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Second Annual Arts & Sciences Faire

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-04-11 22:32

Unto the gentle folk of Æthelmearc, Good Greetings!

Now that the Ice Dragon has passed us by, as we prepare for the Coronation of Timothy & Gabrielle, and as Spring is upon us, it is time for the 2nd Annual Æthelmearc Arts & Sciences Faire!

This celebration of the Arts & Sciences will be held on 6 May in the Shire of Nithgaard. It will feature a large are for artisans of all levels to display their work and to share in their knowledge.

This year will also see the 2nd Annual Queens Prize Tourney. While there are no scores and no winner, the Tourney does give the lesser-known and recognized artisans of Æthelmearc an opportunity to display their work and to have face-to-face advice from the Fleurs and Laurels. It is a low-pressure opportunity to experience the face-to-face judging that is used in Kingdom A&S Championship held in the Fall.

We hope that many artisans will avail themselves of this opportunity to learn and teach.

Details on the Faire and The Queens Prize Tourney can be found here. There you will find the event announcement, an FAQ sheets, and registration forms for the QPT.

Of course, there will be also be an opportunity for fencers and fighters to have some fun outside of the hall.

We hope to see many of you at the Faire!

In service,
Fridrikr & Orianna, KMOAS


Categories: SCA news sites

Porter mandatory step down

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-04-11 11:03

Unto the people of the East from Alayne, EK Porter,warm greetings!

As my term serving our glorious Kingdom in the capacity of Porter draws to a close, I would like to thank everyone for the opportunity I have had to be able to make the East a wonderful example of inclusiveness and accessibility.

Northern Region War Camp in Glenn Linn will mark the terminus of my service in this particular aspect, as the Porters serve under the auspices of the Seneschalate, with a limit of two consecutive terms.

At this time I would like to thank all those good gentles who have acted as my Deputies, the fine Web Ministers who have helped us create and maintain a site of resources:

http://accessibility.eastkingdom.org/

Thank you also to all the fine Event Stewards who allowed me space for Accessibility Hours, and thank you to the people who attended these workshops.

I encourage anyone seeking a positive and proactive way of serving the East to consider putting in for this Office or working for the Office of the Porter in other ways.  During my tenure I have met amazing individuals, both in and out of the Kingdom.  Positive changes have occurred and will no doubt continue to occur because of the East Kingdom’s continuing commitment to courtesy and  accessibility.

Again, I thank you for this time in office and look forward to serving the East in other ways in the future.

Your humble servant,

Alayne

Alayne Alexandra Nyvern Nightwatcher, OP


Filed under: Tidings Tagged: accessibility, porter, service

Look at Idrimi’s statue and receive his blessing

History Blog - Mon, 2017-04-10 23:31

One of the gems in the British Museum is the statue of Idrimi, King of Alalakh, an ancient city-state in what is now Turkey, in the 15th century B.C. Destroyed in 1200 B.C., probably by the Sea People, Alalakh was never rebuilt. The remains of the city are today the archaeological site of Tell Atchana, which was first excavated by famed archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley in the 1930s. The statue of Idrimi was unearthed by Woolley in the remains of a temple during the 1939 dig season.

Woolley described the find in a dispatch on May 21st, 1939:

“A rubbish-pit at the temple gave us great surprise. From it there came a white stone statue just over a metre high of a Hittite king, a seated figure; the head and feet were broken off but except for part of the foot the statue is complete and in wonderfully good condition and even the nose is only just chipped. The figure is covered literally from head to foot with cuneiform inscription which begins on one cheek, runs across the front and one side of the body and ends at the bottom of the skirt, rather more than fifty lines of text. Nothing like that has been found before.”

Nothing like that has been found since. The Akkadian language inscription (pdf of translation here) is a detailed autobiography of Idrimi’s life and military conquests. Its chronology of monarchs, wars and population shifts remains to this day the primary source for the history of the Levant in the 15th century B.C. According to the inscription, Idrimi was born in Halab, modern-day Aleppo, Syria, part of the kingdom of Yamhad, the youngest of seven sons of a prince. Driven out of Aleppo by an unspecified “outrage,” Idrimi and his family fled to Emar where their maternal aunts lived, but Idrimi couldn’t tolerate going from prince to the poor relation; so he took his groom and chariot and joined up with groups of nomads in Canaan who recognized his noble lineage and acknowledged him as their ruler. This is the first known written reference to the Land of Canaan.

After seven years of vicissitudes and sacrifices to the god Teshub, Idrimi finally reclaimed his ancestral heritage and became king of Alalakh. Many conquests, much booty and the construction of great palaces and temple followed. Alalakh prospered for 30 years under Idrimi’s rule. At the bottom of the inscription, Idrimi threatened dire consequences to anyone who would seek to erase this record of his achievements or claim it as their own.

He who removes this my statue, , may the sky curse him, may his seed be closed in the underworld, may the Gods of sky and earth divide his kingdom and his country! He who always changes it, in any way whatever, may Teshub, the lord of the sky and the earth and the great gods in his land, destroy his name and his descendants!

There’s another coda to the inscription, this one anomalously carved into his cheek so it looks like the cuneiform version of a speech bubble.

Thirty years long I was king. I wrote my acts on my tablet. One may look at it and constantly think of my blessing!

That goal will now be fulfilled on a vastly greater scale than Idrimi could ever have imagined. The statue has been in the permanent collection of the British Museum since it was excavated. Its surface is so fragile that to preserve the inscription the statue is on display behind protective glass. Not even researchers are allowed to get behind the glass, which means the inscription has not been able to benefit from the latest scholarship on Akkadian cuneiform.

Scanning technology has stepped into the breach. For two days, Idrimi was liberated from his enclosure so experts from the Factum Foundation could 3D-scan the statue using close-range photogrammetry and white light scanning. With every minute detail of the surface captured, the data was used to generate a 3D model available online to anyone in the world who wants to examine the statue.

It is encased in glass because “dust contains moisture, which wears away the natural laminates in the stone”, [Curator for the Levant at the British Museum James] Fraser says. It is carved from magnesite — a soft, brittle stone that may have been chosen because it was easy to carve. The glass barrier also prevents close study of the text. Instead, scholars have had to rely on old photographs and transliterations of the text to aid their research. “The digital model will revolutionise access to the object,” he says. It will also act a great touchstone for conservators because it is an accurate representation of the object’s condition as of 2017.

James Fraser gives a brief tour of the inscription during the short time Idrimi was out of his enclosure for the scanning in this video:

And now for Idrimi in his full 3D scan glory. Get your ancient king’s blessing here!

Statue of Idrimi, king of Alalakh by The British Museum.

Incidentally, Idrimi is in excellent company on the British Museum’s Sketchfab page. There are 3D scans of ancient statuary from Egypt, Greece and Rome, a Bronze Age bracelet and two of the Lewis chessman (one king, one queen).

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Crown Tournament Competitors / Liste de participant du tournoi de la couronne du royaume de l’Est

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-04-10 19:40

En français
 
Their Majesties Ioannes and Honig have announced those gentles competing in Crown Tournament on May 6th in the Barony of Settmour Swamp.

Duke Ronald Wilmot fighting for Duchess Bronwyn Dawntreader
Duke Randal of the Dark fighting for Duchess Katherine Stanhope
Duke Achilles son Asia fighting for Shaunna
Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver fighting for Lady Gracia Vasquez de Trillo
Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrucke fighting for Mistress Vienna de la Mer
Sir Zhigmun Czypsser fighting for Bannthegn(Baroness) Aleyd Czypsser
Sir Sichelgaita von Halsstern fighting for Sir Harold Hakonson
Master Ryan Mac Whyte fighting for Mistress Kay Leigh Mac Whyte
Sir Culann mac Cianain fighting for Mistress Aneleda Falconbridge
Sir Cedric of Armorica fighting for Mistress Brid ni Sherlais
Master Ãvaldr Valbjarnarson fighting for Mistress Eva Woderose
Sir Pellandres, dit le frere fighting for Baroness Mari Clock van Hoorne
Sir Ivan Ivanov syn Dmitriev fighting for Baroness Matilde DeCaden
Master Dmitri Stephanovich aka Deacon de Chatillion fighting for Mistress Nadezhda Voronov
Sir William MacCrimmon fighting for Lady Susanna of Dragonship Haven
Master Sigurthr Vigurhafn fighting for Baroness Medhbh inghean Ui Cheallaigh
Baron Jonathan Miles fighting for Baroness Teresa Perez
Lord Donnan Fitzgerald fighting for Lady Aurelia Alfaiata d’Alcáçova
Baron Duncan Kerr fighting for Mistress Eleanor fitzPatrick
The Honorable Lord Richard Crowe fighting for Lady Ameria Browne
The Honorable Lord William RavenHair fighting for The Honorable Lady Albreda Aylese
The Honorable Lord Turi Mac Kinnon fighting for Baroness Marguerite de Sainte Nazaire
Baron Rory Maclellan fighting for Baroness Astridr Sigrun Ulfkelsdottir
Lord Ingvar Thorsteinsson called Critter fighting for Lady Hasanah bint al-Kalil ibn Habib
Baron Vachir Artslanjin fighting for Sarvuu Arslanjin
The Honorable Lord Gawyn O’Clery fighting for Maeve O’Clery
The Honorable Lord Klaus Winterhalter Von Wallachia fighting for Lady Anastasia Wolfe
The Honorable Lord Arne Ulriksson fighting for Lady Anna VonBaden
The Honorable Lord Galvyn Lockhart fighting for Lady Rhiannon of Ayres
Lord Dorian Kalogero fighting for Lady Aziza al Shirazyya
Lord Martin Wasser Speier fighting for Master Donovan Shinnock
Lord Berkhommer Von Nuemburg fighting for Lady Auriora de Bianco
Lord Brick James Beech fighting for Lady Nadia Hart
Lady Vasia von KÃenigsberg fighting for Lady Ãesa Sturludottir
Lord Patrick Lumhalghs fighting for Lady Melody
Lord Abel atte Watere fighting for Ãesa assa
Luthor Von Eisenfaust fighting for Lady Mabel Fortune
Onryo fighting for Esmeralda

En français Traduction par Madame Æsa of the Island

“Bon matin à l’Est
Nous sommes de retour de terres lointaines et nous avons apprécié l’hospitalité de nos voisins.

De retour à la maison et au travail

LISTE POUR COURONNE

Baron (of Settmour Swamp) Jonathan Miles se battant pour Baronne (of Settmour Swamp) Teresa Ana Perez
Duc Ronald Wilmot se battant pour Duchesse Bronwyn Dawntreader
Duc Randal of the Dark se battant pour Duchesse Katherine Stanhope
Duc Achilles son Asia se battant pour Shaunna
Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver se battant pour Madame Gracia Vasquez de Trillo
Sieur Wilhelm von Ostenbrucke se battant pour Maistresse Vienna de la Mer
Sieur Zhigmun Czypsser se battant pour Bannthegn (Baronesse) Aleyd Czypsser
Sieur Sichelgaita von Halsstern se battant pour Sieur Harold Hakonson
Maistre Ryan Mac Whyte se battant pour Maistresse Kay Leigh Mac Whyte
Sieur Culann mac Cianain se battant pour Maitresse Aneleda Falconbridge
Sieur Cedric of Armorica se battant pour Maitresse Brid nic Shéarlais
Maistre Ávaldr Valbjarnarson se battant pour Maitresse Eva Woderose
Sieur Pellandres, dit le frere se battant pour Baronne Mari Clock van Hoorne
Sieur Ivan Ivanov syn Dmitriev se battant pour Baronne Matilde de Cadenet
Sieur Harold Hakonson se battant pour Sieur Sichelgaita von Halsstern
Maistre Dmitri Stephanovich aka Deacon de Chatillion se battant pour Maitresse Nadezhda Voronova
Sieur William MacCrimmon se battant pour Madame Susanna of Dragonship Haven
Maistre Sigurthr Vigurhafn se battant pour Baronne Medhbh inghean Ui Cheallaigh
Seigneur Donnan Fitzgerald se battant pour Madame Aurelia Alfaiata d’Alcaçova
Baron Duncan Kerr fighting for Maitresse Eleanor fitzPatrick
The Honorable Lord Richard Crowe se battant pour Lady Ameria Browne
L’honorable Seigneur William RavenHair se battant pour l’honorable Madame Albreda Aylese
L’honorable Seigneur Turi Mac Kinnon se battant pour Baronne Marguerite de Sainte Nazaire
Baron Rory Maclellan se battant pour Baronne Astridr Sigrun Ulfkelsdottir
Seigneur Ingvar Thorsteinsson appelé Critter se battant pour Madame Hasanah bint al-Kalil ibn Habib
Baron Vachir Arslanjin se battant pour Sarvuu Arslanjin
L’honorable Seigneur Gawyn O’Clery se battant pour Maeve O’Clery
L’honorable Seigneur Klaus Winterhalter Von Wallachia se battant pour Madame Anastasia Wolfe
L’honorable Seigneur Arne Ulriksson se battant pour Madame Anna VonBaden
L’honorable Seigneur Galvyn Lockhart se battant pour Madame Rhiannon of Ayres
Seigneur Dorian Kalogero se battant pour Madame Aziza al Shirazyya
Seigneur Martin Wasser Speier se battant pour Maistre Donovan Shinnock
Seigneur Berkhommer Von Nuemburg se battant pour Madame Auriora de Bianco
Seigneur Brick James Beech se battant pour Madame Nadia Hart
Madame Vasia von Königsberg se battant pour Madame Æsa Sturludottir
Seigneur Patrick Lumhalghs se battant pour Madame Melody
Seigneur Abel atte Watere se battant pour Æsa assa
Luthor Von Eisenfaust se battant pour Madame Mabel Fortune
Onryo se battant pour Esmeralda

Seul la prouesse incontestable gagnera la journée, bonne chance à tous ceux qui prennent part.

Avec notre amour, et pour la gloire de l’Est.
LMR Honig Von Summerfeldt et Ioannes Serpentius”


Filed under: En français, Heavy List Tagged: Crown Tournament

Seeking Bids for Fall 2017 Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-04-10 01:21

Greetings unto the erudite Kingdom of Æthelmearc from Mistress Alicia Langland, Chancellor of Æthelmearc Æcademy!

Good Gentles,

Count Andrew and Sir Finn demonstrating some fighting techniques

Having received no bids for Fall Æthelmearc AEcademy and War College from groups in the preferred host region, I am now accepting bids from any group in the Kingdom.

The preferred date for Fall 2017 Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College is November 11, 2017.

Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College is an easy event to host.  It draws a sizable number of attendees, which typically includes royalty.  The host group is responsible for providing the site and lunch for attendees as well as staff to run Troll.  The Æcademy staff will assist with the rest!

Silk banner-making class taught by Baron Friderich Schwartzwalder. Photo by Mistress Alicia Langland.

If you’ve been wanting Royalty to visit your area, this is a great opportunity to bring them to you.  If you have a lot of newcomers, this is a fabulous event to introduce them to the many facets of the SCA.

Bids must include a completed Æthelmearc Kingdom Event Bid Form, which can be found here: http://aethelmearc.org/calendar-2/event-planning-resources/

Please remember that sites should include space and facilities for both gentle and martial arts.

If your group is considering submitting a bid, I would appreciate a quick note to that effect, sent to this address:  ae.aecademy AT aethelmearc DOT org.

Bids are due May 15, 2017, and should be sent to this address:  Bid.fallaecademy@aethelmearc.org

Resources for would-be autocrats — including FAQs — can be found here:  http://www.aecademy.net/downloads.shtml.  If you have questions or need help with putting together a bid, please let me know;  I will be delighted to assist!

Yours, in Service,
Alicia


Categories: SCA news sites

Fabergé egg reunited with missing surprise in Texas

History Blog - Sun, 2017-04-09 23:16

An imperial Fabergé egg will be reunited with its original surprise for the first time since the 1920s in a new exhibition at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS). Made of a translucent celadon stone and crisscrossed with a trellis pattern of rose-cut diamonds, the Diamond Trellis Egg is part of the McFerrin Fabergé Collection, the largest private collection of Fabergé treasures in the world, which is housed in the HMNS. The surprise inside, a jeweled ivory elephant wind-up automaton, was recently rediscovered in the Royal Collection and has been loaned to the museum by Queen Elizabeth II.

Presented by Tsar Alexander III to his wife the Empress Maria Feodorovna (née Princess Dagmar of Denmark) for Easter in 1892, the Diamond Trellis Egg held an elephant surprise that was a virtually identical replica of the badge of the Order of the Elephant, Denmark’s highest chivalric order. The only differences are the materials — Fabergé used ivory instead of white enamel — and the automaton mechanism. It was the second egg Alexander commissioned for his wife to have a Danish theme. The first was the Danish Palaces Egg, presented to Maria Feodorovna on Easter, 1890. The surprise inside was a ten-panel folding screen with miniatures of the Tsarina’s favorite Danish and Russian palaces. After Alexander’s sudden death in 1894 at the age of 49, his son Tsar Nicholas II continued the tradition of Fabergé Easter eggs, gifting them to both his wife and to his mother. It was Nicholas who gave the Dowager Empress her third and last Danish egg, the Royal Danish Egg, now lost.

The Diamond Trellis Egg and its elephant were confiscated from the Anichkov Palace in St. Petersburg, Maria Feodorovna’s home base, by the Bolsheviks in 1917. It was sold in 1930 by the Antikvariat, the agency tasked with selling off Russia’s cultural patrimony to raise money for the Soviet government, probably to Emanuel Wartski, although there are no records of the sale.

At some point in the saga the three parts of the egg, the base (now lost), the elephant and the egg got separated. In 1935 King George V bought the little elephant without knowing it was part of an Imperial Egg or even that it was made by Fabergé. It has been in the Royal Collection ever since, on display in one of the state rooms for decades.

In 2015, Caroline de Guitaut, Senior Curator of the Royal Collection Trust, was cataloguing the collection when she noticed the elephant figurine bore a resemblance to the surprise in the Diamond Trellis Egg as described in Fabergé’s ledgers: “ivory figure of an elephant, clockwork, with a small gold tower, partly enamelled and decorated with rose-cut diamonds,” with “a black mahout…seated on its head.” The Trust’s restorers and clockmakers painstakingly took the elephant apart down to the internal mechanism. They finally found the confirmation of the figurine’s origin under the top part of the castle on the elephant’s back. There was the unmistakable hallmark of Carl Fabergé.

When the cleaned and restored elephant was put back together, curators were ecstatic to find that the mechanism still worked. They slid the key into the hole hidden under the diamond cross on the elephant’s side, wound it up, and the little guy walked and nodded his head like he’d never lived through war, revolution and separation from his home egg.

The reunited egg and elephant will help inaugurate the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s new gallery dedicated to the Artie and Dorothy McFerrin Collection and its whopping 600 pieces of Fabergé. Fabergé: Royal Gifts featuring the Trellis Egg Surprise opens April 10th. The elephant will be on loan for a year before returning to the Royal Collection.

There are some beautiful views of the glittering egg and surprise in this brief video in which Caroline de Guitaut and Joel Bartsch, President of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, discuss the discovery of the missing piece. There’s an all too brief glimpse of the elephant’s movement at the 1:57 mark.

This video from the Royal Collection Trust, on the other hand, shows nothing but the automaton’s motion, starting with the wind-up. He raises his head every few steps. It’s absurdly cute.

Oh hey, guess what?

ELEPHANT BUTT!

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Stolen Norman Rockwell painting found after 41 years

History Blog - Sat, 2017-04-08 23:28

Norman Rockwell’s original painting for Boy Asleep with Hoe, a.k.a. Lazybones or Taking a Break, has been recovered by the FBI more than 40 years after it was stolen. The 25-by-28-inch oil painting was stolen from the home of Robert and Teresa Grant in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, on June 30th, 1976. The thieves also helped themselves to the Grants’ silver coin collection and their television. The Cherry Hill Police Department investigated the crime at the time but made no progress.

The FBI’s Art Crime Team got involved last year, partnering with the Cherry Hill police to launch a fresh appeal for leads in the very cold case on the 40th anniversary of the theft. It apparently worked, because a few months later in October the FBI got a phone call from a lawyer representing an anonymous client who wanted to return the painting.

Apparently the client was an antiques dealer who had the painting for years. He didn’t realize it was the original. He assumed it was a copy and had tried to sell it but never found any buyers, so he just hung it on his kitchen wall. That’s where it stayed for almost 40 years. The authorities found no evidence whatsoever that he was involved in the theft. It seems he was an unwitting fence of a stolen Norman Rockwell, and as soon as he realized it he made arrangements to return it. He is cooperating with the authorities in creating a composite drawing of the man he bought it from, but since four decades have passed it’s unlikely to lead to a sudden unmasking of the geriatric Lupin.

The image of a boy napping under a tree, the hoe between his legs a mute testament to the work he’s not doing, graced the cover of the September 6th, 1919, issue of the Saturday Evening Post. While Rockwell’s magazine covers enjoyed great popular success, his original paintings weren’t in demand at all, not for decades. Robert Grant acquired Boy Asleep with Hoe for $50 in 1952, and he only bought it because he had to after he poked a hole in it with a pool cue at a friend’s house. Robert’s son John says the friend told his father, “You just bought yourself a painting.”

That hole from the pool cue was key to the authentication of the painting. Experts from Christie’s and the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, confirmed it was the real thing. Because the Grant family submitted a claim to their insurer, Chubb, at the time of the theft and the claim was paid, Chubb was the legal title-holder. The company graciously agreed to allow the Grant family to reimburse them for the $15,000 claim payment in exchange for the painting. Given that the estimated value of the painting today is between $600,000 and $1,000,000, this was an incredibly generous act. Chubb isn’t even keeping the money. It plans to donate the claim payment to the Norman Rockwell Museum.

The painting was officially returned to the Grant family at a ceremony attended by representatives from the FBI and Chubb in Philadelphia on March 31st. There are six Grant heirs who now have to decide together what they’ll do with it. For obvious reasons, none of them wants to run the risk of keeping the painting in their home, so for now it’s going into storage.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Republican aqueduct found in Rome

History Blog - Fri, 2017-04-07 23:38

The construction of Rome’s new metro line has encountered yet another archaeological marvel: a Republican-era aqueduct dating to around the 3rd century B.C., likely a section of the first aqueduct built in Rome. Archaeologists found the structure during construction of a ventilation shaft under Piazza Celimontana on the Celian hill. The shaft’s 18-meter (60-foot) depth allowed them unique access to the 3rd century layers of the city. Without the bulkheads keeping the water from flooding the site, it wouldn’t have possible to excavate anywhere near that deep.

“The opportunity to safely reach this depth allowed us to uncover and document an exception sequence of stratigraphy and structures from the Iron Age (tombs and grave objects from the tenth century BC) to the modern age (foundations of 19th-century housing,” [sic] [said lead archaeologist Simona Morretta].

Because the structure was buried under intact layers of earth, the team was able to work out that after falling out of use as an aqueduct, Romans living in the first century BC used it as a sewer.

What’s more, close examination of the earth revealed the remains of food leftovers, offering an insight into what Romans used to eat, and the animals they kept as pets – from wild boars to swans, pheasants, and large seawater fish.

The dating of the aqueduct, determined by the stratigraphy, and its location under the Celian hill point to it being part of the Aqua Appia, the first aqueduct in Rome, built by censors Gaius Plautius Venox and Appius Claudius Caecus in 312 B.C. The source was about 10 miles outside the city, and unlike later aqueducts, almost the entirety of the length of the Aqua Appia was underground. Outside the city it ran through tunnels carved into tufa hills; inside it ran on top of the Servian Wall for stretch, but was mostly carried through channels deep under the city.

Only three sections of the Aqua Appia have been discovered, one by Raffaelo Fabretti in 1667 just inside the Porta San Paolo gate, one by English archaeologist John Henry Parker in the San Saba tufa quarries near the Aventine in 1867, and by Rodolfo Lanciani under the remains of an ancient villa on the Via di Porta San Paolo in 1888. These sections were small and in poor condition, cut tunnels that were later lined with stones.

The newly discovered section is distinct both because it is in exceptionally good condition and because it is a constructed dry stone wall an extraordinary 32 meters (105 feet) long. It is two meters (6.5 feet) high and is made of five rows of large tufa blocks arranged in prism shape. The water was carried from east to west by a lead pipe known as a fistula aquaria.

Because the structure is buried so deep, it wouldn’t be possible to put the aqueduct on display in situ. Archaeologists are therefore dismantling the whole thing in order to rebuild in a new location as yet to be determined.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Two Full Courts at Ice Dragon

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-04-07 09:27

From the Jewel Herald of Their Sylvan Majesties Marcus & Margerite, greetings to the populace of Æthelmearc,

Their Majesties wish it be known that at the Festival of the Passing of the Ice Dragon this weekend there will be two full courts; one in the morning and one in the evening, including elevations at both (times to be announced at the event). The populace are encouraged to attend both courts and celebrate with us all as we recognize members of the populace for their skills and contributions to our Great Society and our beloved Kingdom.

Their Majesties look forward to this great event and wish safe travels to all.

In service to the Crown, I remain,

Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta,
Jewel Herald


Categories: SCA news sites

Michelangelo’s crucifix in 360 degrees

History Blog - Thu, 2017-04-06 23:32

A painted wooden crucifix by Michelangelo Buonarrotti has returned to its original home, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito in Florence, after a fresh restoration and a year on the road. Carved by the artist when he was 18 or so, it’s one of his earliest extant works. Not the earliest, though, because Michelangelo’s artistic gifts were evident from a very young age.

Michelangelo was apprenticed to Domenico Ghirlandaio, then at the peak of his popularity and productivity, in 1488. It’s a testament to Michelangelo’s indisputably immense talent (and his irascible father’s insistence) that even though he was just 13 years old, his apprenticeship contract guaranteed him a salary, six florins for the first year, eight for the second, 10 for the third. This kind of deal was very much against custom for such a young, unproven apprentice. Michelangelo was special, though, and Ghirlandaio knew it.

The lad didn’t end up spending three years in Ghirlandaio’s workshop as per contract anyway. In 1489, Lorenzo de’ Medici asked Ghirlandaio to send his two best students to an academy for sculptors and painters Lorenzo had founded in his palace gardens where he also maintained an extensive collection of Roman antiquities. This was a seminal period for the teenaged Michelangelo. Lorenzo took a personal interest in him, inviting him to live in the palace and exposing him to the greatest Humanist thinkers, artists and poets of the era assembled at the Medici court. He carved his first two sculptures at Lorenzo’s academy, the marble bas reliefs the Madonna of the Stairs and the Battle of the Centaurs, the latter showcasing how strongly influenced Michelangelo was by classical design already. For the rest of his life he would consider himself first and foremost a sculptor no matter how famous and in demand he became for his frescoes and paintings.

The death of Lorenzo de’ Medici on April 8th, 1492, put an abrupt end to Michelangelo’s formative idyll. He moved back in with his father, but he continued to study on his own. The Augustinian prior of the convent of Santo Spirito allowed the artist rooms to live with them from the spring of 1493 until the fall of 1494 so he could do anatomical studies of cadavers in the associated hospital of Santo Spirito. Lorenzo’s son Piero de’ Medici, called the Unfortunate, who was a big fan of Michelangelo, gave him permission to dissect and examine the hospital’s corpses, a rare opportunity for a young artist, and one he did not squander.

He carved the polychrome wooden crucifix to thank the prior for giving him lodgings and an invaluable understanding of the human body. When medical professionals examined the carving a few years ago, they determined it was an accurate and realistic reproduction of a dead youth about 14 years old. It seems Michelangelo, then just a few years older than the deceased boy who served as his unwitting model, gave Santo Spirito the very fruits of the anatomical studies it had made possible.

The sculpture hung above the high altar of Santo Spirito until the early 17th century when the altar was replaced with a more elaborate one. Michelangelo’s simple design was no longer deemed appropriate for the new setting and it was moved. After the French occupation in the late 18th century and the dissolution of the monasteries, the crucifix was considered lost. In fact, it never left Santo Spirito. It was rediscovered in 1962 by German art historian Margrit Lisner during her cataloguing of Tuscan crucifixes. It was hanging in a corridor at the convent and had been so thickly overpainted that not just its color was altered, but its form as well. With the original features dreadfully obscured in this condition, Lisner’s identification of it as the Michelangelo work was very much in doubt.

Nonetheless, it was cleaned and restored and put on display in the Casa Buonarrotti Museum, where it remained until December 2000 when it was returned to the basilica of Santo Spirito. While still not universally accepted, the attribution question was largely settled the next year when Umberto Baldini, director of the cultural division of Italy’s National Research Council, declared the carving the work of Michelangelo after a thorough artistic and forensic examination.

Now it has returned to its original stomping grounds, but in a new location. When the church reinstalled it in 2000, the crucifix was affixed to a side wall and could only be seen from the front. Today it hangs above the church’s old sacristy so people can walk beneath and around it and can view it from all sides.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

K&Q A&S Bids

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2017-04-06 19:44
Greetings all from the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White.

We are just about two months away from when bids are due for both A&S Champions and Bardic Champions.

Please note, we are encouraging local groups to submit bids for both A&S Champions and Bardic Champions together as a combined event.

We see a combined event providing a number of benefits to the Kingdom:

For entrants:

* Brings the arts together more across disciplines fostering community
* Increased exposure to larger populations and audiences
* Helps make both Champions competitions more of a destination event

For volunteers:

* Minimizes the burden of the Crown for Royal Progress
* Opens up the Kingdom planning calendar
* Relieves the weight on groups needing to host Kingdom events
* Limits the number of volunteers needed by hosting only one event

We know that there could be a perception that this would split Royal attention between the two activities. We successfully managed a good experience at this last combined A&S Champions and Bardic Champions event.

We also know that there could be some individual conflicts of interest between people who would like to judge and/or enter both activities. We acknowledge that people will need to prioritize their activities. We will try our best to help with any accommodations. We believe you will still have a great time.

We understand that groups may make bids otherwise, of course, to host only one of the two Champion competitions. You are welcome to do this. Submitting for a combined event is not a requirement.

We also understand that our upcoming Heirs will consult with our Crown for their eventual decision. We would like to give them options. Please help make that possible.

To submit a bid, please follow the Kingdom Event Bid Process found at:

http://seneschal.eastkingdom.org/docs/eventbidform.php

For potential hosting groups, a few notes:

* You will not be responsible for the organization of either Champions competition. Good event spaces will have a large hall for bardic performance, another large hall for A&S displays, and a separate room for judges.
* The King’s Bard Countess Chatricam Meghanta (or Megha)(Katherine Journeay) and the Queen’s Bard Maitresse Sabine de Kerbriant (Wendy Gale) will be managing the Bardic Champions Competition
* The King’s A&S Champion Honorable Lady Raziya bint Rusa (Elizabeth Burdick) and the Queen’s Champion Honorable Lady Sofya Gianetta di Trieste (Maria Dedvukaj) will be managing the A&S Champions Competition
* The Kingdom A&S Special Deputies Mistress Elisabeth (Lissa Underhill) and Master Magnus (Peter Olsen) will be managing the A&S entrants and judging registration and assignments.

Remember… Have fun! Teach! Learn!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.

East Kingdom Seneschal – Event Bid Form Note: you may print this document from your browser; the graphics, colors, and side menu will not appear. SCA, Inc. – East Kingdom Event Bid Form. This form must be completed and submitted along with any other information you wish to provide in your bid for a Kingdom Event. Please send it via e-mail … seneschal.eastkingdom.org
Filed under: Uncategorized

A&S Consultation Table Deputy

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2017-04-06 19:39

Greetings all from the Kingdom A&S Minister, Master Philip White.

Thanks to your feedback and support, the Kingdom A&S Office created and started offering A&S Consultation Tables at events.

We’ve test run them now a few times. We are very happy with the feedback we have received from event organizers, judges, and especially artisans. We want to continue offering them and plan to offer them as a resource at events all over.

To those ends, Honorable Lady Kataryn Mercer has agreed to work with me as a Kingdom A&S Special Deputy charged with supporting A&S Consultation Tables.

In particular, her roles will be to:

1. Proactively coordinate A&S Consultation Tables at the more well-attended A&S focused Kingdom events
2. Ensure A&S Consultation Tables are offered regularly throughout all regions of the Kingdom
3. Reactively assist with local events that would like to host A&S Consultation Tables including how to find a coordinator, space needs, and soliciting local support.

Her work will blend well with the roles that Mistress Elysabeth and Master Magnus have taken on as Kingdom A&S Special Deputies revising the Kingdom A&S Rubric. (They are doing great work there and we expect more this Spring.)

Who are the A&S Consultation Tables for?

Everyone.

The A&S Consultation Tables are a chance for entrants to voluntarily get a sample walk-through based off of the Kingdom Rubric and Judging process that we use at A&S Champions.

This is to help artisans get used to the higher degree of expectations that happen at a more competitive level. The focus is on extensive research, historical understanding, and exemplary execution. These are all things that are important at A&S Champions but also other activities throughout the Kingdom.

Even if you never plan to enter A&S Champions you can use these tables as opportunities for feedback.

You’d have a chance to talk to a couple of judges and walk through their thought process as they use the Kingdom rubric.

We also welcome volunteer judges. Want to help? Let us know! You’re who is going to help make these A&S Consultation Tables successful.

Never judged before and want to learn? Let us know. You can be a shadow judge. We’d welcome the company.

Our goals are:

1. Set expectations early for the next A&S Champions competition while also helping people who do not want to compete but do focus on historical accuracy
2. Help artisans plan in advance and understand those expectations
3. Train more judges
4. Build consistency in that feedback

We think that these goals foster learning and teaching throughout the year.

We also hope that this will make the judging experience more constrictive and more enjoyable.

If you are interested in helping with any of these tasks please contact her. You can reach her at Kataryn@kitsclothingcollection.com.

And remember… Have fun! Teach! Learn!

Your Servant to Command,
~p.w.


Filed under: Uncategorized

Rich Roman finds surprise Dutch archaeologists

History Blog - Wed, 2017-04-05 23:55

Archaeologists excavating the site of future construction in the eastern Dutch town of Tiel have unearthed an unexpectedly large number of high quality Roman artifacts. Five archaeological companies and dozens of volunteers have been working assiduously to excavate a massive area the size of 36 soccer fields by their October deadline. They started last November, so they will have less than a year to excavate 80 hectares.

So far they have discovered an astonishing 2,500 bronze objects, most of which haven’t even been cleaned yet, but which include many fibulae, other jewelry, oil lamps and a wine sieve complete with its underplate. The most spectacular of the bronze objects is a balsamarium, a vessel that contained ointment or perfume, decorated with a relief of frolicking Eros figures. Other notable finds include a rare cameo ring with a centaur design, a limestone statue of Jupiter and a fragment of an altar or grave stone inscribed DEAE (“to the goddess”). These are not ordinary objects; only a rich Roman household would possess such a wealth of expensive goods.

The archaeological teams have excavated two burial grounds on the site, both cremation burials and inhumation burials. About 80 cremation burials were found with goods, including delicate clear glassware, scissors and a razor. An intact set of dinnerware composed of an earthenware jug, two drinking cups and a shallow bowl or plate were discovered in excellent condition. The inhumation burials, extremely rare for this period, were marked with earthen mounds. One of them is a double grave containing the remains of two babies.

It’s not surprising that there would be Roman artifacts in Tiel. What is now the Dutch province of Gelderland was part of the Roman province of Germania Inferior, and there were several military outposts and towns along the strategically important border on the Rhine Valley, Nijmegen the largest and most important among them. Had these high quality finds been discovered in Nijmegen, they would still have been exciting and rare discoveries, but not unexpected. Tiel, on the other hand, was a backwater inhabited by Batavian farmers in mud huts with thatched roofs.

Roman artifacts were widespread throughout Roman territory — the mass production and distribution of consumer goods all over the empire attests to an attainable standard of living that after the collapse of the Western Empire would not be achieved again until the modern era — but for such a wealth of expensive goods like the wine sieve, balsamarium and centaur cameo ring to be found suggests the area may have been more thoroughly Romanized and wealthier than archaeologists realized.

[Archaeologist Jan] Van der Velde has two theories. “The owner of the artefacts could have been an important Batavian who wanted to recreate a piece of Rome in his villa by surrounding himself with expensive and rare objects. But perhaps we have stumbled on a temple. Almost all the bronze objects were found in a square of 20 by 50 metres, so it may well have been a sacrificial site.”

The dig will have to shut down for the next few months to give the present-day farmer a chance to sow and reap his harvest. Van der Velde will then try to discover a floor plan so he can determine the presence of a villa or temple.

There will be an open day at the dig site on Saturday, April 8th, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. A selection of the artifacts will be shown to visitors. This fall, a full exhibition on the excavation and its treasures, not just the Roman finds but archaeological material going back 6,000 years, will be held at the Flipje & Streekmuseum in Tiel.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Report: Donnan Party

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-04-05 20:09

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Marcus & Margerite, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of The Donnan Party, March 25, Anno Societatis LI, in the Shire of Ballachlagan. As recorded by Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald.

In the morning Their Majesties called for a moment of silence to honor the life of Baron Rodrigo de la Vega.  

Next, Gavin Harris was called before the throne, where Their Majesties spoke of his ferocity and prowess as a youth fencer and bestowed upon him a Silver Alce. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Gavin Harris receives his Golden Alce. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Doña Gabrielle was summoned forward to ask if it was still her desire to sit in vigil this day to contemplate elevation to the Order of The Pelican, to which she answered in the affirmative. The Order of the Pelican was then called forward. Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen then approached and took back her belt so that Doña Gabrielle could sit in contemplation unencumbered, after which the Order of the Pelican escorted Doña Gabrielle to vigil.

Doña Gabrielle is sent to vigil. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Court suspended. 

In the afternoon upon the rattan field, Lord Oliver Sutton was called before Their Majesties who spoke of his prowess upon the field. They then called to be attended by the Order of Gage and did induct Lord Oliver into that esteemed order. Scroll by Lady Raven Whitehart and Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi.

Next, Their Majesties required that Duchess Morgan of Rye, also a member of the Gage, tarry a bit longer. His Majesty stated He felt it necessary to revisit a slightly erroneous statement He had made earlier that day in which He stated that all knights wore chain mail. To demonstrate His point further, called forth the Order of the Chivalry and presented her with a writ of summons to contemplate elevation to the Order of Chivalry. Scroll by Mistress Sthurrim Caithnes.

Duchess Morgen receives a Writ for the Chivalry. Photo by Maighstir Liam mac an Tsaoire.

Court suspended. 

In the evening, Their Majesties gave leave to the children of Æthelmearc to chase after the toy chest and claim a prize. 

Countess Elena d’Artois, Master Diego Miguel Munoz de Castilla, and Don Po Silvertop then came forward showed unto the populace a sword and dagger set which are to be part of the prize for the winner of The Wild Hunt.

Master Diego displaying the prizes for the Wild Hunt. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Master Clewin Kupferhelbelinc then addressed the populace and announced that Lord Jacob Martinson was the winner of the day’s cut & thrust tourney and presented him with the victor’s token and charged him to return next year to run the tourney and pass the token to the next winner.

Master Clewin names Lord Jacob Martinson the winner of the Cut & Thrust tourney. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Their Majesties then bade Master Clewin stay, and spoke of his passion for the steel art of cut & thrust and of how he has studied and shared his love of historical fencing, and in particular, the MS I33. Their Majesties then called for Their Order of the Fleur d’ Æthelmearc and inducted Master Clewin into that order. Scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Master Clewin receives a Fleur. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Ronan O’Connell was next called before the Throne and was awarded arms for service and helpfulness. Scroll by Baron Brandubh O’Donnghaile and Lady Alysoun of the Debatable Lands.

Lord Ronan receives his AoA. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Next, Robert of Hawksworth appeared before Their Majesties and was awarded arms for his skill with rapier. Scroll by THL Tegrinus de Rhina.

Lord Robert receives his AoA. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Their Majesties then call for Master Urho Waltterinen in order to present to him a token of garnet in commemoration of his being the 41st Jewel of Æthelmearc. Being not present, the token was received on his behalf by Baron Brandubh O’Donnghaile and Baroness Hilderun Hügelmann.

Doña Gabrielle de Winter then presented herself before Their Sylvan Majesties. When asked if she had been given good counsel this day with regard to the question as to whether to join the Order of the Pelican, Doña Gabrielle affirmed that she had, and that it was her wish to join. Their Majesties then required words from the peers of Their realm. Duke Malcolm MacEoghainn spoke of the courage expected of a knight, and how Gabrielle exemplifies this attribute. He spoke of how she leads others, inspires, lends aid and comfort, and does the things that need to be done. Maestro Bastiano di Iacopo shared a story illustrating the honesty and self-reflection of Gabrielle, and how these needed qualities serve to inspire us all. Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen told of how an artist must have vision to be able to see possibilities, and how they must be detail-oriented. An artist must be able to see flaws in their own work, and that Gabrielle does all of this, and she stated how this quality enriches our society. Countess Elena d’Artois and Countess Anna Leigh spoke of the feelings of love and admiration Gabrielle creates in people, and of how this love and admiration lifts others up. Lord Nicolo Loredan da Venesia spoke on behalf of the populace and told of the impact Gabrielle has had on the populace, of her constant support of others, of her efforts to add others to The Society, and of how it was by her direct and continued efforts that he is here today. Having heard these words of Their peers and populace, Their Majesties were well-pleased, and called for a medallion and a cloak bearing this symbol of the Pelican, and placed these items upon Gabrielle. They then received her oath of fealty, and named her a mistress of the Order of the Pelican. Scroll forthcoming.

Mistress Gabrielle is made a Pelican. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Her Majesty then sought to be attended by THL Ælric Ravenshaw, and name him as Her inspiration for the day for his efforts as the autocrat, and bestowed upon him a Golden Escarbuncle. Ælric then took a moment to announce that the winner of the day’s rapier scholar tourney was THL Ru Cavorst.

Lord AElric receives a Golden Escarbuncle. Photo by Mistress Arianna.

Lastly, Their Majesties thanked all of the artisans who contributed works of art this day to recognize others, and Her Majesty offered tokens of appreciation from Her hand.

There being no further business, this court of Their Majesties was closed.

Faithfully submitted,

Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta,
Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald


Categories: SCA news sites

Update on 18th c. scuttled ship found in Alexandria

History Blog - Tue, 2017-04-04 23:27

There’s news about the large piece of an 18th century ship discovered on the Potomac riverfront in Alexandria, Virginia, in December of 2015. Archaeologists have been studying the 50-foot section of hull which was deliberately scuttled to fill waterfront property. Property records were able to narrow down the date of the ship’s burial to between 1775 and 1798, but it took dendrochronological analysis to discover the ship’s age. The tree-rings in the planks reveal that the trees used to make the timber were cut down in Boston after 1741.

[City of Alexandria archaeologist Benjamin] Skolnik said some of the earliest tree rings from the ship are from 1603 — four years before John Smith showed up in Jamestown and 17 years before the Pilgrims showed up in Massachusetts.

“So the wood in the ship comes from a time of early American history that even predates the earliest permanent English settlements here in the New World,” he said.

Preserving these venerable timbers poses a great challenge. The surviving section of the hull includes some of the keel, frame, bow stem, stern, exterior boards and interior flooring. The archaeological team dismantled the ship one board at a time, numbering, tagging and inventorying each timber so it could be reassembled in its original configuration once the wood was stabilized. Getting to that point was by no means a foregone conclusion, however.

The immediate problem when I first wrote about this find early last year was locating a space that could accommodate 50 feet worth of ship timbers in a climate and humidity controlled environment. The wood had to be kept in water to keep it from drying out and warping, and there were no facilities that could accommodate the sheer size of the 18th century ship parts. The solution was a building known as the “bus barn,” a large depot used by the City of Alexandria to store emergency vehicles and school buses.

The ship’s timbers were transported to the bus barn by archaeologists and volunteers. The largest pieces were submerged in two massive water tanks lined with plastic. The smaller timbers were placed on a tarp, hosed down and covered with another tarp to create a wood-preserving tarp sandwich. The ship has been in the bus barn since January of 2016.

The next step is permanently preserving the wood with polyethylene glycol (PEG), a waxy substance that gradually replaces the water in wood leaving it supple and stable, the same treatment that preserved the Mary Rose and the Vasa. The problem with PEG is that it’s expensive and it takes decades, but that time can be significantly shortened if the PEG treatment is followed by freeze-drying, as was done with French explorer La Salle’s frigate La Belle.

Even so, the conservation process will take five or six years and will cost more than the city can afford by itself. So far, the costs have been defrayed by a combination of private donations, grants and city funds, but the long-term preservation and display of the ship requires significant additional funding. It’s worth it, though.

“One of the appeals of the ship is, I mean it’s something large, and it’s very visible and very tangible piece of the past that you know, sometimes when you’re in school and you’re learning about history, it’s sort of in the abstract. You sort of have to imagine it, but if you have a 46-and-a-half-foot chunk of a ship standing in front of you, I mean it’s very very visible and very very real,” Archeologist Benjamin Skolnik said.

The City of Alexandria has set up a donation page on its website.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Ancient mummy shroud found in museum storage

History Blog - Mon, 2017-04-03 23:50

Curators at the National Museums Scotland have discovered a unique ancient mummy shroud folded up in brown postal paper in storage. Senior curator of Ancient Mediterranean collections Dr. Margaret Maitland found the shroud during the course of a thorough examination of the museum’s Egyptian collections in anticipation of a new permanent ancient Egyptian gallery opening over the next two years. At first, she didn’t even know it was a shroud. The only information on the parcel was a note written by a curator in the 1940s and sealed in a World War II service envelope identifying the contents as having come from an ancient tomb in Egypt.

The textile inside the paper wrap was too dry and brittle to be unfolded and examined right off the bat. First conservators had to gently humidify the fabric to soften it enough so it could be unfolded without damage. The humidification and unfolding was so painstakingly done it took close to 24 hours. The results were more than worth the wait.

Conservators found the textile was a full-length linen shroud painted with the image of the deceased as the god Osiris. A full-length painted shroud from Roman Egypt is an extremely rare artifact. Only a handful of comparable finds are known, and this one is unique because it comes with extensive background information. Hieroglyphics painted on the shroud identified the deceased as Aaemka, the son of the high official Montsuef and his wife Tanuat. Montsuef and Tanuat are known to have died in 9 B.C., which makes it possible to date this shroud with exceptional precision.

Dr. Margaret Maitland:

“To discover an object of this importance in our collections, and in such good condition, is a curator’s dream. Before we were able to unfold the textile, tantalising glimpses of colourful painted details suggested that it might be a mummy shroud, but none of us could have imagined the remarkable figure that would greet us when we were finally able to unroll it. The shroud is a very rare object in superb condition and is executed in a highly unusual artistic style, suggestive of Roman period Egyptian art, yet still very distinctive.”

The shroud was discovered in a tomb originally built around 1290 B.C. in Thebes. Its first residents were a chief of police and his wife, but the tomb was repeatedly looted and reused by later officials. Montsuef, Tanuat and Aemka appear to have been the last to make use of it before the tomb was sealed in the early 1st century A.D. It was excavated in the 19th century, and artifacts from the tomb wound up in the collection of the National Museums Scotland. Montsuef and Tanuat’s relics went on display. Aaemka’s, for some reason, went into storage and was forgotten.

Now the son has been reunited with his parents, and the shroud is on display for the first time since its discovery in The Tomb: Ancient Egyptian Burial, which opened on March 31st and closes September 3rd, 2017. The wooden box of Amenhotep II with its recently rediscovered fragments is also part of the exhibition, as are a great many exceptional funerary artifacts from Egyptian tombs. The exhibition is something of a capsule collection, a glimpse into the deep bench of the National Museums Scotland’s Egyptian collection before it finally gets a permanent gallery of its own.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

The Golden Seamstress Challenge: Competition Begins at 10:00pm Friday April 7th

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-04-03 20:06
Are you behind on your resolution to start your Pennsic sewing early? Do you like to sewing garb but find it’s more fun to sew with a group a folks? Do you have a set of garb that you want to make but are afraid to go it alone? Well we have just the event for you!
The Barony Beyond the Mountain invites you to show us your costuming skills The seamstresses of the East will take up the challenge to create a complete set of garments, from the skin out, in eighteen hours.  Teams of from 1 to 6 active members are to start at 10 PM Friday and continue to 6 pm Saturday.  Team members are expected to remain on-site during the competition.  At the close of the sewing portion of the competition, each team will present their final outfit to the judges and populace. They will be expected to show and explain all layers in as expeditious and succinct a manner as possible. Additional presentations are welcome but will be done while judges are sequestered after the show. Once the judges have reached a decision Their Excellencies of BBM will hold court, and the winners will be announced.

For full details on rules of the challenge and how to register a team please visit http://bbm.eastkingdom.org

If you are not participating in the challenge, but would like to check out the event, you are welcome to join us on Saturday any time after noon.  The fashion show will take place at 6:30pm and should not be missed. Also, there might also be some space available for folks who want to do some sewing in the competition atmosphere, but don’t actually want to participate in the competition.  Please contact the autocrat if you think you want to do this to make sure there is room. A tavern will be available on Saturday for breakfast and lunch.

Schedule:
Site Opens: 6pm Friday April 7th
Competition Begins: 10:00pm Friday April 7th
Breakfast: 8:00-10:00am Saturday April 8th
Site Opens to General Populace: Noon Saturday April 8th
Lunch Tavern Opens: Noon Saturday April 8th
Competition Ends: 6pm Saturday April 8th
Fashion Show: 6:30pm Saturday April 8th|
Baronial Court: 8:00pm Saturday April 8th
Site Closes: 11pm Saturday April 8th The event will be held at the Middlefield Federated Church; 402 Main Street; Middlefield, CT  06455
Google Map

Directions:
Take your best Rout to I-91.  Take exit 20.  Turn left onto Middle St (0.1 mile, turn left onto Country Club Rd (1.1 mile), turn right onto Higby Rd (1.2 mile), continue onto Jackson Hill Rd (2.1 mile), turn left onto CT-157 N, church will be on the right. Event Steward:
Ciara McRobbie
MKA:  Anne Akin
248-339-6996
anne.akin@pfizer.com

Note: This is a sewing only event, there will be no merchants, no children’s activities, and no martial activities.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Yours in Service,
Ciara
Filed under: Announcements, Events Tagged: event announcement

Cape Fear’s first flushing toilet goes on display

History Blog - Sun, 2017-04-02 23:52

A stone toilet bowl from the 18th century that is believed to be the first flushing toilet in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina has finally been given the pride of place it deserves at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Historic Site after years of sad neglect in archaeological storage.

The bowl was discovered by archaeologist Stanley South during his excavation of the remains of the Russellborough colonial mansion in 1966. Originally built by Captain John Russell in 1751, Russellborough would become the home of two colonial governors, Arthur Dobbs and his successor William Tryon. It was burned to the ground by the British in 1776 at the beginning of the Revolutionary War, but South’s excavation discovered notable remains, including a wine cellar that held at least 300 bottles when the house was burned, a brick well used to cool bottles (probably some of those 300 wines and liquors in the cellar), and one big stone toilet bowl.

Installed in the home in the 1760s, likely when Dobbs was governor, this is believed to be the first example of an indoor plumbing system in the lower Cape Fear area, although not in the state of North Carolina as a whole. It was discovered in what had once been a side porch of the home, which is a sensible location for a privy with its many noxious odors and miasmas. Next to it was a brick vaulted tunnel which likely served as a pipeline carrying both trash and sewage out of the house to the Cape Fear River or its adjacent swamps and rice fields.

No detailed archaeological reports were published from the original excavation 50 years ago, so a few old low resolution pictures, Stanley South’s field notes and a few articles he wrote over the years are all researchers have to go on when trying to determine what the toilet may have looked like and how the flushing system worked in the 18th century. This is all he had to say about the discovery in a 1967 article (pdf) published by The South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology:

Immediately in front of the tunnel opening was a tabby object, twenty inches square at one end with a round, tapering hole throughout its 18 inch length. Just what this object was used for is unknown, though it might have been a liner for a water closet associated
with the tunnel and the porch.

Made out of coquina, a type of limestone composed of shells of various marine invertebrates that was extensively quarried in the Cape Fear region during the 18th century, the bowl has a hole at the bottom where the waste would be flushed into a pit, either through a lead pipe or a simple drain. The tunnel ran from the pit to the bluff, dumping the untreated sewage from there into the swamp or river. The top of the bowl is eroded now, but originally would have been square and a wooden seat or bench added on top to cover the gaping maw of the bowl creating a more human-sized hole and, most importantly, keeping the governor’s tender bits from grinding against ancient mineralized cockle shells.

The field notes describe what the archaeologists believed at the time to be an iron flush valve, but if it still exists, it has yet to be rediscovered. There are uncatalogued artifacts in the Raleigh storage facility; perhaps the valve is among them. Based on the design of other toilets from this period, researchers believe there was likely a tank installed above this one. No parts of it have survived, to our knowledge. It would have been filled manually, and when the rope was pulled, the valve would open, dumping water from the tank straight into the bowl. The force of the water pushed the waste down the drain into the pit.

The bowl was put in storage in Raleigh and that’s where it remained until Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Historic Site director Jim McKee rescued it from oblivion and put it on display in the site’s museum on March 16th of this year.

The toilet excites McKee because it is so different from the dishes, pots, pans, bullets and smoke pipes on display.

“A toilet is universal,” he said. “Everyone has used one, and everyone can relate to it. Now visitors can see where they come from, how they were built, and how did we get to the throne we have today.”

McKee thought of all sorts of puns to name the display: Royal Flush, Royal duty or Royal throne.

Instead the placard is a bit more professional. It just reads, “Russellborough toilet.”

What, no Flushy McFlushface? Seems like a missed opportunity.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Retainers Needed for Ice Dragon

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2017-04-02 18:12
Greetings, Fair Æthelmearc! If you are planning on attending Ice Dragon on April 8, consider picking up a retaining shift or two during the day! It’s a great way to experience the event and see cool and nifty things – fighting, fencing, amazing Arts and Science projects, salons. Please contact me either via FB messenger or by email. Duties include carrying a small basket, ensuring Their Majesties eat and drink through the day, fetching and carrying items to and from the Royalty Room, standing in court (on rotation – no one would be expected to stand the full Ice Dragon court), and being a companion. There is a lot of standing and walking, so wear comfortable shoes and dress for the site (layers are always good). Also, please note that Their Soon-to-be-Majesties of the East will be in attendance and we could use a couple of extra hands to help out there too. Tell your friends! Retaining is always more fun with a buddy! Baroness Rowena Moore
Categories: SCA news sites

LoC, Smithsonian buy Harriet Tubman photo

History Blog - Sat, 2017-04-01 22:55

The previously unknown photograph of Harriet Tubman recently discovered in a carte-de-visite album compiled by Quaker abolitionist and educator Emily Howland has been acquired by the ideal owners: the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The album was sold at a Swann Auction Galleries auction in New York City on March 30th for $130,000 plus a $32,500 auctioneer fee. The joint purchase allowed the institutions to be able to afford the exorbitant cost.

The collaboration ensures these pieces of American history will be accessible to the public in perpetuity.

“It is a distinct honor to have these photographs that tell an important part of America’s history,” said Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. “We are pleased and humbled to work with the Library of Congress to ensure that this rare and significant collection will be preserved and made accessible to the American public.”

“To have a new glimpse of such key figures in American history is rare indeed,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “Through this extraordinary collaboration, these images will be forever part of our shared heritage and will be a source of inspiration for many generations to come.”

The pre-sale estimate was $20,000 to $30,000, which was always modest given the great historical significance of the earliest known picture of Harriet Tubman. Add to that the 43 other rare photographs of prominent personages from the period in the album, including the only known photograph of John Willis Menard, the first African American man elected to (although never seated in) Congress, and there was little doubt the album would exceed the estimate. Well aware of this, the Library of Congress and Smithsonian pooled funds from existing donations to ensure they had the wherewithal to bid successfully against collectors with deep pockets.

The two institutions will be perfect partners in this endeavor. Both of them have unparalleled expertise in the conservation of historic documents and photographs and long-standing commitments to the digitization of their massive collections. In keeping with their dedication to making the historical patrimony in their care as widely accessible to the public as possible, the entire Howland carte-de-visite album will be digitized as soon as possible and high resolution photographs of each of the 44 pictures will be made available online for the free use of scholarly researchers and history nerds alike.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History