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Remains of ancient mound in Ohio found during mall construction

History Blog - Wed, 2015-02-04 06:42

In 2008, a small mound on North Bridge Street in Chillicothe, Ohio, was bulldozed by commercial developers. There was no archaeological survey of the site, despite Ohio’s rich history of ancient Native American mounds, because sadly there are no laws even slowing people down from destroying ancient remains on private property. Whatever development plans were in the works in 2008 never came to fruition and the property lay fallow until this year.

A few weeks ago, Guernsey Crossing LLC began building a mall on the 13-acre site. This time people concerned about the late lamented mound reached out to archaeologist Dr. Jarrod Burks, president of the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy, who contacted the developers and struck up a deal: Burks and a team of volunteers would be given three weeks to excavate the site where the mound had once been. They started out with a magnetic survey of the site to identify the perimeter of the mound and the best areas to excavate.

After two weeks, they’ve found a cluster of burned bones that are most likely from a cremation, Burks said, and another set of unburned bones and teeth. In addition, after painstakingly and carefully feathering away the soil a few specks of dirt at a time, they’ve uncovered shards and pieces of prehistoric pottery and a great deal of burned wood that will be able to be dated by its carbonization.

Burks, whose paying job is with Ohio Valley Archaeology in Columbus, said the mound probably dates from between 200 B.C. to A.D. 200. Before flattening, it was about 2 1/2 feet high. The area is about 80 feet in diameter.

Archaeologists can’t tell if the burned bone fragments are human or animal, but the uncharred bone discovered next to the burned pieces are human, so it’s likely the burned ones are too. The pottery fragments are the source of the preliminary dating based on design and style.

Basically what’s left is a thin layer of the mound floor, still intact after bulldozing just below the surface. Floors may not sound glamorous, but they’re extremely important archaeologically speaking. These postholes are unusually large, one wide enough to hold a post six to eight inches in diameter. The hole seems to have been deliberately filled in after the post was removed, perhaps during the construction of the mound.

That they’ve been able to find postholes is highly significant because they impart a great deal of information about the construction of the site, and since so many of Ohio’s ancient mounds were destroyed long before archaeological practices paid much attention to, well, holes, this little ex-mound may teach us new things about the architecture of these structures.

The mound is going to be a mall parking lot soon, so the team has to clear out everything they find for further study. The Native American tribes would prefer that human remains not be disturbed, but unfortunately that’s not an option here. Burks is working with the developers to ensure the area isn’t entirely bereft of recognition of its ceremonial and historical importance.

While we’re on the subject of ancient Native American mounds in Chillicothe, things are going gangbusters at the Junction Group Hopewell Earthworks. After a frantic two-week period of fundraising last March, the earthworks, none of which are visible above ground but their foundations are still extant underground, were saved when heritage and ecological preservation non-profits including the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy and Arc of Appalachia rallied to raise funds to buy the archaeological and environmentally important parts of the Stark family farm. Almost 1,000 individual donations were raised in that fortnight of mad activity, enough to allow the coalition to buy 193 acres — earthworks, woodlands and a 1.25-miles stretch river corridor — at auction for $1.1 million.

Most of that purchase price, 75% of it, came from a matching Clean Ohio Fund grant which wasn’t actually granted yet when they bought the land. Arc of Appalachia noted at the time that “we raised roughly $375,000 through the generosity of over 900 donors, funds which we will use to leverage a Clean Ohio grant to pay the remaining balance of acquisition funds needed.” They seemed confident but I was concerned about whether the grant was a sure enough thing to consider the Junction Group Earthworks well and truly saved.

Well, I’m delighted to report that the Clean Ohio Fund matching grant came through and in July of last year, Arc of Appalachia Preserve System director Nancy Stranahan and Heartland Earthworks Conservancy director Bruce Lombardo officially closed on the property. They’re wasting no time on their goal of making the site a public park. The new Junction Earthworks Archaeological Park and Nature Preserve is slated to open this year, perhaps as early as this spring. There are tons of additional expenses involved in making it a proper park facility so donations are still very much open. Click here to donate to the Junction Earthworks Park Development Fund online.

Meanwhile, the same Jarrod Burks mentioned above, who happens to have done the first magnetic survey of the Junction Group site in 2005 which revealed that the foundations of the earthworks were was still left undergound, has returned to make a more detailed survey. The original scan covered about 15 acres and with a single hand-held magnetometer, produced relatively low density data. This scan is being done with a four-probe magnetometer on a rolling cart which will collect far higher density data over the same ground thereby identifying smaller features (cooking pits, burials, postholes) the first machine couldn’t detect, and will eventually cover the entire 89-acre field.

Dr. Burks began scanning in November and is still doing it whenever weather permits, which isn’t often this winter. They only had two weeks and three weekends to complete the project in 2005. Now that they own the land, they can afford to take their time. You can see Jarrod Burks at work with his neat four-magnetometer scanner in this aerial footage by drone photographer Tim Anderson. The enclosure ditches, which are not visible above ground, have been marked out by mowing the soybean stalks left after harvest.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Creation of the Order of Defense

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2015-02-03 18:38

Due to the large amount of information surrounding the additional peerage for rapier and cut and thrust, the Board of Directors decided to participate in a conference call on February 2, 2015.

read more

Categories: SCA news sites

You Don’t Hate the Bardic Arts; You Hate Bad Bards

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-02-03 17:03

by Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Sylvan Bard.

Sylvan Bard, Baroness Gwendolyn the Graceful

Have you ever heard (or made) any of these statements?

“Oh, I am not really a ‘bardic arts’ type person.”
“I really don’t care for bardic.”
“Filk just isn’t my idea of fun.”
“The problem with bardic arts is that it’s all so bad.”

I’ve heard those statements (and similar sentiments) a LOT over the years.

Last Pennsic, I was lucky enough to have a great conversation with some amazing performers from Ansteorra. We got onto the topic of the bad reputation that the “bardic arts” gets in the SCA, and I pointed out that most of the time, what people really *mean* when they say one or more of the above statements, is not, actually, that they hate the Bardic Arts – or even that they don’t think the Bardic Arts have a place in the Society. What they mean are things like this:

“I’ve been scarred by bad performances.”
“Bards demand attention whether or not I’m willing to give it to them.”
“Performing artists are a disruption.”
“It’s all filk and out-of-period music. Silly Wizard ruins my Medieval experience!”

Along with the bad reputation, there’s also another component inherent in the allergy some people have to the “bardic arts” – it’s that as a Society, we are supposed to encourage the arts, or in terms that the bardic community itself has used, provide venue. This means that if a bard comes and performs at you, you’re supposed to listen and be appreciative, and sometimes that’s a disruption. It could mean suspending a conversation or waiting to speak to someone. It could mean having to sit through a story that seems to have no end. It could mean listening to a song that does not fit one’s mood, or to a singer who can’t seem to find her key with a two-handled bucket.

But I submit that, if you find yourself in the grip of these damaging experiences, then you are not a victim of the “bardic arts” themselves, but rather, an unwitting target of a Bad Bard, or worse, a Rude Bard.

Let’s go back to my conversation at Pennsic for a moment, because I want to be careful in defining a Bad Bard. There are actually *four* types of Bards in the SCA, as my Ansteorran friend pointed out: Beginning Bards; Learning Bards; Improving Bards; and Bad Bards. There may be overlap, but it’s important to recognize the major differences, in order to save any members of the first three categories from becoming forever a member of the fourth one. I’ll cover each one briefly in turn.

-Beginning Bards

Beginning Bards are usually new to the Society and possibly to the idea of performing altogether. They may have some background in theatre, or not, or they may have been told by someone that they had a good voice and should pursue being a bard, or they may have just decided this is something they’d like to try. Beginning bards usually have little to no real repertoire. The songs they do have are from pseudo-SCA-friendly sources, reflecting the type of stuff that probably attracted them to the SCA in the first place. Irish folk music, Stan Rogers, modern folk songs, the inevitable filk song, and for storytellers, shaggy dogs and no-kidding-there-I-was stories are the hallmark of a beginning bard.

Beginning bards are often beginning performers in general, so it’s to be expected that they may not have good control over their instruments, as well as their limited stash of material to get them through a circle. This means their pitch may wander; they may lack breath support or the ability to reach an entire hall with their voice. They may not have pieces memorized. They don’t have a well-developed sense of *when* their contributions are appropriate or not.

The beginning bard, above everything else, fears rejection. She fears to be told that her efforts are wholly inadequate and unacceptable. She is afraid her audience will dislike her, and afraid that her skills will meet with others’ discouragement.

What she craves is to be pointed toward material that will help her gain a foothold. Remember that the same music she’s performing may have been part of what disposed you toward the SCA, too! She may need some lessons in the proper use of her voice, or some gentle advice about how to practice so that she will not wander through different keys in the course of her presentation. But above all, she needs to practice to develop the confidence that will produce a learning bard.

-Learning Bards

Learning bards have taken their first steps toward correcting the most common mistakes of a beginning bard. They are building an appropriate repertoire, they have started working on breath, pitch, dynamics, and all the other nuances of a performance that captures its intended audience. They recognize that they still have a long way to go, however.

Learning bards are eager to find venues in which to practice. They are similar to the novice weaver or illuminator who brings work to any and every event, not only to pass the time but to actively seek others who can observe, critique, and encourage the work in progress. Learning bards need venue because they *know* they need to improve, but they don’t know *how* to improve. They’re dissatisfied with their performances–not because they receive only criticism, but because they see others’ performances and know they can do more and better, also.

A learning bard can practice all he wants at home, but without the feedback of performance, he can’t tell what works and what does not. He needs to learn to analyze his piece for its natural peaks, valleys, characters, and interpretation. He may need reminders about habits that he relies on, but which detract from his performance. Mostly, the learning bard is actively looking for ways to grow into an improving bard.

-Improving Bards

Improving bards have a solid repertoire, but are always looking for new pieces to learn or to explore. They have enough experience to know what pieces work well for their voice, style, persona, or otherwise “fit” into the rest of their material. They know how to separate their performance into “beats,” or sections, with emphasis on dramatic lows and highs. They prepare their pieces well and tend to workshop their work in friendly spaces to finalize it. They know how to alter, shorten, transpose, or otherwise tailor their repertoire to their own strengths. The improving bard is always looking for opportunities to perform, not necessarily just to receive feedback, but because the act of performing is itself how they “have fun” with their art.

That doesn’t mean that all improving bards have to perform all the time. Most improving bards have been around long enough that they understand when it’s appropriate and when it’s not, when it’s desired, and when it would be an imposition. They look for chances to give their art in the same way that scribes ask for assignments or seamstresses volunteer to make garb for others – because it’s how they pass the time, it’s how they contribute, and because it’s fun.

-Bad Bards

In contrast, “bad bards” are the ones that make the other bards cringe, because, generally speaking, they are the ones who make little or no effort. They are the bards who do not learn, who do not improve, who think they can perform on the fly without having prepared, without having practiced a piece, without having shaped and crafted it, without making sure that it’s wanted, without fitting it to their strengths, and without regard for the impact their performance has (or doesn’t have). Bad bards, in short, don’t think they have anything to learn, and they don’t think they need to improve.

The corollary to this is a “Rude bard” – one who perhaps has practiced, at least a little bit, but who generally shows little regard or little sensitivity to whether their song, story, poem, or other offering is really desired by the people in the immediate vicinity.

Our goal as bards is to transform “bad bards” into learning ones, or even improving ones, by treating them exactly like their beginning or learning compadres. Grant venue, listen, compliment what’s good, make suggestions if you have them, and point them toward someone who can help them with their trouble areas. ALL bards need practice; ALL bards need to work on their songs before they perform them publicly. ALL bards need to know when and where and how to present their art.

How to Listen

Okay, that may be true, but then what about someone who isn’t interested in listening to bards at all?

Most bards are working on some performance or other, and even if they’re not, they still enjoy getting together and singing, sharing tales, and hanging out. It takes a minimum of three to make a bardic circle. (We’ve tested this!) When three or more get together and break out the tunes, the instruments, and the stories, don’t panic! Mostly they are just having fun for and with each other. Stop and listen for a bit. It won’t kill you, honest. Audiences are appreciated, they make bards grateful, and you just might hear a song you like.

If you really don’t want to listen, that’s fine. Just like not everyone wants to sit in a sewing circle, or listen to battle stories over and over, not everyone likes attend a concert all the time. If a circle is going, though, then most of the bards in it are not depending on every audience member’s rapt attention. They’re performing for each other, and for the joy of being able to perform in a place where they have reason to believe it’s welcome.

So, if you stumble on a bardic circle, but you don’t want to give it venue, stay on the outside of it. Please be respectful and have quiet conversations or move away to converse. (It’s totally okay to walk away, especially if a circle is not going well.) But if you do find yourself the target of a new or learning bard, or even a bad bard, I hope you’ll bear in mind ways to assess their level of experience and then constructively point them toward performers who can help them improve.

One word about the accusations that bardic music is all bad filk or out-of-period. A lot of it is filk. A lot of it is kinda iffy. A lot of it is out-of-period, too. But the array of music performed in the bardic arts of the SCA is much wider than it was twenty years ago. Just as our feasts, garb, feast gear, footwear, hats and nearly everything else have become more finely tuned over the years, so too have bards been busy writing new music on historical or SCA-appropriate subject matter, and learning how to sprinkle in period music in ways that are accessible to modern audiences. Bardic arts still may not be everyone’s bag, but they’re not what they were. And bad bards can only be improved by recognizing what they need to fix.

Over the next months, I hope to highlight some amazing performers within our Kingdom, expose you to some inspiring music, poetry, and tales, and raise the profile of the bardic arts in Æthelmearc.

 

 


Categories: SCA news sites

Society Archivist - Address Change

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2015-02-03 16:07

The Society Archivist has a new postal address, according to an official notice from Corporate.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Gulf War Registration 2015 deadline approaches

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2015-02-03 13:47

Baroness Alexandra der Wasserman, Co-Mayor for Gulf War 2015, reports that the registration deadline for the War is fast approaching.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Have only surviving Michelangelo bronzes been found?

History Blog - Tue, 2015-02-03 04:00


A pair of bronze statuettes known as the Rothschild Bronzes have been attributed to Michelangelo by an international team of multi-disciplinary experts at the University of Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum. The bronzes are 16 inches wide by 2 feet 7.5 inches high and depict heroic male nudes riding panthers, likely a Bacchic procession theme. They are not a matched pair — one of the men is a bearded mature figure, the other a clean-faced youth — but they are part of a set. If the attribution is accurate, these statues will be the only known surviving bronzes by a sculptor whose works in marble have become icons of Western art.

As always in cases of disputed authorship, conclusive evidence is hard to come by and these bronzes have already been attributed to a variety of artists known and unknown. The Rothschild Bronzes are so named because they were first recorded in the art collection of Swiss banker Baron Adolphe de Rothschild published in 1878. The works were attributed to Michelangelo at that time, but it was immediately disputed. The undeniably high quality of the bronzes and their style pointed to a 16th century Italian Renaissance origin. With no signature or mark that could resolve the issue, other possible authors like sculptor and architect Jacopo Sansovino and Tiziano Aspetti, known particularly for his bronze sculptures, were mooted.

After the flurry of interest after the 1878 publication, the pair sank into relative obscurity, remaining in the Rothschild collection until in 1957 they were sold to French collector. They returned with a huge splash at Sotheby’s European Sculpture and Works of Art 900-1900 auction on July 9th, 2002. Attributed non-committally to the “Florentine School, mid-16th century,” the pre-sale estimate of £1 million – £1.5 million ($1.5 million – $2.25 million) suggested strongly that Sotheby’s had an inkling that Florentine school might turn out to be a very prestigious one indeed, although the buzz was more Cellini than Michelangelo. The pair sold to a British collector for £1.65 million ($2,478,000).

They weren’t the only softly attributed sculptures to sell big at that auction. A terracotta model for the Fountain of the Moor by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in Piazza Navona stole the show. Even though Bernini’s direct authorship was uncertain (one of his students is known to have carved the final marble piece), it was purchased by New York art dealers Salander-O’Reilly Galleries for £1.9 million ($2.85 million), more ten times the pre-sale estimate of £120,000-180,000 ($180,000 – $270,000), because they believed it was so finely figured that it bore the hand of the master himself. The next year Salander-O’Reilly sold the statue to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth where it is currently on display as the work of Bernini.

In 2003, the pair of bronzes were loaned to the Frick Collection in New York City where they were attributed not just to another artist, but a Dutch one at that. The Frick exhibited them as the work of Willem van Tetrode, a 16th century sculptor who studied in Italy and took the Italian Renaissance sculptural approach back home with him. They appeared at the Royal Academy of Arts in London’s Bronze exhibition in 2012 with a new attribution. This time they were 16th-century Italian again, but the work an unknown Roman sculptor in the “Circle of Michelangelo.”

Cambridge stepped into the fray in the autumn of 2013 when art history professor emeritus Paul Joannides noticed that a page of drawings (“Sheet of studies with the Virgin embracing the Infant Jesus” now in the Musée Fabre in Montpellier) done in 1508 by an apprentice of Michelangelo’s copying his master’s works featured a drawing of a male nude astride a panther. To investigate further, Joannides collaborated with Fitzwilliam curator Victoria Avery, conservation experts Robert van Langh and Arie Pappot from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Warwick University Medical School anatomy professor Peter Abrahams, art historian Charles Avery, Verrocchio specialist Andrew Butterfield and art critic Martin Gayford.

The team looked into every aspect of the bronzes. Oxford University scientists confirmed using thermoluminescence dating that the statues were cast between 300 and 500 years ago. The Rijksmuseum conservators sent samples from the bronzes’ cores to a neutron imaging lab in Switzerland which found that the thick walls of bronze were typical of 16th century Florentine casting. Dr. Abrahams’ examination of the nudes’ bodies found them anatomically correct down to the peroneal tendon and the transverse arch of the foot. He also found the anatomical detail of the nudes — navels, back grooves, abs — corresponded exactly with features from other Michelangelo sculptures and preparatory drawings from 1500-1510.

The investigation is ongoing, but the findings thus far are strong enough to undergird an attribution to the young Michelangelo, made after he completed the David in 1504 and as he began work on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The final report of the research team will be presented at a conference on July 6th of this year. The bronzes will be on display in the Italian galleries at the Fitzwilliam Museum from February 3rd through August 9th. There’s a book detailing the research on the figures available at the museum gift shop.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

SCA Board of Directors Announces the Creation of the Order of Defense

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2015-02-03 00:46

On Monday, February 2nd, at 11:20 pm Eastern Time, the Board of Directors of the SCA, Inc. published the following announcement via the Announcements mailing list:

Due to the large amount of information surrounding the additional peerage for rapier and cut and thrust, the Board of Directors decided to participate in a conference call on February 2, 2015. The Board received a large amount of additional comments and suggestions in the two weeks following the January 17 quarterly meeting. This was considered in addition to the first Board call for commentary on this issue.
At the February 2, 2015 special conference call meeting of the Board of Directors, the Board discussed the history of the APEC proposal process, the commentary received from the membership, and the various options available to the Board. The Order of Defense proposal was the result of many years of effort, and while the commentary from the membership opened the Board’s eyes to other options and possibilities, the Board decided at this time to reconsider the proposal to change Corpora to create the Order of Defense. During the call a motion was made and seconded to approve the changes to Corpora, and such motion passed 6 votes for and 1 against.

Motion to approve the proposed changes to Corpora that will create the new peerage, Order of Defense, and direct Laurel Sovereign of Arms to submit such name and heraldry to the heraldic comment process, with the intention of opening the Order on May 1, 2015. Voted in favor of the motion: Arthur Donadio, Andrew Coleman, John Fulton, David Keen and Lisa May. Voted against the motion: Lisa Czudnochowsky. Chairman Scott Berk exercised his option to vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion passed.

Motion in the matter of the Order of Defense to waive the requirements of Corpora Section IV.G that the Crown consult the members of a peerage order prior to inducting new members of that order, but only in the case of the first three (3) members of the Order of Defense. Once there are three members of the Order of Defense in a kingdom, the Crown must consult the Order per Corpora prior to adding members. Voted in favor of the motion: Arthur Donadio, Andrew Coleman, Lisa Czudnochowsky John Fulton, David Keen and Lisa May. Opposed: none. Chairman Scott Berk exercised his option to vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion passed.

No candidate may be inducted into the Order of Defense before May 1, 2015. All candidates inducted into the Order of Defense on May 1, 2015, will carry equal precedence, regardless of the time of day each such candidate was inducted.

Five years ago, the enormous response in favor of a path to peerage was specifically focused on rapier and cut and thrust combat. When and if another martial activity engenders the response from the membership at large that rapier and cut and thrust did, when another martial activity has the depth, breadth and community as exists for rapier and cut and thrust, then the Board of Directors may investigate the possibility of facilitating a path to peerage for such martial activity.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.


Filed under: Corporate, Fencing, Official Notices Tagged: 4th peerage, BoD, corporate, fencing, fourth peerage, order of defense, rapier

SCA Board of Directors Creates Order of Defense

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2015-02-03 00:33

This announcement was sent via the SCA Board of Directors’ Announcements list.

Creation of the Order of Defense

Due to the large amount of information surrounding the additional peerage for rapier and cut and thrust, the Board of Directors decided to participate in a conference call on February 2, 2015. The Board received a large amount of additional comments and suggestions in the two weeks following the January 17 quarterly meeting. This was considered in addition to the first Board call for commentary on this issue.

At the February 2, 2015 special conference call meeting of the Board of
Directors, the Board discussed the history of the APEC proposal process,
the commentary received from the membership, and the various options
available to the Board. The Order of Defense proposal was the result of
many years of effort, and while the commentary from the membership opened
the Board’s eyes to other options and possibilities, the Board decided at
this time to reconsider the proposal to change Corpora to create the Order
of Defense. During the call a motion was made and seconded to approve the
changes to Corpora, and such motion passed 6 votes for and 1 against.

Motion to approve the proposed changes to Corpora that will create the new
peerage, Order of Defense, and direct Laurel Sovereign of Arms to submit
such name and heraldry to the heraldic comment process, with the intention
of opening the Order on May 1, 2015. Voted in favor of the motion: Arthur
Donadio, Andrew Coleman, John Fulton, David Keen and Lisa May. Voted
against the motion: Lisa Czudnochowsky. Chairman Scott Berk exercised his
option to vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion passed.

Motion in the matter of the Order of Defense to waive the requirements of
Corpora Section IV.G. that the Crown consult the members of a peerage order
prior to inducting new members of that order, but only in the case of the
first three (3) members of the Order of Defense. Once there are three
members of the Order of Defense in a kingdom, the Crown must consult the
Order per Corpora prior to adding members. Voted in favor of the motion:
Arthur Donadio, Andrew Coleman, Lisa Czudnochowsky John Fulton, David Keen
and Lisa May. Opposed: none. Chairman Scott Berk exercised his option to
vote and did so in favor of the motion. Motion passed.

No candidate may be inducted into the Order of Defense before May 1, 2015.
All candidates inducted into the Order of Defense on May 1, 2015, will
carry equal precedence, regardless of the time of day each such candidate
was inducted.

Five years ago, the enormous response in favor of a path to peerage was
specifically focused on rapier and cut and thrust combat. When and if
another martial activity engenders the response from the membership at
large that rapier and cut and thrust did, when another martial activity has
the depth, breadth and community as exists for rapier and cut and thrust,
then the Board of Directors may investigate the possibility of facilitating
a path to peerage for such martial activity.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas, CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for
Creative Anachronism , Inc. Permission is granted to reproduce this
announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic
mailing lists.
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Categories: SCA news sites

Tir Mara Deputy Exchequer Sought

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2015-02-02 22:00

The following message is posted at the request of Maestra Ignacia la Ciega, East Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer

From the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

I’m very sorry to announce that Lady Sophie-Catherine de Montnoir has had to resign from the position of Regional Deputy Exchequer of Tir Mara. This position takes more time that she can give to it with her mundane commitments. I commend her for trying to fill this position and for knowing that she does not have the time it requires to do it well. As a result I am now taking applications for a replacement for that position. I estimate that the position would take 4-8 hours per month with the end of each quarter being on the higher end of the estimate.

The ideal candidate will speak both French and English and have previously been an exchequer or have a reasonable grasp of accounting concepts. Candidates without these skills will also be seriously considered. Any candidate must have reliable and regular access to email. Send applications and questions to Ignacia at exchequer@eastkingdom.org. Having a deputy to support the exchequers in Tir Mara is a very important part of having a connected and unified Kingdom.

Yours,
Ignacia


Filed under: Official Notices

New SCA Board Nominees

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2015-02-02 20:58

Additions have been made to the list of nominees to the SCA’s Board of Directors.  The Board requests input on the existing nominees and also new nominations.  The list of nominees and information on how to submit commentary is available at this webpage.  Current nominees from the East are Baroness Alesone Gray of Cranlegh, Duchess Sabine de Rouen and Viscount Edward Zifran of Gendy.

 


Filed under: Corporate

A Missive From Prince Timothy

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-02-02 17:45

Unto the Kingdom of Æthelmearc does Prince Timothy send greetings,

These last few weeks have been hard on all of us. Regardless of their good intentions, the BoD’s decision of the 17th opened up wounds that will take a very long time to heal. People on every side of the issue have said things that they wish they hadn’t, friendships have been torn apart. Grievances, both real and perceived that have occurred over decades, have been brought into the light of day. It is up to all of us to try to fix the rift that has developed in our midst. I ask you to help me understand what must be done for us to move on. To my mind, the most important thing any of us can do is to see things from other points of view.

Aside from my wedding band, my knight’s belt and chain are the most prized possessions I own. While my ring is a bond with my wife, my belt and chain are a bond with the Kingdom and her Crowns. In the case of the knighthood, if both parties aren’t a part of the relationship, they are just a meaningless hunk of leather and a length of chain. The trappings mean nothing if I am not worthy of the people I am trying to serve.

By the grace of Michael and Seonaid, King and Queen of Atlantia, I was knighted on the field of battle at Pennsic 19. In all these years, I have striven to be an example worthy of the bond those trappings represent. I am only human, and as such, have stumbled on occasion. For these instances, I can only apologize and redouble my efforts in the future. But as I said, I have been a knight for a long time. My ideas of what our Kingdom and her people need of me may be outdated.

I beg your indulgence. On the eve of our Coronation in April, I would like to sit vigil and reflect on how I may serve. I’d have all the populace offer any words of wisdom and guidance that may serve me as a knight, as Prince, or as King. I invite any of my brother and sister knights to sit vigil at my side.

So, on April 10th, AS 49, at the site of our Coronation, I shall sit vigil from 8pm until 1am. Any who would offer their council are welcome to visit, or if they are unable to attend, send words so that I may read them. Even if your wisdom is simply your point of view, I ask that you offer it, so that it may guide me in the future.

In service to our Kingdom and Society, I remain,

Timothy


Categories: SCA news sites

Event Report: Steltonwald 12th Night

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2015-02-02 10:56

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope reports on the merriment of Steltonwald 12th Night.

Master Tofi Kerthjalfadsson, Countess Genevieve du Vent Argent, Sir Magariki Katsuichi no Koredono, and THLady Anna Malakina. Photo by Baroness Cecily of Whitehaven.

The Canton of Steltonwald held its Twelfth Night event on the last day of January. Steltonwald is best known for hosting Æthelmearc War Practice, at which the entire Canton puts in countless hours of work, so for their 12th Night they made the decision some years ago to let others handle the work and just enjoy themselves. Hence, each year the feast is catered by a local restaurant. A few years ago, the event was moved to the Hyeholde Restaurant, an upscale establishment built almost 80 years ago to look like a French chateau. For $40 per person, 12th Night attendees were provided with valet parking, servers offering drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and a gourmet meal held in a large and beautiful private dining area where they could all enjoy each other’s company at their leisure.

Lady Teresa Alvarez receiving her Keystone. Photo by Baroness Cecily of Whitehaven.

Their Majesties held a court that spanned the entire evening, pausing the festivities from time to time to bestow awards on various gentles. Notable among the recognition given was a Keystone to the autocrat, Lady Teresa Alvarez, a Fleur to THLady Madeleine de l’Este for her skill in costuming, and a Court Barony to Master Robert Marsden.

Late in the evening Their Majesties called forward Master Jacopo di Niccolo and Master Creature Twinedragon, called Creador, and enquired of the populace which of the two was the “most evil.” While Master Creador’s son, Lord Gunther Schwartzrosen, maintained that his father was clearly the more evil for the simple act of having unleashed Gunther on the world, many others cried that since it was well-known that everything is Master Jacopo’s fault, he was obviously the more evil. Accusations flew back and forth. but in the end it was agreed to much laughter that they both men were truly evil.

Lord Vigo di Napoli. Photo by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

After dinner and court, Steltonwald’s infamous “Mongolian style” gift exchange began, with Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile and Master Kameshima Zentarou Umakai serving as masters of the ceremonies. Each participant had brought a wrapped gift which was placed on a table, and then received a number from Lady Teresa. As each number was called, the holder of that number could choose a gift from the table or steal a gift from another gentle. As usual, alcoholic items (especially several bottles of whiskey, rum, and gin) were hotly contested, but a highly decorated drinking horn, a beaded veil, and a bag of Japanese silks were also exchanged many times.

When the final gift from the table had been unwrapped, the heralds announced that the festivities were at an end, and gentles wound their way up the stairs to retrieve their vehicles. Some went home while others retired to a nearby hotel to continue their celebrations by the pools and hot tubs, cheered by a pleasant evening with friends.


Categories: SCA news sites

Only known recording of Alexander Graham Bell on display

History Blog - Mon, 2015-02-02 03:05

The only known recording of Alexander Graham Bell’s voice is going on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., along with other early experimental recordings from Bell’s Volta Laboratory Associates. The exhibition “Hear My Voice”: Alexander Graham Bell and the Origins of Recorded Sound opened on January 26th and runs through July 1st.

Alexander Graham Bell recorded himself rattling off numbers and concluding with an appropriately historic sign-off (“In witness whereof, hear my voice. Alexander Graham Bell.”) on April 15th, 1885. His voice was engraved on a wax-on-composition-board disc at the Volta Laboratory in D.C. where Alexander, his cousin Chichester A. Bell and scientific instrument maker Charles Sumner Tainter experimented in the early recording and transmission of sound. Bell used prize money he had won from the French Government for the invention of the telephone to found the Volta Laboratory in 1880-1. The work they did for the next six years, much of it improvements in existing technology rather than brand new inventions, resulted in several patents.

To ensure they had incontrovertible evidence of the process should anyone contest a patent, the Volta Laboratory deposited their recordings, documents and devices at the Smithsonian almost as soon as they were made. After the Volta Laboratory patents were transferred to the Volta Bureau where Bell focused on the study of deafness, the original Volta Lab archive remained at the Smithsonian. For more than a century, the Institution had more than 400 of the earliest sound recordings in its archives but because these experimental media and technologies were so delicate they were unplayable, they had no way to figure out what was on the records.

That changed in 2011 when curator Carlene Stephens at the National Museum of American History read that the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California was successfully recovering sound from damaged, unplayable early recordings using an optical scanner and digital audio software. The scanner creates a digital map of the surface of a record. The map is cleaned of scratches and skips and then run through software that replicates the movement a stylus would make through the grooves of a disc or cylinder to reproduce the audio on the digital map. The result is a digital sound file of the recording made without adding any trauma to the original medium.

Stephens set up a collaborative project between the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, the Library of Congress and the National Museum of American History to scan six of the hundreds of recordings from the Volta collection. That was expanded in 2013 to include another three recordings. The wax disc with Alexander Graham Bell’s voice was one of the three. A written transcript of the contents of the record signed and dated by Alexander Graham Bell confirmed that it was the man himself reciting those numbers.

This video shows the Bell transcript scrolling along with the recording:

The exhibition will place the delicate experimental recordings on display in the Albert H. Small Documents Gallery. The diverse media Bell experimented with — a glass disc, a green wax disc on a brass holder, a tiny green disc — will be seen in public for the first time. They will be accompanied by original documents, notes, Volta Laboratory technology like the graphophone and sundry objects like the cover of a tin box Bell used to deposit some of his earliest experiments at the Smithsonian in October of 1881.

When the exhibition closes on July 1st, 2015, the National Museum of American History will launch its new space dedicated to the history of American invention. It will open “42,000 square feet of exhibition galleries, hands-on programs, performance spaces and an education center on its first floor.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

St. Augustine dig: "a 16th century jackpot!"

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2015-02-01 21:12

Archaeologists working at the site of a new garden at the gallery of the Art Association in St. Augustine, Florida, have unearthed "some of the earliest artifacts found in the downtown area." City archaeologist Carl Halbirt said, "This is a 16th century jackpot!" WFGA, Jacksonville, has the story. (video)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Cheese Gnocchi: Little Medieval Pillows of Love

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sun, 2015-02-01 20:21

At today’s Hael Storm (see earlier post), we did a short class on making cheese Gnocchi, a popular dish at the Hael’s Masked Ball in December. The original recipe is from a manuscript Frammento di un libro di cucina del sec. XIV, edited by Olindo Gierrini in the late 1800s. This redaction is from The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy, Redon, Saabban and Serventi, University of Chicago Press, 1998. If you have made modern gnocchi, you will notice that the technique has not changed in hundreds of years. The ingredients, however, are different; most modern gnocchi recipes use potatoes, which are a New World food. The original translation:

Put cream cheese and flour in large bowl.

If you want some gnocchi, take some fresh cheese and mash it, then take some flour and mix it with egg yolks as in making migliacci. (Note: interestingly, there is a Corsican specialty bread still made today called migliacci that is made with fresh sheep’s cheese, eggs and flour.)  Put a pot full of water on the fire, and when it begins to boil, put the mixture on a dish and drop it into the pot with a ladle, and when they are cooked, place them on dishes and sprinkle with plenty of grated cheese.

Mix flour, cream cheese and egg yolks by hand.

The Recipe:
3 8 oz. packages cream cheese
6 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups (more or less) flour
salt to taste
grated parmesan
chicken broth

Mash up the cream cheese and mix in the flour with your hands. Add salt to taste and blend in the egg yolks. Keep kneading to form a smooth mixture. It should be about the consistency of a soft bread dough. Separate out balls about as big as your fist, and roll into inch thick ropes. Add more flour as needed to maintain consistency. Cut off pieces (the rolling on the fork thing is a later invention) and dropinto boiling water. When they rise to the top, they are done. You can also cook in broth. For the Masked Ball feast we cooked them in water, and then served them in bowls of broth, just enough to coat, not enough to make soup. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Another Hael Storm hit!

Knead on board until consistency of soft bread dough. Then roll pieces into 1″ snakes.

Cut into small pieces.

Gnocchi ready to drop into water.

Rising to the top – they are done. This will only take a minute or two at a rolling boil.


Categories: SCA news sites

Polling Recommendation Deadline Extended

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2015-02-01 18:19

Prince Omega and Princess Etheldreda have extended the deadline for recommendations for their first round of polling to Friday, February 6. Award recommendations can be submitted through the online form.


Filed under: Tidings Tagged: award recommendations

SCA BoD February 2, 2015 Conference Call

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2015-02-01 14:52

Due to the large amount of information surrounding the additional peerage matter, the Board of Directors has decided to participate in a conference call on February 2, 2015. 

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Categories: SCA news sites

Sketch of Van Gogh found in friend’s scrapbook

History Blog - Sun, 2015-02-01 03:56

A previously unknown sketch of painter Vincent van Gogh has been found in an album of drawings by his friend Emile Bernard. The album, a collection of the French artist’s sketches cut out of other books and then pasted into a used accounts ledger, has been in the archive of the Bremen Kunsthalle museum in Germany since they bought it from Bernard’s son-in-law in 1970. Even though it’s been in the museum archives for 45 years, the notebook hasn’t been published or even thoroughly researched until now because making heads or tails of it was an immense challenge. The scrapbook is a jumbled mixture of 858 works in a variety of styles, techniques and media, the earliest sketch done when Bernard was 13 years old, the most recent when he was in his sixties.

The subject of the sketch was identified as Van Gogh by Bremen Kunsthalle curator Dorothee Hansen during research for the upcoming exhibition Emile Bernard: On the Pulse of Modernity (pdf), the first large retrospective of the artist’s work covering all stages of his output and including works by friends, collaborators and contemporaries like Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh.

Bernard’s hasty sketch captures Van Gogh in a Parisian café, probably in Montmartre. He is drinking with two women, most likely prostitutes. Van Gogh has a short beard, moustache and slightly receding hair. Most noticeable are the piercing eyes. The sketch has spontaneity, suggesting that Bernard drew it while they were out for an evening.

Van Gogh has two bottles prominently placed before him, probably of wine (it is possible that one is absinthe and the other the accompanying water, although this was normally served in a carafe). The Dutchman appears to be clutching a glass. Soon after his departure for Arles, Vincent wrote to his brother Theo: “I’m better than in Paris, and if my stomach has become terribly weak that’s a problem I picked up there, probably due mainly to the bad wine, of which I drank too much.”

Hansen identified him from his features which while roughly sketched are still recognizably comparable to van Gogh’s self-portraits. As no photographs of him as an adult have survived, those self-portraits are our main visual resource for the Dutch artist’s appearance. The face, hair and intense, unsmiling expression in the sketch are very much in keeping with the self-portraits Vincent van Gogh made in the winter of 1886-7, which is when Hansen believes the sketch was made.

Bernard met Van Gogh in March of 1886 at Atelier Cormon, the Paris studio of painter Fernand Cormon who aimed to prepare his students for acceptance into the annual Paris Salon of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. This institution was on its last legs in the 1880s, pummeled by two decades of rejecting Impressionists and avant-garde works. The official Salon with its traditional realism and historical/mythological themes was far behind the times and would close in 1890, but even so cutting edge artists like Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Bernard went to Cormon’s school for a while.

Van Gogh and Bernard became good friends. The worked and played together, painting together and hanging out in bars with cheap wine and cheaper women. Other luminaries of the era participated as well. Notes in the ledger indicate there were portraits of two other famous artist friends of Bernard’s — a profile of Pointillist Paul Signac and two caricatures of Toulouse-Lautrec — but they were removed and sold privately to collectors before the 1970 sale to the museum. The postcard-sized pen-and-ink sketch of Van Gogh, the wine and the ladies is the only one left in its original context in the scrapbook.

As small and dashed-off as it is, its importance belies its size because there are very few portraits of Van Gogh made by someone who was not Van Gogh. Six others are known:

These are a pastel by Toulouse-Lautrec; an oil painting and a sheet of sketches by the Australian artist John Russell; and sketches by Lucien Pissarro, the English artist Horace Livens and the Scottish artist Archibald Hartrick (the latter probably not done from life, but in the 1930s).

The Bernard album will be on display at the Kunsthalle exhibition starting February 7th, but it won’t be opened to the Van Gogh sketch until March 31st. Emile Bernard: On the Pulse of Modernity closes two months later on May 31st, 2015.

 

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Candidates Sought for Society Marshall

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-01-31 20:48

The position of Society Marshal will soon be open. Candidates must apply in writing to the Board of Directors. This is an unpaid position.

The position entails administrating the marshallate activities of the Society and coordinating the activities of the kingdom Earl Marshals. Reports are required to be filed quarterly to the Board summarizing the martial activities of the Society and of each kingdom. The Society Marshal is also responsible for holding meetings to communicate with the kingdom Earl Marshals.

The successful candidate must be well versed in administrative techniques, problem solving, and interpersonal communications. Knowledge of marshallate policy, rules, and procedures is essential. The ability to travel is necessary, as well as having a telephone and e-mail. Knowledge of the traditions and history of the Society is required.

Resumes (both professional and medieval, including offices held and awards received) must be sent to the attention of the Board at the SCA Corporate Office, P.O. Box 360789, Milpitas, CA 95036-0789. Resumes must also be emailed to resumes@sca.org, with a copy to marshal@sca.org.  Resumes must be received by April 1, 2015.

Questions regarding this position may be directed to Shawn Lindsey (Ritter Asoph Hearts) Society Marshal. He may be reached by phone at 817-822-4303 (please no calls after 9 PM CST), or via email at marshal@sca.org.

Comments are strongly encouraged and can be sent to:
SCA Inc.
Box 360789
Milpitas,  CA 95036

You may also email comments@lists.sca.org.

This announcement is an official informational release by the Society for Creative Anachronism , Inc.  Permission is granted to reproduce this announcement in its entirety in newsletters, websites and electronic mailing lists.


Filed under: Heavy List, Official Notices Tagged: corporate, heavy list

King and Queen’s Bardic Championship Results

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2015-01-31 20:36

At today’s King and Queen’s Bardic Championships, hosted by the Shire of Nordenfjord, the results were as follows:

Final Four:
William the Alchymist
Katrusha Skomorokha Negodieva Doch’
Judith Fitzhenry
Ysemay Sterlyng

The King’s Bard is Ysemay Sterlyng, and the Queen’s Bard is William the Alchymist.

Thank you to Sir Michael of York for this report.


Filed under: Arts and Sciences Tagged: Bardic, champions