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Heidelberg Castle destroyed in digital recreation

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-02-03 14:06

Explosions thunder, and smoke rises, in a digital animation of the destruction of Heidelberg Castle by the French in 1693 in a new video commissioned by the Reiss Engelhorn Museum in Mannheim, Germany for its exhibition Die Wittelsbacher am Rhein. The castle was once considered the "eighth wonder of the world." (video)

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Categories: SCA news sites

“Three Dinner Guests” new TI Quest

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-02-03 08:53

Magister Riordan MacGregor, editor of the SCA's Tournaments Illuminated, reports that the publications upcoming Quest article is “Three Dinner Guests”, with Guest Editor Esther Reese (Emma Haldan).

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Categories: SCA news sites

Erotic tiles from London pub on display for the first time

History Blog - Mon, 2014-02-03 00:38

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, one of London’s most iconic and oldest pubs, has had a couple of run-ins with fire. The original pub at 145 Fleet Street was built in 1538. It burned down during the Great London Fire of 1666 and was rebuilt in 1667. That same 1667 reconstruction still stands but it was put to heated test in 1962 when fire broke out on the upper storey. Thankfully the damage was not catastrophic. In fact, in one way at least, it was a boon. A set of old tiles was discovered in the debris with explicit depictions of impressively varied sexual encounters.

Because they were too awesome to be seen by the general public, the tiles were hustled away to the Museum of London for study, not display. Experts found they were plaster of Paris relief tiles with sooting on the back that suggests they were used as fireplace surrounds. There was also scorching on the front of some from unintentional fires like the one that exposed them. Some were in good condition with just a few scratches; some were missing significant portions of the scene with only a disembodied foot on a pillow remaining; some were broken into several pieces. From the dress of the figures, particularly their blunt-toed shoes, curators determined the tiles were made after 1740.

Among the more notable scenes depicted are one of a woman whipping a man’s naked buttocks with a bundle of twigs while another woman kneels in front of him, one of a woman in a basket on a rope, lowering herself onto a man on his back underneath her, one of a woman bent over holding a pillow while a man penetrates her from behind, one of a woman straddling a man seated on a chair. In the ribald 18th century, these kinds of materials were relatively common, if you had the money to acquire them. Moulded plaster reliefs were not expensive to produce, but the erotic subject matter would have jacked up (snicker) the price considerably. Very few of these erotic artifacts from this time have survived.

It’s not clear why the pub was so spicily decorated upstairs. One possibility is that Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese had a little side business as a brothel going on. They could also have adorned a gentleman’s club room. The 18th century saw a proliferation of libertine private societies like The Hellfire Club which met to celebrate wine, women and song.

The collection was put in storage at the museum and hasn’t seen the light of say since. There aren’t even images on their entries in the online ceramics catalog, unlike with the thousands of other far less interesting tiles. Small pictures of one complete tile (a fairly staid one) and a few inscrutable fragments are available as prints for sale (the first eight results here), and that’s it.

That will change come Valentine’s Day, when the complete set will be put on public display for the first time at an evening exhibition for adults only alluringly titled Late London: City of Seduction. It’s a one night only event, and, in my nerdy opinion, a far more productive couples activity than boring old dinner reservations. Chocolate at Hampton Court Palace during the day, then absinthe tasting and sex tile viewings at night. Now that’s how you show a date a good time.

Having said that, I think it’s lame in this day and age that the tiles aren’t on regular display. I thought we were past needing secret rooms in museums for ancient Roman phalluses and erotic art to be hidden away where only men of wealth and hilariously theoretical good character were allowed to see them. Surely we’re past hiding them in storage all together and only allowing the public to enjoy them when there’s a nice Valentine’s Day profit to be made in ticket sales.

Museum of London curator Jackie Keily says in this article that “for obvious reasons these tiles are not normally out on public display.” Why is it obvious? If you’re concerned about children being exposed to sexually graphic historical material (I personally am not, but I get that it raises issues for some), you can keep the artifacts in an adults-only space. Otherwise, what’s the big deal? I say let the Georgian freak flag fly.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

YouTube channel for bardic and combat videos

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2014-02-02 16:34

Alexander Van Ness of the Middle Kingdom reports that he has created a YouTube channel for videos of SCA bardic performances and armored combat.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Hampton Court chocolate kitchen to reopen after 300 years

History Blog - Sun, 2014-02-02 00:21

On Valentine’s Day, Hampton Court Palace will open its royal Chocolate Kitchen to the public for the first time. The chocolate kitchen was active in the 18th century under three Georgian kings, William III, George I and George II, all of whom were big chocolate fans. Chocolate played a particularly dramatic role in the life and Elvis-like death of George II. Chocolate was George II’s last meal. He had a cup of hot chocolate for breakfast at 6:00 AM on October 25th, 1760, then took to his convenience (ie, his pooping chair). His valet heard a crash and ran in to find the king unconscious on the floor. The king died shortly thereafter of an aortic aneurysm.

Chocolate had been popular in England since the 17th century when it became widespread in beverage form. George I’s personal chocolatier, Thomas Tosier, was particularly famous as was his wife Grace who capitalized on her husband’s connections and ran a successful chocolate house in Greenwich. Tosier’s domain was two rooms in the vast kitchens of Hampton Court: the Chocolate Kitchen and the Chocolate Room. The former was where the chocolate confections were made. It’s a small space compared to the giant multi-spit fireplaces of the Tudor kitchens, but it has a stove, a modest fireplace, counter and shelves. The Chocolate Room was for storage. Cocoa beans, a vast array of spices, sugar, other ingredients used in chocolate production (oil of Jamaican pepper, oil of aniseed, oil of cinnamon, cardamom, Guinea pepper, musk, ambergris, and civet musk were all included in a recipe King Charles II gave to the Earl of Sandwich in the mid-1600s) were kept in the room, along with silver, gold and porcelain vessels and cups for service.

The precise location of the Chocolate Kitchen was lost in the mists of time after George III, who hated Hampton Court and refused to stay there, and subsequent monarchs abandoned the palace to benign neglect. Researchers have recently rediscovered the spaces in the palace’s Fountain Court. Both rooms had been used as a storage and were crammed with assorted clutter. That turned out to be a boon for historic preservation. The kitchen was found virtually intact, complete with its original stove, furniture and equipment. It is the only surviving royal chocolate kitchen in the United Kingdom.

On December 13th, 2013, Hampton Court Palace launched a fund raiser to conserve the Chocolate Kitchen and deck out the Chocolate Room with the rarified ingredients and rich accouterments that graced it in its Georgian heyday. It was brief but successful and the Chocolate Kitchen will reopen on February 14th, one of a number of special exhibitions and events in 2014 commemorating the 300th anniversary of the accession of the Hanoverian Dynasty to the British throne.

The new display will explore the story of the royal responsibility of making chocolate for the King. The former Chocolate Room, which once housed dining luxuries, will be dressed with ceramics, copper cooking equipment, bespoke chocolate serving silverware, glassware and linens of the time. Elegant and refined Georgian table dressing and decorating will also be explored in the display, and in the private rooms Queen Caroline herself once dined in. [...]

Polly Putnam, curator, Hampton Court Palace, said: “This is a ‘below stairs’ story like no other. Chocolate was an expensive luxury. Having your own chocolate maker, chocolate kitchen and chocolate room filled with precious porcelain and silver – all this, just for chocolate – was the last word in elegance and decadence. It was really something that only kings and queens could afford, and is a real contrast with all the pies and meat we associate with the Tudor Kitchens at Hampton court.”

Visitors to Hampton Court Palace will be able to watch experts make chocolate the way it was done in the Georgian era. Live demonstrations will take place regularly over the year and the entire process, from production to service in the private rooms in which Queen Caroline, wife of King George II and a big chocolate fan, indulged her taste for the sweet cocoa beverage.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Scottish hillfort speaks of post-Roman unrest

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-02-01 19:42

A team of archaeologists from Rampart Scotland has discovered evidence of a post-Roman hillfort at Sheriffside, 20 miles to the east of Edinburgh, Scotland. Experts believe that the fort, and its 2.80m deep ditch, were constructed to defend against frequent raids by Scots and Picts against local tribes.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Charlemagne’s bones found in his coffin

History Blog - Sat, 2014-02-01 00:13

That may seem obvious, but given how often he was exhumed and reburied and parts of him given away as relics, it’s actually quite notable that the collection of bones in the Karlsschrein, the Shrine of Charlemagne, and other reliquaries in the Aachen Cathedral all appear to come from the same person who matches contemporary descriptions of the Frankish king.

Charlemagne died almost exactly 1200 years ago, on January 28th, 814, and was buried in the choir of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen Cathedral. (See Einhard’s Life of Charlemagne, written 15-20 years after his death for a description.) In 1000, Otto III, keen to present himself as the successor of the great man, had the burial vault opened. According to German chronicler and bishop Thietmar of Merseburg who was a contemporary of Otto’s, when the vault was opened they found Charlemagne’s uncorrupt body seated upon a marble throne wearing a crown with a scepter in his hand and the gospels open in his lap. Otto reportedly Helped himself to some of the relics and brought them to Rome.

Frederick I Barbarossa was the next to disinter Charlemagne. In 1165, he had the remains exhumed and displayed as holy relics at the Aachen Court festival. Again this was a means for Frederick to establish a connection with the revered leader and to position Aachen as a center of pilgrimage like St. Denis or Westminster. To curry favor with Frederick, Antipope Paschal III canonized Charlemagne that same year, although this, like all of Paschal’s acts, was never recognized by the Vatican. Barbarossa had Charlemagne’s remains reburied, this time in an elaborate third century A.D. Roman marble sarcophagus depicting the Rape of Persephone, which may seem incongruous as a topic for Christian burial, but like many ancient myths was re-interpreted as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection.

He didn’t stay there for long. In 1215, Frederick II had Charlemagne exhumed yet again. He commissioned local goldsmiths to make a rich gold casket to hold the bones. That’s the Karlsschrein originally in the placed in the center of the Palatine Chapel underneath a chandelier donated by Frederick Barbarossa in 1168.

Nearly 200 years passed before the next king inserted himself into Charlemagne’s eternal rest. In 1349, some of his bones were removed to individual reliquaries by Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. He had a gold reliquary made to contain a thigh bone, and the Bust of Charlemagne to contain the skullcap. Louis XI of France contributed to the trend in 1481 by commissioning the Arm Reliquary, a golden arm that contains the ulna and radius from Charlemagne’s right arm.

It was scientists who took over from the emperors and kings. In 1861, Charlemagne’s remains were exhumed again so they could be studied. His skeleton was reconstructed and a very generous estimate (1.92 meters, or 6’4″) made of his height. In 1988, scientists exhumed his remains one more time, this time in secret. This study covered the bones in the reliquaries as well, a total of 94 bones and bone fragments, and they spent years meticulously examining and testing the collection. On Wednesday, January 28th, the 1200th anniversary of Charlemagne’s death, the results of the research were announced.

One of the scientists studying the remains, Professor Frank Rühli, said: “Thanks to the results from 1988 up until today, we can say with great likelihood that we are dealing with the skeleton of Charlemagne.”

From studying the dimensions of the upper arm, thigh and shin bones, scientists have built up a picture of the man behind the skeleton, and it matches descriptions of Charlemagne.

At 1.84 metres (six feet), he was unusually tall for his time. The team also estimated his weight at around 78 kilograms, giving him a slim body mass index of around 23.

The average height for an adult male in the 9th century was 1.69 meters or 5’6″, which put Charlemagne in the 99th percentile. Einhard’s description of him fits the results of the study even in some of the smaller details, like the limp that struck him in his later years. Researchers found that the kneecap and heel bone had deposits consistent with an injury.

From Chapter 22 of the Life of Charlemagne:

Charles was large and strong, and of lofty stature, though not disproportionately tall (his height is well known to have been seven times the length of his foot); the upper part of his head was round, his eyes very large and animated, nose a little long, hair fair, and face laughing and merry. Thus his appearance was always stately and dignified, whether he was standing or sitting; although his neck was thick and somewhat short, and his belly rather prominent; but the symmetry of the rest of his body concealed these defects. His gait was firm, his whole carriage manly, and his voice clear, but not so strong as his size led one to expect. His health was excellent, except during the four years preceding his death, when he was subject to frequent fevers; at the last he even limped a little with one foot.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

#Beow100

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-01-31 15:38

College students forced to read Beowulf be heartened! Welsh medievalist, Elaine Treharne, has brought social media to medieval Scandinavia with Beowulf in a Hundred Tweets. The work is available on her blog Text Technologies.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Sir Sven Randalsson new Heir to Ansteorra Throne

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-01-31 12:22

Molly Maddox Netterville reports that Sir Sven Randalsson was the victor of the Winter 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Ansteorra. His Highness was inspired by Lady Antigone of York.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Babe Ruth’s lost 1923 World Series watch for sale

History Blog - Fri, 2014-01-31 00:13

The first World Series Championship rings were given to the New York Giants in 1922 after they defeated the New York Yankees, who were actually their tenants at that time, paying extortionate rent to use the Giants’ Polo Grounds as their home field. The next year’s World Series would be a rematch with a very different outcome. For one thing, the Yankees weren’t their opponents’ tenants anymore. Yankee Stadium opened to a record crowd of 74,000 on April 19th, 1923, and when the New York teams went to the World Series, Babe Ruth inaugurated their new home with a home run in game one. He hit two more home runs in the remaining games of the series and finished the season with a phenomenal .368 batting average, the highest of his career and still to this day the highest batting average in Yankees history. The Yankees won in six, their first World Series win.

The Yankees received a pocket watch for their victory in the 1923 World Series, then a common gift. The Yankees would continue to receive watches until 1927 after which they switched to rings too, and in the next decade all the other teams followed suit. Now rings are de rigeur and watches are artifacts that only rarely appear on the market. It’s a 14 karat gold Gruen Verithin watch made in Cincinnati. It has an unusual pentagonal shape and is engraved on the back with a scene of a pitcher throwing a ball at a hitter while a catcher crouches behind him. Above them writ large is “YANKEES” and below the field is “World’s Champions 1923.”

Babe Ruth’s 1923 World Series watch was one of his most prized possessions, representing the dawn of Yankee dominance, his personal best batting average and the opening of the stadium that would become known as The House That Ruth Built. In 1946, Ruth was diagnosed with cancer at the base of his skull and in his neck. His doctors tried everything — experimental drugs, radiation — but despite a brief remission in 1947, the Babe’s health rapidly deterioration. During this time, his friend Charles Schwefel, manager of the Gramercy Park Hotel whose bar Ruth had been a regular at since the 1930s, was constantly by his side as the cancer took its inexorable toll in 1947 and 1948.

His doctors and family hid his cancer from Ruth, but he could see the writing on the wall. Sometime in those last two years of his life, Ruth asked Schwefel if he’d like to have anything from his collection as a memento. Schwefel asked for the 1923 watch. Ruth had his name engraved on the upper edge of the back of the watch, added a line to the engraving on the inside rear case “To My Pal Charles Schwefel,” and gave his pal the watch.

Schwefel only kept it for two years after which his wife gave it to Charles’ nephew Lewis Fern saying that it should have been his all along. Fern had caddied for Ruth for years, including on May 6th, 1937, when they saw the Hindenburg pass overhead on the way to its tragic fate while they were playing at St. Alban’s Golf Club in Queens. Lewis Fern kept the watch for almost four decades. In 1988, he sold it to an anonymous private collector (sigh) for $200,000. Said collector apparently has one of the greatest sports memorabilia collections in the world, but he keeps it hidden and unpublished. Once the watch was sold to him, it disappeared off the face of the earth and was considered lost.

Now it emerges again, for sale at Heritage Auctions’ Sports Platinum Night Auction in Manhattan on February 22nd. Online bidding has already begun with the current bid at $240,000. The pre-sale estimate is $750,000+, but for such an important artifact from baseball’s most legendary player and most dominant franchise, the sky is the limit.

“As the Babe’s personal award for the first World Championship in New York Yankees franchise history, I believe that this is the most important piece of New York Yankees memorabilia that exists,” said Chris Ivy, Director of Sports Collectibles at Heritage Auctions. “This championship watch, which was thought lost to time, will now take its rightful place as one of the crown jewels of sports memorabilia. Based on prices realized for similar historic championship hardware, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it far exceed our preliminary auction estimate.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Geneva Breeches Bible stolen from Welsh church

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-01-30 22:49

Thieves of a rare 16th century bible must have had a guilty conscience when they left a modern replacement bible in a locked case in St Mary's church in Trefriw, Wales. The Geneva Breeches Bible was produced by Protestants in Switzerland in 1589.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Crown Tourney Announcement

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-01-30 22:48

Greetings unto all those intending to enter Spring Crown Tournament

Please be aware that both the combatant and the consort must submit a letter of intent, either through this link (preferred) or by email to TRH Prince Brennan and Princess Caoilfhionn, with a copy to me. If by email, a joint email is preferred.

The Letter of Intent must be received by April 5th, 2014.

If using email, the letters of intent must include all of the following information for both combatant and consort: Society name, legal name, address, telephone number, years of residency and be accompanied by proof of membership with membership number & expiration date that is valid at least thirty days after Crown. If both entrants are combatants, then that should be clearly indicated.

Proof of valid membership consists of a copy of a valid membership card, copy of a Pikestaff label showing name and expiration date, a postcard (with a date-stamp) or letter from the Corporate office, or a confirmation form printed from the website after an online membership purchase.

- Confirmation of faxed membership applications with credit card receipts as well as membership applications CANNOT be accepted as proof of membership. -

In Service to the East, I remain

Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia

East Kingdom Seneschal


Filed under: Events Tagged: Crown Tournament

Pennsic 43 Important Dates

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-01-30 17:44

Pennsic 43 will take place July 25, 2014 – August 10, 2014

Reservations: Online prepaid registration will be available until Monday, June 16th 2014 11:59pm EDT.

Online unpaid registration will be available until Friday, July 11th 2014 11:59pm EDT.

The refund policy has changed. The cut-off date for requesting a refund is Monday, June 23rd 2014 11:59pm EDT.

Event site

Registration link


Filed under: Pennsic Tagged: events, Pennsic

Announcement Regarding the Society Chirurgeonate Request for Comments

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-01-30 12:52

The SCA Board of Directors seeks commentary on a proposal to eliminate the official Office of the Chirurgeonate, and the associated changes to Corpora necessary to accomplish this action.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Maker’s Faire – Planning Your Day!

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-01-30 12:41

Attending the Medieval Makers Faire?  Here is information about the classes and the food to help plan your day.

If you haven’t preregistered yet and would like to know about availability of the feast, contact Madelaine de Mortaign The autocrats expect seats for the feast may still be available at the door.  Dayboard will be available at the door for $3  but can be included in your preregistration.  The feast is being cooked by Mistress Anastasia and the courses are listed below.  Dayboard is being cooked by Lady Zsuzsy.

Both Dayboard and the Feast are also being run as classes for people who want to learn more about how an event kitchen works.  Other classes include ironworking, fiber arts, glass bead making, performance arts and a wide variety of other options. A complete schedule is up on the website and so are the class descriptions. Royal Court will follow the classes.  More information about the event is available at its website or the listing on the East Kingdom website.

Order of Service for A Faire Feast in Midwinter at Maker’s Faire
(Please note: While we will do our very best to adhere to this menu, we reserve the right to change the menu at any time subject to the availablity of ingredients.)
Questions: Contact Baroness Anastasia

  • White Bread (A limited amount of GF bread will be available, please contact us in advance if you need this.)
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Drinks (Water, Cucumber Water, and Barley Water will be available during service)

First Course

  • Roasted Sausages
  • Soft Farmer’s Cheese (Fresh; set on-site today) – Whole milk, lemon juice, salt, flavoring (likely garlic)
  • Brie
  • Pottage of Rice (1400′s; MS Harley 5401; England) – Rice, almond milk, wine, honey, saffron. may be garnished with nuts.
  • Lesshes Fryed in Lenton (1390; Forme of Cury; England) – Apple, Pear, Dates, Prunes, Golden Raisins, Allspice, Cloves, Cinnamon, Sugar, Olive oil, Almond Milk, Salt, pie shells
  • Caboches in Potage (1390; forme of Cury; England) – Savoy cabbage, onions, leeks, safron, salt, and spices (ginger, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)

Second Course
Chewetes on Flesshe Day (chicken pies) (1390, Forme of Cury, England, and other sources) – chickens, wheat flour based crust, eggs, spices
Funges (1390, Forme of Cury, England) – mushrooms, leeks, veggie broth, saffron, spices (ginger, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)
Pottage of Cracked Barley (1520, Libre del Coch, Spain) – barley, veggie broth, almond milk, sugar, cinnamon
Benes Yfryed (1390, Forme of Cury, England) – Fava beans, onions, garlic, oil, spices (ginger, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg)
Salat (1390, Forme of Cury, England) – Assorted greens, dressed in vinegar, oil, and salt

Third Course

  • Wafers (Made fresh on-site. A gluten free option will be available, please let the kitchen know at the start of service.) – flour, baking powder, eggs, sugar, butter, flavoring oils
  • Fresh grapes, Pomegranates, and dates
  • Candied Walnuts
  • Walnuts, sugar, milk, cinnamon, salt
  • Wardonys in Syryp (1430; Corps of Middle English Prose and Verse; England) – pears, cinnamon, red wine, sugar, ginger, vinegar, saffron
  • ‘Hyppocras’ (imitation) – Apple juice, cinnamon, honey, vanilla beans, cloves

Filed under: Events Tagged: Carolingia

New Corporate Sanction Guide

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-01-30 09:41

A new Sanction Guide was passed by the SCA’s Board of Directors at their meeting on January 18th and is now available online.  The guide covers several kinds of sanctions on both a kingdom and society level.  The fifty-nine page document includes an investigator’s guide, flowcharts, checklists and template letters.  An updated version of Corpora was also approved at the same meeting.


Filed under: Corporate

One of the oldest temples in Rome unearthed

History Blog - Thu, 2014-01-30 00:39

A team of archaeologists excavating the site of Sant’Omobono in the historic center of Rome have unearthed the foundations of one of the oldest temples in Rome. In the shadow of the 15th century church of Sant’Omobono just east of the Tiberine Island, archaeologists and students from the University of Michigan, the University of Calabria, the Museum of London Archaeology and the City of Rome dug a trench 15 feet deep to reveal the remains of an archaic temple from the 6th century B.C. when Rome was still ruled by Etruscan kings. Along with the remains of the first temple of Jupiter Capitolinus, also built under the reign of the kings in the 6th century B.C. and destroyed in 83 B.C. during Sulla’s second civil war, these are the oldest temple ruins found in Rome.

Because the depth of the trench was seven and a half feet below the water table, the walls had to be shored up with metal sheeting and multiple sump pumps to allow the team to dig through the ancient layers. That’s why Alison Telfer, the Museum of London Archaeology expert, joined the team this season, because of her expertise in excavating waterlogged environments thanks to years of digging in soggy London.

After weeks of excavation, the team found three levels of masonry and a step. The stonework is exceptional, dry wall construction of precision-cut volcanic tufa blocks that are still beautifully flush even after millennia.

Terrenato says the archaeologists had to fight claustrophobia to be able to spend as much as 8 hours a day at the bottom of that trench.

“You’re in a very deep hole, and although you know in theory that the sheeting is going to hold everything up, there is a primal part of your brain that tells you to get out of there, if the walls come closing in there’s not going to be any way out for you,” he says.

The foundations of the temple of Fortuna were visible for only three days — for security reasons, the team could not leave the trench open and it had to be filled up again.

To the west of the temple remains was discovered a large bank of clay that is so straight is can’t have been formed by human hands. Archaeologists believe it may have been built up against a vertical structure that is now gone, perhaps a wooden form that was removed or wall that has long since decayed. It could have been a river wall to protect the temple from flooding or perhaps used during the construction of the temple. About halfway down the clay bank, the team unearthed a group of vessels that are thought to have been votive offerings, sacrifices to the gods that were placed on the site when the bank was being built.

The area in which the temple remains were discovered was known as the Forum Boarium, meaning “cattle market,” a center of trade on a bend in the river that was both a natural harbour and a crossing point of the Tiber. When the temple was built, Rome was already trading with the likes of Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt as well as Italian peoples including the Latins, Etruscans and Sabines. The temple was deliberately built on the harbour so that it would welcome visitors and merchants, standing as a symbol of good will and fair trade guaranteed by the deity.

Archaeologists believe the temple was dedicated to the goddess Fortuna. It was dismantled in the early Republican period, around the 5th century B.C., and replaced with twin temples dedicated to Fortuna and Mater Matuta, a Latin mother goddess whose temples have been found on other ports. The temples were added to and rebuilt over the centuries through at least the second century A.D. In the sixth century an early Christian church was built on the site. The podium of the twin temples, made out of tufa slabs, still survives. It is now part of the foundation of the church of Sant’Omobono.

And that’s not all this archaeological site has to offer. Since it was first discovered during the burst of Fascist construction in the city center in the 1930s, the Sant’Omobono area has revealed evidence from 17 different phases of human occupation, from pottery sherds that date to between the 16th and the 12th centuries B.C., some of the earliest artifacts ever found indicating human habitation of the spot that would become Rome, to the remains of wattle and daub structures from the seventh century B.C.

To read Alison Telfer’s short and ever so sweet weekly reports on the dig, see the Museum of London Archaeology website. Keep an eye on the Sant’Omobono Project’s publications page for upcoming papers on the newly discovered temple and other finds from the season.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

New Order of Precedence Site Now Active

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2014-01-29 17:06

At Curia it was announced that the long awaited Order of Precedence website overhaul was nearing completion, and was now online. The Gazette contacted Master Justin du Coeur, who oversaw the program, and he provided the following:

The new Eastrealm Order of Precedence is now available online! You can access it here

The Order of Precedence (OP) is the record of all of the awards and honors that have been given by the East over its long history.  The new system is the result of a 2-year project to take the original OP — which was a labor of love for the late Mistress Caitlin Davies, who maintained it as hundreds of separate HTML files — and put it into a reasonably modern database system.  The new system should generally be easier to search and keep up to date than the old one was.  It allows you to search for a person by their SCA name; look up the recipients of a particular Order or Award; and see which awards were given by which monarchs, in chronological order.

This conversion has been challenging, involving thousands of individual corrections and collations of the data; we’ve done our best, but there are certainly still errors in it.  In particular, there was a major challenge of collating records that were listed under different SCA names (or simply spelled differently) in different parts of the OP — we put a lot of effort into that, but there are undoubtedly still some people who have some awards listed under one name, and some under another.  If you find errors or omissions in your award listing, please send them to the Shepherds Crook Herald, Duchess Anna.  If you find problems with the software itself, please drop a note to Master Justin

This is an early “beta” release of the OP — the software is still very much a work in progress, and there is a lot to do yet.  It is based on a package generously donated by southern neighbors in Atlantia, which we have been “Eastern-izing”.  (You may see the word “atlantia” still crop up here and there, along with some oddly-named awards and “awards” that were actually notes from old court reports.)  Expect to see further changes in the coming months, but we’re glad to be able to make the current version available to the populace.


Filed under: Court, Heraldry, Official Notices Tagged: awards, heraldry, OP, order of precedence

Polling deadlines

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2014-01-29 16:54

From Lady Raffaella Mascolo,
EK Webminister / Web Polling Minister

Please be advised that the Laurel and Maunche pollings will be closing at 11:59 PM on February 24.  All other pollings will  be  closing at 11:59 PM on February 10, 2014.


Filed under: Official Notices

Carousing in French and English

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2014-01-29 15:11

When we were asked to help publicize an event held in Montreal, the Gazette thought we would give our primarily English speaking readers a different experience.  Below you will find the event announcement for Courtyard Carousing at our Baronial Investiture Anniversary in the Barony of L’ile du Dragon Dormant printed with the French paragraphs followed by English translations.  Brush off your high school French and experience the other side of the linguistic challenges of a bilingual kingdom.

Ce sera un évènement festif tout au long de la journée, avec une ambiance de festival, pleine de sons, d’odeurs et d’imageries, digne d’une véritable cour médiévale.  Un délicieux festin sera servi par une équipe de quatre cuisiniers, alors que nous célébrons ensemble une autre année dans la Baronnie de l’Ile du Dragon Dormant.

This event is an all day festival, full of the sounds and smells and sights of a true medieval courtyard.  A delicious feast will be served by a staff of 4 head cooks, whilst during the day we all make merry together and celebrate another year in the Barony of Ile du Dragon Dormant. 

Cette année a été celle de Mayuki Yuri, qui a porté, en honneur de notre Baronnie bien-aimé, à la fois le titre de Champion des Arts et Sciences et celui de Champion du combat à la rapière.  Elle veillera sur les deux compétitions qui serviront à choisir ses successeurs.  Qui prendra les armes et l’aiguille afin de servir leur baronnie et être honoré comme exemple à suivre dans son art de prédilection?

This Year was the year of Mayuki Yuri, who held both the A and S and Rapier Champions baldrics for our beloved Barony.  She will host two competitions to choose her successors.  Who will take up arms and needle to serve their barony and be the shining example of their chosen artform?

Il y aura des arts Bardiques présentés tout au long de la journée par Dame Katherine Ashwode la pocketbard et sa bande de conteurs, dignes de confiance, qui n’ont jamais dit un mensonge et qui n’ont jamais été pris à inventer le moindre des détails.

There will be Bardic Arts presented throughout the day by Lady Katherine Ashwode the pocketbard, and her band of trustworthy tale spinners who have never told a lie, nor been known to fabricate even the smallest of details. 

Il y aura des ateliers d’Arts et Sciences, des activités pour les enfants, pour les archers et pour les nouveaux arrivants de même que des classes de combat en armure mais pas de combat en armure à cet évènement.  Nous terminerons la journée ensemble en savourant le délicieux festin servi par nos quatre cuisiniers.  Ce sera une journée à ne pas oublier

There will be Arts and Science classes, activities for children, archers, and newcomers as well as armored combat classes but no armored combat at this event.  There will also be a Princesses tea mid-day.  We will end our day together sampling the delicious feast served by four cooks.  It promises to be an exciting day. 


Filed under: Events Tagged: Barony of L'ile du Dragon Dormant