On August 31st, Carolingia invites all comers to sack the barony by trying to win the prizes from numerous tourneys. In celebration of the one year anniversary of Baron Fergus and Baroness Imigla, Baronial Champions will be chosen for archery, arts & sciences, fencing, heavy list, performance and thrown weapons. All competitors are welcome regardless of whether or not they want to be baronial champions.
The site is a lovely building located on acres of conservation land. The A&S competition will be held indoors along with dancing. Outdoors will be all the martial and performance competitions. Inspections for the martial competitions will begin at 11:30. A continuous day board will be served throughout the vents.
For more information, see the event announcement at http://www.eastkingdom.org/EventDetails.html?eid=2469
Filed under: Events Tagged: events
It’s been more than a year since kingdom newsletter began to be distributed electronically. Many people have adopted them enthusiastically, but it’s still a challenge for some. While the option to receive a printed newsletter remains available, it is seen as prohibitively expensive, or simply not a good value for their dollars by some members.
The cost of a sustaining membership currently stands at $45 per year. Adding a printed copy of the kingdom newsletter will raise that an additional $35, bringing the total to $80 per year. Predictably many people have decided the electronic newsletter is sufficient.
The July publication statistics report, made available to the Kingdom Chroniclers, shows just under 1200 individual downloads for the East, as compared to a total of approximately 400 paper copies still being sent out.
However, confusion remains among the populace regarding subscriptions. The change to electronic newsletters was widely publicized in the months prior to their debut, as people with existing paper subscriptions were urged to voluntarily discontinue the paper delivery. This naturally represented a cost-saving for the Society at a financially troubled time. No good statistics have been published regarding how many members chose to do that right away, as compared to the number whose existing memberships have subsequently expired, and who have now renewed under the new terms.
The on-line membership form explains clearly that the subscription included with a Sustaining Membership is electronic, and is obtained by visiting the newsletter download site (http://enewsletter.sca.org/), but the paper renewal form is far less clear.
There are also monthly emails that remind subscribers when a new issue is available, but members who renew by mail rather than on-line may never have provided their email address to Membership Services. Or the emails may be falling prey to a zealous spam filter.
There appear to be a substantial number of gentles who have paid for their membership, and who sit grumbling as the weeks pass and they receive nothing in their mailboxes, physical or electronic. To assist those gentles, the Gazette staff thought it would be useful to provide a reminder about how to get your newsletters.
You’ll start by visiting the newsletter web site: http://enewsletter.sca.org
There you’ll be greeted with a login screen. You’ll need your membership number and password. (The initial password is the word “start”, all lower case. It is recommended that you change the password to something more secure the first time you use the site.)
Once you’ve provided that you’ll see a screen with a list of all the publications available. This is a veritable treasure trove, as you can access not only the Pikestaff, but the newsletters of all the Kingdoms, and the Board of Directors meeting minutes. Click on the name of the Kingdom or other publication you want, and on the next screen you’ll see all the newsletters for that Kingdom, all the way back to the first electronic issues in March of 2012.
If you have difficulty accessing the site, there are a couple of things that may be wrong.
However, if you paid your $45 for a sustaining membership, or your $56 for an international membership, and can’t access the site, your next step should be to contact Membership Services to check the status of your membership: You can find all the contact information on the SCA web site: http://www.sca.org/members/MbrSvcsStaff.html They will be able to help you get access to the newsletters.
Filed under: Corporate Tagged: Newsletter
Archaeologists working at Longforth farm near Wellington, England, are puzzled by the discovery of a group of substantial medieval buildings, apparently abandoned between the 12th and 14th centuries.
Excavations at an archaeological site at Longforth Farm in Wellington, England have discovered a 900-year-old medieval manor that never existed, at least in historical records. What is the building, and why has it disappeared from the records? Inquiring minds want to know.
Latin, formerly known as the "dead language," seems to be alive and kicking in the digital age, according to a recent article in the Economist. Five words can often say more than ten English ones, notes David Butterfield, a Latinist at the University of Cambridge, making the language ideal for Twitter.
Winnemucca Lake had some water in it as recently as the 1930s before construction projects drained the shallows for good, but at various times in the past it was so filled with water that the boulders on the western end of the lake were completely submerged for thousands of years. The carvings could only have been done when the rocks were above the water line. In order to determine when the petroglyphs were made, therefore, University of Colorado Boulder geochemist Larry Benson radiocarbon dated crusts of carbonate left on the boulders when they were under water. He found that a carbonate film underneath the rock art is around 14,800 years old while the carbonate crust on top of the art is around 11,000 years old. Additional information from rock and sediment core samples from adjacent Pyramid Lake narrowed down the range further, suggesting the boulders were above water in two phases: once between about 14,800 and 13,200 years ago, the second time between about 11,300 and 10,500 years ago.
Before this study, experts thought some of the petroglyphs at Long Lake, Oregon, were the oldest in North America. The most ancient Long Lake rock art (there are pieces carved as recently as 500 years ago) is dated by the ash which covered it after the eruption of Mount Mazama around 7,300 years ago. That means the art is at least that old and may be older.
There are some stylistic similarities between the Oregon petroglyphs and the Nevada works. They both have abstract designs of lines straight and curved, alone and in parallels, rings, swirls that appear to be part of a larger composition. The Winnemucca Lake rock art also features pieces that may be abstract renderings of nature — interlinked diamond shapes, trees, flowers, chevrons bisected by a central vertical line that suggest the veins of leaves. Individual carvings in the soft Nevada limestone are as small as eight inches wide to as large as three feet wide.
The petroglyphs are carved deep by what means we do not know. Larry Benson speculates that the artists used hard volcanic rock to carve into the soft limestone. As long as the carving tools are harder than the medium, it wouldn’t have taken too much time to get the job done. It still could have taken centuries for all the works we see today to have been carved, of course, or they may have all been done in one fell swoop.
Additional details about the dating might be determined by taking samples of carbonate from inside the carvings, but the petroglyphs lie within the borders of the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation and the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe agreed to let Benson research the art only if he didn’t remove anything, not even a carbonate scraping, from the carvings themselves. (Some Native American tribes believe the spirits of the artists reside in their work and thus taking any part of it would be tampering with their ancestors’ souls.) He took his samples from the sides of the glyphs instead.
Archaeologists from the Archaeological Museum in Plovdiv, Bulgaria have discovered the remains of a 5th century Roman wall near the regional broadcasting centre of Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television.
Mistress Nicolaa de Bracton reports that at Pennsic XLII Their Majesties Trumbrand and Kaylah, of the Kingdom of Ealdormere, offered elevation to the Order of the Laurel to Piero di Paxiti da Vincenza.
The Board of Directors of the SCA Ltd (Australia) has announced changes to officer positions.
Thieves stole two painted oak panels from a rare 15th century rood screen in the Holy Trinity Church in Torbryan, Devon, southwestern England, sometime between July 22nd and August 9th. The two stolen panels depict Saint Victor of Marseilles and Saint Margaret of Antioch in rich jewel tones and gold paint. They were pushed out of their casings from the front and somehow, an adjacent third panel of an unknown female saint was also damaged, leaving a large shard missing from the left side.
Rood screens are large tracery partitions, usually the width of the church, that separate the nave (the main part of the church where the parishioners attend services) from the chancel (the front of the church where the altar is). They were made of wood or stone and were elaborately carved and decorated. This was a common feature in late medieval churches, but most of them were destroyed during the upheavals of the Reformation and under Cromwell because their decorative elements, especially figurative painting like the saints on Holy Trinity’s rood, were seen as idolatrous and because the partition represented a Catholic hierarchical divide between priest and church-goer. Holy Trinity’s piece is a rare survival and one of the best examples remaining, which makes the loss of the panels particularly painful.
The rood was built between 1460 and 1470, carved in elegant peaked Gothic arches that mimics the tracery of the stained glass windows. At the bottom of the structure are 40 oak panels 17 inches high and six inches wide, each painted with different saints and dignitaries of the church, some of whom have no other known surviving medieval representations. The quality of the painting is very high, probably the work of a master craftsman. There is evidence that the images were once whitewashed, which might explain how the rood survived the iconoclastic zeal of the Tudor and Civil War eras. Parts of it — the painted wood screens inside the arches rather than panels at the base — were removed and either destroyed or recycled to construct a pulpit that stands in front of the rood.
The entire church is a gem of historical preservation. It was built in its entirety in one two-decade effort between 1450 and 1470 and wasn’t subjected to later additions to alter its character. Its high medieval design and many original elements — even the original 15th century oak benches are still there, albeit encased in later box pews — have garnered it a Grade I listing, a designation that marks it as a building of exceptional historical interest.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time the rood screen has been the target of art thieves. Four of the saint panels were stolen in the 1990s and another three were ripped off in 2003. None of them have been recovered. The Church of England gave the church to the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), a national charity that cares for 340 at-risk historic churches that are no longer in use as parish churches, in 1997. It is still consecrated ground, but now it is dedicated primarily to tourism and special events.
CCT churches are maintained exclusively by volunteers and needless to say, there is no money for security or monitored CCTV cameras. The church is open to the public during the day, and the key is kept by a neighboring volunteer. That’s why they don’t know when exactly the theft occurred. A maintenance contractor noticed the missing panels and alerted the trust.
Whoever stole them is unlikely to make much money from them. All auction houses, galleries, museums and antiques dealers have been alerted to the theft. They won’t want to touch so unique a property, especially since the thieves chose two rarely seen saints instead of more obvious figures. CCT chief executive Crispin Truman fears the panels will wind up being sold in some grubby back alley deal for a tenner. Their value, which is incalculable because of their rarity, lies in their proper context: the rood screen in Holy Trinity Church. Unmoored on the black market, they are unlikely to bring in a big price.
The Devon and Cornwall police have launched an appeal for information about the missing panels. They believe the pieces may have been taken out of the county in an attempt to sell them somewhere where they are less known. Thanks to all the publicity, police think that any attempt to sell them in the UK will be thwarted at this point, but they could be shipped out of the country or worse, dumped in a gutter somewhere that they’ll never be found until they decay beyond retrieval.
The CCT asks that anyone with information about the panels contact Laoise Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org, land line: +44 (0)20 7841-0415, cellphone: +44 07831 873-515. They have received many calls already from the general public and from art dealers so let’s hope one of them results in the return of these precious medieval artifacts.
This video shot in 2011 is a walk through the church. You can see the thick wooden doors, the rood screen, the pulpit, the pews, the windows, the vaulted ceiling and just the overall loveliness of this 15th century treasure.
The recent birth of Prince George has led to a great deal of pomp and circumstance including the appearance of unofficial royal crier Tony Appleton, whose bell and bellow announced the blessed event. (video)
Clare Elena de Montfort reports that Nathan Hartmann was the victor of the July 20, 2013 Coronet Tournament in the Principality of Oertha, Kingdom of the West. Rahl was inspired in his endeavor by Lilla aet Sceaphylle.
Refusing to let English moles get all the glory, a German badger has unearthed a 12th-century burial ground on a farm outside Stolpe in Brandenburg, Germany. the sculptors who live on the farm, Lars Wilhelm and his wife Hendrikje Ring, had noticed the badger digging his sett (a badger’s den) over the course of five years. They had an idea that they might install some of their sculptures in the sett for an exhibition, so they observed the badger’s progress closely.
Last autumn, they saw the animal had turned up what appeared to be a human pelvic bone. Excavations by archaeologists in the 1960s had discovered an ancient graveyard on the other side of the road, so Lars and Hendrikje thought the badger might have turned up something similar. To see what else was inside that sett, they placed a camera into one of the openings and snapped photographs by remote control. They found jewelry that they were able to recover and then promptly called the authorities to report their finds.
The badger, his work now done, left the sett to the biped professionals. The archaeological excavation ultimately unearthed eight graves from the first half of the 12th century. Two of the graves were particularly notable because they held the remains of Slavic chieftains.
The skeletons in the two lords’ graves had bronze bowls at their feet. “That identified them as belonging to the social elite, they had the bowls to wash their hands before dining because they knew that was the refined thing to do,” said Kersting.
The objects found included an arrow head and a belt with a bronze, omega-shaped buckle with snake’s heads at each end.
One of the two skeletons was particularly well preserved and had evidently been a warrior. His body showed multiple sword and lance wounds and a healed fracture suggested he had fallen off his horse at some point, said Kersting.
The snake head buckle seem to be of Scandinavian manufacture, which underscores the warrior’s high status and wealth. Initial examination could not pinpoint the cause of his death. He was about 40 years old when he died, and he certainly was hardy, having taken several sword blows to the head that had healed before whatever killed him killed him. He was buried with a double-edged sword three feet long by his side, a testament to his battle-scarred existence.
The second of the two chieftains was missing his sword. Archaeologists believe his grave was looted, perhaps during the turbulence around the time of his burial. In the early 12th century, the Stolpe area was the site of constant conflict between the pagan Slavs who had lived there for centuries but whose power was on the wane, and the Christian Franks and Poles advancing from the west and east respectively. The people buried in this graveyard were among the last pre-Christian peoples in Germany. By the 12th century, east Brandenburg, central Germany, Pomerania and all of what is today Poland were fully Christianized.
Next to the second chieftain was the grave a woman, possibly his wife, who was found with a coin in her mouth to pay the ferryman for her passage over the river Styx to the underworld, another important indication that the deceased still worshiped the old Slavic deities.
The badger made the archaeologists very happy. These days they usually only get the chance to excavate sites slated for construction, and their work is bounded by the construction schedule. The badger’s digging gave them a rare opportunity to excavated an undeveloped site on a farm and they made an apposite rare find in a 12th century pagan burial ground. Nothing like it has been found in Brandenburg before.
The artifacts are currently being conserved. They will go on display in September at the State Archaeological Museum in the town of Brandenburg an der Havel.
Ritter Asoph Hearts, Society Earl Marshal, has announced that the Board of Directors of the SCA is seeking spplications for the position of Society Rapier Marshal.
The Great Hall at Pennsic 42 was filled with kingdom banners, tables of artisans displaying their skills, and the buzz of the crowds. Here and there intriguing items poked above the heads of the spectators: a large painting. Dresses displayed on mannequins. A folding German clothes closet. Welcome to the Known World A&S Display.
The East was well represented in a wide variety of skills on display. On the culinary front, Galefridus Peregrinus sat behind a number of small dishes of olives cured from different period recipes. Judith bas Rabbi Mendel talked to visitors about how the contents of the Jewish seder plate changed throughout SCA period.
Glass, ceramics, and metalworking were also represented by several Easterners. Bronwen Rose of Greyling’s table was covered with tiny enameled medallions in vibrant colors and exquisite detail. Elizabeth Underhill’s Anglo-Saxon glass bead replicas were beautifully displayed next to their documentation, while Brunisette la Dragonette showed off several examples of her pottery. A few tables away, Nest verch Tangwystl sat behind her lace working display. At the back of the hall, one table was bare except for a little card that read “Erec l’Claire / East Kingdom / Kufenschrank (Behind you). A large wooden free-standing closet was, in fact, behind you. Erec L’Claire stood nearby, ready to discuss the cleverly constructed box that held his garb at Pennsic and yet folded flat into a car.
Wandering the room, one’s eye was instantly caught by Naomi bat Avraham’s boiled linseed experiment. Any documentation that starts off with “Trial 1: Catastrophic Failure” combined with a picture of a pot in flames is a definite attention-getter. Her project involved boiling linseed oil down and mixing it with lampblack for a period printing ink. Linseed oil can be temperamental stuff, though, and the first batch appears to have burned merrily. She had samples of the finished oil on display alongside vials of commercial calligraphy ink and commercial linseed oil for comparison.
Some highlights from other kingdoms (pictured below, clockwise from top) included Lady Sigrid the Beadmaker’s giant silk banner of a late period-style map of Northern Drachenwald in intricate detail, examples of Italian tin-glazed pottery by Matilda Hanscombe (Middle), a wooden wheelbarrow by Atlantia’s Sigrid Briansdottir, and Opus Anglicanum embroidery by Baroness Janina Krakowska (Atlantia).
Vivant to the Artisans of the Known World!
The Gazette gratefully acknowledges Elinor Strangewayes who submitted this article and provided all of the photographs included herein.
Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Pennsic Tagged: a&s, pennsic42
Jean Quinn-Davis, of the Kingdom of Northshield, reports that she has posted an album of photos from Pennsic XLII. The photos are available on the Northshield Gallery.
In 1957, Dr. Piero Fiorito, a Turin engineer and aeromodeller, turned his skill with mechanics and radio control circuitry to the construction of humanoid robots. He built three five-foot prototypes out of meccano, adding radio controls to the last two, and then went big with a robot more than eight feet high weighing more than 1,000 pounds. Dr. Fiorito named this handsome giant Cygan. Cygan could walk — or rather roll on wheels under each Frankenstein foot — backwards and forwards, turn right and left, raise his arms, lift things in his pincer hands and crush things in his pincer hands. He could do all of this on command, responding to spoken commands, visual signals and even light rays. His lead acid batteries, also stashed in his honking feet, gave him a 4 1/2 hour operating time.
Cygan made his public debut at the 35th International Samples Fair in Milan April 14th, 1957. His impressive size, smooth moves, shiny aluminum skin, neon green mohawk, pupils, mouth grill and ear antennae made a fine impression amidst the industrial products of many nations. Crowds came to see him walk around and lift his arms on an outdoor stage. His appeal couldn’t be restrained to his country of origin. From Milan he traveled to London where the risqué Windmill Theatre was his first stop.
The Windmill was known for its Revudeville, a vaudeville revue that featured scantily clad ladies dancing, comedians, sketches and most famously, naked ladies standing completely still. The Windmill Theatre was the only theater in London where on-stage nudity was allowed. Manager Vivian van Damm persuaded the Lord Chamberlain of the Household, who at that time was in charge of censoring all London theaters, that if nude statues were not censored, then nude living statues should be allowed too. Thus a “if you move, it’s rude” standard was applied and the nude Windmill Girls struck curious poses in tableaux vivants.
Cygan was perfect for a role in the revuedeville. He could carry two Windmill Girls on his broad shoulders and dance back and forth with a Windmill Girl’s dainty feet on his huge ones. Accompanied by a Windmill Girl entourage, Cygan (now called “Gygan” in the British press for reasons unknown) made a splash at the British Food Fair at London’s Olympia exhibition center in 1958. There is wonderful British Pathé newsreel footage of Cygan at the fair. Dr. Fiorito is in the light grey suit adjusting the thingies in his back. You can see Cygan walk, crush a tin cup and dance with one of his Windmill Girls while the narrator describes his many possible uses from “handling radioactive materials” to being an “obedient companion.”
If that last part sounds suggestive that’s because it is. In addition to having models and dancers draped over him in all his personal appearances, Cygan made the cover of a magazine lifting the skirt of Windmill Girl Sandra Penders. A French magazine dubbed him “the perfect husband” because he could walk, sing, dance, rock his wife for 48 hours without getting tired and if necessary, fend off his mother-in-law. They probably meant “rock” literally, as in rock her bath and forth, but I suspect there’s a little second entendre in there somewhere.
Cygan’s glamour days couldn’t last forever. The Windmill Theatre closed and became a movie theater in 1964. Shortly thereafter, Cygan was bought by a Ford car dealership in Leeds where he was dubbed Mr. Moto and kept as a mascot. His future travels were not so kind to him. He wound up outdoors on an airfield where kids would hang off of him instead of soubrettes. He was no longer functional and the elements soon did a number on him. In the early 2000s, lined with rust and missing his stylish green parts, Cygan appeared again at a salvage yard, painted silver to cover up the rust (poorly), and was then bought by M. Goldstein’s curio shop in Hackney Road, London, where he got replacement antennae and mohawk.
Now he’s part of Christie’s Out of the Ordinary sale which will take place in London on September 5th. The pre-sale estimate is a modest £8,000 – £12,000 ($12,344 – $18,516), but they expect Cygan to sell for more than that. I am crossing all my digits that some technology billionaire will buy him and make him work again. I know he’s not as easy to reboot as George was, but it’s just not right seeing his big ol’ feet strapped to a dolly. Make him dance, oh moneyed geek. Make him dance.
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Lalleshwari Sah, called Lalla commented: <<< P.P.S. What I meant, by doing research and documentation and checking with the college of heralds, is that you
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