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Q&A – How Laurels vs. Pelicans Came To Be

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-05-22 10:42

Master Alexandre and Mistress Rhiannon at the first LvP

Laurels vs. Pelicans returns this year to Southern Region War on Saturday, June 28th. Wondering what this is and how it came to be? The Gazette asked the person who started it, Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd For.  (Mistress Catrin is also a Gazette editor.)

Where did the idea for Laurels vs. Pelicans come from?
This is a little embarrassing, but I was talking to people at the EK Rapier Champions event in Quintavia two years ago. Surrounded by combat, we speculated that people would probably pay to see the Laurels and Pelicans hit each other. The more I thought about it, the more I realized it was probably true. So I asked the Laurels and Pelicans who were present if they would sign up to do this as a fundraiser, and they said yes. Then it was just a question of how to raise money doing it.

Master Leiftameon’s juggling clubs versus Master Ulric’s giant spoon

How is the money raised?
The participants get weapons based on how much money people donate in their name. A dagger is $25; sword is $50; two sword/sword & shield is $75; and specialty weapon is $100. The specialty weapons were Mistress Aife’s idea. She has a piece about brain balls, so she thought people might donate money to see her throw foam brains. The other peers liked it and invented their own specialty weapons.

Mistress Aife’s dramatic death

Some peers offer incentives to donate, like Mistress Aife gave away autographed brain balls.  This year Baroness Sabine is offering to play entrance music for a peer on her rauschpfeife in return for a donation. The pieces can be period or modern, so someone can enter to the Imperial Death March if a $20 donation is made to make it happen.  A Betting Man’s Guide has been sold both years also.

Master Ekkehardt’s oar versus Mistress Dziuginte’s shovel

So this isn’t a period activity?
Yes and no. There are parallels I can draw to civic and religious theatricals events in period – not plays but other theatrical activities. We are creating improvised entertainment that takes a lighthearted approach to one of our most formal and structured activities. There are lots of examples of this in period – the Feast of Fools and early mummings to name just two. In spirit I think this has a period feel uniquely adapted to the circumstances of the SCA. Literally is it period – no and the weapons certainly are not.

Master Edward MacGyver and Cuddles, the Giant Scorpion of Doom

What is your favorite part?
How willing the peers are to be outlandish to entertain the crowd. I’m not sure how the fighting nickname idea happened, but people have created names worthy of WWF wrestling like the Killigrapher, the Kountess of Kaos and Mistress of Mayhem. The same goes for the specialty weapons. We’ve had to create boffer weapons like a sheep, spoon, broom, quill pen and clipboard.

How much of the money goes to the Pennsic war chest?
All money raised goes to the Pennsic War chest, since Baron Fergus MacRae of Carolingia is again sponsoring the event and covers the costs.  In addition, we’re grateful to have him do it again because it means he’ll come announce the bouts, and he has a style that is also reminiscent of WWF wrestling.

Sir Geoffrey’s Flail faces off against the Delicate Flower of the Northern Army

Has it changed at all?
Absolutely. This is constantly evolving. The first year we had three melees, with best two out of three taking it. Last year the weather at Panteria meant we couldn’t do LvP – or almost any other activity – outdoors. People needed something to do and the peers didn’t want to cancel, so we turned it into one-on-one bouts that would fit in the dining hall. They turned out to be incredibly fun for the audience. This year we’re doing both melees and single combat. Peers can sign up to do only one or both – their choice.

Syr Cedric and Mistress Mira face Duchess Katherine

Also, we initially said no chivalry could take part, but Sir Geoffrey Fitz Galen offered to use the Perm of Death, which was a wig on a flail. We changed our minds, and what he did with that flail was memorable and almost scandalous. The next year Syr Cedric of Thanet fought using the Drop Spindle of Fate with his arm around his wife, who was wielding the Distaff of Doom. Now we ask that chivalry who enter try for a specialty weapon – and are delighted that they are willing to use their fighting skills in this unconventional way to help the kingdom!

Master Gloom is wielded as a weapon by Special K because she raised more money than he did. Master Dietrich qualified as a very special weapon.

How can a Pelican or Laurel sign up?
Peers who would like to participate should contact Lord Fergus Redmead or me (Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd For). Peers can sign up for single combat and/or melee. Single combat entrants can sign up as Laurel/Pelican pairs or be matched with a peer.

How can other people help?
Some peers have had supporters offer incentives to donors who support them. Or you can support you’re your favorite peer – or one who hasn’t reached their specialty weapon yet.

Where can people find out more information or donate?
There is information on the website now, and we’ll start posting the names of the participating peers at the end of the month. Check back because participants can be added up until two weeks before the event.

Photos by Lord Hugh Tauerner, Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir and Baroness Cateline la Broderesse

Filed under: Interviews Tagged: Laurels vs. Pelicans

Rowany Festival Feedback Survey

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-05-22 06:38

Caristiona encourages anyone who attended the 2014 Rowany Festival to take a moment to fill out the online survey.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Vladimir and Petranella new Prince and Princess of Northshield

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-05-22 02:26

Gwen reports that Vladimir Radescu was the victor of the May 10, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Northshield. Count Vladimir was inspired in his endeavor by Countess Petranella Fitzallen of Weston.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Lewes skeleton dates to Norman Conquest

History Blog - Wed, 2014-05-21 23:06

Skeletal remains previously thought to date to the 13th century have been re-examined and found to date to the time of the Norman Conquest. The radiocarbon dating results and the evidence of his violent death makes this skeleton the only one ever documented that could have been killed in William the Conqueror’s invasion of England.

Skeleton 180 was unearthed in 1994 at the site of the cemetery of the medieval hospital of St. Nicholas. It was one of 103 skeletons excavated at the site, only a few which showed signs of a violent death. Those were of particular interest to archaeologists because the hospital was adjacent to the field where the Battle of Lewes was fought on May 14th, 1264. The Battle of Lewes saw the defeat of King Henry III by the baronial faction led by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. Henry was forced to cede his power to a council led by Montfort, making Montfort de facto king of England for a year (he would be killed in battle with Prince Edward, the future King Edward I, in August 1265), a momentous year for parliamentary democracy since Monfort called the first parliament with elected representatives.

Last year, with the 750th anniversary of the battle coming, the Sussex Archaeological Society commissioned University of York battlefield expert Tim Sutherland and osteoarchaeologist Malin Holst to take a fresh look at the most notable of the St. Nicholas skeletons: skeleton 180. There have been significant advances in battlefield and forensic archaeology since 1994. The society’s hope was that new analysis would determine whether 180′s wounds were received in battle rather than as a result of, say, violent crime or a personal dispute.

As part of the re-examination, the University of Edinburgh radiocarbon dated the skeleton and found to everyone’s surprise that it dated to 1063 with a 28-year margin of error. If skeleton 180 did die in battle, therefore, it wasn’t the Battle of Lewes. The fatal blows are on the back of his skull, six sword injuries inflicted from behind.

Osteoarchaeologist Malin Holst from the University of York, who was commissioned by Sussex Archaeological Society to examine the skeleton, said: “The first injury was probably a cut to the right side of the ear and upper jaw. This was then followed by a series of sword cuts, all delivered from the left hand side behind the victim, in a downward and horizontal motion.”

However she has discovered much more which helps build up a picture of the individual. Malin said: “He ate a diet particularly rich in marine fish, and was at least 45 years old but may have been older. He had some spinal abnormalities and suffered from chronic infection of the sinuses. He showed age-related wear and tear of the joints of his spine, shoulders and left wrist, which might have been uncomfortable. He had lost a few teeth during life, possibly as a result of receding gums. He had two small tumours on his skull.”

His final injury wasn’t the first time he sustained a dangerous head wound. A wound to his left temple incurred up to two years before his death caused a blot clot. It was thoroughly healed by the time he died, however.

There’s still no confirmation that skeleton 180 was killed in battle. He could have been attacked by brigands who slashed at his head until he fell. Further research is necessary and it may not ever be possible to determine whether he was a victim of civilian violence or a battlefield fatality. At the very least it’s a window into the violent period the followed the Norman Conquest.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

First Round Pools and Photos from Crown Tournament

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2014-05-21 13:19

Their Majesties meet the combatants

Last Saturday the Crown Tournament to determine the Heirs of our esteemed Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta was held in the Barony of L’Ile du Dragon Dormant in the Crown Principality of Tir Mara.

The first round of the Tournament was fought using a round robin format.  All combatants were divided into 4 different pools.  The combatants in each pool are listed below.  The Gazette’s thanks Lady Cat Lennox for the use of her photos from the event.

His Majesty addresses the combatants

  • Jarl Valgard Stonecleaver for Lady Gracia Vasquez de Trillo
  • Sir Gareth Grey de Wilton for Mistress Gwenhwyfar Dinas Emrys
  • Sir Antonio Patrasso for Mistress Elizabeth Eleanor Lovell
  • Sir Luis de Castilla for Lady Berenika
  • Baron Matthias Grunwald for Lady Æsa feilinn Jossursdottir
  • Lady Cornelia VandeBrugge for Lord Perceval Gower, Esq.
  • Lord Fearghus O Conchobhairof Buckland Cross for Lady Markesa De Carvalhal
  • Lord Eliahu Al-Talhi for Lady Sandrine de Berry


Competitors and consorts for the semi-finals gather

  • Duke Edward Grey of Lochleven for Countess Þóra Eiríksdóttir
  • Sir Thomas of Ravenhill for Áine an Neamheaglach
  • Syr Culann mac Cianain for Baroness Edana inghean Aluinn mac Kinnon
  • Lord William MacCrimmon for Lady Astrid Olfasdatter
  • Lord Aiden of Coldwood for Lady Elke Vuponne
  • Lord Robert Gower for Lady Rachel of Ironwolf
  • Dominus Spurius Genucius Ruilus for Lady Isolda Fairamay
  • Baron Matthew Moreaveous Avdenmork for Mistress Fia Kareman


His Majesty and the new prince embrace

  • Tribune Darius Aurelius Serpentius, called Omega the Impact for Duchess Roxane Farabi
  • Sir Rhys Ravenscroft for Viscondesa Jimena Montoya
  • Master Ávaldr Valbjarnarson for Mistress Eva Woderose
  • Master Angus Kerr for Baroness Katarzyna Gwozdz called Varju
  • Lord Kenimathor of Lochleven for Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge
  • Lord Richard Crowe for Gabriella Crowe
  • Lord Wilham de Broc for Lady Isabel Chamberlaine
  • Lord Ryouko’jin of Iron Skies for Lady Indrakshi Aravinda
  • Ivarr Rambison for Rose DuBois


Prince Edward places the coronet on Princess Thyra

  • Duke Konrad Der Lowe Von Ulm for Lady Aibhilin Fhionn
  • Sir Angus McHaley for Mistress Tadea Isabetta di Bruno
  • Sir Wilhelm von Ostenbrücke for Mistress Viennet de la Mer
  • Syr Marcus Blackaert for Baroness Astrid Sigrun Ulfkillsdottir
  • Baron Ivan Ivanov Syn Dimitriov vynuk Tzardikov for Baroness Matilde DeCadenet
  • Lord William Ravenhair for Lady Kris the spinner
  • Lord Ketilfastr Thorkilson for Lady Cezilia Raposa
  • Lord Eoghan Bastard mac Lachlainn of Lochleven for Lady Chiara di Marte de Venezia
  • Lord Phelippe du Peiregore for Maeve

Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, spring crown

Lilies War Master Schedule

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2014-05-21 11:39

Lilies War Webminister Eynon reports that the War's Master Schedule is online and has been updated. A printable version is available from Google Docs or in PDF format.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Beautiful mosiac floors revealed in Israeli Byzantine church

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2014-05-21 07:40

An excavation of a site near the Bedouin village of Hura by the Israel Antiquities Authority has revealed a 6th century Byzantine church, complete with amazingly intact mosaic floors. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

First Wolverine artwork sells for $657,250

History Blog - Tue, 2014-05-20 23:06

The original artwork of Wolverine’s first appearance in comics sold at auction Friday for a record $657,250. It ties the record for the most expensive comic book art in general — Todd McFarlane’s original 1990 cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 sold in 2012 for $657,250 — and sets a new record for original artwork from the interior of a comic, beating out an iconic image of Batman and Robin drawn by Frank Miller for 1986′s The Dark Knight Returns which sold in 2011 for $448,125.

“We knew when this artwork surfaced that is was, without doubt, one of the most significant pieces of original comic art ever drawn,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “It has now brought a final price realized commensurate with that status.”

Penciled by Herb Trimpe and inked by Jack Abel, the drawing introduced the mutant Wolverine in the last panel of the last page of The Incredible Hulk #180 in October of 1974, making this year the 40th anniversary of Wolverine’s first appearance. The story written by Len Wein puts Hulk in the wilds of Canada where he hopes to enjoy a little r&r, only to find himself tangling with the Wendigo. The Canadian government, concerned about the very large green man with anger management issues, sends in a secret weapon to handle him: Weapon X, aka, Wolverine. “If you really want to tangle with someone,” the mutant helpfully suggests, “why not try your luck against – the WOLVERINE!”

Wolverine shared his first cover with Hulk on the next issue (#181) and the two continued their minuet with the Wendigo through issue #182. Wolverine then moved on to the company that would make him famous, appearing in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in May of 1975. He didn’t get his first solo title until 1982.

A year later, Trimpe gave the artwork from that last page of The Incredible Hulk #180 to a young fan who quietly kept it all these years. He wasn’t involved in the collector community, so nobody knew that the work had survived until a few months ago when Heritage Auctions announced that it not only existed, but was going up for auction. The seller, who has chosen to remain anonymous, planned to give the bulk of the after-tax profits to charity, including the Hero Initiative which raises funds to support comic book artists and writers in need.

The buyer is collector and sports card dealer Thomas Fish. According to Heritage Auctions’ website, he’s been amenable to purchase offers on freshly acquired works in the past, so it’s likely an investment piece intended for resale.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Special Notice About First Friday Parking at Lilies War

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-05-20 18:10

The Falcon Banner, the news source for the Kingdom of Calontir, reports that special parking restrictions will be in place for the first Friday of Lilies War 2014.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Michael and Seonaid new Heirs to Atlantia Throne

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-05-20 15:22

Duke Michael of Bedford, inspired by Duchess Seonaid ní Fhionn, was the victor of the May 3, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Atlantia.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Court Report from Whitsuntide Fest

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2014-05-20 14:38

Their Majesties Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta, Emperor and Empress of the Kingdom of the East, on 10 May 2014, AS XLIX traveled to their Shire of Blak Rose, and held court at Whitsuntide Fest.

After a brief address to the populace, they called forth Mori Katsu. His virtues expressed, they thus made him a Lord of the Court, presenting an AoA with a scroll by Sakurai no Kesame.

Next was called before them Sadira of Montevale. She was made a Lady of the Court, and presented an AoA with a scroll by Scroll by Elisenda de Luna.

Their Majesties called before them Cian ap Cadwallader. They named him a Lord of the Court, and he was thus awarded an AoA with a scroll by Elsa de Lyon.

Master Ruslan was called before the court. He presented words from Their Majesties Lohac, as well as a sealed scroll.

Maestra Sol was called before Their Majesties. She brought with her numerous residents of Blak Rose, and presented to Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn a number of exquisite gifts.

Jessica of Blak Rose was called forward. Her many great works cited, she was made a Lady of the Court, and received an AoA scroll by Nest verch Tangwistel. His Majesty Brennan, however, issued her a quest to seek a more proper name befitting a Lady of the Court prior to his next visit to the Shire.

Then was Rodney Fythlyn Hundboldse called before the court. His talents in playing numerous musical instruments noted, he was presented with the cup symbolizing his inclusion in the Order of the Troubadour, and an additional cup for his inspiring Lady Wife. He further received a scroll by Mariette de Bretagne.

Their Majesties invited the children to come forward. They were given the chance to chase after the Royal Toybox, while avoiding the intermittent rain, and much laughter pealed across the court.

His Majesty invited forth all those who participated in any form of combat during the day. Thanking the Soldiers of the East, he presented each with coin to pay them for their continued service to Crown and Kingdom.

Next was called forward Khamsa bint Rasheed ibn Daoud al-Hourani. She was made a Lady of the Court, and received an AoA scroll by Nest verch Tangwistel.

Marcus of Owlsherst was requested before the court. His combat prowess spoken highly of, he was inducted to the Order of the Gawain. He received a garter from the arm of the Emperor, and a scroll by Katherine Stanhope.

Now came before the court Elspeth of Silverkeep. She was made a Lady of the Court, and presented with an AoA scroll by Ylaire St. Claire.

Odd Wulfgarrson was called before the court. He was made a Lord of the Court, and received an AoA scroll by Harold von Auerbach.

Their Majesties called forward Elsa de Lyon. Lucan and Jana, many years before, had inducted the Lady into their Order of the Maunche. Her scroll would be presented to her now…were it not still incomplete. The pretense ended, she was presented with a Writ, and the Order of the Laurel was called forth. She would answer the question set before her at the coming Southern Region War Camp, as to whether she would join the most austere order. The writ was on a scroll created by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.

Concluding a day of much merriment and fun, thus closed the court of Their Imperial Majesties, Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta. Long may they reign over the Empire of the East!

In service,
Malcolm Bowman
Eastern Crown Herald
PS – Thank you to the Heraldic staff for the day! Sabine de Kerbriant, Martyn de Halliwell, and Charitye Dale

Filed under: Court

Period or Not…Names

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2014-05-20 14:16

This is a recurring series by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich on whether certain names currently can be documented to period based on existing evidence..  There are a lot of names that people think are medieval, but actually aren’t, and others which people think are modern, but in fact are found in the SCA’s period.  If you would like to suggest a name, send an email to the Gazette.

Today’s names are Shakespeare’s heroines.

The names of Shakespeare’s heroines are frequently requested as SCA names.  Many of these names are easily found in period Europe.

Beatrice is found in various spellings throughout Europe, including England, France and Italy, through the later parts of period. [1], [3]

Bianca is found as a female name in Italy.[2]

Celia likewise is a female Italian name.[3]

Cordelia is found in sixteenth and early seventeenth century England.[4]

Hero is found as a female given name in England, the Netherlands and Germany.[5]

Juliet is found in early seventeenth century England.[6]

Olivia is found in England and Italy.[2], [7]

Portia can be found as the name of real women in sixteenth century Italy.[2]

We very recently found evidence of Miranda as a female given name in Spain.[8]

We are still researching whether a number of other Shakespearean names are documentable.  As more and more period books and documents become generally available through digitization, we continue to uncover evidence for names we previously thought “undocumentable.”

[1] “English Names found in Brass Enscriptions” by Janell K. Lovelace (http://heraldry.sca.org/names/brasses/women.html)

[2]  “Names from Sixteenth Century Venice” by Julia Smith (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/juliana/16thcvenice.html).

[3] “Feminine Given Names from the Online Catasto of Florence of 1427″ by Josh Mittleman (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/arval/catasto/)

[4] “Something Rich and Strange: “Undocumentable” Names >From The IGI Parish Records” by Alys Mackyntoich (http://heraldry.sca.org/names/SomethingRichandStrange.html).

[5]  “England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NJ9C-GYB), Hero Olde and Wilmott, 17 Jan 1603; citing Gwinear, Cornwall, England, Batch: M02571-3; “Netherlands, Marriages, 1565-1892,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FN7W-NTG : accessed 22 Apr 2014), Hero Cornelisz and Jannetje Alberts, 08 May 1611; citing Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands, Batch: M01224-8

[6]  “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5LP-V4L), Juliet Mordent, 15 Jul 1621; citing SAINT BOTOLPH BISHOPSGATE, LONDON, LONDON, ENGLAND, Batch: P00161-1

[7] “England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V52F-1F9), Ricardus Howarde and Olivia Hille, 11 Jun 1587; citing High Ham, Somerset, England; Batch: M01936-2

[8] “España, defunciones, 1600-1920,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FNMS-RL8), Miranda Miguel, 10 Feb 1642; citing Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Batch:  B86284-3


Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: heraldry, names

Lilies War offers tour for non SCAdians

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-05-20 12:24

Officials of Lilies War, which takes place June 13-22, 2014 at Smithville Lake in Clay County, Missouri, have announced that tours for the public will be available June 15, 2014.

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Categories: SCA news sites

"Threads" offers costumers a chance to design for 1/2 scale dress forms

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-05-20 09:37

Threads Magazine has anncounced its 2014 American Sewing Expo (ASE) Challenge: 1/2-Scale Design Challenge on the theme of "Fashion Icons through the Ages." The contest is limited to 100 entries and garments must be finished by August 1, 2014.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Roman marching camp found in Thuringia

History Blog - Mon, 2014-05-19 23:12

A Roman marching camp from the 1st to 3rd century A.D. has been discovered near the town of Hachelbich in Thuringia. It’s the first Roman military camp found in the eastern German province and the first camp that is more than a day’s travel from the eastern border of the empire on the Rhine. In fact, it’s closer to the Elbe River than it is to the Rhine (the Elbe is about 150 miles east of the site, the Rhine 220 west), a strong indication that the Roman military did not completely withdraw to the Rhine even after three legions led by Publius Quintilius Varus were slaughtered by Germanic tribesmen at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D.

The discovery of a large third century battlefield on Harzhorn hill in Lower Saxony in 2008 confirmed that there was a significant Roman military presence east of the Teutoburg Forest more than 200 years after Varus’ humiliating defeat. Archaeologists estimate about 1,000 Roman soldiers fought (and won) at Harzhorn. The Hachelbich marching camp is about 60 miles southeast of Harzhorn. It covers 18 hectares and was large enough to accommodate an entire legion of around 5,000 soldiers. As a marching camp, it wasn’t a permanent fortress, but rather a protective enclosure built by the legionaries in one evening so they could camp down in a defended position. They wouldn’t have spent more than a few days there while on their way elsewhere, in this case probably east towards the Elbe.

The site was found in 2010 during road work, but it was kept quiet while archaeologists explored the area. They excavated more than two hectares and covered another 10 hectares with magnetometers and aerial surveys. Now that the site has been identified as a military camp, the Thuringian State Office for Heritage and Archaeology has announced the find. They’re keeping the exact location a secret, however, to keep looters from ravaging the place on the hunt for portable Roman artifacts.

A rough rectangle with round corners, the camp is standard Roman military issue. No matter where they were, legions on the move set up a minifortress in the wilderness at the end of each day’s march. At Hachelbich, the meter-deep trenches dug around the camp were the easiest feature to spot in the soil. Two perimeter trenches have been found, each more than 400 meters long.

On the camp’s northern edge, the soldiers built a gate protected by another trench that projected out past the perimeter. “It’s typically Roman—no Germans did that sort of thing,” Kuessner says. The trenches were part of a simple, but effective makeshift perimeter defense: A low wall of dirt was thrown up behind the trench, then topped with tall stakes, to create a defensive barrier almost 3 meters wide and 3 meters high. Erosion wiped away the wall long ago, but it left discolorations in the soil where the trench was dug.

Archaeologists also unearthed the remains of eight bread ovens close to the camp perimeter, which shows an impressive commitment to quality food considering the legionaries weren’t going to be there for long. Some artifacts confirming the military nature of the camp were found: four hobnails from the soles of Roman caligae, fittings from a sword scabbard and horse tackle.

The style of the artifacts places the camp in the first two centuries of the first millennium and radiocarbon dating supports the range, but archaeologists haven’t found anything to narrow it down any further or link to the camp to the reign of a certain emperor. Excavations will continue this year and the next at least. After the crops in the valley are harvested this fall, archaeologists will be able to excavate the farmland. They hope to find coins that will provide a precise date, or an artifact with the legion number on it that would write a new chapter in Roman military history.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Teller talks Tempest

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-05-19 20:03

In celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, magician Teller (the quiet one), recently co-directed a new version of the Bard's magicial play, The Tempest. In a video, Teller discusses the production with Mark Mobley for a segment of NPR's The Record.

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Categories: SCA news sites

“Quivers and Quarrels” Looking for New Editor

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2014-05-19 17:35

Alec Craig, arrows and forks

TheGazette has received the following request for a volunteer:

 As you may or may not know the Archery Community has a quarterly newsletter called “Quivers and Quarrels.”  We have had a wonderful editor/Chronicler working on it but she  needs an immediate replacement.

Are there any Archery enthusiasts you know who would flourish in this kind of role? The Q&Q Chronicler serves as a deputy to me and has a host of people supplying material for their newsletter.

If you know anyone who might be interested, please have them contact me at pubmanager@sca.org.  I will gladly answer any questions they may have about the job.  This might also be a good training ground for future Kingdom Chroniclers.

Please spread the word.

KChron mailing list

Filed under: Archery, Uncategorized Tagged: archery, volunteers

Open position for the Society

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-05-19 13:35

Leslie Vaughn, President of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc., has announced that Board of Directors is seeking applicants for the position of Society Seneschal and Vice President of Operations.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Mummified fetus found in Egyptian sarcophagus

History Blog - Sun, 2014-05-18 23:28

CT scans have revealed that a small cartonnage sarcophagus in the Wellcome collection at Swansea University’s Egypt Centre contains the mummified remains of a three to four-month-old fetus.

The sarcophagus is just over 20 inches long and painted in the style of the 26th Dynasty (ca. 600 B.C.), with a yellow and blue wig, wide collar, and brick red face. The body features crossing diagonal lines that form diamond shapes with a cream vertical band from collar to feet and two horizontal bands intersecting it. On the bands are painted hieroglyphics that don’t make any sense. Because of this, there have been some questions its authenticity but it’s not unheard of for genuine sarcophagus from this period to have gibberish hieroglyphics. Pioneering Egyptologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie posited that the painters of mock hieroglyphics may have been illiterate and included the nonsense words because the presence of hieroglyphics was important for the voyage to the afterlife. The provenance of the piece can’t help because all we know about it is that it entered the collection in 1971.

In 1998, Singleton Hospital X-rayed the sarcophagus and found traces of what could be a small skull, but nothing conclusive. On April 28th of this year, Swansea Univerity’s Clinical Imaging College of Medicine CT scanned the sarcophagus which revealed far more details about what’s inside. The bulk of the space is filled with folded textile, likely linen bandages.

Within those folded strips of material, the CT scan showed a darker area about 3 inches long which researchers identified as a fetus in fetal position and with a placental sac. What could be the fetus’s femur was also identified.

“The length of the femur together with the size of the dark patch is consistent with that of a 12 to 16-week-old fetus,” Graves-Brown said.

“Another dark patch suggests the presence of an amulet and there are several areas with dark circles resembling strings of beads or tassels,” she added.

Strings of beads are fairly common in mummy wrappings from the 26th Dynasty.

The CT scan could not determine the gender of the fetus. The iconography of the sarcophagus suggests he was a boy. The striped wig was typically used on the sarcophaguses of men (although women were known to sport them as well) and the russet face paint is characteristic of male burials.

Fetus coffins are rare but not unheard of. There were two fetuses found in Tutankhamun’s tomb, and a whole section of the Eastern cemetery in Deir el-Medina was dedicated to the burial of children, fetuses and placentas. Egyptians believed the placenta was a twin of the self, so when a fetus or stillbirth was buried, the placenta was buried too.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Medieval archway found under Cardigan Castle floor

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2014-05-18 17:13

NPS Archaeology, working on an 18-month excavation at Wales' Cardigan Castle, has unearthed a stone archway dating to the 12th century beneath the floor of the castle. The archway is believed to have led to the tower of the original castle.

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