules, a bordure gules estoilly Or.

Both elements are found in Cozumel, Mexico, dated to 1570, making this an excellent 16th century Spanish name!

EAST returns

Gillian de Whittemere. Device change. Argent, a blackbird rising and a fox rampant contourny tenné marked argent, on a chief triangular azure a rose argent.

This device is returned administratively for using an altered form. The shape of the shield is significantly different from the shape defined on the Laurel-approved form.

On resubmission the submitter should be made aware that the fox here is not proper, as blazoned on the Letter of Intent, which would have the socks sable and only the tip of the tail argent. As depicted here, it is returnable for contrast issues.

Tiberius Sergius Valens. Device. Sable, on a flame Or a death’s head gules.

This device is returned for redraw, for violating SENA A2C2 which states “Elements must be drawn to be identifiable.” The flame here is not recognizable as such.

Additionally, it appears to be tenné rather than Or which is, by precedent, independently grounds for return.

Filed under: Announcements, Heraldry, Official Notices

Indigenous, colonial interaction writ on Caribbean cave walls

History Blog - Thu, 2016-07-21 04:16

A team of British and Puerto Rican archaeologists have discovered a collection of early colonial inscriptions alongside earlier indigenous iconography on the walls of a cave on the Caribbean island of Mona. It’s a unique document of the interaction between indigenous and European culture and at the time of their earliest interactions.

Columbus first encountered Mona, a small island between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, on his second voyage in 1494. Its location within a day’s canoe trip of the larger islands ensured the indios of Mona were well-connected to interregional trade networks, and when the Spanish arrived, the island found itself on one of the main Atlantic routes to and from the Indies. The indigenous population sold supplies to the ships — cassava bread, water — and produced consumer goods like cotton shirts and hammocks to the first settlers. Thus the people of Mona were involved with Europeans from the beginning, modifying their own behaviors and traditions in response to first contact and colonization, and in turn having an impact on the Spanish as they and their children began to forge a new American identity.

The archaeology of Mona reflects this cultural blending process. European glass beads, storage jars, ceramics, coins and the remains of livestock from 1493 through 1590 have been found on the island mixed with indigenous artifacts — ceramics, tools — and equipment for the processing of food. The vast cave networks dotting the Isle of Mona display the same mixing of cultures in the form of art and inscriptions on the walls and ceilings.

Mona is practically more cave than anything else. Sheer limestone cliffs line the shores, peppered with more than 200 cave systems. Because the surface of the island is thick with plant life, the cool, rocky caves became a sort of subway system where the locals could travel to other points without having to hack their way through dense vegetation. The caves were also the island’s sole source of fresh water. Clear indications of indigenous usage has been found in 30 of the 70 cave systems on the island that have been studied by archaeologists since 2013.

The caves of Mona have the greatest variety of surviving indigenous iconography in the Caribbean. Symbols including geometric shapes, swirling meanders, anthropomorphic and anthrozoomorphic figures have been found on the walls and ceilings of cave chambers. The inscribed caves are hard to get to, their entrances small, person-sized holes high up on the cliff face, and the indigenous artwork only appears in the deep dark inside the caves, far from the light of the entrance. These were likely deliberate choices, as caves and the iconography held religious significance. The Europeans followed, perhaps literally, in indigenous footsteps to add their own religious spin to the sacred spaces of Mona.

In Cave 18, archaeologists found 250 indigenous works on the walls and ceilings 10 chambers and tunnels. The soft, swirling motifs were made by “finger-fluting,” ie, dragging one or more fingers through the mineral and organic deposits on the surfaces, and have been radiocarbon dated to the 14th and 15th century. More than 30 inscriptions in Spanish and Latin followed, applied to the same areas. They include proper names, dates and Christian symbols like crosses and the IHS Christogram.

Unlike the locals who climbed and crouched to apply their artwork to a variety of locations, the Europeans added their stuff where they stood, at about 1.8 meters — average height for Europeans at that time — above the floor. Also unlike the locals, they carved their inscriptions with edged tools into the limestone.

Three inscribed phrases are present in chambers H and K: ‘Plura fecit deus’, ‘dios te perdone’ and ‘verbum caro factum est (bernardo)’. Palaeographic analysis of letter forms, the use of abbreviation and writing conventions place these in the sixteenth century…. ‘Plura fecit deus’, or ‘God made many things’, is the first inscription encountered after entering chamber H. There is no obvious contemporary textual source; the commentary appears to be a spontaneous response to whatever the visitor experienced in the cave. There is a strong spatial inference that ‘things’ is a reference to the extensive indigenous iconography present. The phrase may express the theological crisis of the New World discovery, throwing the personal human experience and reaction into sharp relief. [...]

Particularly striking are two depictions of Calvary. The first consists of three crosses, the central one with the Latin inscription ‘Iesus’ (Jesus) set at a height of over 3m in chamber G…. Stylistically, all three are barred cross-on-base motifs, in use in the sixteenth century; similar examples are found from contemporary contexts in Europe and South America…. A second Calvary panel is made up of two crosses, one of which is a barred cross-on-base, the other a simple two-stroke Latin cross. These flank a pre-existing indigenous anthropomorphic figure. This triptych has clear compositional parallels with representations of Calvary in which the central figure is strikingly cast as an indigenous Jesus.

There are 17 more crosses in the cave, from simple downstroke-and-crosstroke Latin crosses to more complex Potent and Calvary crosses. Some are finger-drawn, probably by converted indios. Many of them were made near and above pre-existing indigenous iconography.

We know it wasn’t indigenous converts doing the carving because several of the Spanish artists did us the courtesy of leaving their Kilroy Wuz Here. From the mid-16th century, Myguel Rypoll, Alonso Pérez Roldan el Mozo and Alonso de Contreras signed the wall. The above-mentioned Bernardo signed off on his “verbum caro factum est” line, and one Capitán Francisco Alegre, a royal official in Puerto Rico in the mid-16th century, signed his name. It’s actually quite impressive considering he was carving it in the wall how similar it is to his actual signature on a page.

[Dr. Alice Samson from the University of Leicester School of Archaeology and Ancient History] said the marks were made by some of the earliest colonisers to arrive in the Americas. These colonisers would have been taken to the caves, places considered particularly sacred, and were responding with respect to what they saw, engaging in a religious dialogue.

“We have this idea of when the first Europeans came to the New World of them imposing a very rigid Christianity. We know a lot about the inquisition in Mexico and Peru and the burning of libraries and the persecution of indigenous religions.

“What we are seeing in this Caribbean cave is something different. This is not zealous missionaries coming with their burning crosses, they are people engaging with a new spiritual realm and we get individual responses in the cave and it is not automatically erasure, it is engagement.”

You can read the full paper published in the journal Antiquity free of charge here.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Update of Preliminary Details: King’s & Queen’s Arts & Sciences Competition Format 2017

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2016-07-20 23:31

From the King’s and Queen’s Arts & Sciences Champions, Greetings- Based on questions and feedback we have made updates to the preliminary competition format details for the K&Q’s A&S competition. Updates include a draft general judging rubric, information on research paper entries, and links for documentation help. Also included are drafts of competitor and judging agreements. Please note that this is an update to the competition format only, we do not have information about the date and location of the competition.

Link to Preliminary Competition Guidelines Document

-Mistress Elysabeth Underhill (Lissa), Queen’s champion

-Master Magnus Hvalmagi, King’s Champion

If you have questions, please e-mail laralu@gmail.com

Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences, King and Queen's Champions

New Central Region Seneschal Appointed

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2016-07-20 23:17

I am pleased to announce the new Central Region Seneschal, Baroness Medhbh inghean Ui Cheallaigh. Please welcome her to her new position.

Mercedes Vera de Calafia, EK Seneschal
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: regional seneschal

Court Report: Pax Interruptus

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-07-20 20:01

Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron et Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of Their Majesties’ Royal Court at Pax Interruptus, 9 July, Anno Societatis LI, in the Barony of Thescorre, accompanied by Their Heirs, Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite, and Her Avian Excellency Sadira. As recorded by Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with the assistance of the Honorable Lady Gytha Oggesdottir, silent herald, and the Honorable Lady Solveig Throndardottir, Keystone Herald.

In the morning, Their Majesties received Sir Murdoch Bayne. Upon confirming that it was indeed his wish to proceed, They brought forward Their Order of the Pelican to conduct him to the place of his Vigil, where he could entertain counsel from any and all who wished to see him throughout the day. Court was suspended.

Court resumed in the afternoon. Their Majesties asked the children forward and invited them to amuse themselves with activities provided by Khalekin Erbekei.

Their Majesties gave leave to Her Excellency Sadira to conduct the business of her Court.

Baroness Sadira’s court. Photo by Arianna of Wynthrope.

Next did Their Majesties invite Her Grace, Rowan de la Garnison, to receive Their decree that Ewa of Coppertree be raised to the nobility and Awarded Arms. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

Lady Ewa’s AoA scroll. Photo by Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful.

Their Majesties called Ragna Feilan before them, and praised her cooking and research, as well as her dedication to her Barony and the thrown weapons ranges. In recognition of her efforts, They Awarded her Arms. Scroll by Lady Felice de Thornton.

Their Majesties then summoned Kalishka Peredslava into Their presence. Mindful of this gentle’s skill as a glass-blower and the impressive creations of her hand, They were moved to Award her Arms. Scroll by THL Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne and Baroness Daedez of the Moritu.

Their Majesties next brought before them Quentin Lawless. Well pleased were Their Majesties to encounter this individual, for They had attempted once before to reward him for his service and dedication to the fencing field. So impressed were They by both Their own experience of his skill with the blade, and the report of others, that They deemed it proper to name him a Companion of the Golden Alce, and thereby to Award him Arms. Scroll by Mistress Maria Cristina de Cordoba.

Next did Their Majesties invite the Honorable Lord Juan Miguel Cezar to address the populace. His Lordship announced that one of Their Majesties’ subjects had attained the rank of Master Bowman. Thus was Lord Alrekr Bergsson brought forward to receive the token and badge of this estate. Before releasing Lord Alrekr, Their Majesties did proclaim it right that he take with him further recognition of his achievement, and named him a Companion of the Order of the Golden Alce. Two scrolls were presented: the first illuminated by Ana Ianka Lisitsina with calligraphy and wording by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova; the second by THL Eleanor Godwin.

Their Majesties desired next to speak with the Honorable Lady Zofia Kowaleska. Well pleased were Their Majesties with report and direct experience of this lady’s cooking, scribal efforts, and other accomplishments, and They did affirm that others, also, have been impressed with her works. As an outward symbol of Their regard, They did call for the Order of the Fleur D’Æthelmearc to convene and witness as They named her a Companion of that Order. Scroll calligraphed by Mistress Antoinette de la Croix, on wording by Mistress Gillian Llewellyn, with gilding and paint by Shirin of Susa.

Lady Zofia receives a Fleur. Photo by Baron Steffan

While the Order was assembled, Their Majesties bestowed upon THL Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne the scroll that had been absent when she was inducted into the Order of the Fleur D’Æthelmearc (illumination by Lady Felice de Thornton; calligraphy by Master Jon Blaecstan). However, before allowing her to depart, They noted with pleasure all her other service, in addition to creating works of scribal art: autocratting, cooking, and service to her Barony and her Kingdom. For all this, They were minded to invite forward Their Order of the Millrind, so that They might name her also its Companion. Scroll by Lady Abigail Kelhoge.

Their Majesties next requested the presence of The Honorable Lord Cynwulf Rendell. Mindful of his long and meritorious conduct and skill on the archery range, Their Majesties invited before Them the Order of the Scarlet Guard, and named him one of its Companions, presenting him with the medallion and tassel provided by THL Juan Miguel Cezar. Scroll by Baron Caleb Reynolds.

Then Their Majesties invited Sir Murdoch Bayne to present himself and give answer whether he would join the Most Noble Order of the Pelican. Upon his affirmation, the Order came before the throne. Earl Yngvar and Countess Caryl offered their endorsement as Royal Peers. Her Excellency faced a rare moment of speechlessness, finally reiterating again that, as she said at his knighting, to call herself his peer would require much more work on her part. Words from Duke Christopher Rawlyns were conveyed by Kómes tou stáblou Magnus Tindal, who added his own ringing attestation to Sir Murdoch’s unfailing Chivalry. Duke Christopher named him the epitome of the knightly virtues, while Duke Tindal noted that spurs, used well, can bring out the best of a steed, and so Murdoch brings out the best in those around him. Baroness Ekaterina Volkova, while not herself a Companion of the Laurel, was asked to convey the words of Sir Aengus MacBain on behalf of that Order, including a memory of seeing Murdoch after a significant weight loss, and thinking that it must have been difficult, since he is such a good cook. Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, as a representative of the Order of Defense. spoke of the generosity required by those who make the Society possible for others, especially scribes, who give their work away, and cooks, who spend their day in the kitchen, away from the pleasures and pastimes of our activities. Her Grace noted that Sir Murdoch is in both of  these communities, and that it speaks to his generosity of spirit. Dame Kateryna ty Isaf told of first meeting Sir Murdoch in Endless Hills, where he was sweeping floors at the end of an event, and her next meetng was at the first Crown Tournament of Æthelmearc, where he was hard at work in the kitchen making pies. In the more than fifteen years of her acquaintance with him, she said, she has always held him up as an example of all that a Peer should be. Moved by the testimony of these Noble Worthies, Their Majesties bid that Sir Murdoch receive the ancestral medallion of the Pelicans. Countess Caryl also presented him with her own Pelican medallion to keep once the other must be passed on, and with a hood adorned with the badge of the Order, as a further symbol of his estate. Sir Murdoch chose to offer a second Oath, one that emphasized his commitment to serve others, to serve the Crown, and to encourage others in their service. Thereupon was he named a Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Pelican. Promissory scroll text by Sir Aengus MacBain and Maistresse Yviane de Castel D’Avignon.

Sir Murdoch is elevated to the Order of the Pelican. Photo by Arianna.

Before releasing Sir Murdoch to his new Order, Their Majesties recalled His Lordship, Juan Miguel Cezar. Taking good note of his dedicated and tireless service to the archery community, They commanded His Lordship to sit vigil at St. Swithin’s Bog’s 3-day event, there to contemplate his elevation into the Order of the Pelican. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.

THL Juan Miguel Cezar receives a Writ for a Pelican. Photo by Arianna.

Her Majesty then asked Lord Corwin Alexander Templeton to come forward and be recognized as Her inspiration for the day. Her Majesty spoke of his creative targets for the days’ ranges and gave him Her token in appreciation for his efforts to provide an entertaining and challenging range.

Lord Corwin is recognized as the Queen’s inspiration. Photo by Arianna.

Their Majesties recognized all those scribes who contributed scrolls, medallions, and regalia for the day’s honorees. They further thanked all the staff who had worked to make the event enjoyable and successful.

There being no further business, the Coram Regibus was closed.

Faithfully Submitted,

Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres
Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald

Categories: SCA news sites

Royal Thanks for Bog Three-Day

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-07-20 07:36

Good Gentles of Fair Æthelmearc!

The Barony of St. Swithin’s Bog created a truly marvelous event last Saturday, set off by sublime weather and attendance over expectations.  Thank you to those who set up a tent for Ourselves and one for Their Royal Highnesses, filled with an initial spread  that would make any caterer proud, ready for use by 9am.

Thanks to Master Don Lodovic, set upon Vigil for Master of Defense, who then continued heading the kitchen that produced such a delicious lunch and feast!  Thank you to THL Ursula of Rouen and her staff for running the event with courtesy and efficiency, allowing Us to fit three courts  and many other activities into the day.

We saw gentles enjoying the  Iron Scribe competition, large fencing tourneys and pick ups, thrown Weapons, and three vigils.  Thanks to  Duke Duncan Von Halstern for running Our Heavy Weapons Championship where the chivalry of Æthelmearc fighters brought pride and satisfaction to Our hearts.  Thanks to the MOLs, Baroness Soteria and others, for completing the tournament in just an hour and a half, despite having at least 25 entrants, and continuing on to Æthelmearc 500 the rest of the day.

It was a pleasure to have  the support of Their Excellencies, Iago and Emilia, and Their Highnesses, Marcus and Margerite. Thanks to the many gentles who came and delighted in the Dream together!  We look forward to seeing many more  great deeds and the warm hospitality of this awesome Kingdom at Pennsic War.

Yours In Service to the Dream.

Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina

Categories: SCA news sites

Oldest papyri from oldest port go on display

History Blog - Wed, 2016-07-20 04:39

Dating to around 2600 B.C., the harbor at Wadi al-Jarf on the Red Sea in Egypt is the oldest port complex ever discovered in the world. It was built during the reign of the Pharaoh Snefru (ca. 2620–2580 B.C.), the founder of the 4th Dynasty, and was primarily used for boat travel to the Egypt’s main copper and turquoise mines on the Sinai Peninsula. An L-shaped pier extended east from the shore into the water for 160 meters (525 feet) before turning southeast for 120 meters (394 feet). Its remains are still clearly visible at low tide. The pier created a breakwater and large sheltered area where ships could be moored. This was confirmed when a group of at least 22 limestone ship anchors were found south of the east branch of the pier.

Carved into limestone hills next to a water spring, archaeologists found a warehouse system of 30 storage galleries, the largest of which are more than 100 feet long. They average about 10 feet wide and eight feet high. The galleries were used to store boat parts, shipping materials and food and water supplies for the seafaring voyages. They were also used to make repairs on ships. There are pottery kilns nearby and large quantities of pottery believed to have been used as a water containers have been found in the galleries.

In 2013, archaeologists discovered hundreds of papyrus fragments, some of them more than two feet long. The papyri had been deposited in front of galleries G1 and G2 where large blocking stones were placed to close off the entrance to the galleries. Written in hieratic (simplified hieroglyphics used by priests and scribes), several of the papyri were dated to the end of the reign of the Pharaoh Khufu (ca. 2580–2550 B.C.). One of the documents was very specific, noting it was written the year after the 13th cattle count of Khufu’s reign. The cattle count was done every other year, so the year after the 13th cattle count was the 27th year, which according to our current best information was the last year of his reign. The precise dating identifies this papyrus as the oldest ever discovered in Egypt.

There are two types of documents in the papyrus group: accounts organized in tables anyone who has ever worked in Excel will immediately recognize, and the logbook of a Memphis official named Merer. The accounting tables record deliveries of food from areas elsewhere in Egypt including the Nile Delta. Revenue is recorded in red; outlay in black. Merer’s archive recorded the daily activities of his team of around 200 men, and as archaeological luck would have it, most of the surviving papyri don’t cover the minutiae of their operations at Wadi al-Jarf, but rather their work relating to the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. There are descriptions of quarrying the limestone, the transportation over the Nile and canals of massive blocks of stone from the quarries of Tura to the “Horizon of Khufu,” meaning the Giza construction site. These limestone blocks were probably used for the outer layer of the Great Pyramid, now lost, but which would have glowed white in the Egyptian sun.

Merer’s logbook was found in the same archaeological context as the 13th cattle count document. It confirms that in Khufu’s last regnal year, the pyramid was in the final stage of construction. It also identifies the role of a major player, the pharaoh’s half-brother Ankh-haf who as “chief for all the works of the king” was in charge of this last phase of the Great Pyramid’s construction.

A selection of the papyri, including the 13th cattle count document, the largest pieces of Merer’s journal and the accounting spreadsheets have gone on display for the first time at Cairo’s Egyptian Museum. It will be a lightning quick exhibition, unfortunately, so unless you’re in Egypt right now or plan to be there in the next week or so, you’ll miss it. It opened on July 14th and closes on July 29th.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History