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The lifestyle changes of Richard III

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-10-18 14:56

Everyone knows Richard III was king of England, however briefly, but did he live a royal lifestyle? Researchers say yes. A new study shows that the king's location and diet changed after his ascendance to the throne.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Results of K&Q’s Rapier Champions

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-10-18 13:11

Sir Antonio. Photo by Baroness Cateline la Broderesse

The new King’s Rapier Champion is Sir Antonio Patrasso.  He defeated Don Ogedei in the finals.  The other two semi-finalists were Don Nathaniel Wyatt and Don Owynn Greenwood.


Filed under: Fencing Tagged: King and Queen's Champions

Amphipolis mosaic is abduction of Persephone

History Blog - Fri, 2014-10-17 22:50

The east side of the mosaic in the second chamber of the 4th century B.C. tomb in Amphipolis has been uncovered revealing the red robe of the laureate figure and a young woman behind him wearing a white tunic tied under the bust with a red ribbon. She looks backwards, her red hair flowing, her left arm raised, hand open as in a wave. She wears handsome jewelry, a bracelet on her left wrist and a necklace of red beads around her neck. The red robe of the charioteer and the newly unearthed figure identifies the scene as the abduction of Persephone by Hades.

The laureate figure is the god of the Underworld, not, as was first posited before the entire mosaic was revealed, as the soul of the man interred in the tomb. Hermes leads the chariot in his role as psychopompos, guide of souls, as he is traditionally depicted on other artistic presentations of the Persephone myth. Her looking back in anguish with raised arm is also a characteristic posture, see for instance the Persephone krater in Berlin’s Altes Museum, an Apulian red-figure volute-krater made in 340 B.C., within a few decades of the estimated date of the tomb. This is the first time a figural floor mosaic has been found in a Macedonian tomb.

The scene, complete with Hermes running before the chariot and a red-haired Hades carrying away an equally red-haired Persephone as she reaches behind her for help, is also depicted in the royal tomb of King Philip II of Macedon at Aigai (Vergina). It is a mural, not a mosaic, a very rare instance of surviving Greek wall painting. Archaeologists suspect the duplicated theme is not a coincidence, that it may be an intentional reference to the art work in Philip’s tomb.

General Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Lina Mendoni described the potential connection in a press conference on the find:

“The scenes are linked with the cults of the Underworld, with the Orphic cult – the descent in Hades – and the Dionysian rites. The Head of the house of Macedon was the archpriest of these cults. I remind you of the recent research of the National Center of Scientific Research “Demokritos” in the residues of the mask found in the remains of bones of Philip. According to experts was the mask, which he wore Philip in Orphic rites. Therefore, the scene in our case has symbolic importance, which may indicate a relationship of the “occupier” of the tomb with the Macedonian House. The political symbolism is very strong in all periods.”

Connected to the rulers of Macedon or not, whoever was buried in this tomb was someone of great wealth and importance. That was clear from the sphinxes in the entrance, confirmed by the caryatids and ultra-super underscored by this mosaic of exceptional quality.

The mosaic covers the entire floor of the room and is 4.5 by 3 meters (14’9″ x 9’10″). In order to preserve the work as excavation continues, workers have placed a layer of styrofoam over it and wood paneling over the styrofoam. A false floor will be built 15 inches above the protective layers so that archaeologists can start the slow process of unblocking the door to chamber three on the north edge of the mosaic.

Here’s a neato 3D rendering of the tomb highlights as rteal.orged this far from Greek Toys:

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Medieval shipwreck found off Cornish coast

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-10-17 20:59

The remains of a ship, dating to 1305, have been found near the Isles of Scilly, along the coast of Cornwall. The shipwreck is believed to be the oldest documented ship lost in the area's dangerous, rocky coast.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Northampton's oldest brewery found during construction work

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-10-17 19:43

Archaeologists working at the site of the new Northamptonshire County Council headquarters have uncovered what is believed to be the town of Northampton's first brewery. Dating to the 13th century, the large stone pit shows scorch marks where barley had been roasted. (video)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Build your own 17th c. oak beam tithe barn

History Blog - Thu, 2014-10-16 22:25

Is Ikea just not a challenge for you anymore? Have you long since mastered the Billy bookcase, dominated the Fjell bed frame and left the Hemnes TV storage combination with glass doors cowed and trembling in your wake every time you breeze by? Well have I got the deal for you: the Acton Hall farm barn, 121 feet long, 28 feet wide and 25 feet six inches high at its central ridge and completely dismantled into its component oak beams. The beams, all individually numbered and complete with plans, will be offered for sale at Summers Place Auctions in Billingshurst, West Sussex, on October 22nd.

Almost entirely in its original condition and dismantled more than 25 years ago. The barn would have originally have had a thatched roof and walls of wattle and daub over the oak aisled wall frames. There are two main threshing bays, each with large double doors. Ten main bays (of approx. 12ft) formed by very substantial jowled oak posts connected to the arcade plate and tie beams by main mortise and tenon, subsidiary teazle tenon and lapped dovetail joints. Aisle wall frames of substantial oak studs. The main tie beams and arcade plates are supported and braced by mainly heavy curved braces, with a few replaced in the 19th century with solid knee braces.

Here is what it looked like before dismantling:


Images courtesy Summer Place Auctions.

Here is what it looks like now:


Images courtesy www.investmentphotography.co.uk.

The structure began its long as storied life as a tithe barn (technically a barn in which the yearly tithe in kind of farmers were stored upon payment to the church, but the term is used loosely to encompass old barns even when they weren’t used for collecting the 10% due local ecclesiastical authorities) on the Suffolk estate of Acton Hall in the mid-17th century. It was later converted into a home. In the late 1980s, the property owners decided to dismantle it to make way for new construction. They were going to sell the timbers piecemeal, but historic barn expert John Langdon, who has a trove of historic barns he reconstructs for buyers like Steven Spielberg and John Kerry, bought the entire structure and numbered each beam so it could be rebuilt elsewhere.

A brewery bought the dismantled barn, planning to use it as a space for special events, but they never found the right location for it and after 25 years of the beams languishing in storage, the brewery sold them back to Langdon. He is now hoping to find a buyer who will pay the £100,000 he estimates the structure is worth as well as another £100,000 for Langdon’s team to re-erect it.

It’s not at all unreasonable, really. You’d pay more than that for a new house of these dimensions. It’s recycled, ecofriendly and those bleached oak beams have more than stood the test of time so you know you’re working with quality materials. A modern imitation couldn’t possibly be as cool no matter how much it tried to reproduce the look of that fabulous oak skeleton so characteristic of centuries of English barn construction. Although its walls and roof were different, the interior of the Acton Hall barn is very much like the glorious buttressed cathedral interior of the Harmondsworth Great Barn, built more than 200 years earlier in 1426. Even the Lacock tithe barn, built a hundred years before that with masonry walls, has similar roof and ceiling architecture.

Just in case you’d like to take a crack at it yourself, here are plans of how the beams come back together:




Images courtesy Summer Place Auctions.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Novelist finds human remains in IKEA bags

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-10-16 12:17

Perhaps Swedish erotic novelist Kicki Karlén briefly considered changing her genre to mystery when she discovered the remains of 80 people, dating to the 16th century, stashed in large IKEA bags in a chapel in Kläckeberga in southern Sweden.

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Categories: SCA news sites

King’s & Queen’s Rapier Championship – Update

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-10-16 09:09

Updated information for King’s & Queen’s Rapier Champions and Autumn Afternoons to be held this weekend in the Canton of Black Icorndall.

The schedule, dayboard menu, important site information, pertinent travel and lodging information, pertient contacts, as well as a full listing of activities for day day have been posted and can be seen on the Canton’s website at:

http://blackicorndall.east-kingdom.org/activities/kings-queens-rapier-champions-autumn-afternoons/


Filed under: Events, Fencing

Ansteorra summer 2014 event photos online

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-10-16 08:44

Master Caelin on Andrede reports that he has created several albums of photos from 2014 Steppes Artisan and Elfsea College. The photos are available to view on Flickr.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Largest Viking hoard since 1891 found in Scotland

History Blog - Wed, 2014-10-15 22:58

Retired businessman Derek McLennan was sick and really didn’t feel like dragging his carcass and his metal detector to a Church of Scotland field near Castle Douglas in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, last month. He didn’t want to disappoint his detecting buddies the Reverend David Bartholomew and Mike Smith, pastor of Elim Pentecostal Church, however, so he pulled it together and off they went. After an hour of searching, McLennan found a piece of silver buried two feet under the surface. At first he thought it was a spoon, but when he wiped some of the dirt off it, he saw a saltire (X marks the spot) design and realized he’d unearthed Viking treasure.

McLennan reported the find to Scotland’s Treasure Trove Unit and soon Galloway Council archaeologist Andrew Nicholson was on the scene excavating dozens of silver ingots, decorated arm rings and a solid silver cross with enamel decoration from the find spot. When the artifacts were fully excavated, McLennan ran his machine over the hole again and again got a signal. More digging unearthed a second layer of treasure, including a silver Carolingian pot complete with its lid that is one of only three of its kind ever found in Britain.

All told, the hoard proved to include more than a 100 individual pieces. It’s the largest Viking treasure found in Scotland since 1891, and there’s the possibility of more to come when the silver pot is opened and its contents excavated in the lab. The array of artifacts — stamp-decorated bracelets from Ireland, glass beads from Scandinavia, a beautifully graceful gold bird-shaped pin or hair ornament, silver ingots marked with runic inscriptions, even textile fragments still attached to the Carolingian pot — make this a find of international importance.

Describing the find as “historically significant”, Stuart Campbell, head of Scotland’s treasure trove unit, said one of the most exciting objects was an intact Carolingian (western European) pot with its lid still in place, a rare vessel likely to have been an heirloom held by the family that buried the hoard. Campbell described the examination of the pot, which has yet to be emptied, as “an excavation in microcosm”.

He added: “What makes this find so significant is the range of material from different countries and cultures. This was material that was buried for safekeeping, almost like a safety deposit box that was never claimed.”

Campbell said that a find like this could also influence the way Scots viewed their historic relationship with the Vikings. “We have the idea of Vikings as foreigners who carried out raids on Scotland, but this was a Viking area where they settled and traded, and the people who lived there were culturally and linguistically Norse.”

The hoard was buried in the 9th or 10th century. The silver cross dates to around that time. Its unusual enamel decoration is figural, possibly depictions of the four evangelists on each arm of the cross. The pot was already at least a hundred years old when it was buried, hence archaeologists’ belief that it may have been a family heirloom. Researchers hope the contents might reveal more information about who buried the treasure under what circumstances.

The discovery is governed by the Scottish law of treasure trove which claims the artifacts for the public trust, while rewarding the finder and landowner with a sum equivalent to fair market value of the finds. In this case, early estimates put the value at £1 million, but that could change once the artifacts are examined more closely and the contents of the pot assessed. The landowners, the Church of Scotland General Trustees, and Derek McLennan have already come to an agreement on sharing the reward equally. The Church’s portion will be dedicated to the local parish.

This Reuters story has some beautiful close-ups of highly decorated gold and silver pieces. I’d embed it but it has an unkillable autoplay.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Leiston Abbey dig reveals gaming piece and curse tablet

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2014-10-15 13:50

Leiston Abbey in the 14th century must have been an interesting place, considering some artifacts found by volunteers during a two-week archaeological excavation in the summer of 2014, including a Nuremburg jetton "poker chip" and a metal tablet expected to contain a curse. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

"The Power of Negative Thinking" on YouTube

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2014-10-15 10:15

Manus MacDhai, Player in the Pennsic Commedia All-Stars, reports that his lady wife, Sophia the Orange, has posted a video of The Power of Negative Thinking, which was performed at Pennsic 43. The video is available on YouTube.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Iron Age Celtic chariot fittings found in hillfort dig

History Blog - Tue, 2014-10-14 22:58

Archaeologist from the University of Leicester have found a hoard of rare bronze fittings from a Celtic chariot while excavating the site of an Iron Age hillfort on Burrough Hill near Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire. The fittings date to the 2nd or 3rd century B.C. and were deliberately buried as a religious offering.

The hillfort has been excavated by the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History since 2010 as part of a five-year project to give students a chance to gain hands-on field experience while exploring the Iron Age occupation of the fort and the transition into the Roman period. In fact it was a group of four students who found the treasure. The first piece was unearthed in a deep pit they dug near the remains of a house. The rest were discovered nearby.

The fittings were put in a box and placed on a bed of cereal chaff with iron tools laid around it. The box was then burned, with the chaff possibly providing kindling as well as a cushion for the sacrifice. Once the fire was out, the offering was covered in a layer of burnt cinder and slag. Archaeologists think it could have been part of a religious ceremony marking the change of a season, or perhaps something related to the construction of the nearby house.

These are incredibly rare and highly prized objects, a matched set of chariot fittings that could only have belonged to someone of very high status, a lord or warrior. Cleaning revealed intricate decoration on the bronze pieces, including a triskele motif of three interlocked spirals popular in Celtic art.

It’s unclear what the purpose of the iron tools was. Archaeologists suspect they may have had a horse grooming function. One of them has a looped handle and bent end with shallow notches that suggest it may have been the Iron Age equivalent of a curry comb. Two curved blades could have been hoof trimming tools or used in the production of harness parts.

Dr Jeremy Taylor, University of Leicester Landscape Archaeology professor and co-director of the Burrough Hill field project could barely contain his awe at the importance of this find:

“This is the most remarkable discovery of material we made at Burrough Hill in the five years we worked on the site. This is a very rare discovery, and a strong sign of the prestige of the site.

“The atmosphere at the dig on the day was a mix of ‘tremendously excited’ and ‘slightly shell-shocked’. I have been excavating for 25 years and I have never found one of these pieces – let alone a whole set. It is a once-in-a-career discovery.”

The objects have been removed to the University’s School of Archaeology and Ancient History for cleaning, conservation and analysis. They will be put on display briefly at the Melton Carnegie Museum in Melton Mowbray, from Saturday, October 18th through Saturday, December 13th. Once the lab work is done, a permanent display will be arranged.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Stonehenge's "perfect circle" revealed

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-10-14 17:50

Archaeologists have long debated over the original shape of Stonehenge, but recent dry weather in England has solved the mystery: the stone circle was actually...a circle. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

SCA Calligraphy and Illumination Calendar Published

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-10-14 16:37

The Labours of the East, a 2015 calendar with artwork by scribes of the East Kingdom to benefit the Royal Travel Fund, goes on sale today from the East Kingdom Gazette.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Killer medieval bladder stone found in Gdańsk

History Blog - Mon, 2014-10-13 22:51

In 2001, archaeologists with the Gdańsk Archaeological Museum unearthed the largest medieval burial ground ever found in Gdańsk. It was located at the western end of a market town on a busy trade route and had been in active use from the 10th century through the beginning of the 19th. Archaeologists found approximately 1,000 graves buried over 800 years. With limited space and a lot of dead people, bodies were buried on top of each other, often damaging the earlier occupants. Construction of a church, monastery and the Market Hall also wreaked havoc on the burials. A third of the skeletal remains were badly damaged (that’s why the precise number of burials isn’t known), and some graves contained a mish-mash of disarticulated bones.

Grave number 300 was one of the latter, containing the partial remains of four skeletons that date between the mid-10th and mid-14th century: a 20-39-year-old woman, a 40-55-year-old man, a teenager and a fetus of undetermined sex. The grave also contained a kidney-shaped stone with a mottled brown and black surface that less keen eyes might have mistaken for a pebble. Upon closer examination in the laboratory, the 1.5 inch-long stone was found to be a calculus, a stone created from compressed compounds and crystals in urine. It’s not possible to determine which of the bodies interred in grave 300 were host to this painful little rock. The fetus is excluded for obvious reasons, but any of the remaining three could have produced the bladder stone.

Sections of the stone were cut with a diamond blade and polished using diamond abrasive wheels. The section was composed of three concentric layers — an inner layer with a core, a middle layer and an outer one — of yellowish color. X-ray spectrometry of five spots on the section surface found the stone was composed of calcium, ammonium, magnesium, uric acid, oxalate, phosphate, and cystine compounds, a result confirmed by other tests as well. The results indicate that this was a bladder stone.

What’s particularly fascinating about this discovery, other than the general coolness of a medieval bladder stone, is how much it can tell us about the life of the person it inhabited.

High content of phosphate compounds suggests that the diet in this case was rich in phosphate compounds, for example in fish meat. Other animal proteins were present in trace amounts, or not at all. Consistent presence of oxalate compounds in both internal and external layers indicates that the diet, at the beginning and the end of the calculus growth, was rich in highly acidic food (e.g., sorrel plant). On the other hand, complementary EDS analysis suggested that the basic structure consisted of calcium and phosphate. The analysis did not demonstrate a sharp differentiation of Ca in the whole cross-section of the stone from the core to the cortex, and increased value of phosphorus was present in analyses of [section points] II-IV. This confirms the observations of Robertson that urinary stones are often present in societies whose diet is rich in plant products and low in meat and dairy products. It is quite possible that each phase of the stone growth was affected by negative health condition, including prolonged starvation, or other diseases, which resulted in production of alkaline urine. This condition most likely led to ascending infection to the kidneys and/or hydronephrosis with uremia.

That infection may well have killed the stone’s owner. The rough texture of the stone’s outer surface is evidence of a highly aggressive bacterial infection in the final stage of the stone’s development, an infection that was likely the cause of death.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Trying to find Harold, reading the Magna Carta, and going 3D: Medieval News Roundup

Medievalists.net - Mon, 2014-10-13 21:47
This week we take a look at some stories about the search for King Harold (sigh), some interesting medieval archaeological discoveries, and the wolf curse...

[View the story "Trying to find Harold, reading the Magna Carta, and going 3D: Medieval News Roundup" on Storify]

Categories: History, SCA news sites

#MedievalMonday Continues

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2014-10-13 15:00

Vigil board by Meestress Annetje van Wœrden for Mistress Philadelphia Brown, River Wars 2014

This marks the 4th week of #MedievalMonday ‘s via various social media platforms. We have already seen participants reach thousands of users over multiple networks, and have seen posts from a half dozen Kingdoms across The Society.

Today I’m posting just a select few of the posts Easterners have made over the last 4 Mondays.

What is #MedievalMonday you ask? It’s a hashtag campaign taking place via Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram.

A scroll by Mistress Eva Woderose

What is the goal of the #MedievalMonday campaign? It’s goal is to have fun, while sharing some of the cool photos, articles, and videos highlighting the best parts of our shared Medieval hobby. When posters make their posts public, these photos and other items can be re-shared, liked and commented on, and increase awareness of our hobby.

How can I participate in the #MedievalMonday campaign? It’s super-easy! If you would like to post, just make a public post of a photo of a medieval object you’ve recreated, that you took at an event, or share a video of your favorite medieval song on youtube, or your favorite go-to medieval recipe with a link. Then in that post, type “#MedievalMonday” and hit post! It’s that easy, and can be done on any major social media platform.

Tudor Rose Etched Copper Coins by THL Muin maqq Minain (Photo by Lord Martyn de Halliwell)

I don’t have anything to post, what else can I do? Even easier than posting, just search “#MedievalMonday” on your choice of social media platform, and voila, there are posts! Like posts you appreciate, comment on ones you truly enjoy, and re-share public posts that you want your social media circles to see.

Look below for even more #MedievalMonday posts by Easterns:

 

Stained Glass by Meestress Annetje van Wœrden

Toefl Board by Lord Aurddeilen ap Robet (Photo by Baroness Ysmay de Lynn)

Ceramic Pitcher by Dame Brunissende Dragonette

A Silk-Painted Banner at an Event (photo by Lord Lorenzo Gorla)


Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: campaign, medievalmonday, social media

Kickstarter project to publish book on Japanese heraldry

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-10-13 11:14

SCA member and medieval Japan enthusiast Xavid has started a kickstarter project to fund the English translation of a book on Japanese Heraldry with over 200 full-color reproductions.

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Categories: SCA news sites

August 2014 Peerages announced in Falcon Banner

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-10-13 08:26

The Falcon Banner of the Kingdom of Calontir reports that Their Majesties Agamemnon and Gwen have offered elevation to the Peerage to two of Their subjects.

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Categories: SCA news sites