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Raiders of Alaric’s lost tomb

History Blog - Sun, 2015-10-25 22:47

Anybody who thought that appeal of the witch trial was a waste of state resources better get their Valium dispensers locked and loaded. At a press conference on Wednesday, October 21st, a committee of politicians and scientists announced they’ll be searching for the legendary treasure-filled tomb of Alaric I, king of the Visigoths, under a river flowing through Cosenza, a city in the region of Calabria near the toe of Italy’s boot.

“It’s a real-life Indiana Jones hunt,” said Francesco Sisci, the project coordinator.

“You have a legend of long-lost treasure, even the Nazis – Heinrich Himmler came here in 1937 to try to find the hoard for Hitler. He stayed in a Swabian castle. This is the stuff of Hollywood and Steven Spielberg.

“If there really is 25 tons of gold, it would be worth around one billion euros at today’s prices,” he said.

When the project coordinator invokes Indiana Jones, you know it’s legit. This scheme is the brain child of a committee formed last year by the municipality of Cosenza to develop new cultural and touristic events around the legend of Alaric. The tomb doesn’t actually have to be found, therefore, in order for the search to fulfill its ultimate goal of promoting Consenza’s greatest claim to fame. Which is a good thing, because the odds of finding said tomb are so miniscule they make the Richard III parking lot excavation look like a sure shot.

Alaric, once a leader of a band of Gothic foederati (irregular troops who fought with the Roman army) under Emperor Theodosius I, has gone down in history as the first invader to sack Rome in 800 years, since the Gaul Brennus 387 B.C. Rome wasn’t actually the capital anymore when Alaric took it in 410 A.D., however. It hadn’t been since 286 when Diocletian made Mediolanum (modern-day Milan) the capital of the Western Empire.

Alaric besieged Mediolanum during his first invasion of Italy in 401, spurring the young and feckless Western Roman emperor Honorius to move the capital to Ravenna in 402 because it was surrounded by marshes, well-fortified and had direct access to the Adriatic, ideal should a hasty escape become necessary. His personal safety was his only interest. The new capital was horribly situated to protect Italy from barbarian invaders. It was only through the efforts of Flavius Stilicho, Honorius’ top general and former regent during the emperor’s minority, that Alaric’s army was kept at bay on multiple occasions from 401 until 408 when Honorius had Stilicho arrested and executed, ostensibly for conspiring to overthrow him.

In the first decade of the 5th century, Alaric besieged Rome three times, but he wasn’t just in it for the pillage and loot. He wanted the emperor to appoint him commander-in-chief of the Imperial Army and grant him huge tracts of land in Pannonia. Putting pressure on Rome, which while no longer the capital was still seat of the Senate and the symbolic center of the empire, was a means to those ends. The first siege after Stilicho’s death in late 408, ended with a massive payoff. According to Zosimus’ New History, the Senate gave Alaric 5,000 pounds of gold, 30,000 pounds of silver, 4,000 silk robes, 3,000 fleeces dyed scarlet in exchange for him lifting the siege.

One year later Alaric’s forces besieged Rome again after the failure of negotiations with Honorius. This time only the proclamation of a new emperor would do to get Alaric to lift the siege, and so Priscus Attalus was installed as puppet. While Attalus and Alaric had some military successes in Italy, enough to scare Honorius into preparing a flight to Constantinople, they soon hit the wall and Alaric dumped his puppet less than a year after installing him. He tried negotiating with Honorius again, but gave up for good after a sneak attack from Honorius’ Goth ally Sarus when Alaric was waiting to meet the emperor at the appointed time.

On August 24th, 410 A.D., the Visigoths reached the Salarian Gate of Rome. This time there was no siege. Alaric’s army spent three days sacking Rome, but it was quite respectful, as sacks go. They didn’t set it on fire — only a few public buildings were burned down for strategic reasons — and they spared the churches of Saint Peter and Paul. They didn’t indiscriminately kill people either, although they enslaved thousands.

Laden with the treasures of 800 years of Roman history, the Visigoths turned south where Alaric hoped to cross over into Sicily and from there to Africa, the granary of the empire. His fleet destroyed by storms, he never did make it to Sicily. A few months after the sack, Alaric suddenly became ill and died in Consentia. Jordanes describes the aftermath in his 6th century history of the Gothic people Getica:

His people mourned for him with the utmost affection. Then turning from its course the river Busentus near the city of Consentia — for this stream flows with its wholesome waters from the foot of a mountain near that city — they led a band of captives into the midst of its bed to dig out a place for his grave. In the depths of this pit they buried Alaric, together with many treasures, and then turned the waters back into their channel. And that none might ever know the place, they put to death all the diggers.

So. That is what the Cosenza search is up against: a tomb rumored to have been dug underneath a river in a location known only to slaves killed before they could share that knowledge. Past attempts to find the fabled treasure have all involved digging along the riverbank, a blind, clumsy approach that this new effort will eschew in favor of the latest technology.

By matching contemporary accounts by Roman historians with the local geography, the researchers have found five places where they think the treasure may lie. They include a 1.5 mile stretch of river that runs through Cosenza but also caves near the nearby village of Mendicino. [...]

The latest technology will be used to search for rectangle-shaped “anomalies” underground in the hunt for the fabled tomb of Alaric, said Amerigo Giuseppe Rota, the geologist leading the project.

“We think Alaric was buried at least five to six metres underground. But in the last 1,500 years the river bed has risen by about 1.5 metres, so his tomb could be up to eight metres below ground now,” he said.

Sure, why not? It could be. It could also not exist at all. The whole diverted river story could be a legend written 140 years after the events it purports to describe. The idea that there are 25 tons of gold under the Busento River is fanciful at best. The Visigoths would not have buried all of their Roman loot with Alaric. Even if the sources are correct that he was buried with his horse and treasure according to pagan custom (Alaric was an Arian Christian, but he held to some of his people’s traditional religious practices as well), they would have been grave goods, not tons and tons of gold.

Anyway the caper isn’t expected to cost much. The early geophysical surveys were funded by private donors and while there’s talk of the government in Rome chipping in, public funding isn’t likely to materialize anytime soon.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

East Kingdom Curia at BBM/Bergental Yule

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2015-10-25 19:07

With the permission of Mistress Mercedes Vera de Calafia, the East Kingdom Seneschal, this is the text of an email she sent out earlier today to those members of the populace who hold seats on the East Kingdom Curia:

This is to announce the Curia Regis of Brennan Ri and Caoilfhionn Banri to take place at BBM and Bergantal Yule on December 5, 2015 starting at 10:30am. http://www.eastkingdom.org/EventDetails.php?eid=2887  If you come to the event for Curia only, there will be no charge for entrance.

Because of the timing of Curia, we do not have time to print the announcement and agenda. As provided for by East Kingdom Law III.H.3:

An email to those with seats on the Curia Regis (as defined in Section III.D. above) sent to their email address listed in the last published Pikestaff, at least 21 days prior to the Curia date. If any of those with seats on Curia Regis do not have an email address published in Pikestaff, those individuals will be notified by letter postmarked at least 21 days prior to Curia. 

People with seats on the Curia Regis is defined in III.D.:

The following are entitled to a seat on the Curia Regis. With the exception of The Crown, these people
may send representatives to the Curia to fill their seats if they are unable to attend.
1. The Crown and Heirs of the East Kingdom
2. The Coronet and Heirs of Principalities of the East Kingdom
3. Kingdom Officers
4. Local Seneschals

Attached is the agenda for Curia Regis in .pdf form. The specific language of the proposed law changes will be published on the EK Seneschal’s web page in a few days. If you have any questions about the proposed law changes, please contact myself or the Crown.

In Service,

Mercedes Vera de Calafia

East Kingdom Seneschal

Curia Agenda

Filed under: Announcements, Law and Policy Tagged: curia

Bobbin Along: Lace-Making the Late Medieval and Renaissance Way

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-10-25 17:30

Jo Edkins’ Bobbin Lace School: A Bobbin Lace Hedgehog (an sca-like whimsy, not necessarily historical).

Lace-Making was such a lucrative past-time in our period of study that young ladies with that talent once were financially independent. No wonder the Catholic Church used to claim that lace was an immoral addition to the wardrobe. Its use encouraged women to make a living for themselves without the help of men! Nowadays, we tend to consider it frilly and girly. I may need to rethink that attitude in light of that Feminist discovery. Shakespeare himself spoke to the well-known popularity of women and their bobbins (each thread in the pattern is wound on its own little elongated spool, or bobbin) in his play, Twelfth Nigh, that he referenced “…free maids that weave their threads with bones.” Some early bobbins have been found by collectors that were made of spindle-shaped bones such as chicken thigh bones. Nowadays, those spindled bobbins are objects of art all by themselves.

Many web pages that pop up on top of your internet searches which speak to lace history are the result of insufficient and shoddy research. Many of those repeat (plagiarize much?) the same exact and incorrect text. Therefore, if you read elsewhere that Bobbin Lace, today’s topic, was invented in the 1500s, please ignore such reckless scholarship. Lace as a whole has been with us a very long time. Lace Bobbins, particularly historic ones, are a current subject of European collector’s fever, and a great many have been found that predate the 1500’s publication of the earliest how-to manual for bobbin lace (see one good lace-bobbin scholarship paper here, and the historic lace pattern book, Le Pompe, here).

Lace in general is a great deal older than the Renaissance, and the use of bobbins to organize the threads of complicated patterns must surely predate the height of bobbin lace use.  We know, as far as lace history is concerned, that ancient Egyptians had an appliqué process for decorative knotted thread, as did the Vikings, whose technique of gold- or silver-wire or colored thread lace-like appliqué was called posament. Mankind’s quest for sumptuous adornment has more to do with the development of bobbin lace than the average Tudor-era seamstress looking for yard goods. Regardless, the later you venture into the documentation of lace and bobbins, the greater evidence you can find for this beautiful and creative craft and its increasingly beautiful bobbins.

Read on to learn the history of Bobbin Lace, to find patterns and how-to videos, and even read a lace maker’s pillow construction tutorial.

Bobbin Lace: The Taming of Multitudes of Threads.
An image from the historic lace slideshow of the Lacis Museum at Http://Lacismuseum.org


The Digital Archive of Documents Related to Lace can be found here. It contains as many historical documents as the author could find.

A visual archive of historic lace could be very important to you, if you are trying to decipher technique. If that’s the case, The Structures of Antique Lace website is just the tool for you.


If you are lost or wondering how to begin, may we suggest the Learning Bobbin Lace: Where to start web page? Its comprehensive lists and starter information are perfect for your first read.

In addition, there are many lace tutorials on YouTube. Most recommended by lace experts seem to be these two, from a Canadian lacemaker: Video #79 Bobbin Lace Supplies and Video #84 Beginner Bobbin Lace Tutorial.

A comprehensive list of bobbin lacemaking tutorials can be found here: Lace News: lacemaking tutorials on YouTube.


Although not all bobbin lace pieces are meant to be yards long of repeated patterns, there is no doubt that repeat pattern lace is the most useful for Tudor and Renaissance and later-era costomers. In order to do that, you’ll find a lacemaker’s pillow very handy with its roller to lay out your repeat pattern. Look here to figure out how to make one type: Make a Bobbin Lace-maker’s Pillow.

In order to make bobbin lace, one must follow a pattern, whether for a repeated lace motif or for a single lace central figure such as the hedgehog, above. A whole bunch of them reside here: Lace patterns.

Jo Edkins’ Lace School is a one-stop source of information for the beginning and intermediate lacemaker. Most helpful are the glossary of lace terms, a pictorial index of named lace patterns, 26 free bobbin lace patterns of all shapes and sizes (one is whimsically named Winkiepin Footsides, for heaven’s sake!), and many other useful bits and links.

Long considered a terrific scholar regarding bobbin lace, please visit this expert for reliable information: Bobbin Lace by Laura Cathcart.

Categories: SCA news sites

Carlo Crivelli: the best Renaissance painter you’ve never heard of

History Blog - Sat, 2015-10-24 22:16

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston has opened the first monographic exhibition in the United States of the works of Carlo Crivelli, a Venetian artist of the 15th century whose genius has been unjustly neglected, overshadowed by his more famous (and more Florentine) contemporaries.

Born in Venice to a family of painters in around 1430-35, Carlo Crivelli’s first appears in the historical record in 1457, and he was already an independent master by then and therefore at least 25 years old. The record in question documents the scandal that drove Carlo out of Venice. On March 7th, 1457, the prosecutor asked the Council of Forty, the Republic of Venice’s version of the Supreme Court, to pass sentence on Carlo Crivelli for adultery. Apparently he was having an affair with Tarsia, wife of a sailor named Francesco Cortese. He had spirited her away from Francesco’s brother’s house and for months had “carnal knowledge of her in contempt of God and holy matrimony.” Carlo was sentenced to six months in prison and a fine of 200 lire. That was actually a relatively light sentence for the time.

After he served his time, Carlo went to Padua where he worked in Francesco Squarcione’s studio. Squarcione was the first artist to market himself as a teacher of the new Renaissance style, imparting lessons in linear perspective and assiduously collecting antiquities to give his students classical models to copy. Andrea Mantegna had apprenticed under Squarcione in the 1440s, and the master’s obsession with Roman antiquity was thoroughly inculcated into the pupil. Mantegna and Crivelli share an intense attention to architectural detail, the use of forced perspective and a bold, black outline that gives forms a chiseled sharpness. Crivelli may even have studied under Mantegna briefly.

Crivelli spent a few years in Dalmatia with Giorgio Schiavone, aka Juraj Ćulinović, who he likely met in Padua through Squarcione. By 1468, he was in Le Marche, a region of central Italy on the Adriatic coast, where he would remain until his death in around 1494. Most of his surviving works and all of the ones he explicitly dated were painted during his years in Le Marche. He received prestigious commissions for religious works, primarily altarpieces, the largest and most elaborate of which were the monumental high altarpieces for the cathedrals of Ascoli Piceno and Camerino. The pieces on display at the Gardner were on the main not composed as individual works but rather as sections of altarpieces that at some point were sawn apart and sold separately to collections and museums in Europe and the United States. Isabella Stewart Gardner brought the first Crivelli painting to the United States when she bought Saint George Slaying the Dragon in 1897.

At a time when leading painters in Florence were espousing naturalism, Crivelli embraced the elongated figures, rich colors and ornate gold backgrounds of the International Gothic style of the century before his. To that he added a detailed realism, painstakingly rendering every textile, brick and hair to a degree unmatched by any one of his Italian peers. To create the illusion of depth, dimension and texture, he took trompe l’oeil to new heights by creating gemstones, the ornamental features of armor, brocades and silks, even tears, in gesso, and then covering them with paint and gold leaf. He added more decorative details to gilded areas with a punch or stylus, given them palpable texture. He combined still life with the garlands of ancient sarcophaguses and created a swag of ripe, luscious, oversized fruits or placed individual pieces — his signature cucumber crops up practically everywhere — in panel after panel. It’s like the Byzantine icon and Northern European realism and Italian Renaissance illusionism had a beautiful baby.

While he was highly esteemed during his lifetime — he was knighted for his artistic contributions — Carlo Crivelli was forgotten all too soon. Florence-centric Vasari didn’t include him in his seminal biography of the artists and he was consistently overlooked until the 19th century when the Pre-Raphaelites rediscovered him. Revival or no, mainstream critics still pooh-poohed Crivelli as a throwback of sorts, too enamoured of the old-fashioned medieval style to be worth emulating. This is from an 1863 article about the “London Art Scene” in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine:

Its manner is severe, hard, quaint, and even fantastic. It is remarkable for elaboration of detail. And as a further characteristic of the school, or rather of the individual master, should be observed the introduction of gold not only in the background, but extending even to the gilding of the dress and the illumination of the hair. Making allowance for the period when painted, this is truly a glorious work ; but to revive this obsolete style, as attempted in Germany and England, except, perhaps, for strict architectural decoration, were certainly a monstrous mistake, of which we imagine our artists are by this time thoroughly convinced.

Even today when such judgments on ideal artistic progression are as passé as the above author held Crivelli’s work to be, he still flies under the radar, which is why it has taken until now for a US museum to dedicate a whole show just to him. Loans from major museums in Europe and the United States have allowed the Gardner to bring together 23 of his paintings and the only drawing known to have survived. Four of the six panels from the Porto San Giorgio altarpiece, one of which is the Gardner’s Saint George, have been reunited in the show.

Ornament and Illusion: Carlo Crivelli of Venice runs through January 26th, 2016. To find out more about the artist, you must visit the Gardner’s excellent website dedicated to the exhibition and Crivelli’s work. There is video and audio about the conservation of Saint George, a slider showing those bold, black lines in the underdrawing, a digital reassembling of the altarpiece of Porto San Giorgio, detailed views of those amazing 3D textures he achieved with gesso and much more.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

EVENT REPORT: Agincourt, October 17, A.S. L, Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2015-10-24 04:40

This report was compiled by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope with assistance from O’no Kuma, Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile, Master Alaric MacConall, Lady Katheryne Täntzel, Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill, Lady Melodia Beaupel, and Lord Robert Pour Maintenant.

Though the sun played peekaboo through clouds that brought intermittent cold winds and even the occasional tiny snowflake, the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt proved more fun for the folk of Æthelmearc than it did for the French on that fateful day in October, 1415.

The morning started with the Court of the Imperator, Magnus Tindal, in which he bade THLord Morien MacBain set himself on vigil, there to receive the counsel of the peers and populace regarding his elevation to the Order of the Pelicans.


Martial activities began with the Toys for Tots charity tournament organized by Brillo el Dragon for his high school senior project. 15 fighters participated in a bear pit tournament that lasted almost 2 hours, contributing toys and cash to the charity. Sir Vladimir Mechnik, known as Sir Vlad Two Swords, was the victor, but the children who will received Christmas gifts as a result of the tournament will be the true winners.

The Toys for Tots Tourney. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.


At the same time, Their Excellencies Liam and Constance presided over their Youth Combat Champions’ Tournament, which had five young gentles similarly competing in a bear pit for the right to be named baronial champion.

Their Excellencies address the youth fighters. Photo by Arianna.

In addition to receiving points for winning and losing bouts, the fighters had the opportunity to receive bonus points from the Baron, Baroness, and Marshals for chivalry, sportsmanship, and feats of valor or humor. This resulted in not only many points of honor, but also some entertainingly dramatic deaths and a fair number of quotes from Monty Python. His Majesty stopped by and commended the youth fighters for their prowess and camaraderie. He also bestowed upon the newest youth fighter, Danny, a mug in appreciation of Danny’s skill in the Kingdom Youth Championship Tournament held the previous week at Crown Tournament. In the end, Ulfr, who had just stepped down as kingdom champion a week before, was the winner and named Baronial Youth Champion.

Ulfr vs. Danny in the Baronial Youth Combat Champion’s Tourney. Photo by Arianna.


Once the youth fighters left the field to hold tavern brawl melees at the picnic tables on the other side of the feast hall, the fencers took the list.

For the dozen or so rapier combatants, Lord Cyrus Augur ran a round robin tournament with each round being best of three fights using progressive weapons forms: single sword, sword and parry object (or just sword), and then two weapons. Master Will Parris was the victor.

THLady Fiora vs. Lord Balan. Photo by Arianna.

After the tourney, there were melees, including a free-for-all called Paranoia. Fencers who were killed were out of the melee until the fencer who had killed them was also killed.

Lady Lucia vs. Lord Michael Gladewyne. Photo by Arianna.


After a tasty lunch crafted by Lord Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka and his kitchen crew, the tournament to choose the Debatable Lands Thrown Weapons Champion was hosted by last year’s Baronial Champion, Lord Halldorr Bildr Fintanson. There were 8 competitors vying for this honor, and all knew well the challenge the cold weather presented to the already daunting task. A qualifying round was held, after which 5 throwers were deemed worthy. The championship field included all manner of experience levels, from the most serious and experienced to a first time thrower who picked up knife and axe that day simply to try his hand. A steady hand he proved, for he indeed did qualify and acquit himself nicely.

The competition was a Robin Hood themed throw, and centered on the capture of Will Scarlet.

Thrown weapons participants. Photo by Zyla of Sebastion’s Place.

The competitors included Lady Verena Wittkopf, Baroness Aemilia Soteria, Don Clewin Kupferhelblinc, Karl Kupferhelbelinc (age 6),  O’no Kuma, and the first time thrower, Duncan McClough.

There were four targets, with one axe target and three knife targets, two weapons thrown per target. The axe target consisted of a white castle with a double door. Five points were awarded for hitting the door, one point for hitting the castle, and 10 points for hitting either the hinges or the handles of the door.

The second target proved much more challenging. It consisted of a head and shoulder with an inch-wide cloak above and around the shoulders. 10 points were given for sticking your knife in the cloak so as to pin Will Scarlet to the wall for questioning, 5 points for a non-lethal strike to the head or arms, and 1 point for the rest of the target. However, a lethal strike to the head or torso would prove costly, deducting 5 points from your score. There was only one 10 point throw, executed brilliantly by Baroness Aemillia Soteria with a devastating knife to the cloak at the bottom of the neck above the shoulder, pinning her subject quite nicely to the wall.

The third target consisted of a small Baronial shield over the center bullseye, with smaller still round shield targets encircling it. Each competitor was given a shield to strike. Hitting the target at all was worth 1 point, while hitting your chosen shield was 5 points. However, hitting an “ally” shield would deduct 5 points, and hitting the Baronial shield, God forbid, was a devastating deduction of 10 points. This target was the most difficult yet, yielding few points to the competitors, but thankfully no one struck the Barony shield.

The final and ultimately deciding target a “head” placed on the ground with an apple pinned upon the top. Competitors were to knock the apple off the top for 5 points, and doing damage to the apple’s skin would yield 10 points. But doing damage to the head would cost you a deduction of 10 points. This was by far the most challenging target. Not only was there a high risk for a miscue, but the target being on the ground presented a formidable addition challenge, as most throwers don’t practice throwing to ground targets. This point proved out in the end, with most competitors missing the target entirely or flirting dangerously close to damaging the head. In the end, only 2 competitors managed to knock the apple off the head: Duncan and Don Clewin, with Clewin being the only one to actually damage the apple, slicing the upper right portion of the apple clean off. This brilliant throw gave Don Clewin the Championship, with a total of 17 points.  Three others tied for second with 11 points.

The throwing proved difficult due to the cold and wind as fingers became numb and knives became slippery and harder to control. However, there was never a complaint or a discouraging word heard by any on the throwing line. Her Excellency, Baroness Constance, marveled at the skill and aptitude of the throwers, especially in the cold conditions!

Congratulations to Don Clewin Kupferhelblinc on his victory. We know you will represent us well throughout the coming year. VIVAT!!


Agincourt was the site of many populace archery shoots:

  • Lady Katheryne Täntzel ran a youth shoot for French vs English.
  • Master Alaric MacConnal ran a shield shoot of French vs. English, which was won by Lord Pavel Dudoladov for the English.
  • THLord Deryk Archer ran a hunt shoot.  Ben Nemeth, a promising new archer from the Debatable Lands, took top honors in this shoot.
  • Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile ran royal rounds, where King Tindal shoot his first ever royal round.

We shot through the rain, snow and sun. In the end, not surprisingly, the English proved victorious on the archery range.

However, the premier archery competition of the day was the Seven Pearls shoot. There were seven stations, jointly designed and marshaled by last year’s champion, Lord Ichikiero Osoroshi, with assistance from Meistari Urho and Maistir Brandubh.

Seven Pearls Archery competition. Photo by Baron Liam macanTsaoire.

Alas, due to the need to reschedule after weather canceled the plan to hold Seven Pearls at Archers to the Wald, only two baronies were able to provide champions to shoot: the Debatable Lands sent Lady Katheryne Täntzel while Delftwood was represented by Baroness Anastasie Delamour.  To make the competition more interesting, they invited other archers to fill in for the Baronies not represented, as the Shoots were designed for 7 to compete against one another. Baron Edward Harbinger, Lord Takematsu Yoshitaka, Ben Nemeth, Lord Pavel Dudolodov, and Master Alaric MacConnal filled in for the other groups.

Shooters were awarded points based on their ranking in each end.  All archers received between 1 and 7 point for each end of arrows, first place in each end received 7 points, down to last place in each end received 1 point.

The shoot opened with a one-minute timed round where each archer had to shoot 3 arrows each at 20, 30 and 40 yard targets for standard royal round scores.

The second shoot required the archers to remove all 6 pearls from a baronial coronet while shooting en masse.

The third round was a swan shoot at 40 yards, while the fourth was a baronial heraldry shoot,  where all archers shot at the heraldry of the other baronies. The winner was the barony with the least hits on its arms, while the barony with the most hits on its arms received the least points.

The fifth shoot was comprised of period targets of a shield and wand, and the sixth was a pearl hunt, with 49 pearls on the target. Only seven were true pearls and worth points, but archers had to shoot all the pearls to find the true pearls.

In the seventh and final challenge round, after working through the range, each archer issued a challenge and all archers had three arrows to answer the challenge.

In the end Lady Katheryne bested Baroness Anastasie to claim the title of Seven Pearls Champion for the Debatable Lands, while Baron Edward proved the victor among the stand-ins.

Much fun was had by the archers on this cold afternoon. Lady Katheryne, Marshal in Charge, wishes to thank the other marshals and also Meistari Urho for providing loaner gear.


The sides were chosen, French (blue) and English (red), with the marshals attempting to make them about even.

First there were a series of gate battles. Access was limited to a nine-foot gate, though the combat archers could fire more freely. The sides took turns being the aggressors with unlimited resurrections against the defenders who had none. Each side was the attacker twice.

After that, there was a series of five open field battles. The French won the first two, the English the final three.

Then a game was played where teams of three non-archers tried to cross an open field while a group of three archers fired at them. If any of the non-archers were ‘killed’ the entire team had to return to the starting line. If one was legged, all were legged.

Finally, the traditional ‘Tavern Brawl’ was held, in which fighters began the melee seated at picnic tables and then jumped into the fight when the marshals called Lay On.


THLady Sumayya al Ghaziyyah and Lady Astridr Vikaskegg ran the first St. Crispin’s A&S Competition, which is planned to be held annually at Agincourt in the future. There were 25 entries ranging from novices to Laurels and from fiber and costuming to calligraphy and illumination. Entries were judged based on Creativity, Workmanship, Aesthetics, Authenticity, and Complexity. While documentation was considered important, scores for it were only considered in the case of a tie.

Baron Silvester Burchardt won the overall St. Crispin’s Challenge with his piece of brocaded tablet-woven trim.

Brocade tablet weaving by Baron Silvester Burchardt. Photo by Arianna.

Prizes were also given to gentles in categories based on the arts awards they possessed. Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope won the Laurel category with a black hours Fleur scroll. In the Journeyman category, for gentles with Fleurs, THLord Ishiyama Gen’tarou Yori’ie won for his Suoh (Japanese garb). In the Novice category, for gentles with Sycamores, Lady Ceindrich verch Elidir won for her knitted stockings based on an extant pair made for Eleanor of Toledo. In the Tenderfoot category, for gentles with no Arts awards, Lady Abbatissa Dreye de Banneberi won with her sekanjabin.


After the day’s activities wore down, Their Excellencies and His Majest held court, processing in to the Debatable Choir singing the Agincourt Carol.

Baron Liam and Baroness Constance recognized their Youth and Thrown Weapons Champions, as well as the winners of the Seven Pearls Archery and other archery competitions, the A&S competition winners, and the winner of the Toys for Tots tournament, as previously mentioned.

Baron Silvester Burchardt is named winner of the St. Crispin’s A&S Competition. Photo by Arianna.

Brillo el Dragon addresses the Baron and Baroness regarding the Toys for Tots tournament that he organized. Photo by Arianna.

Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile was called forward as archery marshal and noted that Lord Pavel Dudoladov and Lord Robert Pour Maintenant had achieved the Royal Round rank of Marksman.

Their Excellencies also bestowed awards on the following gentles:

Lord Markus Skalpr Grimsson receives a Blue Silver Comet for his tablet weaving and the authenticity of his fighting accoutrements. Photo by Arianna.

Lord Takamatsu Gentarou Yoshitaka receives a Gold Comet for his service, including building the gate for the Debatable Lands’ Pennsic encampment. Photo by Arianna.

Lord Robert Pour Maintenant receives a Gold Comet for his service as a heavy weapons marshal at practices and events. Photo by Arianna.

Their Excellencies then called for Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter, presenting him with a scroll commemorating the Green Comet that had been given to him at Pennsic, and also asked him to convey the Toys for Tots tourney winner scroll and likewise a belated Green Comet scroll to Sir Vladimir Mechnik, who had left the event before court.

Sir Thorgrim receives his Green Comet scroll and scrolls for Sir Vlad. Photo by Arianna.

Finally, Their Excellencies had words with the Imperator, Magnus Tindal, regarding their plans to invade their neighboring Shire of King’s Crossing at the Shire’s upcoming Birthday B(r)all on November 7th in order to retake the lands “stolen” from the Barony-Marche many years ago. His Majesty, after expressing some concern, decided the invasion might be justified and granted Their Excellencies leave to execute this plan.

Imperator Tindal addresses the Baron and Baroness about their planned invasion of King’s Crossing. Photo by Arianna.

Baronial Court closed, and Kingdom Court commenced. A record of the doings at that Court may be found here.

After court, gentles retired to a splendid feast cooked by Meesteress Odriana vander Brughe and her crew, then wound the evening down with bardic activities and good fellowship. Those who stayed overnight in the cabins on the site were treated to a breakfast of bagels and yummy feast leftovers Sunday morning.

Congratulations to the Autocrats, Baron Liam, Baroness Constance, and Lady Isabel, for another fine Agincourt event.

Categories: SCA news sites

Hiker finds 1,200-year-old Viking sword

History Blog - Fri, 2015-10-23 22:04

A hiker in Norway has discovered a 1,200-year-old Viking sword in such good condition that with a vigorous oiling, a little time on a whetstone and a new grip it could still be used today. Gøran Olsen was hiking an ancient trail in Haukeli, south central Norway, when he sat down to take a break and caught a glimpse of the sword under a pile of rocks. The single-edged blade is 77 centimeters (30 inches) long and made of wrought iron. It is of a type that was common around 750-800 A.D.

The trail where the sword was found crossed a mountain plateau between western and eastern Norway. Most of the year the pass is covered in snow and ice, and the climate during summer months when the snows have melted allowing the trail to be easily hiked is low in humidity. This combination helped maintain the condition of the sword, leaving it a bit rusty and dulled, but otherwise remarkably well-preserved.

“The sword was found in very good condition. It is very special to get into a sword that is merely lacking its grip,” said Hordaland County, Norway, archeologist Jostein Aksdal. “When the snow has gone in spring, we will check the place where the sword was found. If we find several objects, or a tomb, perhaps we can find the story behind the sword. This was a common sword in western Norway, but it was a costly weapon, and the owner must have used it to show power.”

Finding an associated gravesite would be a very lucky break, but odds are long. Other artifacts have been found along the trail before. It’s possible that the sword may have been inadvertently lost by a traveler or someone who was caught in bad weather and died of frostbite. There could easily be no grave to be found.

The blade has been sent to the University Museum of Bergen, Norway, for conservation and eventual display.

“We are really happy that this person found the sword and gave it to us,” said County Conservator Per Morten Ekerhovd. “It will shed light on our early history. It’s a very (important) example of the Viking age.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Halloween Caption Contest

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2015-10-23 15:00


I have searched my archives to find some of my Æthelmearc Halloween photo shops. I will post a few every so often. Please add your caption, or better yet a very short story for each picture using the comment boxes below.


Categories: SCA news sites

Throwback – Gulf Wars 2006 Event Report – Piss off!

PainBank - Fri, 2015-10-23 10:13

WOW!  Gulf Wars XV, which also has some photo links from then as well.

Photo Credit to: THL Barbara Sterlings  In the pic, there are some classic folks, can you spot them?

It was a long time ago and dates our show.  This was a fun time and here is our report from that time.  Enjoy:



Categories: SCA news sites

Changements à la structure de récompenses pour le Royaume de l’Est”

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2015-10-23 07:53

Cet article est maintenant disponible en Français. Veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous.

New Award Structure for the East Kingdom / Changements à la structure de récompenses pour le Royaume de l’Est”

(English Translation: The following article is now available in French. Please click on the link below.)

Filed under: En français

Photo of iceberg that may have sunk the Titanic for sale

History Blog - Thu, 2015-10-22 22:42

A photograph of an iceberg that may be the one that sank the Titanic is going up for auction on Saturday, October 24th. The picture was taken the morning of April 15th, 1912, by M. Linoenewald, Chief Steward of the German liner Prinz Adalbert a few miles south of where the Titanic had gone down taking 1,517 souls with her just hours earlier. The news of the disaster hadn’t reached the liner yet, but the Chief Steward noticed red paint on the iceberg and took the photo out of interest.

You can’t see the paint in the picture. It is described in a brief statement signed by the Chief Steward and three other crewmen:

“On the day after the sinking of the Titanic, the steamer Prinz Adalbert passes the iceberg shown in this photograph. The Titanic disaster was not yet known by us. On one side red paint was plainly visible, which has the appearance of having been made by the scraping of a vessel on the iceberg. SS Prinz Adalbert Hamburg America Line”.

This isn’t the only picture of an iceberg suspect taken in the aftermath of the Titanic‘s demise. Captain William De Carteret of the Minia captured another possible candidate while searching for bodies. The Minia was a cable ship owned by Western Union which normally laid submarine cable for telegraph and was the second of four ships chartered by White Star as recovery vessels after the disaster. It reached the North Atlantic wreck site on April 26th, four days after the first recovery ship, the Mackay-Bennett, and searched through May 3rd.

Captain De Carteret took the photograph of the iceberg with a red gash along the base. According to him and the ship’s logs, that was the only iceberg encountered near the site of the collision. The Reverend Henry Ward Cunningham, on the other hand, told the press he had seen two icebergs and that the officers told him they’d seen more in the distance. The Minia searched a wide area, however, so the Captain likely snapped a photograph of the only iceberg he’d seen that was where the ship actually went down rather than the many miles over which the bodies floated, drawn towards the warm waters of the Gulf Stream.

The crew of the Minia recovered 17 bodies from the wreck site, among them Charles Melville Hays, President of the Grand Trunk Railway, but most of the deceased had no identification. The bodies were found miles apart, the last two recovered 45 miles away from each other. All were wearing life belts and according to the ship’s doctor, only one of them had water in the lungs indicating drowning. Fourteen died from exposure, two apparently from trauma during the wreck. The bodies of two unidentified firemen were buried at sea in a solemn ceremony. The other 15 were brought to Halifax.

The photograph taken by the Chief Steward of the Prinz Adalbert doesn’t match the survivors’ description of the iceberg as well as De Carteret’s does, but the descriptions are vague and contradictory. It’s of historical significance either way because it was taken so soon after the disaster and because it played a role in the legal fallout. Hamburg American Lines officials gave the photograph to the company lawyer, Charles Burlingham, partner at Burlingham, Montgomery & Beecher, when they heard that the firm was representing the White Star Line. Burlingham, Montgomery & Beecher represented White Star at the US Senate hearing and in the many lawsuits brought by survivors in America.

They did their job well since a 1914 US Supreme Court decision, written by Oliver Wendell Holmes, determined that the US Limitation of Liability Act of 1851 applied to the British company and that therefore their total liability was the value of whatever remained of the ship and its cargo, ie, 14 lifeboats valued at $4,520, plus $93,252 in ticket sales and freight charges. Because of the monster shitstorm of bad publicity, White Star ended up settling with the many, many US claimants — survivors suing for loss of property and trauma; family members for the loss of their loved ones — for a grand total of $664,000.

Burlingham, Montgomery & Beecher kept the iceberg picture on the boardroom wall for almost 90 years, from 1913 until the firm went out of business in 2002. The four remaining lawyers who were partners of the firm when it closed are the joint owners of the photograph offering it for sale. It is estimated to sell for £10,000 to £15,000 ($15,000 – $23,000).

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Report: Agincourt, October 17, A.S. L

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-10-22 19:49

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain, Basileus Kai Æthelmearc: the Business of The Emperor’s Court at Agincourt, 17 October, Anno Societatis L, in the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands, accompanied by Their Highnesses Byron and Ariella, Prince and Princess of Æthelmearc, and Their Excellences Uilliam and Constance, Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarou Umakai.

In the morning:

THL Morien MacBain was called before the Emperor, who confirmed that it was still Morien’s wish to contemplate whether he would accept appointment to the Imperial Council of the Pelican. The Imperator then convened said Council, who escorted His Lordship to the place that had been prepared for him.

In the evening:

The children of the Realm were summoned before the Emperor, who invited them to meet with Dame Hrefna Úlfvarinnsdóttir in the back of the hall, where there would be toys and games so that they would not be bored through Court.

Baron Uilliam and Baroness Constance swore their Oath of Fealty as Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands. While Her Excellency was in Court, the Emperor bestowed upon her a token of appreciation from Baroness Mariana, the Imperial Reign Coordinator, in thanks for her service as Royalty Liaison.

The Emperor allowed time for Their Excellencies to conduct the business of their Baronial Court.

Takamatsu-san Gentarō Yoshitaka was called forth and recognized for having achieved a Royal Round average of 83 and therefore was awarded the rank of Master Bowman.

Lord Yoshi is named a Master Bowman. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Drotin Jorundr hinn Rotinn was granted the King’s Award of Excellence for his many venues of service, including fencing, heraldry, and archery. Scroll by Lady Vivienne of Yardley.

Drotinn Jorundr receives the King’s Award of Excellence. Photo by Arianna.

Lord Jacob Martinson was called forth and presented with a second scroll to commemorate his Award of Arms, which he had received at Pennsic.

Lord Jacob receives his AoA scroll. Photo by Arianna.

Lady Abbatissa Dreye de Banneberi was inducted into the Order of the Keystone for her service in helping to setup and tear down events, assisting in kitchens, coordinating potlucks, and for donating sekanjabin made by her own hand on many occasions for gift baskets and to individuals. Two scrolls were created to commemorate this event, one by Baroness Helene al-Zar’qa, and a second by Lady Mary Elizabeth Clason.

Lady Abbatissa is inducted into the Order of the Keystone. Photo by Arianna.

THL Margery Kent of York was recognized for her many years in the performing arts, as part of the Dismal Players, the Debatable Consort, and I Genisii, with elevation into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Baroness Gillian Llewellyn of Ravenspur.

The companions of I Genesiithe Greatest Commedia dell’Arte troupe in the Known World – were called into Court to celebrate Margery’s exemplary work as part of their troupe. They presented her with a scroll naming her as Zanni Emerita and forever granting her sole designation and ownership of the name of Spinetta within their troupe. Scroll illuminated by Lady Kathryn Täntzel, to be calligraphed by Kameshima-kyō Zentarou Umakai upon words by THL Elss of Augsberg.

Lady Margery receives a Sycamore and is extolled by the cast of i Genisii. Photo by Arianna.

THL Fiora d’Artusio was granted admission into the Order of the Golden Stirrup for her continuous dedication to the authenticity of her garb, both on and off the fencing field. Scroll by Baroness Gillian Llewellyn of Ravenspur.

THLady Fiora is admitted to the Golden Stirrup. Photo by Arianna.

Lady Hara Kikumatsu was Granted Arms and named to the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc for her skills in researching and creating Japanese garb, dyeing techniques and braided cordmaking. Scroll illuminated by Ishiyama-roku-i Gentarō Yori’ie and calligraphed by Kameshima-kyō Zentarou Umakai.

Lady Sumayya al-Ghaziyya was Granted Arms and elevated to the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc for the beautiful leatherwork and Turkish garb that she creates. Scroll by Baroness Helene al-Zar’qa.

Mistress Hilderun Hügelmann was inducted into the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc for her research into livery collars, most recently relevant to the recent creation of the Order of Defense and its regalia.

Lady Hara, Lady Sumayya, and Mistress Hilderun are inducted into the Fleur d’Æthelmearc. Photo by Baroness Constance Glyn Dŵr.

THL Morien MacBain was summoned before the Emperor, assured Him that he had in fact sat vigil as He had instructed, and that it was still his wish to take the seat in the Imperial Council of the Pelican. Duchess Tessa the Huntress, Morien’s patroness in service, was invited forth and released Morien from his obligation as her protegé. The Emperor then convened the Council of the Pelican and asked for testimony from Peers and other worthies of the Realm. Duchess Gabrielle van Nijenrode spoke of his courtesy and politeness even after countless hours of service, and of how his work in starting the Paladin’s Pantry had now spread across the Known World. Count Sir Jehan de la Marche recalled some 20 years ago when he first came to Æthelmearc and Morien became his squire, and of his service to the heavy weapons, siege, combat archery and equestrian communities since then. Master William Parris bore the words of Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta, who named Morien an inspiration of his for many years, and calling him an artisan, a creative genius, a servant, a warrior, kind, generous, courteous and honorable. Shishido-nagon Tora Gozen noted Morien’s continuing desire to better himself, whether it be in the realm of martial arts, bardic arts, or service. Duchess Tessa the Huntress spoke of a Blackstone Raids many years past, when she found herself in need of a combat archery marshal and found Morien already doing it, and then of a time last year when she found herself in need of a combat archery marshal, and a siege marshal, and a heavy weapons marshal, and once again found Morien already doing all of those things. The Emperor then commanded that Morien be arrayed in the regalia of a Counsellor of the Pelican, and thus Morien was presented with the Ancestral Pelican Medallion of Æthelmearc, a personal medallion, a cloak, a hat, and a horse brass bearing the badge of the Council, that he might be known as a Peer even upon horseback. His Lordship now presenting as a Counselor of the Pelican, the Emperor named him to that Council, Granted him Arms by Letters Patent and elevated him to the station of a Peer of the Realm. The Emperor accepted Master Morien MacBain’s Oath of Fealty, and words by Count Sir Jehan de la Marche, to be penned upon a work in progress by Master Morien ap Rhys, were read.

Master Morien MacBain swears his fealty as a Companion of the Pelican. Photo by Baroness Contance.

The Emperor, noting that he had been commanded by his Empress to find and recognize inspiration in her absence, invited forth Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope, Baroness Aemilia Soteria and Lady Ceindrech verch Elidir, and presented them with tokens of inspiration for their service running the day’s youth combat tournament.

All those who had contributed time and effort in creating the day’s scribal offerings were invited to stand and be recognized.

There being no further business, the Emperor’s Court was closed.

In Honor and Service, Kameshima Zentarō Umakai 高貴国境の王国の治部卿 Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Categories: SCA news sites

On Target: The Highlander Shoot

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-10-22 14:51

This month’s installment of On Target is about how to run the Highlander archery tournament that I marshaled at this year’s Archers to the Wald.

Highlander head target. Photo by THLord Deryk Archer.

Each Archer gets a token for his quickening. An archer may join the game at any time.

Any archer can challenge any other Archer. The two archers must then give all of all their tokens to the Marshal in Charge. The Archers get one shot at their opponent’s head; if they both miss, they both get another shot. This continues till one or both heads are hit in the same volley. In the event of a double kill, all tokens are returned to the head table. The winner of the round gets all the tokens, while the loser is obviously out. At the end, if there are three shooters and there is a double kill, the third Archer wins automatically. If it’s down to two archers and there is a double kill, the Quickenings are the tiebreaker, so it’s important to collect as many tokens during the day as possible. This shoot is about protection and revenge.

An archer may be under the protection of another player. If challenged, he or she announces whose protection they are under, and that third party will come for revenge just like in the TV series. At that point the Challenger may resend his challenge. Around 3 o’clock in the afternoon, get all the players together for the gathering so you can finish the game. Remember, there can be only ONE.

So this month I want to leave you with a safety tip. I’ve noticed archers are starting to nock their arrows before they get to the line. Remember, do not nock an arrow till the Marshal gives the command.

Till next month…

THLord Deryk Archer

Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Crown Tournament, October 10, A.S. L

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2015-10-22 07:52

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain, Basileus Kai Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Court at Crown Tournament, 10 September Anno Societatis L, in the Shire of Misty Highlands. As recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarou Umakai.

In the afternoon:

When the last blow had been struck, the Imperatori called before them Baron Sir Thomas Byron of Haverford, the only competitor who remained standing, and his consort and inspiration, Baroness Sir Ariella of Thornbury. They crowned His Excellency as Their Heir and named him the Imperator Destinatus of Æthelmearc. Prince Byron then placed the Heir’s Consort’s coronet upon the brow of Princess Ariella.

Byron crowns Ariella as Princess. Photo by Master Alaxandair o Conchobhair.

In the evening, accompanied by Their Heirs, Byron and Ariella:

The Imperatori presented a basket of gifts to Their Highnesses and welcomed Them into Their Court.

Her Majesty presents Prince Byron and Princess Ariella with a gift basket. Photo by THLady Sophie Davenport.

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope was invited forth to speak of the Youth Champion tournament that had taken place that morning. Of all those that had competed, the Imperatori called forth two to serve as Their Youth Champions: they named Karl Kupferhelbelinc as Division I Champion, and Drake Magnusson as Division II/III Champion. Scrolls by Mistress Fredeburg von Katzenellenbogen.

Karl Kuperferhelbelinc is named Division 1 Youth Combat Champion. Photo by Lady Àine ny Allane.

The children of the Realm were summoned before the Imperatori, who invited them to accompany Their own children to meet with Dame Hrefna Úlfvarinnsdóttir in the back of the hall, where there would be toys and games so that they would not be bored through Court.

Kameshima-kyō Zentarou Umakai, Silver Buccle Herald, and Master Tofi Kerthjalfadsson, Kingdom Exchequer, offered their Oath of Service, as they had not been able to attend the Imperial Coronation.

Lady McKenna Henderson, who had served as Royalty Liaison for the day, was called forth and given a token of appreciation from Baroness Mariana, the Imperial Reign Coordinator.

Lady McKenna receives Her Majesty’s token of appreciation. Photo by Lady Àine.

The Ladies of the Rose and Garnet were invited to speak of the chivalry and courtesy displayed on the field that day, and to name one to bear the Shield of Chivalry. The Ladies wanted to recognize the honorable behavior of THL Beatrix Krieger and THL Jussie Laplein, but they named THL Darian Valski as the most chivalrous combatant of the day and asked him to be their champion and bear the Shield of Chivalry in the Imperial Court.

THLord Jussie Laplein. Photo by THLady Sophie.

THLady Beatrix Krieger. Photo by Lady Àine.

THLord Darian Valski, recipient of the Shield of Chivalry. Photo by Lady Àine ny Allane.

THL Ailionora Bronhulle was awarded the Sigil of Æthelmearc for her service as retainer and guard. No scroll was present.

Lady Ailianora receives a Sigil. Photo by Lady Àine.

Leonardis Hebenstreit was awarded Arms for both learning and teaching the art of heavy weapons combat, as well as serving during feasts and cleaning dishes after they are done. He also volunteered to serve at the Roses’ Tea at Pennsic. No scroll was present.

Leonardis is awarded Arms. Photo by Lady Àine.

Lord Rouland of Willowbrooke was Granted Arms and inducted into the Order of the Gage for his increasing prowess in heavy weapons, which started in the Youth Combat program, continues in the lists and on the melee fields, and serves as an inspiration to many currently in the Youth Combat program. Promissory scroll by Maîtresse Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon.

Lord Rouland is inducted into the Order of the Gage. Photo by Lady Àine.

The Empress, continuing in the tradition of her predecessors, spoke of how She was inspired by Count Sir Jehan de la Marche, by his service as marshal, and at his eloquence on the field. She presented him with her token of inspiration for the day.

Count Jehan is named Queen’s Inspiration. Photo by Lady Àine.

The Imperatori wished to recognize the work of all of the scribes of Æthelmearc, whose tireless work beautified Their Courts and Their Kingdom.

There being no further business, the Imperial Court of the Basileus was closed.

In Honor and Service, Kameshima Zentarō Umakai 高貴国境の王国の治部卿 Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Categories: SCA news sites

Repair of King Tutankhamun’s beard begins

History Blog - Wed, 2015-10-21 22:22

The restoration of the golden funerary mask of King Tutankhamun has begun after last year’s botched attempted to reattach the false beard left it with a thick, ugly layer of visible epoxy glue and scratches on the gold. The mask was removed from public view on the second floor of the Egyptian Museum two weeks ago and moved to a laboratory. A team of German and Egyptian conservators led by Christian Eckmann examined it thoroughly, using a microscope to assess its condition and figuring out how best to approach the removal of the epoxy without damaging the gold.

“We have some uncertainties now, we don’t know how deep the glue went inside the beard, and so we don’t know how long it will take to remove the beard,” [Christian Eckmann] said on the sidelines of a news conference with the antiquities minister, Mamdouh el-Damaty, and Tarek Tawfik, director-general of the still-under-construction Grand Egyptian Museum near the pyramids.

“We try to make all the work by mechanical means … we use wooden sticks which work quite well at the moment, then there is another strategy we could implement, slightly warming up the glue,” he said. “It’s unfortunately epoxy resin which is not soluble.”

The process of removing the beard by scraping away the glue with wooden sticks could take at least a month. Once the thick glue layer has been removed, the team will study how to reattach the beard. The beard has a pin that fits into a slot on the chin, but it’s been loose since Howard Carter discovered it in 1922. A 1941 restoration added a thin layer of adhesive to keep the beard stable. In the seven decades since then, the adhesive weakened, which is likely why the beard fell off when it was jostled last year during routine work on the display’s lighting. A joint scientific committee will decide the best method of reattachment.

There are two components to the restoration project: the detachment/reattachment of the beard, and a comprehensive study of the materials and techniques used to manufacture the mask. While the gold mask of Tutankhamun has been one of the most photographed artifacts in the world since its discovery, it has never been thoroughly documented and studied with modern scientific methods. Having to repair this reprehensible conservation disaster does therefore have something of a silver lining.

The funding for the restoration comes from the German Foreign Ministry which is donating 50,000 euros ($57,000) as part of its Cultural Preservation Program.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

East Orders of High Merit to Become Grant Level

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-10-21 15:50

Their Majesties of the East have announced that the current Eastern Orders of High Merit will become Grant level Orders. As our fair Kingdom was once a Principality of the East, this news may be of interest to many Æthelmearcers. Additionally, They are creating four new AoA level awards.

Read the details here, courtesy of the East Kingdom Gazette.


Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: Hunter’s Moon, October 3, A.S. L

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-10-21 09:36

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Magnus Tindal and Etain, Basileus Kai Æthelmearc: the Business of The Empress’s Court at Hunter’s Moon, 3 October Anno Societatis L, in the Shire of Hartstone. As recorded by THL Sophie Davenport, Seedling Herald.

After instructing the populace to seek their comfort, The Empress called for Beatrix Krieger and the children present. Beatrix passed out goodie bags with toys to the children so they may be amused while the business of the Court was conducted.

The Empress called for the Autocrat of the event, Beatrix Krieger, and the cooking staff. THL Beatrix thanked the Chief cook, Lady Abigail Kelhoge and her staff for working hard to prepare a wonderful feast to be served after court, the marshalls for fencing, heavy weapons and thrown weapons, and the populace of Hartstone for their work in the rain to make the event a success.

The Empress next wished to hear about the heavy weapons tournament held. THL Thorsol Solinauga reported that THL Beatrix Krieger had won the Barricade Tournament, and that Master John the Pell had won the Bear Pit Tournament. THL Thorsol also wished to say how impressed he and the other fighters were of Alexi and how he conducted himself on the field.

The Empress then wished to hear about the day’s fencing tournament from Baroness Helene al-Zarqa’. She reported that Round Robin tournament was won by Master Benedict Fergus atta Mede, with a scroll by Lady Abigail Kelhoge, and by much acclaim of his peers, Master Caleb Reynolds won the Barricade Tournament, with a scroll by Lady Abigail Kelhoge.

It was reported that there are some Throwers who had attained new rankings, and the Empress requested that Master Antonio de Luna elaborate. He reported that Joselyn of Hartstone has attained the rank of Thrower, that Douglas of Hartstone has attained the rank of Verfer, that Kiegard, Destroyer of Worlds has attained the rank of Verfer, and that THL Renata Rouge has attained the rank of Caster. Master Antonio invested them with the insignia of their new status and instructed them to return the insignia for updating when they have reached the next level.

The Empress requested that Master Antonio remain for a moment. She spoke of the weather and the work that Master Antonio did to set up ranges, and did name him her inspiration of the day.

The Empress then had Hrolfr Fairfell called forth and named him the new Archery Champion, as he had won the Tournament held at A Shoote in the Wyldewoode on September 5th. Scroll by Master Caleb Reynolds.

The Empress requested the current Thrown Weapons Champion to attend and report. Master Tiernach Mac Cathail reported that although the weather was wet and cold, a tournament was held and winner is to be the new champion. He then call forth Shawn de la Mort, introduced him to the Empress and with her approval invested Shawn with the insignia of the Champion, instructing him to give his oath. Scroll by Master Caleb Reynolds.

The court of Empress Etain was then closed.

In Honor and Service, Kameshima Zentarō Umakai 高貴国境の王国の治部卿 Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc
Categories: SCA news sites

Court Report: A Shoote in the Wyldewoode, September 5, A.S. L

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2015-10-21 08:02

Documented from the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy & Gabrielle II, King and Queen of Æthelmearc: the Business of Their Highnesses’ Regency Court at A Shoote in the Wyldewoode, 5 September Anno Societatis L, in the Barony of Delftwood. As witnessed by THL Marcus Cincinnatus, and recorded by Their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima-kyō Zentarō Umakai.

THL Gwydion ap Arden presented gifts to the children of the Imperatori Destinati.

Their Highnesses called for Hrolfr Fairfell, who had bested all others in the day’s Archery Tournament. They gave unto Hrolfr Their word that, while They were not at liberty to name him as the Kingdom Archery Champion, it was Their intent to do so once They ascended the thrones.

There being no further business, Their Highnesses’ Regency Court was closed.

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

Site Update and Supporting the show!

PainBank - Sun, 2015-09-20 17:27

Finally got around to updating the site.  Now there is a bit more navigation information on the side bar as well as finally showing the RSS feed again for those that want to subscribe via their favorite subscription service.  Also added a shopping system, so we now have a BotN USA Team Scarf for sale!  Please support the show and our adventures in medieval podcasting and fighting!

Categories: SCA news sites

Throwback Interview with Sir Tristan von Eisig (Chermack) of Northshield

PainBank - Thu, 2015-09-17 11:21

Throwback Thursday edition.  Here is an interview from back in the day, which was with an awesome teacher and martial artist.  At the time, he was just getting into Akido.  Enjoy!



Categories: SCA news sites

Throwback to 2006 Val Day report!

PainBank - Fri, 2015-09-11 11:41

This is an SCAevent held in Kalamazoo, MI in the winter.  It is generally a pretty good indoor melee event, but I think it was a Tournament of Chivalry this particular year with a bit of melee thrown in.  I do not recall what we talked about, but here you go.  A walk down memory lane!

Categories: SCA news sites