Feed aggregator

Lord of Sipan’s face digitally reconstructed

History Blog - Wed, 2016-09-28 23:38

Like the Egyptian pyramids, huacas (monumental structures) in Peru have been plagued by looters for centuries, and the eroded adobe pyramid built by the Moche before 300 A.D. in Huaca Rajada, near the town of Sipan, was no exception. It was looters, in fact, who first broke into the pyramid and struck literal gold. The archaeological gods were on the job that day, thankfully, and when the thieves got into a dispute over their loot, one of them squealed to the police.

The police called in archaeologist and Moche expert Walter Alva who excavated the site and discovered an elaborate royal burial. In the center of the tomb was the skeleton of a man about 5’4″ tall and 35 to 45 years old at the time of his death. His body was bedecked in precious ornaments — headdresses, face masks, ear rings, nose rings, a large pectoral, necklaces — and all around him were rich grave goods of gold, jewelry, pottery and much more, a total of 451 artifacts. Buried in the tomb with him were three women, two men, a child around nine or 10 years old, a dog and two llamas. The skeletal remains of one more man were found perched in a niche over the chamber roof. It was then and remains today the richest intact pre-Hispanic tomb ever found.

The central figure became known as the Lord of Sipan. The contents of the tomb were removed for study and conservation. They are now on display at the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum in Lambayeque. At the site of the adobe temples in Huaca Rajada, replicas of the Lord’s tomb and others found in the pyramids have been installed so visitors can see them in the open air.

A reconstruction of what the Lord of Sipan might have looked like adorned in all his finery is on view at the museum, but recently a new project was launched to use the latest technology to reexamine the remains and create a digital reconstruction of the Lord of Sipan’s visage. It was a tough challenge. The skull was discovered in 96 pieces, and museum staff had glued the fragments together supported by a plastic frame.

The study’s osteological analysis advanced the Lord’s age a decade (he was 45-55 years old when he died) and increased his height (he was a quarter inch shy of 5’6″). He was not very well muscled, which fits with his high status as he would not have been doing much in the way of heavy lifting. He had a few cavities, but nothing to write home about; overall his dental health was excellent. There was no sign of violence or trauma on his bones, just the beginnings of osteoarthritis in the spine, likely at the site of a long-ago injury in his youth.

Inca Garcilaso de la Vega University commissioned the Brazilian Team of Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Odontology to see if they could virtually take the skull apart and put it back together more accurately. They performed a high resolution 3D scan of the skull by photographing it from a variety of angles (photogrammetry). Those images were then entered into a software program that could unglue all the pieces and start over from the beginning. Using an average male skull as a template and with the input of a forensic dentist, the team was able to put the skull puzzle back together. The areas with missing pieces were filled in gray. Then the musculature and facial features with digitally constructed from the skull.

Walter Alva, who is still very much on the job as director of the Sipan Archaeological Project and of the Royal Tombs of Sipan Museum (whose construction he championed with unmatched zeal), says of the facial reconstruction of the Lord of Sipan:

“This brings us closer and connects us especially to the current indigenous population. We see that the face of the Lord of Sipan is very similar to the Moches of Lambayeque who still survive to this day. The faces of the fishermen, the farmers of the region are direct descendants of this creative race.”

The digital reconstruction process is captured in this video:

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Where Do You Stand? Check the OP!

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2016-09-28 15:31

Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle! Following yesterday’s publication of the Crown Tournament list, I have received a few responses from people stating that someone’s title was incorrect, their name was misspelled, etc. First of all, thank you for this information, and please, if there are any more, let me know as soon as possible so that we can have everything correct and in order for this weekend’s tournament. However, my primary source of information when compiling this list is the Kingdom Order of Precedence (“OP”).

If someone’s information is wrong on the Crown Tournament list, chances are it is because their information is wrong (or missing!) in the Order of Precedence. (Of course, typos do happen as well, as evidenced by the consort who accidentally got the title of
“Ladu.” ^_^ But I digress…)

So please, take a moment and look for your entry in the OP:

Are you listed under the name that you’re currently using, and is all
your information correct? Excellent! Consider sending mail to the Precedence Clerk (goldenalceherald@aeheralds.net) thanking him for the fantastic job that he’s doing, maintaining this invaluable resource for the Kingdom.

Are you not listed because you recently moved into Æthelmearc from another Kingdom? Then send mail to the Precedence Clerk with a link to your entry in the kingdom (or kingdoms!) in which you used to live, and he will make sure that our OP correctly reflects your awards.

Are you listed under another name than the one you’re currently using? Then send mail to the Precedence Clerk and inform him of the name that you’re using, the name (or, in some cases, names!) under which your previous awards are listed, and ask him to reconcile these entries.

Is some of your information missing? Accidents happen. Send mail to the Precedence Clerk and inform him of when you received an award that isn’t
listed, and our crack team of heralds will get to work confirming that your award is listed on a Court Report and then adding it to our database.

The OP is a critical resource for Royalty and populace alike, making sure that everyone gets credit for the recognition they have received, trying to make sure that people who deserve recognition aren’t overlooked, and trying to avoid the awkward situation of receiving an award twice because of a bookkeeping error. But that can’t happen without your help.

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

For information on how to write award recommendations, please read our article on the subject.

How to Write a Recommendation Letter

Categories: SCA news sites

Parks Canada confirms HMS Terror found

History Blog - Tue, 2016-09-27 23:43

Parks Canada has confirmed that the shipwreck discovered in Terror Bay by the Arctic Research Foundation (ARF) is indeed the HMS Terror. The crew of the ARF’s research vessel Martin Bergmann notified the government agency of their find on September 11th. Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team arrived to explore the wreck on September 15th. With help from the Canadian Coast Guard and Environment and Climate Change Canada, the team surveyed the site with side-scan sonar and a multi-beam echosounder. Underwater archaeologists dove the wreck three times.

The dives took place during difficult weather conditions and through poor visibility. The wreck’s upper deck is heavily covered by silt and marine life. Nevertheless, the divers were able to observe a number of features that were typical or unique to 19th century British polar exploration ships and the wreck has a number of design specifications that were common to both HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, including three masts, iron bow sheathings and a double-wheeled helm. There are no wrecks other than HMS Erebus with these features in the region.

Comparing this solid archaeological data to an extensive research archive that includes ship plans of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team was able to confirm that the wreck is HMS Terror. The scans showed the well preserved wreck has and features matching the historic records for HMS Terror, including: the configuration of the bowsprit (the spar extending from the ship’s bow); placement of the ship’s helm; the boarding port; and deck scuppers (holes on the side of the ship to allow drainage) which differ from HMS Erebus.

The Parks Canada marine archaeologists found that the shipwreck is intact from stem to stern. No artifacts or human remains were spotted on board, but the visibility was so bad that doesn’t mean there aren’t any to be found. The thick layer of silt and marine life is obscuring anything on the deck. It’s also preserving it.

Next on the agenda is working with the Government of Nunavut and the Designated Inuit Organizations to protect the wreck site.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Kingdom Youth Combat Champion’s Tourney at Agincourt

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2016-09-27 18:16

Youth fighters of Æthelmearc, arm yourselves and gather at the Agincourt event in the Debatable Lands on October 29th, for Their Majesties seek new champions!

In just over one month’s time, King Marcus and Queen Margerite will hold Their Youth Champion’s Tournament, to find a successor for El Tigre, the current Kingdom Youth Champion. This is a chance for youth fighters to test their prowess against the best in the Kingdom and earn renown! Youth Champions receive tabards of their station and other regalia for the duration of their term, and are encouraged but not required to participate in court processions and attend Their Majesties in court. Their Majesties will be choosing up to three champions, one from each division, depending on the number of fighters in each division at the tournament.

Remember that courtesy and chivalry are as important as skill in Their Majesties’ choice of champions!

The tournament will be held in the early afternoon. The exact time will be announced once the event schedule is firmed up.

Youth fighters must be authorized to participate in the Kingdom Champion’s Tourney. Unauthorized youth fighters will have an opportunity to authorize before the tournament begins, but make sure to arrive early and be armored up and ready at the start time.

Limited loaner gear will be available.

If you have questions about the tourney, please contact Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope, Kingdom Youth Combat Marshal.

Categories: SCA news sites

Laurels’ Prize Tourney in Carolingia, March 2017

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2016-09-27 09:21

This coming March, the Barony of Carolingia will host a Laurels’ Prize Tourney – what challenge will you choose to meet?

A Laurels Prize Tourney is an event where members of the Order of the Laurel issue challenges in their area(s) of expertise, to be met by any interested party. (Really! You do not need any award or rank to answer a challenge – just a desire to engage with the question and share your results.) There are challenges of all kinds, from fiber arts to food, from material culture to performance.

At the event, entrants will meet with the Laurel who issued the challenge, and have the opportunity to talk in-depth with them about their work. They will also have the opportunity to display their work to all interested attendees; those who choose to answer a performance-based challenge will have the opportunity to perform their answer for not only the Laurel who issued the challenge, but also interested attendees from the event in general.

Each Laurel defines the terms of their challenge; each challenger will also decide how they wish to reward those who meet their challenge; some may choose a single winner, and some may reward every entrant who answers. There is no overall competition – there is no “Tourney Winner” for the day. The focus is on shared learning and intensive feedback, as well as the joy of sharing focused, excellent work.

Curious about the challenges? Take a look and see what strikes your fancy, and come to Carolingia this Spring to share your results! Challenges are still being added, so check back often to see what’s new.

Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences, Events Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences, Carolingia, challenge, events, Laurel

Luna settlement dig finds more 16th c. artifacts

History Blog - Mon, 2016-09-26 22:21

Archaeologists returned to the site of the first multi-year settlement in the United States this summer and discovered more 16th century artifacts. Discovered by a local historian almost a year ago in Pensacola, Florida, the Santa Maria de Ochuse settlement was founded by Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano in August 1559. The 1,500 colonists — Spanish soldiers, indigenous Mexicans and African slaves — would have been well-provisioned has six of their 11 ships not been destroyed by a hurricane a month after their arrival. They wound up having to make do on their own which did not go well. In 1561, the survivors were picked up by Spanish ships and there was no further attempt at settlement of what would become the United States until Pedro Menéndez founded the St. Augustine colony in 1565.

The settlement site was excavated this season by archaeologists and students of the University of West Florida Archaeology Summer Field School. The team focused on the center and perimeter of the settlement, and what they’ve discovered aligns very well with primary documents about the expedition found in Spain by UWF archaeologist Dr. John Worth. One find that would warm the heart of any archaeologist is a trash pit, a stuffed one at that. The pit contains food detritus — seafood like shellfish, oysters and scallops — and a deer antler that suggests the would-be colonists supplemented their fishing with hunting. The team also found a number of iron strap fragments that were probably the hoops from barrels. Once the barrels were empty of the supplies they carried, archaeologists believe, Luna’s people may have broken them up and put them to practical use, like in the forging of nails, for example, or to make goods to trade with the local Native American population for food.

The dense grouping of mid-16th century Spanish artifacts (pottery sherds, nails) in the core area of the settlement strongly points to this being the Luna settlement. The sheer amount of trash points to a large number of people living there for a significant stretch of time. The fact that the inhabitants even bothered to create a trash pit, as opposed to burning it or discarding it willy-nilly, is evidence that this wasn’t just a landing party, but a planned settlement. There is also evidence of permanent structures built on the site, something attested to in the historical archives, in the form of post molds and horizontal stretches that would have been floors and other surfaces.

One artifact may even identify one dwelling as belonging to a specific member of the expedition.

For example, in one area containing a dense concentration of artifacts, they also found a balance scale weight, made out of a copper alloy, likely used in measuring pay for soldiers. Worth says there’s only one person in the expedition, the treasurer, who was in charge of that and, therefore, would have owned a set.

“The finding of that one scale weight in that particular spot, next to a post hole, may mean that we have found the house, the residence, of the treasurer of the Luna Expedition, Alonso (Velazquez) Rodriguez,” said Worth, noting that they also have a lot of documentary accounts by this same guy about what happened during the expedition.

Worth suggests a greater level of interest to have the words of Rodriquez along with some of his possessions, “so, to dig through his house floor, or his warehouse, or his, you know, yard and get the artifacts that he handled and he used, even like, for example, a brass pin that was found in that same unit.”

A brass pin in the 16th century would have been used as a paperclip of sorts, and Worth says it’s an item that the treasurer Rodriguez might have been using this item to hold papers together in his office at the Luna settlement. “We’re finding traces of those activities, and, the documents that I’ve read in Spain may actually have been written by him in that spot.”

According to the Spanish records, the Luna settlement was going to have 140 homes, four houses to a block with streets separating them on a rectangular plan. In the middle would have been a plaza, as any self-respecting Spanish settlement would have. Settlers had begun work on their new town, clearing the vegetation and building living and public spaces, but the hurricane hit five weeks after they got started, disrupting the original plan.

The Luna Settlement Project has a blog, which unfortunately did not keep up with the excavation during the summer, but the few posts it does have are interesting examination of the documentary and artifact record this far. There are some great pictures and lots of links to coverage of the excavation on the team’s Facebook page.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

For Those Intending to Enter Crown Tourney

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-09-26 18:53
Greetings unto all those intending to enter Fall Crown Tournament. Please be aware that both the combatant and the consort must submit a letter of intent, either through the following link (preferred) or by email to TRH Prince Brion and Princess Anna with a copy to the Kingdom Seneschal. Joint letters are preferred if you are using the following link, or if you are using email.

The Letter of Intent must be received by Coronation, October 1, 2016.
If using email, the letters of intent must include all of the following information for both combatant and consort: Society name, legal name, address, telephone number, years of residency and be accompanied by proof of membership with membership number & expiration date that is valid at least thirty days after Crown. If both entrants are combatants, then that should be clearly indicated.

Their Highnesses would remind all entrants that should they win, they will be named Prince and Princess of Tir Mara for their time as Crown Prince and Princess of the East, representing the noble people of Our fair Crown Principality. Please bear these responsibilities in mind should you choose to enter the Crown Lists this Fall. TRH also request that combatants bring heraldic shields for the list trees.

In Service to the East, I remain
Dueña Mercedes Vera de Calafia
Seneschal, East Kingdom

Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Fall Crown

Unofficial Court Report for the Closing of the Inne at Coldwood

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-09-26 17:45

Following is the unoffical court report from the Closing of the Inne at Coldwood, held this September 24.

Gavin Asgarson – Gawain
Lilli of the Valley – Tyger’s Cub; scroll by Heather Rose de Gordoun
Allie of the Valley – Tyger’s Cub; scroll by Heather Rose de Gordoun
Emrys of Mountain Freehold – AoA; scroll by Lisabetta Medaglia
Emily of Mountain Freehold – AoA; scroll by Constance de St. Denis
Volkmar of Mountain Freehold – AoA; scroll by Myrun Leifsdottir
Beytill Aidenson – Silver Tyger; scroll by Mari Clock van Hoorne
Phelippe du Peirgore – OTC; scroll by Altani Khatagidai
Katherine Slough – OSC; Illumination by Lisabetta Medaglia, calligraphy by: Faolan an Screcain
Brien MacShane – Chivalry; scroll by Vettorio Antonello

Editor’s Note: A banishment was announced in this court.  For more information, please see the official announcements in Pikestaff.

The reporting herald was Donovan Shinnock.

Filed under: Court Tagged: court report

Unofficial Court Report – Equestrian Champions

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2016-09-26 17:36

On August 27 in the Shire of Quintavia, Their Magesties Kenric and Avelina gathered with their populace to choose their new equestrian champions. Following is the unofficial court report.

Lillian Stanhope  – King’s Equestrian Champion; scroll by Katherine Stanhope
Gwenillian Rhiannon of Dragon Keep – Queen’s Equestrian Champion; scroll by Katherine Stanhope
Gritta of Strangewayes – AoA; Illumination by: Lily atte Valleye, Calligraphy by: Nest verch Tangwistel
Fortune St. Keyne – Burdened Tyger; scroll by Fiona O’Maille o Chaun Coille
Alexei Dmitriev – Burdened Tyger
Shire of Quintavia – Company of Fellowship
Duncan Kerr – Silver Tyger; Illumination by: Myrun Leifsdottir, Calligraphy by: Nest verch Tangwistel
Ciarnat ni Bhroin – Maunche; scroll by Sunniva Ormstung
Doucet de Verdun – Pelican; scroll by Harold von Auerbach

The herald of record was Donovan Shinnock.

Filed under: Court Tagged: court report

Contenders for Crown Tournament

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-09-26 17:28

Unto the Kingdom, greetings from Kameshima Silver Buccle!

Below, please find the final list of entered combatants for Their Majesties Marcus and Margerite’s Crown Tournament, to take place this coming Saturday in the Barony of Rhydderich Hael. At the time of this publication, the roster of combatants stands at 31.

Duke Timothy of Arindale for Duchess Gabrielle van Nijenrode
Duke James Ahearn for Baroness Ekaterina Volkova
Duke Sven Gunnarsson for Duchess Siobhán inghean uí Liatháin
Duke Duncan von Halstern for Duchess Ilish O’Donovan
Earl Yngvar the Dismal for Countess Caryl Olesdattir
Baron Dominic McMorland for Countess Isabeau de l’Isle
Count Andreas Morgan for Countess Kallista Morgunova
Baron Maghnus an Chnoic na n’Iora for Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful
Sir Angus MacBain for Maîtresse Yvianne de Castel d’Avignon
Sir Murdoch Bayne for Baroness Rioghnach ni Rose
Sir Finn Marland O’Shannon for Lady Shirin of Susa
Sir Gareth Kincaid for Mistress Juliana Delamare
Master Tigernach Mac Cathail for Mistress Bronwyn MacFhionghuin
Lord Gregory Hillson for Mistress Kateryna ty Isaf
Sir Arnþorr inn sterki for Lady Ceirech na Hinnsi
THL Jairus of the Darklands for Baroness Rosemund von Glinde
Baron William Freskyn Murray for Baroness Katherine Kiersey
THL Ciaran Faxi Ullson for THL Renata Rouge
THL Ruslan Igorovich Voronov for Ladu Zinoviia Ivanova
THL Darri inn Valski for Lady Astridr Vigaskegg
Baroness Beatrix Zsofia Serilda Krieger and THL Thorsol Solinauga, each for
the other
THL Lothar Hügelmann for Baroness Elizabeth Arrowsmyth
THL Rouland of Willowbrooke and Mistress Jenna Macpherson of Lions Tower,
each for the other
Lord Halfdan Rauþkinn for THL Ottilig Rappoltsweiler
Lord Leo Dietrich for Baroness Aemilia Soteria
Lord Cormacc mac Gilla Bridghe for Valgerdr inn rosti
Lord Fearghus mac Eoin for Mariss Muller
Lord Thomas de Haukesle for Meg MacNeil
Lord Laegaire Mac Conaill Meic Shiadahail for Mara of Heronter

Please send any corrections to me as soon as possible so that the errors may be fixed before the Tournament. Thank you, and best of luck to all combatants.

In Honor and Service,

Kameshima Zentarō Umakai
Silver Buccle Principal Herald, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

Categories: SCA news sites

From Maestro Brian of Leichester, Thoughts on an Æthelmearc 25th Year Celebration

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2016-09-26 08:13

Photo by Lady Fauna.

An Open Letter from Maestro Brian of Leichester Regarding Celebrating the Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary

If it may please The Crown and the Populace…

Greetings from Maestro Brian of Leichester [better known as “Scoop”]!

As we welcome Marcus and Marguerite as the 39th King and Queen, we are also beginning our 20th Year as a Kingdom, and our 27th since Tarbald won the Coronet for Cainder.

With that in mind… I would like to begin a dialogue with these Sylvan Lands.

It is true that I’ve mused in the past with plans for a 20th Anniversary Event in 2017 or 2018, which some of our fellow Sylvan Citizens noted as “being in the works”…

While I will be honored to attend such a 20th Anniversary celebration, the biggest thing I brought home with me from Societal 50th is that we need to take a few years to “do it right” by throwing a Big bash” for our 25th or “Sylvan Silver” Anniversary in 2022 or 2023…

This past June, I had the pleasure of attending the Society’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. This got me back to thinking about planning an event to celebrate our Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary celebration in September 2022 or 2023.

Towards this end, I share my thoughts relating what I experienced at SCA 50th to what I would love to see our Kingdom do to best celebrate such an august occasion.

In other words: What would I like to see in such an event?

PART ONE: A Wonderful Site

As I recall, it took several years to develop, plan, and schedule the Society’s 50th Anniversary Event. Finding a “Dream Site” is THE FIRST key to hosting a Major Anniversary event.

My hope is that we can find a site with the amenities and opportunities available at the Society’s 50th including:

  • A very ADA accessible site;
  • A good set of stables and an arena that hosted the Society’s largest equestrian event ever;
  • A hall that presented the treasures of the Known World;
  • Well air conditioned spaces for Arts & Sciences presentations and Classes;
  • Several halls for the Rattan and Rapier [adult and youth] as well as fields for archery, siege weapons, and thrown weapons, including classes, training, and tournaments;
  • Ample rest rooms with showers;
  • Ample space for members to camp with their respective Kingdoms;
  • Ample space for merchants to vend their wares;
  • Performing Arts spaces including a tavern setting;
  • Several food vendors, including two that were from AEthelmearc [a good taste of home];
  • Hotels and eateries within 15 miles of the site

There may be other things that I missed in the above, but the Society’s 50th set the “gold standard” for what we should strive for in planning an Anniversary Event.

Such a site should also be centrally located in our Kingdom so that it’d be equidistant from our most remote corners [i.e., Port Oasis, Coppertree] to travel there. I would think that we may want to look into the county fairgrounds in central Pennsylvania [i.e., Huntington, Center, Cambria, Clearfield counties]. I accept that securing such an “ideal site” for a week or two [to also account for set-up and close-down time for the event] may be a challenge, especially from a financial standpoint. This is another reason to begin the planning for a Kingdom 25th Anniversary Event in the very near future.

We can certainly correspond with the exchequer for the Society’s 50-Year celebration regarding the cost of their site and look into the cost of a similar site within our Realm.

In summary: If we want to truly throw a big “Sylvan Silver Anniversary Celebration,” we really need to start looking for a site that can host all that Æthelmearc has to offer as soon as possible.


The second biggest thing I got out of the Society’s 50-Year celebration was that there’s a lot of organizational history that we can present in terms of the Kingdom and its Branches.

  1. There was a “Hall of History” where each Kingdom had a space to present:
  • Displays of their Regalia [i.e. Crowns, Coronets, Thrones, Vesting Cloaks, Swords of State and other Historic “Relics”];
  • Audio-visuals presentations of its history [i.e., Photos, Video, Audio of Kingdom songs, Scrolls, etc.];
  • Historic Maps of Their Kingdoms;
  • Have Docents present to answer questions

They also had a “Memorial Wall” where the names and some biographies of members of our Society who passed away, sorted by Kingdom, were enshrined.

There was also a space for panels to speak on topics ranging from “The Early Days” to “Our Organization’s Future.” There were also days devoted to Peerages, the Arts & Sciences, Inter-Kingdom Events, and Trans-Kingdom Groups [i.e., The Great Dark Horde, The Tuchux, etc.] among other topics.

It is no secret that I have strived to set up something on this order for an event during my tenure as Kingdom Historian. I referred to this as “The Treasure Room.”

We could do something similar at a Silver Anniversary event with the Kingdom and each barony, Shire, Canton, College, Dominion, etc. being provided a space in this “Treasure Room” to present their regalia and history.

For instance- Outside of Rhydderich Hael Baronial Investitures… How many have seen the Treasure Chest won by the Barony for its heraldic display at Pennsic XVIII?

I am certain each Branch has its unique “treasures” and individuals knowledgeable in their group’s histories to act as docents.

  1. It would also be nice to give due to the lost branches [i.e., RIversmeet, Lofty Mountain, Nemoralis Nocturna, Robledal, Beinn de na Preissan, Coombe Petroc, Riverrouge, Wintersedge, Dun Carrach] as well as to the Households [i.e., Clan Yamakaminari, Caer Cinnuint, The Confederation of Mountain Clans, Hus Faerhaga, Tuatha Theirin, Clovenshield, etc.].
  2.  It would also be nice to hear songs that hearken back to the birth of the Principality of Æthelmearc [i.e., Master Bertram’s Anthem, etc.]And our pre-history. Likewise, it would be a nice thing to hear the songs and tales from our local Branches and the Households.
  3.  It would also be nice to prepare a “Memorial Wall” derived from the Memorial Roll in a manner that the Estates of our fallen can agree upon to be our answer to The Vietnam Memorial [or our answer to “The AIDS Quilt” as one of those involved with the Wall at Societal 50-Year expressed it].
  4.  Another part of the History Hall at Society 50-Year was an effort to preserve oral history as part of “Story Corps™.” [Note- One of the people directly involved in this was Her Excellency, Viscountess Hodierna]. Likewise, it would be a wonderful thing to utilize this event as an opportunity to preserve our own oral history and prepare means of presenting it for the outside world and for our future membership… That our tale may continue to be told even when we are no longer here to present it in person.

In Summary: If we do want to go forward with a “Sylvan Silver Anniversary Celebration,” it would be an ideal event to showcase not merely the History of our Kingdom, but also the History of its Branches.

As I said, this is the beginning of a dialogue on this matter;  dialogue to which all in this Realm are cordially invited to participate. I hope to discuss more aspects of such an event in the near future.

I look forward to reading the thoughts of others in this matter via this Gazette.

If you wish to discuss them with me, feel free to write to me at: Brian of Leichester, C/o Brian P. Kujawa, 10963 Trevett Road, Springville, NY 14141-9615

Or e-mail me at: lordothedodoz@gmail.com.

Categories: SCA news sites

Eastern Results from the July 2016 Letter of Acceptances and Returns

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2016-09-25 20:56

The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.

An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.

The following results are from the July 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings.

EAST acceptances

Adelyne de Excestre. Name and device. Gules, on a bend Or three martlets gules.

Nice device!

Áine bean uí Chuinn. Name.

Ayleth le Frye. Device. Vert, a phoenix Or rising from flames gules and in chief three triangles Or.

Berrick Grayveson. Alternate name Jack Cross.

The comic book character Jack Cross is not important enough to protect.

Nice 16th century English name!

Bhakail, Barony of. Order name Order of the Horse of Bhakail and badge association. Argent a nag’s head erased vert, bridled Or, on a latch argent, fimbriated sable, a salamander tergiant sable.

Submitted as Order of the Horse, this order name conflicts with the barony’s own order name Master of Horse, which was referenced in the July 1974 Letter of Acceptances and Returns. The question was raised during the Pelican decision meeting whether Master of Horse is actually registered, or whether it is a generic identifier. In 1974, registration was implied and there were no generic associations. A subsequent Letter of Acceptances and Returns clearly shows that this order name was considered to have been registered:

[Fellowship of the Horse] Conflict with Master of the Horse, registered to the Barony of Bhakail (only the “invisible” designator is changed), as well as Sea Horse Pursuivant (with only the removal of the adjective) [Caitlin of Argyle, April 1991, R-Outlands].

Therefore, we will continue to treat Master of Horse as having been registered. Unfortunately for the present submission, we do not allow the registration of the two non-personal names of the same category (in this case, an order name) when the substantive elements are identical. However, the barony allowed the addition of of Bhakail. We have made this change to register this name.

Cailin Ó Cuinn. Name.

Danr Mikjalsson. Name.

Evalina von Schaidegg. Badge. (Fieldless) In pale a domestic cat couchant sable atop a mushroom gules.

Isabel de Kerbriant. Name and device. Or, a heart gules and a chief indented vert.

The byname is grandfathered to the submitter, the daughter of Sabine de Kerbriant.

Nice device!

Iseault of the Clews. Name change from Iseault Blaecstan.

Submitted as Iseaulte of the Clews, the grandfathered spelling of the given name is Iseault. We have restored the given name to the grandfathered form with the submitter’s permission.

Clew is a heraldic charge, a ball of yarn. We occasionally see plural items in inn-sign names. Examples include the Arrows (1638), the Beades (1638), les Heronseux (1553), and lez Daggers (1573), all found in Juliana de Luna’s article “Inn-Sign Names in Medieval and Renaissance England”.

The submitter’s previous name, Iseault Blaecstan, is released.

Judith bas Rabbi Mendel. Device change. Azure, a bearded bird’s head couped argent wearing a Jewish hat Or.

The submitter’s old device, Azure, a bend engrailed between a dove volant and a cat sejant guardant argent, is released.

Kara Alfarsdottir. Name.

Mari Clock van Hoorne. Device change. Per pale azure and gules, a coronet within an orle of dice Or.

The submitter is a court baroness and thus entitled to the use of a coronet in her armory.

The submitter’s old device, Per pale azure and gules, an orle of dice Or, is released.

Monkey Makgee. Name.

Morgiane de Provence. Reblazon of device. Azure, a four-legged tarasque statant gardant contourny argent.

Registered in August of 1977 as Azure, a tarask statant to sinister guardant gorged and leashed argent, we are redefining the default tarasque as a six-legged monster and the gorging is essentially invisible.

Ommadan inigena Ru. Name change from Sunnifa in hialtlenzka Tókadóttir.

Submitted as a name change from Ommadan an Luch, the submitter had previously changed her primary name to Aoife nic RuairíOmmadan an Luch was retained as an alternate name (see this month’s Errata Letter). The submitter subsequently changed her primary name to Sunnifa in hialtlenzka Tókadóttir, and Aoife nic Ruairí was released at that time.

Ommadan is grandfathered to the submitter.

The submitter’s previous name, Sunnifa in hialtlenzka Tókadóttir, is retained as an alternate name.

Rauðr Flokason. Name.

Revena de Witte. Name change from Raven de Witte.

The byname de Witte is grandfathered to the submitter.

The submitter’s previous name, Raven de Witte, is retained as an alternate name.

Rosanna Silverloc. Name and device. Azure, on a chevron between two threaded needles and a quill of yarn Or five roses gules.

Sólveig Bjarnardóttir. Name and device. Per bend azure and sable, in cross a musical note argent and a sword reversed Or.

The submission form used both Sólveig and Sölveig. We could not find period evidence of the form Sölveig, so have registered the standard form Sólveig.

Sorcha inghean Uí Néill. Device. Azure, on a pale sable fimbriated between two sea-horses respectant a garb Or between two escallops argent.

Svea the Shortsighted. Device change. Argent, three piles fesswise throughout issuant from sinister azure.

Nice device!

The submitter’s old device, Per bend gules and azure, a sun in splendour Or and in bend three swans naiant argent, is retained as a badge.

EAST returns

Wulfgang Gruenwald. Alternate name Bubba le Fette.

Commenters questioned whether this alternate name presumes upon the name of Boba Fett, a popular character in the Star Wars franchise. Although the character of Boba Fett is important enough to protect, this name does not presume upon the character name. The vowel in the given name has been changed and the definite article le was added, so this name is clear in both sound and appearance under PN3C1 of SENA.

In addition, the question was raised whether this name was obtrusively modern. PN2E states, “No name will be registered that either in whole or in part is obtrusively modern. Something is said to be obtrusively modern when it makes a modern joke or reference that destroys medieval ambience and drags the average person mentally back to the present day. Obtrusiveness can be either in the written form or when spoken. A period name that has a modern referent will not generally be considered obtrusively modern. Only extreme examples will be returned.” In this case, every commenter thought this alternate name was close enough to the name Boba Fett to be obtrusively modern. Although each element is period, the name as a whole meets this bar; it destroys medieval ambience. Therefore, we are returning this name.

Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: heraldric submissions

Skeleton with backwards feet found in Dorset quarry

History Blog - Sun, 2016-09-25 14:37

Archaeologists excavating Woodsford Quarry in Dorset have unearthed a sarcophagus containing a skeleton whose feet were bent backwards. The sarcophagus, carved out of a single large block of limestone, was found in a grave 5’11″ long, 1’10″ inches and just one foot deep. Initial osteological examine found the skeleton was that of a young man in his 20s or 30s who was about 5’10″ tall. There are no indications from the bones of disease or possibly fatal trauma.

Hills Quarry Products contracted Thames Valley Archaeological Services (TVAS) to survey the Woodsford site and excavations have been ongoing for years. At least 11 othr burials have been found at the quarry, but because the soil is highly acidic, no human remains survived. The solid limestone coffin protected these bones from the ravages of the environment, although its lid is long gone, probably destroyed by farming activity which archaeologists have found evidence of going back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age.

Director of TVAS, Dr Steve Ford, explained why this was such a significant find. He said: “In the Roman period, burial in a sarcophagus was moderately common in Italy but very unusual in Britannia, where even wooden coffins seem to have been rare.

“A stone sarcophagus was certainly a very prestigious item, and their distribution across the country is restricted. Only around 100 are known and it is believed that this might be only the 12th to come from Dorset, with 11 others all from Poundbury.

“It is possible that the practice reflects a folk memory of a longer tradition in the South West, however, where stone lined cist burials can be traced back to the New Stone Age around 3000 BC.

“In fact, this sarcophagus may have been reused, as it was several centimetres too short for the corpse, whose feet had to be tucked under him.”

The skeleton will be subjected to further testing to determine if possible the cause of death and a burial date. After analysis is complete, the skeleton, sarcophagus and other artifacts from the Late Iron Age through the Roman era (1st century B.C. to the 5th century A.D.) discovered at the site will be donated by the landowner to the Dorset County Museum in Dorchester.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Tate acquires its earliest portrait by woman artist

History Blog - Sat, 2016-09-24 21:40

The Tate museum has acquired the earliest portrait in its collection painted by a woman. Portrait of an Unknown Lady (1650-5) was painted by Joan Carlile, one of very few women known to have been a professional portrait artist in 17th century Britain. Museum researchers believe she may even have been the first woman in Britain to be a professional oil portraitist.

The unknown sitter’s pose and elegant white satin appear in two of her other known portraits. This repetition of a composition lends weight to the notion of Carlile as a professional artist. In 1653 her neighbour Brian Duppa noted that ‘the Mistress of the Family intends for London, where she meanes to make use of her skill to som more Advantage then hitherto she hath don’ and in 1654 Carlile is recorded as living in London’s Covent Garden, then the heart of London’s artistic community.

Little is known about Joan Carlile’s early life. She was the daughter of one William Palmer, a senior official at St. James’s Park and its Spring Garden, now open to the public as one of the Royal Parks, but at the time still very much the private reserve of the monarch. In 1626 she married Lodowich Carlile, a playwright and courtier who was Gentleman of the Bows, Groom to the King and Queen’s Privy Chamber and Keeper of the Great Forest at Richmond Park to King Charles I. They lived together at Petersham Lodge, a perk of the Richmond Park gig, which is where they were living when Bishop Brian Duppa was their neighbor. He apparently had a high opinion of Mrs. Carlile’s talents. He wrote to a correspondent in early 1654: “I have had a long studied designe of having yr Picture, and by that Hand rather then by any else.”

He wasn’t alone. King Charles I thought highly of her work, and no lesser a figure than court painter par excellence Anthony van Dyck mentored her. Charles gifted them both with nose-bleedingly expensive ultramarine paint. Even after the beheading of Charles I, Lodowich Carlile retained his job as Keeper, which is unusual for someone who was really quite close to the late king since they had gone hunting together frequently. He kept the job throughout the Commonwealth and into the Restoration.

Their stint as bohemians living the Covent Garden life didn’t last long. They returned to Petersham Lodge in 1656. By then she had established her reputation as a portrait painter in society. Historian and courtier Sir William Sanderson included a reference to her in his 1658 survey on the history of art in England, Graphice, The Excellent Art of Painting. He named her first in a short list of four women artists notable for their oil paintings. Mrs. Carlile, says Sanderson, is a “virtuous” and “worthy” example of his maxim “that the ground of all excellencies in this Art is the Naturall fancie bon-esprite, quick wit and ingenuity, which adds and enables the elaborate.”

The couple moved to London again in 1665, this time residing in the St. James’s Market area. Lodowich died there in 1675, followed four years later by Joan. The newly acquired portrait is one of a handful of works by Joan Carlile known to survive.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Ancient burned scroll virtually unwrapped

History Blog - Fri, 2016-09-23 22:15

In 1970, an excavation of an ancient synagogue in the town of En-Gedi just west of the Dead Sea unearthed a parchment scroll. The town was inhabited from the late 8th century B.C. until it burned down in early 7th century A.D., and the scroll bore mute witness to En-Gedi’s fate. It was found inside the synagogue’s Holy Ark and was badly charred, so severely damaged that there was no way of unrolling it to read its contents. The lightest touch would cause the carbonized chunk to crumble. Radiocarbon dating determined the scroll dates to the 3rd or 4th century A.D.

Forty-five years later in 2015, the Israel Antiquities Authority and University of Kentucky computer science Professor Brent Seales announced that high-resolution micro-computed tomography scanning and new virtual unwrapping software engineered by Seales and his crack team of students had been able to peer into the blackened, crispy scroll and read the first eight verses of the Book of Leviticus. That makes the En-Gedi scroll the oldest book from the Torah found since the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls (1st century B.C. – 1st century A.D.) and the only ancient Pentateuchal book ever found in a Holy Ark.

The noninvasive technology works by converting the 3D scans into 2D images on which the writing is legible. Computer algorithms partition the 3D scans into segments with writing on them. The surface is then rendered into a 3D model where all textures — writing, ink — are positioned exactly where they were they found in the original scan. From the 3D model a flattened 2D version of the surface texture is generated which unwraps the rolled up surface onto a flat page.

Since last year, Seales’ team has virtually unraveled five complete wraps of the parchment scroll. While the text itself is less than thrilling (they find one scroll and it has to be Leviticus?), the implications for future research are deeply exciting.

Besides illuminating the history of the biblical text, our work on the scroll advances the development of textual imaging. Although previous research has successfully identified text within ancient artifacts, the En-Gedi manuscript represents the first severely damaged, ink-based scroll to be unrolled and identified noninvasively.

The University of Kentucky team has worked on scrolls found at Herculaneum that were carbonized in the eruption of Vesuvius that destroyed the town and its better known neighbor Pompeii, but that was four years ago and they were only able to pick out a single blurry unidentifiable letter. I dearly hope they give it another try now.

This video explains the virtual unwrapping process and how it worked on the En-Gedi scroll.

The full study replete with technical details has been published in Science Advances and can be read in its entirety here.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

New Order of High Merit — the Order of the Golden Mantle

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-09-23 14:57

At the Curia of Kenric III and Avelina III at the Great Northeastern War this past July, Their Majesties deemed the time right to create an Order of High Merit, conveying a Grant of Arms, for prowess and service in the ancillary martial arts of combat archery, scouting, siege, and thrown weapons — the Order of the Golden Mantle.

EK Law, section IX.B.8. now reads:

“The Order of the Golden Mantle may be given to gentles in the East Kingdom who have distinguished themselves by prowess in an auxiliary capacity on the field of battle and the target range, in the areas of Siege Weaponry, Scouting, Combat Archery, and Thrown Weaponry, and demonstrated service to the Kingdom in these areas by marshalling, commanding, building equipment, teaching, and helping to promote and expand the knowledge of these arts. The Order of the Golden Mantle includes all gentles who previously received the Order of the Golden Mantle (as an Order of Honor) and the Order of Artemis.”

The previous Orders of Honor — the Golden Mantle  and the Order of Artemis  — are now closed, and the members of both previous Orders of Honor are now Companions of the Order of the Golden Mantle.

As an Order of High Merit, the Golden Mantle is now a polling order. All current Companions are invited to join the Order’s polling list and its discussion list — please start HERE, and be sure to join both lists so you can participate in the discussion and the pollings.

Filed under: Announcements, Law and Policy, Official Notices, Thrown Weapons

Shire Wars Coming Up Soon!

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2016-09-23 11:05

Are you looking for a way to celebrate the 950th anniversary of the battle of Hastings? You can’t get to England this year to march from Stamford Bridge to Hastings? Come instead to Shire Wars, Oct 14-16 and choose sides in many competitions, including chivalric combat, fencing, and thrown weapons. Are you a marshal for a martial art ? A dab hand with a sponge and dishtowel? Good with a knife & chopping block? Great with wee ones? Able to tell a tall tale (or a short one)? Come help the cause (whichever side that is)!

Bardic, dancing, classes, merchants and artistic displays will be at the main hall. Please bring displays of heraldry, yours or your groups. A mid-day meal will be cooked by the battlefield. A feast of Anglo-Saxon and Norman courses will be served in the early evening.

Tent camping sites and cabin bunks are available.  For more information please see the East Kingdom Event Announcement as well, for those on the Book of Face,  the Facebook Event Page.


Registration: Open to campers 5 pm October 14th (Dining Hall)

Opens near parking lot October 15th 8-2

Otherwise check in at Dining Hall.

Please note that all cars must be parked in the parking lot.

Temporary Passes are available to drive & drop off equipment on the field or at the dining hall. Cars can also be used to pack up equipment as well. Please unload quickly, park your car, and return the pass.


Heavy Weapons: Master Wulgar

Inspection 10 am

Warlord Tourney followed by a Hastings Battle

11 am – 1 pm

Challenges & pick up fighting after lunch

Fencing: Atttila Soldus

Inspection 10 am

Bear Pit Tourney &

Battle of Hastings

11 am – 1 pm

Archery Range: opens by 11 am

Thrown Weapons Range: opens by 11 am

A&S Classes: In Hall porches. See schedule

Merchants open by 11 am

Dayboard: will be cooked and served on the tournament field

at 1 pm.

Dayboard items will also be delivered to the Dining Hall

The sword dancers will entertain during lunch.

Dancing: will be held on the green across from the

tournament field throughout the day

All attendees are invited to collect beads (one for each activity area and volunteering. Beads can be used for extra raffle tickets for the Bayeaux Tapestry Posters.

All activities will close at 4 pm.

Regional Seneschals Meeting in Dining Hall at 4 pm

Feast of two courses will begin at 5 pm

Dancing between the courses

Bayeaux Tapestry Raffle will be held during the feast.

Winners in all activities will be announced during the feast.

An open bardic circle will be held after the feast around 7 pm.


Filed under: Announcements, Events, Local Groups

On Target: The Marshal’s Field Box

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2016-09-23 10:15

Many archers carry a field box, but the marshal’s box has a few more things in it. Looking at the picture below, let’s cover its contents from left to right.

We begin with a jar full of hardware. When you’re out setting up a walk-through range, you may need screws or nails, so have some handy, as well as a drill.

Some spare targets: above the jar of hardware is a styrofoam apple from the dollar store as well as some balloons. No matter how old you get, breaking balloons is fun.

Next we see a bottle of mosquito repellent. In front of that is super glue, spare arrow points, and some spare fletching .

Center top, we see some spare rope and note cards with a pen – you may forget to bring scorecards or you may have something happen that you will need to report while it’s still fresh in your mind.

Next: sunblock. If you’re going to be in the sun all day, reapply every hour.

The last item on the top is a four pound sledge hammer. You may have to drive spikes or hammer something together. Once, I was out on a range that was so windy it blew over a target and hundreds of dollars of arrows got broken. Remember, if it’s a windy day, lock it down.

Bottom row left to right, we start with a range marker. If you’re new to a range, you don’t want anybody losing their way. Next to the field marker is a first aid kit for yourself. When you’re out in the woods, it’s easy to get a small scratch or cut, so it never hurts to have a spare Band-Aid.

Next to the first aid kit is a multi-tool. This serves two purposes: it’s great to have spare tools in the field, or you can give it away as a prize.

Speaking of prizes, next to the multi-tool is a drinking mug, another great prize. Inside the mug is a spare bow string, yet another great prize. Next to the bowstring is a tent stake – remember what I said about locking things down.

Next we see a 100-foot measuring tape. Even if it’s walk-through range, keep the targets between 20 and 100 yards distance.

Last, spare arm guards and shooting gloves, and some fluorescent orange tape. Remember, when you’re a marshal, you have to help out the beginner. It’s always wise to have spare equipment and to mark your trails.

This month’s safety tip: go back and double-check that first aid kit.

I’ll be at Archers to the Wald, and I’d be happy to field questions or take any comments.

Till next month, in service….

Deryk Archer

Categories: SCA news sites

Fundraiser for the Royal Travel Fund

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2016-09-22 20:49

In order to raise funds to support the upcoming reign of TRH Marcus and Margerite, Duchess Christence, Baroness Ellesbeth Donofrey, and their cohorts will offer a variety of lovely items this weekend to part you from your coins. Due to recent changes in the State of New York with regards to games of chance, the format for the fundraiser will be a silent auction. All proceeds will go to the Kingdom Travel Fund. If you’d like to donate an item, please contact either Baroness Ellesbeth or Duchess Christence via Facebook.

Baroness Ellesbeth has set up a Facebook page here where you can view some of the items that have been donated and will be in the auction. You can also use this page to contact her or Duchess Christence about donating items.

Here are just a few samples of the items that have been donated for the auction, which include jewelry, buttons, woven trim, a hood, and two whimsical knitted “helmets” among other items. Photos courtesy of Baroness Ellesbeth.

Click to view slideshow.
Categories: SCA news sites

Cutting edge leather shoe found at Vindolanda

History Blog - Thu, 2016-09-22 15:31

You’d think the Roman fort of Vindolanda just south of Hadrian’s Wall was a footwear manufacturing concern rather than a military outpost with an attached a civilian settlement considering how many shoes have been found there. Literally thousands of shoes, their leather preserved in excellent condition by the waterlogged soil, have been unearthed at the fort and settlement over the decades. This season the excavation team has added another 350 shoes to the tally since digging began in April. One of them is making headlines for its stylish resemblance to the Adidas Predator soccer cleats favored by some of the biggest names in the game like David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane.

The shoe was found in the Severan ditch, ground zero for what appears to have been a frenzied bout of closet cleaning in 212 A.D. which resulted 420 shoes being tossed into the ditch. Most of them show signs of extensive wear or were cannibalized for parts to repair shoes that survived the great purge of 212.

This leather sandal is in good condition with only a tear along the seam of the hell. The shoelaces are gone, but there’s a slot where they would have tied together. Vindolanda spokesperson Sonya Galloway:

“The boot is the modern day equivalent of around a size one, and would have been worn by a child between the ages of eight and ten.

“It is a good quality shoe. “[J]ust like the children of today, Roman children would have been very fashion conscious. The discovery of shoe, which is very well made, shows the affluence of the Romans.

“It is the kind of shoe which would have been worn by a wealthy Roman child.”

Archaeologists think they have at least one shoe for every individual who lived at Vindolanda during the 300+ years it was inhabited. The differences in quality, design and wear attest to the diversity of economic status in the fort and settlement. They provide an extremely rare glimpse into the way people from all walks of life (pun intended) lived at Vindolanda during the Roman occupation.

The handsome shoe will now join its leathern brethren on display at the Vindolanda Museum.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History