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Roman finery found under Colchester department store

SCAtoday.net - Fri, 2014-11-07 12:38

Construction work at Williams & Griffin department store in Colchester, England has led to the remarkable discovery of a wealthy Roman woman's jewelry collection, considered to be "one of the finest of its kind ever discovered in Britain." (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Bjorn’s Ceilidh GATE OPENING TIME Update

East Kingdom Gazette - Fri, 2014-11-07 08:31

For folks attending Bjorn’s Ceilidh – Concordia of the Snows Investiture please take note:

The event notice on the East Kingdom website states that gate opens at 11:00 am. That is incorrect.

The gates open at 10:30, and first court is at 11:00.

Filed under: Events, Tidings

HMS Erebus ship’s bell recovered

History Blog - Thu, 2014-11-06 23:15

After the wreck of explorer Sir John Franklin’s flagship, the HMS Erebus, was found in September, Parks Canada researchers had only two days to explore the site before temperatures plunged below zero making diving impossible. The team made seven dives during those two days, filming, photographing and measuring the wreck as extensively as possible, but they didn’t want to disturb the interior so they only sent cameras inside and did not recover artifacts.

They were holding out on us, though, because one object was removed from the sea floor: the ship’s bronze bell.

The bell was found on the deck adjacent to the ship’s displaced windlass (a form of anchor winch), above which it was originally mounted. Since then, the bell has been undergoing conservation stabilization and additional research.

The bell is intact and generally in very good condition. Two embossed markings – introduced when the bronze bell was first cast – are evident on the artifact: a Royal Navy “broad arrow” indicating property of the British Government, as well as the date “1845.”

Ship’s bells hold a great deal of meaning. In addition to their practical purpose — they struck the half-hour day and night, and signalled the change of the watch — bells are symbolic incarnations of the ship. There’s a tradition in the Royal Navy that upside down bells are used as baptismal founts for sailors’ babies. The names of the baptized children are then engraved under the bell’s lip.

Given its symbolic and archaeological value, Parks Canada decided it would be more prudent to recover the bell instead of subjecting it to another long, frigid winter in the Queen Maud Gulf. It could conceivably be damaged by ice scraping the seabed, although it has survived 168 winters thus far without serious damage. Besides, a ship’s bell can provide essential confirmation of the wreck’s identity, and on a PR note, is an iconic symbol that makes a far more immediate rallying point than sonar scans.

As the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, puts it:

“The bell of HMS Erebus provides a tangible and compelling connection to the Franklin ships and is an important part of naval and Canadian history. The recovery of this important artifact is the crowning achievement for an incredibly successful 2014 search campaign that has captivated Canadians and the entire world.”

Still, the marketing coup had to wait. Parks Canada archaeologists wanted to examine the bell without public scrutiny and begin the process of stabilizing the find before making the announcement, which is why we’re only hearing about it six weeks after the bell was recovered. At first, the bell had to remain damp to keep it from corroding when exposed to the air. It was wrapped in bubble-wrap and kept humid during transportation to Ottawa.

The bell is now sealed in a tank of distilled water in an environmetally-controlled secure location at the Parks Canada conservation laboratory. The water is being tested daily to detect any changes in the artifact. Over the course of months, perhaps as many as 18 or more, the bell will transition from fresh water baths to chemical baths that will leach all the salt from its surface and protect it from corrosion.

One the bell is cleaned and stabilized, it may reveal additional clues that are currently not visible. It will eventually go on public display at a location yet to be determined.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Dig to explore medieval town and plantation in Northern Ireland

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-11-06 21:06

Experts in Antrim County, Northern Ireland, are intrigued by evidence of a "lost" medieval town beneath a plantation-era Gaelic Scottish settlement and a 16th century castle. The evidence consists of a metal buckle and a silver groat, both dating to the 1550s.

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Categories: SCA news sites

THL Yvonne de Plumetot joins SCA Ltd. BoD

SCAtoday.net - Thu, 2014-11-06 11:39

Sorle Maknicoll, mka Jeff Nicholson, Secretary, SCA Ltd (Australia), reports that Michele Le Bas, known as THL Yvonne de Plumetot has joined the organization's Board of Directors.

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Categories: SCA news sites

A Message from the King

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2014-11-06 10:43

His Majesty King Edward has asked the Gazette to share the following with the populace:

Unto my cherished Kingdom of the East,

I owe you an explanation and an apology.

While I am so proud of the way the day progressed through the adversity of the weather, my determination and preparations to ensure a clean and decisive crown finals proved insufficient for the challenges of the day.

The conduct of my Crown Tournament is my responsibility.  In this, I failed you, and ask your forgiveness.

The fact remains, that I am your king and have sworn myself to you, and must ask and require your assistance in making the kingdom whole on behalf of my Queen and every good gentle in the East.

-Edward Rex



Filed under: Tidings

Witchmarks to protect James I after Gunpowder Plot found at Knole House

History Blog - Wed, 2014-11-05 23:28

Building archaeologists from the Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) surveying Knole House, the stately Kent seat of the Sackville family, have discovered protective witchmarks carved on the beams of a room built to house King James I. The marks, checkerboard lines known as demon traps because the evil ones would follow the lines and get caught in them, and interlocking Vs that stand for Virgo Virginum and invoke the protection of the Virgin Mary, were carved by craftsmen in the beams and joists under the floor and on the oak fireplace surrounds in the Upper King’s Room.

Thanks to tree-ring dating, we know exactly when the marks were carved. The oak timber was felled in the winter of 1605-06 and was used while it was still green, which means the beams were in place by the summer of 1606 at the latest. Guy Fawkes and seven other conspirators in the plot to blow up the House of Lords during the Opening of Parliament on November 5th, 1605, were hanged, drawn and quartered on January 31st, 1606. Fawkes had been arrested tending to 36 barrels of powder in the undercroft of the House of Lords just 12 hours before the explosion was set to go off, so the King and the entire ruling hierarchy of Britain came very close to annhilation and the memory of it was very fresh when the work was done at Knole.

The discovery answers a long-debated question about witchmarks. Some historians contend that they are carpenters’ marks used for practical purposes as installation guides, but the Knole timbers have both standard carpenters’ marks and witchmarks. Add to that the remodeling in anticipation of the King’s visit and the precise date in the looming shadow of the Gunpowder Plot, and the Knole marks are strong evidence that they were intended to play a supernatural protective role.

Their power never did get tested. All the construction, refurbishment and witchmarking was for nought as King James didn’t go through with his planned visit to Knole. Thomas Sackvillle, 1st Earl of Dorset, Lord High Treasurer and cousin of Queen Elizabeth I on her mother’s side, died in 1608 before the King’s visit, and his son didn’t have the clout in court to motivate James to keep Knole on the schedule.

Sackville acquired Knole House in 1566. His descendants (including his grandson Richard Sackville, 3rd Earl of Dorset, whom you might recall as Lady Anne Clifford‘s no-good first husband) have lived there ever since. They are still part owners of the estate, sharing it with the National Trust. The Trust is currently in the midst of the largest conservation project in Knole’s history, a multi-year $30 million restoration that is repairing and documenting the structure down to the individual beams. The MOLA team is recording the timber frame structure on behalf of the National Trust to provide essential information necessary to make the proper decisions on the conservation of the estate.

The showrooms are closed during the restoration, but the King’s Room will be open to the public for a special showing on November 20th and 21st. Visitors will have the chance to see the witchmarks before they are covered back up.

Speaking of the Gunpowder Plot, the earliest written report of the arrest and interrogation of Guy Fawkes is coming up for auction at Sotheby’s English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations sale on December 9th. It’s a letter written by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury, James I’s Secretary of State and spymaster, to Ralph Winwood, the English ambassador to the Hague.

Dated November 9th, just four days after the plot was discovered, it appears to have been written earlier as it still refers to Fawkes as John Johnson, the alias he had used when posing as co-conspirator Thomas Percy’s servant in order to rent a house next to the House of Lords. Fawkes insisted he was Johnson and had acted entirely on his own for the first two days of interrogations before escalating torture got him to confess his real name on November 7th, and the names of his co-conspirators on November 8th and 9th.

Cecil notes in the letter that despite the threat of the torture, “Johnson” insisted he acted alone and confessed solely to his own crimes from illegal practices of Catholicism to planning the destruction of the entire political hierarchy. They only got him to admit Percy was involved by claiming he’d already been captured and confessed. From the letter:

[Y]et could no threatening of torture draw from him any other language than this, that he is ready to die, and rather wisheth ten thousand deaths, than willingly to accuse his master or any other ; until by often reiterating examinations, we pretending to him that his master was apprehended, he hath come to plain confession, that his master kept the key of that cellar whilst he was abroad ; had been in it since the powder was laid there, and inclusive confessed him a principal actor in the same.

Robert Cecil sent copies of this letter to a number of ambassadors in Europe to enlist them in rumor control and to recommend they deploy a few men-at-arms in countries where the conspirators’ supporters might have been preparing military aid. You can read the full text of the letter to Sir Charles Cornwallis, British ambassador to Spain, in this 1905 book about the Gunpowder Plot. Spoiler: author Philip Sidney is no Robert Cecil fan. Check the footnote).

Cecil’s letter to Winwood was bought by the Harcourt family in the 19th century. They are now selling it. The presale estimate is £40,000 to £60,000 ($64,000 – $96,000).

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

SCAdians share skills at Southeast Texas Arts Festival

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2014-11-05 13:17

Members of the local chapter of the Society for Creative Anachronism took part in the Southeast Texas Arts Festival which took place october 17-18, 2014 at the Betty Greenberg Center for Performing Arts. Jake Daniels of the Beaumont Enterprise was on hand to take photos.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Miles FitzRalf new Prince of the West

SCAtoday.net - Wed, 2014-11-05 07:44

Cynthia de Greenfield reports that Miles FitzRalf was the victor of the October 4, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of the West. His Highness was inspired in His endeavor by Aesa Ythersdottir.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Madison’s Montpelier gets $10 million donation

History Blog - Tue, 2014-11-04 23:05

Montpelier, the Virginia estate of fourth President of the United States and Father of the Constitution James Madison, went through some tough times after his widow Dolley Madison sold it in 1844. Later owners, most prominently the du Pont family who bought it in 1901 and built on it extensively, developing it into a prominent equestrian facility. Marion du Pont Scott willed Montpelier to the National Trust for Historical Preservation upon her death in 1983. The Trust established The Montpelier Foundation, an independent non-profit organization dedicated to the management of the historic estate, and in 2003 the Foundation undertook a massive architectural restoration to return the mansion to the condition it was in when Madison retired there after the end of his second term as president in 1817.

The restoration was officially concluded on Constitution Day, September 17th, 2008, and was celebrated as one of the most ambitious, authentic restorations ever done in the United States. That was just the beginning, however. There was still a great deal more to be done to return the estate to its historical condition. James and Dolley Madison’s original furnishings were long gone, sold under the financial duress of Dolley’s widowhood or dispersed through the family and then out into the market. There are more Montpelier pieces in museums and private collections scattered around the country than there are in the historic mansion.

In the five years since the architectural restoration was completed, The Montpelier Foundation has dedicated itself to locating furniture, wallpaper, paint colors, accessories and any other relevant objects that if not the actual original pieces, at the very least are authentic to the period and similar or identical to things that would have been in the home in the 1820s, like the 18th century ivory chess set model on which Madison and Thomas Jefferson played their marathon games.

The goal is to restore everything, mansion and landscape, including the dwellings of the domestic slaves, to their appearance in Madison’s time. It’s a massive research project, requiring punctilious examination of the physical space — for example analyzing the window casings for hints of how the treatments were hung and excavating the grounds for evidence of the period landscaping — as well as documentary analysis. Researchers are going through tens of thousands of pages of documents, from letters to visitor descriptions to receipts to estate financial records and so much more, to get the full picture of what was in the house and how the estate as a whole functioned in the 19th century.

About $6.5 million have already been invested in the project. Several rooms are now furnished and excavations in the South Yard have found the footprints of the six structures where Montpelier’s slaves lived and worked. To get the project into the endzone, private equity billionaire, philanthropist and committed history buff David Rubenstein has donated $10 million to The Montpelier Foundation.

Rubenstein is deeply committed to preserving history for the nation and he puts his money where his mouth is. Last year he purchased the Bay Psalm Book for $14,165,000 to loan it to libraries all over the country before settling on one library to be the recipient of a long-term loan of the book. The year before that he donated $7.5 million to restore the Washington Monument when it was damaged by a 2011 earthquake. After buying the only privately owned copy of the Magna Carta for $21.3 million, he loaned it to the National Archives and then gave them $13.5 million to build it a new custom display case.

Most of the donation, $6.5 million will go to the furnishing and restoration of the mansion’s interior. The priority areas are the South Passage entry hall, James’ mother Nelly Madison’s sitting and dining rooms, several upstairs bedrooms and their closet spaces, plus the cellar kitchens and work areas.

The South Hall used to be central hall of the original Georgian home from the 1760s. In Madison’s day, it was used as a secondary parlor and gallery space with an impressive array of art on the walls. It’s completely bare now, despite being the first stop on the daily tour. Nelly’s rooms are off the South Passage. The upstairs bedrooms are the Madisons’ primary bedchamber, guest and family bedchambers that once furnished will show visitors what a bustling, busy, active home it was. The closets will be stocked with linens and clothing, and the rooms furnished from bedding to seating to artwork to window treatments.

The cellar, which covers the entire footprint of the mansion, was the domain of Montpelier’s enslaved domestic staff. The space includes two kitchens, a wine cellar and multiple storage and work areas. The whole space is empty (the modern mechanical systems were moved to an underground vault during the architectural restoration). With Rubenstein’s donation, the Foundation will add interpretative elements that bring attention to the individual slaves who worked there, highlighting their personal histories and family links, their daily work on the plantation, how they traveled, their influence on Montpelier.

The rest of the donation, $3.5 million, will be dedicated to the reconstruction of the South Yard adjacent to the mansion. In Madison’s time, the South Yard had three duplex slave quarters (relatively comfortable housing for house slaves; the field hands lived in log and mud shacks next to the fields), two smokehouses and a detached kitchen. The kitchen, one of the duplexes and the smokehouses will be reconstructed and fully furnished to give visitors the chance to see where and how Montpelier’s enslaved community lived. The second duplex will be used as a classroom for student programs, the third for exhibition space on the slaves, field, house and skilled craftsmen, who kept Montpelier going.

Rubenstein wants to help make the estate more authentic. Montpelier could draw more visitors to learn about history, he said, if the house is fully restored and its slave quarters built out. It currently draws about 125,000 visitors a year. Last year, Rubenstein gave money to recreate slave quarters on Thomas Jefferson’s plantation.

“It’s this dichotomy. You have people who were extraordinarily intelligent, well-informed, educated; they created this incredible country — Jefferson, Washington, Madison — yet they lived with this system of slavery. Jefferson, Washington and Madison all abhorred slavery, but they didn’t do, they couldn’t do, much about it,” he said. “We shouldn’t deify our Founding Fathers without recognizing that they did participate in a system that had its terrible flaws.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Books to be written, books to be destroyed - Medieval News Roundup

Medievalists.net - Tue, 2014-11-04 14:53
Our collection of interesting news, videos and tweets about the Middle Ages.

[View the story "Books to be written, books to be destroyed - Medieval News Roundup" on Storify]

Finally, check out this image of the November issue of Vogue Paris, where Adriana Lima shows off some 'neo-armor' from Dolce & Gabbana.

Categories: History, SCA news sites

Sir Makarius Novgorodilainen winner of Drachenwald Crown Tourney

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-11-04 06:30

Thomas Flamanc of Kelsale reports that Sir Makarius Novgorodilainen was the victor of the October 18, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Drachenwald. The tournament took place in Aarnimetsä (Finland).

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Categories: SCA news sites

Urgent advice to all Victorian participants and those planning to travel to the State of Victoria (Australia)

SCAtoday.net - Tue, 2014-11-04 00:53

Urgent advice to all Victorian SCA participants and those planning to travel to the State of Victoria: Due to changes in the Victorian Control of Weapons Act 1990, effective immediately, a restriction has been placed on members of SCA Ltd in Victoria, who are new members since the 5th of June 2014.

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Categories: SCA news sites

“Arbeit Macht Frei” gate stolen from Dachau

History Blog - Mon, 2014-11-03 23:27

In what is becoming a sickening trend, the wrought iron gate bearing the infamous Nazi slogan “Arbeit macht frei” (“Work will set you free”) at the entrance to the Dachau concentration camp was stolen in the early hours of Sunday. There are private security guards on the premises, but the camp has no surveillance system, a deliberate choice to eschew the ugly association of constant monitoring.

Gabriele Hammermann, [Director of Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial], said Monday. “We have irregular guard patrols six to seven times per night at the camp, but all of the former concentration camps in Germany have so far not installed cameras, as we do not want to make these locations once again a high-security facility in respect for the deceased.”

The theft happened while the guards were patrolling sometime between 11:45 PM Saturday and 5:30 AM Sunday. The thieves, and there had to have been at least two of them, scaled the outer gate to reach the wrought iron one, then removed the entire door that carries the slogan off its hinges. They then had the heft it back over the outer gate. Because it’s six-and-a-half-feet high, three feet wide and weighs an estimated 225 pounds, the thieves must have had a getaway vehicle.

Police and state security are investigating the theft. They have appealed to anyone who might have seen a vehicle or suspicious people in the area Sunday morning to come forward with any information. Authorities suspect it may be a politically motivated act by right-wing extremists, although a commissioned theft is certainly possible. It has happened before.

The large “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign above the entrance to Auschwitz was stolen in December of 2009 only to be recovered less than 72 hours later. The thieves were Polish men hired by Swedish neo-Nazi Anders Högström who claimed to have acted solely as a middle man but ultimately pleaded guilty to masterminding the theft and was sentenced to serve two years and eight months in a Swedish prison.

I think this theft is slightly less likely to have been a deranged collector because the sign is not actually original. Dachau was the first concentration camp opened by the Nazi government on March 22nd, 1933, less than two months after Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany on January 30th. It was built on the site of an abandoned munitions factory on the outskirts of the Bavarian town of Dachau, 10 miles northwest of Munich, as a forced labour camp for political prisoners. One of those political prisoners, Communist Karl Röder, was ordered to craft the iron lettering by the SS in 1936. Röder’s sign was removed after the war. A replica was installed in its place when the memorial was created in 1965.

That does not diminish the symbolic significance of the theft. Dr. Gabriele Hammermann considers it a:

“deliberate, reprehensible attempt to deny and obliterate the memory of the crimes committed in this place. The assault on this relict of highly symbolic importance demonstrates a new dimension, since it is an attempt to demolish the memorial at its very core.”

More than 200,000 people — political prisoners, Jews, homosexuals, gyspies, clergy, reistance fighters, POWs (mainly Poles) — from all over Europe were imprisoned at Dachau in its 12 years of operation. More than 40,000 died from starvation, disease, torture, executions and death marches before US Army forces liberated the camp on April 29, 1945. Today Dachau has the most visitors of any concentration camp memorial in Germany, approximately 800,000 a year.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Unofficial Court Report: Fall Crown Tourney

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2014-11-03 19:23

The Court of our most excellent prince and lord, Edward, by right of arms most illustrious King of the East, third of that name, and Thyra, his Queen, held in the Barony of Stonemarche upon 1 November in the forty-ninth year of the Society; on which day were called all and sundry the lords of the realm and the great persons of the kingdom to hear the following publicly proclaimed:

Item.  Their Majesties proclaimed Darius Aurelius Serpentius, called Omega, as Crown Prince of the East and his consort, Etheldreda Ivelchyld, formerly called Roxane Farabi, as Crown Princess.  Their Majesties did further cause the said Darius and the said Etheldreda to be invested as Prince and Princess of Tir Mara according to custom.

Item.  Having received notice from the Board of Directors that William Kyle, known in the Society as Cahan Kyle, has been degraded from the Peerage and stripped of his Grant and Award of Arms, Their Majesties revoked all East Kingdom awards previously given to Cahan Kyle and ordered that his name be stricken from the Order of Precedence.

Item.  Their Majesties welcomed the Ladies of the Rose into their Court, whereupon those gentle and august Ladies gave tokens to certain gentles who had demonstrated the virtues of courtesy, honor and generosity, to wit: Ulfgar the Nice, Konrad der Lowe von Ulm, Ane du Vey, Hrafn the Bonesetter, Wilham de Broc and Aífe ingen Chonchobair in Derthaige.

Item.  Her Majesty awarded the Shield of Chivalry to Duncan Kerr.

Item.  Their Majesties summoned Caine Ramsey before the Court and bade him thanks and good will for his long service as East Kingdom Marshal of Fence, whereupon they bade him name his successor; the said Caine then called Frasier MacLeod before the Tyger Thrones to give oath as the new Marshal of Fence, the which oath was accepted by Their Majesties.

Item. Their Majesties caused gifts of toys to be distributed to the children of the East.

Item.  Duena Mercedes Vera de Califia, East Kingdom Seneschal, announced that the Shire of Hadchester had fulfilled the requirements for becoming a full Shire and had been so approved by the Board of Directors.

Item.  The Riding of Giggleswick presented gifts to Their Majesties.

Item.  Their Majesties summoned Zappa Venture before the Tyger Thrones, whereupon they discharged the business of their ancestors Kenric and Avelina of blessed memory and did Award the said Zappa Arms, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Magdalena von Kirschberg.

Item.  Their Majesties called before them Richard le Hauke, whereupon, praising his labors with siege engines, they inducted the said Richard into the Order of the Golden Mantle, the which deed was memorialized in a document calligraphed by Harold von Auerbach and illuminated by Carmelina da Vicarri.

Item.  The good gentleman Johannes von Huegel was summoned before the Tyger Thrones, whereupon Their Majesties caused him to be awarded Arms, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Raistlin the Quiet.

Item.  Their Majesties summoned into their presence Estefania del Bosque, whereupon they did award Arms unto the said Estefania, the which deed was confirmed in a document created by Jan Janowicz Bogdanski.

Item.  Their Majesties demanded the presence of Frostulf the Swordsman before the Court, the which gentleman they did then award Arms, as confirmed by a document created by Katrusha Skomorokh.

Item.  Their Majesties called before the Court Corwin Blackthorn, whereupon they awarded Arms unto the said Corwin, the which deed was memorialized in a document created by Heather Rose de Gordoun.

Item. Their Majesties invited into their presence newcomers to the Society and gave them tokens of welcome in memory of the day.

Item.  The good lady Shyvan Floyd was summoned before their Majesties, who awarded Arms unto the said Shyvan, the which deed was confirmed by a document calligraphed by Harold von Auerbach and illuminated by Juan Lazaro Ramirez Xavier.

Item.  Their Majesties summoned Matilda Wynter before the Court, whereupon they awarded Arms unto that virtuous lady, the which deed was confirmed in a document authored by Alys Mackyntoich and calligraphed and illuminated by Ryan Mac Whyte.

Item.  Their Majesties summoned into their presence Padraig Dubh MacEanruig and, praising his many and diverse labors on behalf of the Kingdom and its warriors, did invest and endow the said Padraig with an Augmentation of Arms.

I, Alys Mackyntoich, Eastern Crown Herald, wrote this to memorialize and make certain all such things that were done and caused to be done as above stated.

Master Ryan Mac Whyte
Mistress Mylisant Grey
Don Donovan Shinnock
Lady Anastasia da Monte

Filed under: Court, Fencing, Uncategorized Tagged: Crown, Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, EKMOF, Fall Crown

Ethiopia encourages tourists to visit rock-hewn, 13th century churches

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-11-03 14:16

Ethiopia, long known as a country of poverty and famine, hopes to change its image through tourism, especially through visits to medieval sites such as Lalibela, where eleven 13th century churches were "chiselled out of the town's red volcanic rock hills." David Smith of The Guardian has a feature story. (photos)

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Categories: SCA news sites

Proposed Corpora Language Change - Corpora VIII.B.4

SCAtoday.net - Mon, 2014-11-03 09:57

The SCA Board of Directors seeks commentary on the following proposed Corpora language change.

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Categories: SCA news sites

Pharaonic temple found under house in Egypt

History Blog - Sun, 2014-11-02 23:45

The remains of a 3,400-year-old temple from the reign of Tuthmose III (1479-1425 B.C.) have been found underneath a house in the Egyptian town of Badrashin 25 miles south of Cairo. It was discovered two weeks ago under shady circumstances. A group of seven men dug nearly 30 feet (nine meters) under their home, even going so far as to secure wet suits, oxygen tanks and diving masks so they could keep digging after they hit the water table. The Tourism and Antiquities Police heard about the clandestine dig and arrested the men for illegal excavation. They were detained briefly but had to be released because the area where they were digging was not a designated archaeological site.

It is now. The entire Hod Zeleikha neighborhood has been declared an archeological site and is now under the control of the Antiquities Ministry. The unauthorized amateur excavation has been replaced with an official dig by archaeologists from Egypt’s antiquities ministry and workers from the state-owned Arab Contractors Company. After pumping out the groundwater, the team discovered seven large limestone blocks engraved with hieroglyphic inscriptions, the bases of several columns and a piece of a colossal statue. The colossus fragment is 6.2 feet high and carved out of pink granite. It depicts a seated person.

The hieroglyphics date the structure to the New Kingdom period (1539-1075 B.C.) and at least some of the inscriptions date to the reign of the pharaoh Tuthmose III (1490-1436 B.C.). The reign of Tuthmose III is considered a golden age in Egyptian history. The stepson and nephew of pharaoh Hatshepsut, Tuthmose III was technically pharaoh from the age of two, co-ruler with his stepmother. In practise he didn’t rule until Hatshepsut died 22 years after they ascended to the throne. He ruled another 32 years after Hatshepsut’s death. Under his reign, the Egypt empire reached its greatest extent, from northern Syria to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile in Nubia.

The recovered artifacts have been transported to Saqqara for conservation and study. Archaeologists hope the inscriptions and future discoveries will reveal more about the history of Egypt under Tuthmose III. The ministry plans to continue the archaeological survey of the site and excavate more of the temple.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

No sale for Hastings sword

SCAtoday.net - Sun, 2014-11-02 19:16

A recent Christies auction failed to sell a medieval sword, purported to have been a trophey taken by Humphrey De Bohun, a kinsman of William the Conqueror, from the Battle of Hastings. The owner had hoped the sword would bring up to £120,000. (photo)

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Categories: SCA news sites

A New Shire in the East

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2014-11-02 13:56

During court at Crown Tournament yesterday, the East Kingdom seneschal formally announced that the Incipient Shire of Hadchester, having formally met all the requirements, is now a full fledged Shire. This brings the total number of SCA groups in Maine to four:

  • The Province of Malagentia, which include two incipient ridings, Giggleswick and Raven’s Bridge. It covers the southern part of the state, including Portland and Lewiston.
  • The Barony of Endewearde, which includes two incipient cantons, Basingstoke by the Sea and Wyndriche. It covers the central part of the state.
  • The Shire of Smithwick, which includes the northern part of the state.
  • The Shire of Hadchester, which consists of mid-coast Maine.

This status is the culmination of years of hard work.  Vivant!

Filed under: Local Groups Tagged: Hadchester