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Cirencester cockerel goes on display

History Blog - Mon, 2014-10-06 22:51

The enamelled bronze cockerel found in a child’s grave in the western cemetery of Roman Cirencester in 2011 has gone on display at the Corinium Museum along with other artifacts excavated during that dig. The site was known to have had a Roman cemetery since the 1960s when it was surveyed before the construction of Bridges Garage, but the auto body shop had dug deep to accommodate two huge underground fuel tanks, so archaeologists thought whatever was left of the cemetery was probably destroyed.

When the Bridges Garage property was slated for redevelopment in 2011, the archaeologists who returned to survey the site had modest expectations. Much to their surprise, they found 71 inhumations and three cremations, a surprisingly high number of the former (the 60s excavation had found 46 cremations and eight inhumations). The cemetery spanned almost the entire period of Roman Britain, from the late 1st century through the fourth. Archaeologists were able to identify 30 females and 21 males from the inhumations (the sex of the remaining 20 could not be determined). There was significantly more bone wear in the shoulders of the male, probably an indication of repetitive motion strain from skilled crafts like stone-working rather than agricultural work.

The grave in which the cockerel was found is one of the earlier ones, dating to the middle of the 2nd century A.D. The child was about two or three years old and must have come from a wealthy family because she or he was buried in a wooden coffin with the bronze cockerel placed near his head and a pottery feeding cup with a drinking spout known as a tettine. The cockerel was a very expensive piece, the product of high quality workmanship made in northern Britain and exported all over the empire.

Only eight of these objects survive, four in Britain, four in Germany and the Low Countries. This is the only one of the British cockerels to have been found in a grave, and the only one of all of them that still has its tail. That’s significant not just because it’s a fabulous openwork enameled rooster tail, but because before it was found, archaeologists speculated that these figurines might have had a practical use, like as lamps, due to their hollow bodies. The tail was soldered in place, however, making the hollow body inaccessible and usage as a lamp impossible. It was likely included in the grave as a symbol of the god Mercury who guided the souls of the dead to the afterlife.

In the same display case with the cockerel are a selection of jewels also found in the grave of a child. Jet beads found around the neck were once part of a necklace. Jet bracelets and bangles were found at the wrists, while two bronze bracelets were buried under the child’s feet. This was a later burial than the cockerel child’s, dating to the late 3rd or early 4th century. Other jewels on display were found in the grave of a late Roman woman. Near her wrist archaeologists found bone bracelets with metal clasps, a sheet metal bracelet with abstract designs and a bracelet of glass and bone beads strung on a copper-alloy wire chain.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

French necropolis offers "rich grave goods"

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-10-06 16:03

Archaeologists in Saint-Aubin-des-Champs, France have discovered a burial ground containg more than 300 graves dating from the 5th through 7th centuries. The graves were single burials and included "rich grave goods." (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Alamanda de la Roca elevated to Laurel at Battlemoor

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-10-06 13:27

Mariah reports that Their Majesties Walrick and Cecilia of the Kingdom of the Outlands offered elevation to the Order of the Laurel to THL Alamanda de la Roca.

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Categories: SCA news sites

SCAdian Nick Marcelja turns hobby into business

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-10-06 08:42

In an installment of the The Columbian (Vancouver, Washington) series Working in Clark County, news assistant Mary Ricks interviewed blacksmith and SCA member Nick Marcelja, who turned his hobby into a business.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Spain’s earliest image of Jesus found on glass plate

History Blog - Sun, 2014-10-05 22:37

Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Cástulo in south central Spain have found a glass liturgical vessel from the 4th century that is the earliest known representation of Christ ever discovered in Spain. It’s a paten, a shallow bowl or dish used to hold the consecrated host during the sacrament of the Eucharist. Although it was found in fragments, they’re in excellent condition with only very few details of the decoration eroded, a survival all the more remarkable when you consider that the high quality blown glass is just two millimeters thick. The pieces were painstakingly puzzled together with Paraloid, a thermoplastic resin used as a glass and ceramic adhesive by conservators, to form 81% of the complete dish. In total 175 grams of glass were recovered.

The paten is 22 centimeters (8.7 inches) in diameter and is scratch-engraved with a depiction of Christ in Majesty. He stands in the center of the dish, holding a bejewled cross, symbol of resurrection, in his right hand and the gospels in his left. Above him to the right is the Chi Rho symbol between the alpha and omega. Two men, apostles, likely Peter and Paul, flank Christ, each holding a scroll. The figures are bracketed by date palm trees, symbols of immortality in paleochristian iconography.

Archaeologists were able to date the paten to the 4th century thanks to ceramic pieces and coins found in the room, one of which was minted under Emperor Constantius II (337-361 A.D.). That places the vessel in the early decades of Christianity as a legal religion that could be practiced in public. The Edict of Milan, which granted religious liberty to Christians, was promulgated by Emperors Constantine I and Licinius in 313 A.D. Before then depictions of Christ were hidden in private homes and catacombs while in public Christians used cryptic symbols like the ichthys (Jesus fish).

The depiction of Christ as a beardless youth with short curly hair in the Alexandrian style wearing a philosopher’s toga is typical of this transitional period of Christianity. The scene itself, a version of the Traditio legis (“transmission of the law”) in which Christ stands or sits enthroned giving scrolls to Peter and Paul on either side of him, is a paleochristian motif drawn from depictions of the Roman emperor. The standing Christ is earlier than the enthroned version which became popular in the second half of the 4th century, as in the central relief panel of the Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus, made in 359 A.D.

Both apostles carry the rotulus legis (scroll of the law) and they’re both wearing togas. They have short but full hair and are cleanly shaven, another mark of how early this image is since once the iconography became standardized Peter and Paul would be depicted with balding heads and beards.

The fact that the paten is made of glass is another indication of its age. According to the Liber Pontificalis, a compendium of papal biographies, Pope Zepherinus (199-217 A.D.) “made a regulation for the church, that there should be vessels of glass before the priests in the church and servitors to hold them while the bishop was celebrating mass and priests standing about him. Thus mass should be celebrated and the clergy should assist in all the ceremony, except in that which belongs only to the bishop; from the consecration of the bishop’s hand the priest should receive the consecrated wafer to distribute to the people.”

One pope later, Urban I (222-230 A.D.) “had all sacred vessels made of silver, and he gave as an offering 25 patens of silver [one for each titular church].” The source for Urban’s order replacing all glass liturgical vessels with ones made of precious metals is thought to be a 6th century hagiography of St. Cecilia, which is shaky, to say the least, so it’s likely the shift from glass to silver is of later date.

The discovery of the glass paten in the context makes it even more important. Before its discovery, some archaeologists had posited that the 4th century building in which it was found was a very early Christian religious structure, midway between the catacombs and clandestine churches in private homes and the first official Christian architecture of the Roman empire. However there was no direct evidence of that — no frescoes or crosses or any other overtly Christian decoration. The paten supplies that evidence that the building was used for Christian services.

Inhabited since the Neolithic, Cástulo was important center of trade in the Roman world. It had been an ally of Rome since the city betrayed the Carthaginian army in the second century B.C., and its location on the Guadalquivir River connected it directly to Córdoba, capital of the Roman province of Hispania Ulterior Baetica. Just a few meters away from the structure where the paten was found is a building from the first century A.D. dedicated to the cult of Emperor Domitian. In 2012, archaeologists unearthed a mosaic floor there that is nothing short of spectacular. Because Domitian was assassinated in 96 A.D. and the Senate issued a damnatio memoriae erasing his name from all public documents, art and architecture, the building was never completed. The walls were demolished, covering the mosaic with rubble and preserving it in unbelievable condition for archaeologists to find. It’s made from 750,000 tiles in 24 brilliant colors imported from all over the empire. Do yourself a favor and explore the entire mosaic in high resolution here. Its quality is a testament to the wealth and importance of the ancient city.

Once Christianity came into the picture, Cástulo became an episcopal see. We know there was a bishop there at least as early as 305 A.D. because records of the ecclesiastical Synod of Elvira (305-6 A.D.) list one of the bishops present as “Secundinus episcopus Castulonensis,” or Secundinus Bishop of Castulo. It remained an episcopal see under Visigothic rule until the second half of the 7th century. Cástulo became overshadowed by its castle-defended neighbor of Linares after the Muslim conquest and was ultimately abandoned in the 13th century.

The paten is now on display at the Archaeological Museum of Linares.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

“After tragedy, SCA members pull together to help” (Update on the SCA’s Response to Sir Diablu)

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2014-10-05 15:11

By Master Liam Saint Liam

In the 10 days since a three-car crash in the Dominican Republic claimed the life of one of our long-time members and left one of the most respected knights in the kingdom in critical condition, the East Kingdom — in fact the whole SCA — has seen the wonder and beauty of this game we play.

On Sept. 25, taking advantage of the Jewish-holiday break from school, Ashley Fraser (Lady Lilith Le Blanc) and M. Dwayne Herron (Sir Sirhan AlCyani Akarel Diablu)  left John F. Kennedy Airport for a weekend away together.
Within hours, their taxi had been involved in a serious accident, Ashley was killed and Dwayne was hospitalized in critical condition with multiple injuries.

Then the miracle of the SCA kicked into high gear.
Sir Luis de Castilla, one of the newest knights of the East and a former squire of Diablu’s, is a police officer and speaks Spanish, so he made the connections for the family, then flew to the Dominican Republic to take point.
Dwayne’s brother Dexter (Master Frodo – Hiyama no Kufuka Oniko) flew down, as did his mother, and within a week, Dwayne was at Jackson Hospital in Miami, where he is right now.
He is aware of what happened to his lady. Her ashes will be returned to the family.
This was not simple, and involved many SCA members, some of whom had never met Ashley and Diablu, and one with a connection to a Congressman, who helped solve some issues.

Here are some notes of thanks from Sir Luis . . .
Dexter Herron my brother in this fight. His persistence paid off huge!
Corbie Mitleid a woman who I’ve never met and yet showed me a kindness and guidance I will never ever be able to repay.
Lori O’Rourke Copland we’ve passed each other by at events. Beautiful woman in awesome garb. Would have never spoken to a stick jock like me….Got this ball rolling! Another who I am forever in debt.
Margarita De’ Siena for keeping me sane. Loving me . . .
The Whole Von Halstern/Nutley/Grants/Hawthorne/404 Mooks I needed the support boys. The cheering up . . . . Thank you. I’ll be smacking you all with rattan soon...”

There are people in Trimaris who stand ready to help when they are needed and Scadians from all over have donated to help with travel and other expenses.
Both Ashley and Dwayne have been in the SCA for decades, and each previously lost a former partner who was also a long-time SCA member. Together, they were a powerful force for good in our society. They were among the mainstays of Security/The Watch at Pennsic, and while her work was often behind the scenes, Diablu is one of those folks who is bigger than life.

For those interested in sending cards, the address is Dwayne Herron, C/O Grace Herron, 5110 NW 75th Ave., Lauderhill FL, 33319.
Those who would like to donate to help the family with expenses, the information is here: http://www.rothauser.com/diablu/


Filed under: Tidings

Masters thesis studies veracity of period combat manuals

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2014-10-05 14:03

In his Master of Arts Dissertation for the University of Exeter, Johann Keller Wheelock Matzke examines bioarcheology studies from five medieval digs for skeletal injuries to check the veracity of sources on medieval combat. A PDF of his paper, Armed and Educated: Determining the Identity of the Medieval Combatant, is available online.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Viking longboat to draw visitors to the public library

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2014-10-05 08:50

In 1838, the remains of a Viking longboat were discovered at Stanley Ferry, near Wakefield, England, at a natural crossing point for the River Calder. Now the 1,000-year-old vessel will be on display at the Wakefield Library. (video, photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Met saves Treasure of Harageh from auction sale

History Blog - Sat, 2014-10-04 22:58

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has stepped in to save an ancient Egyptian collection of artifacts from dispersal into the auction void. The Treasure of Harageh, a group of Twelfth Dynasty jewelry and travertine vessels excavated in 1913-14 from Tomb 124 at Harageh near the city of Faiyum in Middle Egypt, was supposed to go under the hammer at the Bonhams Antiquities sale on October 2nd. At the last minute, the lot was withdrawn and Bonhams announced it had negotiated a private sale for an undisclosed amount to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This was a happy result for a controversial sale. The controversy wasn’t the usual kind. There was no trumped up “Swiss private collection” provenance; the ownership history was clear and unblemished, the publication record extensive. It was the seller raising eyebrows: the American Institute for Archaeology’s St. Louis Society. The AIA is opposed on principle to the sale of antiquities, believing they belong in the care of experts who will conserve them and make them available to the public for educational purposes. The St. Louis Society is an independent non-profit, however, and its charter with the AIA only explicitly prohibits the sale or purchase of undocumented artifacts, so no matter how horrified the national organization was, it could not prevent the sale.

The artifacts have belonged to the St. Louis Society since they were first excavated by a British School of Archaeology team led by Reginald Engelbach under the direction of pioneering archaeologist William Matthew Flinders Petrie. The Society helped fund the excavation. In return, they received this exceptional group of artifacts. There are five travertine objects, four of them vessels, one of them a cosmetic spoon with a handle in the shape of an ankh. The jewelry group is seven cowrie shell-shaped pendants made of silver, a rare material worth more than gold in the Middle Kingdom, 14 real sea shell pendants mounted in silver and 11 silver pieces inlaid with various hardstones that probably were part of a pectoral plaque.

It’s the 11 pectoral pieces that date the artifacts. Individual pieces are designed as hieroglyphs that spell the name of Pharoah Senusret II, the fourth pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty who ruled from 1897-1878 B.C. One of the 11 is also the standout piece of the collection. It’s a unique jewel in the shape of a bee. What makes it unique is that it’s three-dimensional, with inlays on both sides and even visible from the top. There is no other 3D jewel known from the Middle Kingdom. The bee, the real shell pendants (the first known instance of actual shells being used in Egyptian jewelry) and the ankh spoon are all unique and of major historical significance.

For many years the collection was kept at the St. Louis Art Museum. In 2011 it was moved to Washington University in St. Louis and two years ago it wound up in private storage at a cost of $2,000 a year. It was that storage fee and the conservation challenge that drove the St. Louis Society to sell the Treasure of Harageh. Howard Wimmer, secretary of the St. Louis Society, said: “If there had been any way that we could have reasonably kept these items in St. Louis, we never would have pursued this course. One way or the other, we had to find a new home.”

It’s that one way they chose that was the sticking point. The AIA might not have had grounds to block the sale, but it wasn’t the only interested party.

Alice Stevenson, curator of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, said a sale to a private buyer would have violated an agreement between the museum’s namesake explorer and the St. Louis group that the antiquities be distributed to public museums, accessible to both researchers and the public.

“Museums and archaeologists are stewards of the past,” she said. “They should not sell archaeological items in their collections for profit.”.

Thanks to the Met, which is glad to join this treasure to other Harageh artifacts in its permanent collection, the sale of these antiquities won’t see them dispersed contextless into private collections out of the reach of the public and scholars. Unfortunately, there was one lot from the St. Louis Society’s Harageh artifacts, a Tenth-Eleventh Dynasty travertine head rest (2150-1990 B.C.) that did not get an eleventh hour reprieve. It sold to an unknown buyer for £27,500 ($44,182). I wonder if the Petrie Museum is aware of this sale. It seems like they might have legal grounds to void it.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Unofficial Court Report – Last Court of Brennan and Caoilfhionn

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-10-04 17:46

The time did come that the signs and portents all pointed to the end.  And so it was that Their Imperial Majesties, Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn, did travel to the Barony of Bergental once again, and would hold the Last Court of the their Reign, at the Coronation of Edward and þóra on 27 September, AS XLIX.

Emma Lovell and Caleb Patrasso were called before Their Majesties.  They were thus inducted into the Order of the Tyger’s Cub.  Emma received a scroll with words and illumination by Agatha Wanderer, and calligraphy by Gwillim Kyneth; Caleb was presented a scroll by Edward MacGyver dos Scorpos.

Antonio Patrasso was called forth.  He was named a King’s Cypher and a Queen’s Cypher, receiving a scroll for the former featuring calligraphy by Leonete D’Angely, illumination by Nataliia Anastasia Evegenova and words by Alys Mackyntoich, and a scroll for the latter by Magdalena von Kirschberg.

Charitye Dale was called forth, and presented with a Burdened Tyger.  Her forthcoming scroll is by Charis Accipiter and Jon Dunbar.

Eliane Howys of Morningthorpe was inducted into the Order of the Maunche.  She received a scroll by Nest verch Tangwistel.

Turi MacKinnon was invited to present himself before Their Majesties.  He was named a Woodworker to the Crown, and also named a King’s Cypher.  He received a woodcarving by Kenimathor of Lochleven and a scroll by Heather Rose de Gordoun.

Marguerite De Sainte Nazaire was presented with a Queen’s Cypher.  She was given a scroll by Katrusha the Skomorokh with words by Alys Mackyntoich.

Bjorvig Huldarson was named a Brewer to the Crown, and would receive a scroll by Aesa Lokabrenna Sturladottir.

Aikaterine FitzWilliam, in absentia, was presented with a Queen’s Honor of Distinction, a King’s Esteem of Merit, AND named a Seamstress to the Crown.

Rainillt Leia de Bello Marisco was named a Seamstress to the Crown.

The Worshipful Company of Their Majesties’ Underwear, and members thereof were named as Seamstresses to the Crown.  A scroll featuring calligraphy by Eleanor Catlyng and words by Lillian atte Valeye was presented.

Martyn de Halliwell was named a Tailor to the Crown, and also presented with a King’s Esteem of Merit.

Anastasia da Monte and Yehuda ben Moshe were each presented with a King’s Estemm of Merit.

I, Malcolm Bowman, was called before His Majesty Brennan.  I was named a King’s Cypher, and received a scroll by Eleanore MacCarthaigh.

Fergus Redmede was called forth.  He was inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent, and received a scroll by Fiona O’Maille ó Chaun Coille with words by Toki Redbeard.

Griffith Davion, though absent, was presented with a Queen’s Order of Courtesy.

Eva Woderose was called before Empress Caoilfhionn.  She was awarded a Queen’s Order of Courtesy.

Cormac MacEamon na Connemara, Duncan Kerr, Hugh Tauener and Ciaran McLeod were each presented with a King’s Esteem of Merit.

Mathias of Settmour Swamp was called forth.  He was awarded a King’s Esteem of Merit, then named a Baron of the Court, receiving a scroll featuring calligraphy by Saerlaith ingen Chennetig, illumination by Elizabeth of Arundel and words by Lucius Aurelius Varus.

Owynn Greenwood was called before Her Majesty, and received a Queen’s Honor of Distinction.

Avelina Keyes was invited before the court.  She was awarded a Queen’s Honor of Distinction, and also named a King’s Cypher.  She received a scroll by Cristiana Crane.

Culann MacKinnon was invited forth.  He was awarded a Queen’s Honor of Distinction, and also named a King’s Cypher.  He received a scroll by Palotzi Marti (with assistance by Kolosvari Arpadne Julia).

Though absent, Edana inghean Aluinn mac Kinnon was called before Her Majesty, and named a Queen’s Cypher.  She received a scroll by Bebhinn Inghean Ui Siodhachain.

Then did the Sybils appear.  They warned of dire consequences should Brennan and Caoilfhionn not relinquish their crowns.  It was decided they would conduct a few more orders of business, then call forth Their Heirs.

Godric of Hamtun and the East Kingdom Pennsic Archery Champions Team were asked to present themselves.  They were named the Blue Tyger Legion, and presented a scroll with illumination by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte, and calligraphy by Nest verch Tangwistel.

Eleanor Fitz Patrick was invited before His Majesty, and named a King’s Cypher.  She was presented a scroll by Sunniva Ormstung.

Kenric aet Essex was called before Emperor Brennan, and named a King’s Cypher.  He was presented a scroll by Wulfgar Silverbraid with words by Theodora Bryennissa, called Treannah.

Elizabeth Eleanore Lovell was commanded to presented herself before the Crown.  She was named a King’s Cypher and a Queen’s Cypher, and received scrolls by Constance de St. Denis and Lada Monguligin.

In addition to these pieces of business, members of Athena’s Thimble presented a gift to Their Majesties, and a representative from the Kingdom or Drachenwald presented a gift to Their Majesties as well.

Her Majesty called the Captain of her Guard, Einarr Njortharson, called Billy Fish, forward.  She named him a Queen’s Cypher, and he was presented a scroll by Eleanor Catlyng with words by Alys Mackyntoich.

Her Majesty’s guard were released from their service, and Their Imperial Majesties bade the Kingdom farewell.  Thus did they pass their crowns to their Heirs, Edward and þóra.  Long Live the King!  Long Live the Queen!  Long live the Kingdom of the East!

In service,

Malcolm Bowman

Eastern Crown Herald for Brennan and Caoilfhionn

PS – Thank you for Heraldic assistance to Ryan McWhyte, Elizabeth Elenore Lovell, Yehuda ben Moshe and Martyn de Halliwell.


Filed under: Court, Events Tagged: court report

Unofficial Court Report – Lady of the Rose Tourney

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-10-04 17:45

Their Majesties, Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn, did travel to the Barony of Bergental and attended the Lady of the Rose Tournament on 20 September, AS XLIX.

Thus did these things happen:

Eamon the Red was inducted into the Order of Gawain, and presented a scroll featuring calligraphy by Henna Sinclair, illumination by Magnus Kowarsky of Ealdormere and words by Tommaltach MacFhiachach.

Connor Dragonsbane was inducted into the Order of Gawain, and presented a scroll featuring calligraphy by Henna Sinclair, illumination by Shadiyah al-Zahra and words by Tommaltach MacFhiachach.

Zadia of Bergental was inducted into the Order of Gawain, and presented a scroll by Aelfgifa of the Hazel Thicket.

Lupold Hass von Zurich was Awarded Arms, and received a scroll featuring illumination by Sarah Davies of Monmouth and calligraphy by Bronwyn of Wentworth.

Tryggve Stefnisson was awarded a Golden Kinder, and received a scroll by Robert of Stonemarche with words by Aneleda Falconbridge.

Jean Paul Ducasse was inducted into the Order of the Maunche. He was presented a scroll by Cezilia Raposa with words by Alexandre Lerot d’Avignon.

Edward Grey of Lochleven was named a King’s Cypher, and presented a scroll by Alexandre Saint Pierre.

Sigurthr Vigahamarr het Saurfotr was presented a Queen’s Honor of Distinction.

Alys Mackyntoich, Ryan McWhyte and Donovan Shinnock were each presented with a King’s Esteem of Merit.

I get to talk about myself in the third person!  Malcolm Bowman was named a Baron of the Court, and received a scroll by Kayleigh McWhyte.

Saerlaith ingen Chennetig was made a Queen’s Cypher, and was presented a scroll by Ekaterina Volkova.

Isabelle de Montreuil sur Mer and Jaquelinne Sauvageon were inducted into the Order of the Silver Crescent.  The former received a scroll featuring illumination by Agatha Wanderer, calligraphy by Gwillim Kynith and words by Aneleda Falconbridge; the latter was presented a scroll by Elisabeth Greenleaf.

Caoilfhionn inghean Lochlainn was Awarded Arms.  Her scroll is forthcoming.

Alesone Gray of Cranleigh was made a Queen’s Cypher, and received a scroll by Saerlaith ingen Chennetig.

Medhbh inghean Cheallaigh was made a Queen’s Cypher, and received a scroll featuring calligraphy by Bronwyn of Wentworth and illumination by Saorsa of Coldwood.

Arastorm the Golden was elevated to the Order of the Laurel.  She was presented a scroll by Jonathan Blaecstan with words by Martyn de Halliwell.

In service,

Malcolm Bowman

Eastern Crown Herald for Brennan and Caoilfhionn

PS – Thank you for Heraldic assistance to Ryan McWhyte, Elizabeth Elenor Lovell, Grim the Skald, Donovan Shinnock, Caoilfhionn inghean Lochlainn and Charitye Dale.


Filed under: Court, Events Tagged: court report

Unofficial Court Report – River Wars

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-10-04 17:44

This happened just a short while ago, yet it already seems so distant…

Their Majesties, Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn, did travel to the Barony of Iron Bog and attended River Wars on 13 September, AS XLIX.

These things did happen that day:

Karen Jacobsdottir and Amy Webb were each presented with a Queen’s Honor of Distinction.

Birla the Cheerful was made companion of the Order of Gawain, and received a scroll by Lada Monguligin.

Melchior Kriebel and Devilin MacPherson were both inducted into the Order of the Golden Rapier.  The former received a scroll by Isabel Chamberlaine, with words by Alys Mackyntoich; the latter received a scroll by Orlando Sforza.

Ryouko’jin Of-The Iron-Skies was presented with a Queen’s Honor of Distinction, and read a poem by Aife ingen Chonchobair in Derthaige.  Not finished with him, Their Majesties inducted him into the Order of the Tygers Combatant and received a scroll by Sakurai no Kesame.

Mongu Chinua was inducted into the Order of the Sagitarius, and received a carved stone by Alaric Jaeger von Bremen inscribed by Lada Monguligin with words by Gullujab Tangadai.

And then there was in court:

Bjorn inn Kvensami was presented with a King’s Esteem of Merit.

Margery Winthrop was Awarded Arms and presented a scroll by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.

Suleene Skye the Forgotten was named a Jeweler to the Crown and presented a scroll by Nyfain merch Coel.

Amanda of Settmour Swamp and Serena of Settmour Swamp were inducted into the Order of the Tyger’s Cub.  Amanda receieved a scroll by Catriona inghean Sheamuis; Serena’s scroll featured illumination by Aziza al-Shirazi and calligraphy by Mariette de Bretagne.

Konner MacPherson was Granted Arms and would be receiving a scroll by Mariette de Bretagne.

Owynn Greenwood was made a Baron of the Court and received a scroll by Orlando Sforza.

Erin Holt was Awarded Arms and received a scroll featuring illumination by Ellesbeth Donofrey and calligraphy by Jon Blaecstan.

Aziza al-Shirazi was awarded arms and received a scroll by Mariette de Bretagne.

Aibhilin Fhionn (Trixie) was awarded a Grant of Arms and made a Queen’s Cypher, receiving a scroll for the former by Jan Janowicz Bogdanski and for the latter featuring illumination by Mergriet van Wijenhorst and calligraphy by Nest verch Tangwistel.

Alesone Gray of Cranleigh was named a Seamstress to the Crown, and additionally received a King’s Esteem of Merit.

Jehannine de Flandres, Tysha z kieva, Isgerthr Isungr and Engracia de Mardrigal were all named Seamstresses to the Crown.

Thorlaeifr Hvitskegg was named a Tailor to the Crown.  Further, he received a Grant of Arms with a scroll forthcoming.

Jibril ibn Ammar al-Fayyad was inducted into the Order of Artemis, and received a scroll featuring illumination by Kis Marika, called Mika and calligraphy by Jon Blaecstan.

Reijnier Verplanck was inducted into the Order of the Silver Rapier.  The scroll is forthcoming.

Genovefa De Magna Villa was presented with a Burdened Tyger, and received a scroll by Eleana O’ Sirideain.

Miles Boweman was Awarded Arms and received a scroll by Magdalena Lantfarerin.

Linette de Galardon was elevated to the Order of the Pelican, and received a scroll by Elsa de Lyon.

Gautselin Raedwulf was Granted Arms, and also made a Queen’s Cypher.  She received a scroll for her GOA featuring illumination by Svea the Short-Sighted and calligraphy by Alexandre St Pierre, and a scroll for the Queen’s Cypher by Despina de la Brasov.

Friar William Graham of Edinburgh, Lorenzo Gorla and Livia Petralia were all inducted into the Order of the Maunch.  Scroll for Friar William by with illumination by Isa of Ruantallan and an unknown calligrapher; scroll for Lorenzo by Sarra the Lymner; scroll for Livia by Reijnier Verplanck.

Though absent, Ruslan Novgorodcev was named a King’s Cypher.  A scroll is forthcoming.

Muiredach O’Dalaigh was Awarded Arms, and presented a scroll featuring illumination by Melina Al Andalusiyya, calligraphy by Robin dit Dessaint and words by Dankwert Bathory.

Ichabod the Tall was elevated to the Order of the Pelican, and received a scroll featuring illumination by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte, calligraphy by Vettori Antonello and words by Ryan McWhyte.

Philadelphia Brown was elevated to the Order of the Pelican, and presented a scroll by Chrestienne la Pecheresse with words by Alys Mackyntoich.

In service,

Malcolm Bowman

Eastern Crown Herald for Brennan and Caoilfhionn

PS – Thank you for Heraldic assistance to Alys Mackyntoich, Elizabeth Elenor Lovell, Alesone Gray of Cranleigh, Donovan Shinnock, Anastasia da Monte, Martyn de Halliwell, Alain Llewylyn ap Rhaglan and Yehuda ben Moshe.


Filed under: Court, Events Tagged: court report

Unofficial Court Report – Barleycorn

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-10-04 17:41

Their Majesties, Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn, did travel to the Crown Province of Østgarðr and attended The Funeral Games of John Barleycorn on 6 September, AS XLIX.

The following events took place upon that day:

Eva Kringler was called before Their Majesties, and received an AoA with a scroll featuring calligraphy by Constance de St. Denis and illumination by Vettorio Antonello.

Cosimo di Firenze of Østgarðr was Awarded Arms and received a scroll by Wulfgar Silverbraid with words by Theodora Bryennissa called Treannah.

Alienor Salton was Awarded Arms and received a scroll by Onóra ingheann Uí Rauirc.

Jolie Delarue was named a Seamstress to the Crown.

Philip the first was Awarded Arms and received a scroll by Lassar ingen Aeda.

Dougmor of Lions End was Awarded Arms and received a scroll by Vettorio Antonello.

Thomas O’Connor was given an Award of Arms, and received a scroll featuring calligraphy by Aleksei Dmitriev and illumination by Marianna “Blackheart” DeLacey.

Caoilfhionn inghean Lochlainn and Anton le Flamme were presented with a Queen’s Honor of Distinction.

Richard the Poor of Ely was made a Baron of the Court and Granted Arms, receiving a scroll by Jonathan Blaecstan.

Additionally, this happened:

His Excellency Gui of Østgarðr presented a rattan greatsword to His Majesty.

Representatives of the Canton of Northpass presented a gift to Their Majesties.

Sir Horic swore fealty.

Their Majesties were presented with a ginormous fork, a match to the gargantuan Spoon of Æthelmearc.  Additionally, Her Majesty was presented a large but comparatively smaller spork.

Their Majesties signed the charter for creation of the Assassin’s Guild.

In service,

Malcolm Bowman

Eastern Crown Herald for Brennan and Caoilfhionn

PS – Thank you for Heraldic assistance to Aislinn Chiabach and Caoilfhionn inghean Lochlainn


Filed under: Court, Events Tagged: court report

Unofficial Court Report – King and Queen’s Equestrian Champions

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2014-10-04 17:39

photo by Lavina Attewode

Join me for a brief trip in the not-so-wayback machine.

Their Majesties, Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn, did travel to the Shire of Quintavia and attended King’s and Queen’s Equestrian Championships at Quintavia Summer Celebration on 23 August, AS XLIX.

The following awards were presented:

Doucette de Verdun was named King’s Equestrian Champion, and received a promissory scroll by Kayleigh McWhyte.

Julian le Scot was named Queen’s Equestrian Champion, and received a promissory scroll by Eleanor Catlyng.

Rodulf d’ Saint Aubin was inducted into the Order of the Tyger’s Cub and received a scroll by Katherine Stanhope.

Leon d’ Saint Aubin was inducted into the Order of the Tyger’s Cub, and received a scroll featuring illumination by Adrienne d’Evreaux and calligraphy by Alexandre St. Pierre.

Catalina de Valencia was Awarded Arms.  Her scroll is forthcoming.

Llewellyn Walsh was made a companion of the Order of the Silver Rapier, and received a scroll by Eleanor Catlyng.

Arnulf d’ Saint Aubin was both inducted into the Order of the Tyger’s Cub, and received an Award of Arm.  He was presented a scroll for the Tyger’s Cub by Nest verch Tangwistel and a scroll of the Award of Arms by Brangwyne of Wentworth.

Eleanor Catlyn and Nataliia Anastasiia Evgenova Sviatoslavina vnuchka both were awarded a Queen’s Honor of Distinction.

Elena Hylton was Awarded Arms, and received a scroll featuring calligraphy by Constance de Saint Denis, illumination by Marieta Charay and words by Donovan Shinnock.

Solskinn of Smoking Rocks was inducted into the Order of the Maunche, and received a stained glass piece by Conor O Ceallaigh, with calligraphy and words by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.

In addition:

Their Excellencies Carolingia swore fealty, and presented a gift of a rag rose to Their Majesties.

Their Excellencies Smoking Rocks swore fealty.

Her Highness þóra presented tokens to the hard-working Equestrian ground crew.

The Children of the East gave chase to the toybox.

Duke Gregor von Heisler was named Dean of the War College.

In service,

Malcolm Bowman

Eastern Crown Herald for Brennan and Caoilfhionn

PS – Thank you for Heraldic assistance to Elizabeth Elenor Lovell and Donovan Shinnock


Filed under: Court, Equestrian Tagged: court report, King and Queen's Champions

Battle of Grunwald search to include lakes

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-10-04 13:31

Archaeologists working near the site of the Battle of Grunwald, between the army of King Jagiello of Poland and the Teutonic Knights in 1410, plan to use an electromagnet to drag the bottom of several lakes in the area, hoping to find weapons lost lost before and during the battle.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Medieval tagging: what it means

SCAtoday.net - Sat, 2014-10-04 09:10

"We want to record it before it's lost," said Brian Porter of Lincolnshire's medieval graffiti project about thousands of medieval doodles found on the walls of English churches. Porter is co-chair of the volunteer project to record the graffiti and learn more about the thoughts of the people of the time. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

L’Aquila earthquake reveals mummified fetus

History Blog - Fri, 2014-10-03 22:44

The earthquake that struck the central Italian city of L’Aquila on April 6th, 2009, also devastated the small town of Casentino 10 miles to the southeast. The church of St. John the Evangelist, a masonry structure largely built in the 18th century, was heavily damaged. The apse, the vault over the altar, collapsed, reducing the floor to rubble and exposing a long corridor leading to an underground room. When the firefighters arrived to clear the rubble, they found the remains of 150 people, about 30 of them naturally mummified and about 10 of those exceptionally well-preserved.

The find came as little surprise to the residents of Casentino, since the little village didn’t even have a dedicated cemetery until the 20th century; before then people were regularly buried in the ossuary under the church. Over the years the bone pile grew enough to be visible through a lancet window on the back of the church. They didn’t know there were natural mummies in excellent condition, however.

Since the needs of earthquake cleanup and repair took priority, the remains were moved to a protected area of the church for later retrieval. It was two years before experts from the cultural patrimony ministry and archaeological superintendence were able to remove the 10 or so mummified remains in the best condition to the superintendence’s headquarters in Chieti. There they could be preserved in ideal climactic conditions and studied by the anthropology department of the University of Chieti. The rest of the remains were reinterred in the church.

This Italian language news story has some good views of the damaged church and some of the mummies:

Archaeologists studied the clothing and human remains in the hope of learning more about how people lived and died in this small countryside hamlet. Their clothes were in the French style of the Napoleonic era, but upon closer examination the deceased were found to date to different periods over a 200 year range, at least some of the victims of a documented plague in the 1800s. Textiles, shoes, corsets, skirts, shirts, shrouds, rings and rosary beads can be dated by their materials and styles to the 19th century or earlier. People of all sexes and ages are represented: women, men, children, the elderly and even one fetus.

Anthropological examination found an unusually high number of bodies bore evidence of having been autopsied. Dissected skulls (craniotomy) and ribs (costotomy) were particularly common. This wouldn’t be so incongruous in, say, a university city, but in a little country village it’s practically unheard of. There must have been a very curious physician practicing in the area.

It’s the fetal mummy that proved the most startling. Researchers were able to radiocarbon date the shroud wrapping the tiny mummy and found that it was buried around 1840. The fetus died around 29 weeks of pregnancy, so small that sex determination from the bones was not possible. An X-ray of the mummy bundle found the skeleton was not articulated. The skull was dissected in several places and separated from the neck. The arm bones were removed from the skeleton and dislocated at various joints.

This disarticulation is different from the autopsies found in the other mummies from the site. It appears to have been done in utero, not outside of the mother’s body.

All of these characteristics “strongly suggest a case of embryotomy,” which was a procedure that occurred before removing the fetus from the womb, study author Ruggero D’Anastasio of University Museum at University of Chieti, Italy, told Live Science.

This likely case of embryotomy “is the only anthropological proof of this surgical practice up to now in this geographical region,” he added.

Embryotomy was a common practice in ancient times, D’Anastasio said. The procedure was practiced in Alexandria and then in Rome during the first and second centuries, the researchers wrote in the study. Physicians typically performed it when a mother’s life was threatened due to delivery complications or when the fetus was already thought to be dead in the womb.

The little fellow was buried with the utmost care, all the body parts placed back together in the proper anatomical placement and then clothed. The skull fragment was placed on top of the mummy’s head and covered with a little cap.

The concluding paragraph of the study report in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology:

In summary, our report provides evidence for what is likely the best example of embryotomy in the archaeological record of Italy. It also demonstrates that the praxis specialised in gynecology was surprisingly diffused into a very little and peripheral village in Central Italy, where evidently physicians with high degree of professionalism worked. By contrast, the recomposition of the cut-up body and its perfect dressing indicate high sense of pity for the death and for children never born.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Artisans to Their Majesties

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2014-10-03 17:44

The website of Their Majesties Edward and Thyra now has a page displaying the work of artisans that has been donated to their reign.  Their Majesties are grateful for these items that are used as gifts for their hosts at foreign wars or for other occasions closer to home.  In the future the webpage will also include largesse for the toy chest enlivens court for all the youngest members of the East.  “Edward and I take great joy at being able to share the beautiful work done by the artisans of our kingdom,” wrote Princess Thyra.  “The skill and generosity of the people of the East is without compare.”

The webpage will be updated throughout the reign.  Anyone who would like to donate their work is asked to email the Gifts Coordinator, Sir Michael of York.  If you would like to know more about what might be useful, you can also contact him.

Photo by Baroness Cateline la Broderesse


Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Tidings

Sutton Hoo brooch replica added to exhibit

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-10-03 14:58

In the 1840s, a ploughman in Suffolk, England discovered what remained of an Anglo-Saxon gold brooch, and traded it for a set of teaspoons. Recently, as part of the 75th anniversary of the discovery of the Sutton Hoo ship burial, a replica of the brooch, complete with gold, silver, bone and garnet stones, has been included in the exhibit. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites