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A Message from The Kingdom Equestrian Officer Regarding New Wavier Requirements

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2018-01-20 14:13

Equestrian activities at the Championship in 2014

The following information was provided by THL Aaliz de Gant, the Kingdom Equestrian Officer based on an announcement by the Society Equestrian Officer:

At the request of the SCA Board of Directors, a new waiver project has recently been completed. This project involved updating waivers to be used to events which include equestrian activities. In the past, waivers were handled in one of two ways. If horses were limited to areas that were restricted to equestrians, the MIC could opt to have only those interacting with horses complete the equestrian waiver. If the event allowed for more interaction, those members with blue cards would sign the additional equestrian waiver at troll. Those without blue cards would sign both the equestrian waiver and the society liability waiver.

Under the new policy, a combined wavier which includes both equestrian and society waiver language has been created which will be signed at troll for all attendees of an event which includes equestrian activities. In other words, the combined waiver will be signed by those with a blue card on file with the society as well as those without a blue card. There will be no need for event attendees without a blue card on file to sign a second waiver.

Due to equine liability laws in various states, there are state specific waivers for two of the states in Æthelmearc. For events held in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, state specific waivers are required. Events held in New York will use the standard society waiver. The Equestrian Marshal in Charge of the event at which equestrian activities are taking place will need to sign each waiver. Waivers will then be sent to the waiver clerk in the normal fashion.

The new waivers can be found at here under Adult Equestrian Waivers.

Categories: SCA news sites

Unofficial Court Report – String Thynge

East Kingdom Gazette - Sat, 2018-01-20 13:44

Royal Court at String Thynge. Photo by Duchess Etheldreda Ivelchyld

On Saturday, January 13th, AS LII, Their Majesties Ivan and Matilde paid a visit to their Shire of Caer Adamant.

In the morning they held a brief court, and called for Dietrich Schwelgengräber. They were disappointed that not only could he not produce the sock they had given Dobby, but that Tsar Ivan had possession of it. The Tsar said he would hold it a bit longer, as Dietrich had a question to ponder. The companions of the Order of the Pelican were called forth. A reception would be held to celebrate Dietrich joining a second Peerage order.

After a day of all things String, their Majesties held court. The following gentles were recognized thus:

Lady Motte is being presented; Photo by Duchess Etheldreda Ivelchyld

Astrid Magnusdottir – Tyger’s Cub
No scroll

Buffy Gerald – Award of Arms
scroll by Magdalena Lantfarerin
Words by Shoshana Gryffyth

Laurena Mouchot – Silver Wheel
scroll by Shoshana Gryffyth

Motte Nachfalter – Award of Arms
scroll by Mairi Crawford
Words by Sean O’Morian

Arthur Alyn- Silver Tyger
scroll by Shoshana Gryffyth

Dietrich Schwelgengräber – Pelican
scroll by Marti Palozi

Dietrich Schwelgengräber is elevated to the Order of the Pelican at String Thynge; Photo by Duchess Etheldreda Ivelchyld

Additionally, Tsar Ivan and Tsaritsa Matilde called for Sir Thorson to run the toybox.

The Newcomers present received tokens.

Thus concluded court. Long live the Kingdom of the East!

YIS,

Malcolm Bowman, Brigantia Principal Herald.

PS – Thank you to Marian Kirkpatrick for heralding the court as well.

Trouvelot’s astronomical drawings to go on display

History Blog - Fri, 2018-01-19 19:42

When last we saw Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, the gifted astronomical observer, artist and accidental destroyer of worlds via his injudicious introduction of the gypsy moth to the US, the 15 impeccably detailed astronomy drawings he chose for publication in 1881 using the new color printing technology of chromolithography had just been digitized by the New York Public Library. Now one of the rare surviving complete sets of Trouvelot chromolithographs is going on public display at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California. The exhibition, Radiant Beauty: E.L. Trouvelot’s Astronomical Drawings, opens April 28th of this year and runs through July 30th in The Huntington Library’s West Hall.

The set of 15 chromolithographs was the crowning achievement of Trouvelot’s career, said curator Krystle Satrum, assistant curator of the Jay T. Last Collection at The Huntington. “He was both an extraordinarily talented artist and a scientist, producing more than 7,000 astronomical illustrations and some 50 scientific articles during his working life.”

In vivid color and meticulous detail, the works depict a range of astronomical phenomena. “The high quality of both the artwork and the scientific observation demonstrates his uncanny capacity to combine art and science in such a way as to make substantial contributions to both fields,” Satrum said.

The pas-de-deux between art and science is still producing magic today. Images from high-powered telescope cameras, satellites and probes that have so mesmerized the public since the Hubble first started working right don’t look anything like the swirling marvels of color when they are transmitted. They’re black and white, infrared, ultra-violet, etc., thick with data but not so much visual impact for our limited optic range. It’s the artists who translate that data into something approximating what we’d see if we could.

Trouvelot was a master of converting telescopic information into beautifully colored artworks long before the Hubble was a twinkle in NASA’s eye. The chromolithographs wound up being a bit of a last hurrah for the field. By the turn of the century, drawings were rapidly being superseded by photographs as cameras became more powerful and precise. Of the estimated 300 luxury portfolios published by Charles Scribner’s Sons in 1882, only a few still survive intact today. Most of them were bought by institutions and observatories as references for their astronomers, but once photography starting edging out the old school artistic rendering, the Trouvelot chromolithographs were sold off or thrown away.

The Huntington’s set was acquired by physicist and Silicon Valley co-founder Jay T. Last as part of his extensive collection of graphic arts, particularly lithographs, from the 19th and early 20th century. He donated more than 200,000 printed works from more than 500 companies, high-end astronomical chromolithograph sets to orange crate labels to the museum. Highlights from the Jay T. Last of Graphic Arts and Social History can be browsed on The Huntington’s website.

Speaking of online collections of historic lithographs, the NYPL didn’t have high resolution versions of Trouvelot’s drawings in the online gallery when it debuted, much to my chagrin, but they are available now for download in tiff format. Click “All download options” and select “High Res tiff” from the list to get them. They’re not as gloriously huge as The Huntington Library’s images which they so kindly allowed me to use in this here post. They are in great condition, however, and I got a kick out of comparing the two sets.


Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

The Two Brothers are in fact brothers

History Blog - Thu, 2018-01-18 23:50

Groundbreaking analysis of ancient DNA has answered a century-old question: are a pair of Egyptian mummies from the 12th Dynasty dubbed the Two Brothers actually brothers? One hundred and eleven years after their discovery, we now know the answer is yes. They are half-brothers, same mother, different fathers. This overturns the results from the original 1908 study that indicated no familial relationship between the two men.

The mummies of Khnum-nakht and Nakht-ankh were discovered by renown archaeologist Flinders Petrie in a stone-cut tomb near the village of Deir Rifeh in 1907. Their exquisitely painted coffins were placed next to each other and inscriptions on their sarcophagi identified them as brothers, sons of a local governor (an unnamed “hatia-prince”) and a woman (or women) named Khnum-aa. The richness of the funerary furnishings in the tomb confirmed their high status as the sons of an elite functionary. The style of the tomb dated it to around 1,800 B.C.

Flinders Petrie wrote to the Manchester Museum that his team had discovered a small 12th Dynasty tomb in Rifeh packed tightly with two polychrome painted sarcophagi complete with mummies, two funerary boats with servant figurines, a painted chest with a full set of four canopic jars, five statuettes placed in the coffins and two pottery vessels. All the human remains were intact and the craftsmanship of the artifacts of the highest quality. Petrie, keen to ensure the core funerary group would stay together, offered it to the museum for a £500 contribution to his next excavation. The Museum Committee accepted with alacrity and raised £570 19s in a few weeks thanks to the donations of boosters. The extra £70 19s went to the writing and production of a The Tomb of Two Brothers, a publication about the museum’s research into the find.

This pamphlet makes fascinating reading, touching on the transition from archaeology as an amateur treasure hunt to archaeology as a science, the complicity of antiquities collectors in systemic looting of tombs, and how the sausage of the examination of the remains was made in the Edwardian era. Hint: it ain’t pretty. Cringeworthy in an age when mummies are never unwrapped precisely because of the damage described in the publication: soft tissues disappearing into clouds of dust and moisture causing long-preserved flesh to rapidly decay.

It’s of particular interest in the light of the recent DNA analysis that upends the conclusion drawn from the initial study. The introduction opens with a broadside to those who would castigate archaeologists as desecrators of the dead, pointing the finger back at accusers who “would not hesitate to wear a scarab-ring taken off a dead man’s hand” and who “will handle without a qualm the amulets that were found actually inside a body.” This hypocrisy, the authors note, has real consequences on the treatment of human remains because it creates a market for looters to tear apart dead bodies for saleable trinkets.

They go on to explain why the examination of dead bodies is important.

Archaeology has been raised to the rank of a science within one generation: before that it was merely the pastime of the dilettante and the amateur who amused himself by adding beautiful specimens to his collection of ancient art. Then came the period of the enthusiast in languages, to whom inscriptions the joy of life. And now there has arisen a new school to whom archaeology is a science, a science which embraces the whole field of human activity. Archaeology, in other words, is the history of the human race. It is a science which contains within itself all other sciences. The new sciences of psychology and comparative religion owe their being to archaeology, and history itself is merely archaeology in a narrow form.

Four sciences are listed as examples of disciplines that rely on information derived from material culture of the past: psychology, comparative religion, ethnology and comparative anatomy.

Archaeology can assist these four great sciences only by opening and examining graves and their contents. It is only by a knowledge of the objects placed with the dead, and by the methods of burial, that we the ideas of early races as to a future life; by studying these graves in chronological order we trace the growth of ideas and the evolution of religion and of the philosophy of life. By an examination of the bodies, the knowledge of the ethnologist and the anatomist is immensely increased.

It’s an interesting juxtaposition, the fervent belief that their morphological analyses form the scientific backbone of numerous academic disciplines vs. the DNA testing that proved the inaccuracy of said analyses. One of the sciences listed, ethnology, which at the time was emphatically focused on the putative anatomical differences between races and genders of humans, appears to have been the grounding for the erroneous conclusion.

Led by Dr. Margaret Murray, archaeological pioneer and the UK’s first woman Egyptologist, the Manchester Museum team examined the mummified remains in 1908. The team’s anatomist, Dr. John Cameron, compared their skulls and declare the differences between them “so pronounced that it is almost impossible to convince oneself that they belong to the same race, far less to the same family.” He thought the older brother, Nakht-ankh, might be a woman because the evidence of muscular attachment was so faint. When the pelvis established he was male despite the “female character” of the skull, Cameron looked for another explanation:

The question of the skeleton being that of a eunuch next suggested itself; but unfortunately, the state of preservation of the external genitals (see page 44) does not permit one to make a definitive pronouncement on this question. If this could have been proved definitely then we should have been provided with a distinctly rare opportunity of comparing the skeletons of two brothers, one of whom was virile, and the other a eunuch.

(Page 44 is where an extensive discussion of the man’s mummified penis and missing scrotum begins. There was no evidence of the scrotum having been surgically removed, btw.)

The virile brother has sub-Saharan African ancestry, Cameron concludes, but not exclusively. He was biracial, according to the skull feature studies prevalent at the time. Between that and the eunuch thing, the anatomist cannot accept that they are brothers, but he does explore later on the chapter the possibility that they could be half-brothers with the same mother. Their mother is titled Nebt Per, (“Lady of a House”) in the inscription, which means she had inherited an estate. A moneyed, propertied woman could easily have had children from two different husbands during a lifetime. Alternatively, one or both of them may have been adopted.

Either way, they were still brothers, as the contemporary inscription emphasized, and the exquisitely painted sarcophagi became the museum’s most famous icons. They have been on display almost continuously since 1908 and have been known as the Two Brothers just as long, blood relations or no. There have been multiple attempts to extract a viable DNA sample to determine the brothers’ brotherness but all of the results were inconclusive. The technology has improved greatly in recent years, however, so in 2015 scientists tried again.

[T]he DNA was extracted from the teeth and, following hybridization capture of the mitochondrial and Y chromosome fractions, sequenced by a next generation method. Analysis showed that both Nakht-Ankh and Khnum-Nakht belonged to mitochondrial haplotype M1a1, suggesting a maternal relationship. The Y chromosome sequences were less complete but showed variations between the two mummies, indicating that Nakht-Ankh and Khnum-Nakht had different fathers, and were thus very likely to have been half-brothers.

Dr Konstantina Drosou, of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Manchester who conducted the DNA sequencing, said: “It was a long and exhausting journey to the results but we are finally here. I am very grateful we were able to add a small but very important piece to the big history puzzle and I am sure the brothers would be very proud of us. These moments are what make us believe in ancient DNA.”

The study, which is being published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, is the first to successfully use the typing of both mitochondrial and Y chromosomal DNA in Egyptian mummies.

The new study is available online free of charge so you can read the original publication and the latest one for a one-shot comparative history of science. To paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. who in turn was paraphrasing Transcendentalist and Unitarian minister Theodore Parker, the arc of the scientific method is long, but it bends towards accuracy.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

On Target: Flying Fantasy Targets

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2018-01-18 20:17

One night after watching ‘Once upon a Time,” I got the idea to do a “Flying Creature,” in this case an Oz-style wicked witch on a broom. Now I have to tell you, the finished product looks great and can fly from tree to tree, but it took a lot of time to build.

First, you need a female foam head (yes, they do make male and female heads).

Then you need to make prosthetics to get the right look. A rubber finger from any Dollar store (cut to size) fits over the nose.

You can use the tip of a paper snow cone stuffed with cotton for the chin, and googly eyes for realism.

I used green duct tape for the skin and black duct tape for the hair. Remember, if you don’t duct tape the head, an arrow will make it shatter.

Next comes the body. I used heavy construction paper and pool noodles for the body and shoulders. Rolled paper was used to make the arms. The paper gives you flexibility when you add the hands and broom later.

Now we go back to the Dollar store for the clothing. I picked up a costume intended for a five-year-old girl for 50% off after Halloween.This gives you some idea how big the target is. The hands are cheap gloves (Dollar store again) stuffed with cotton and glued to the arms.

The broom is a tree branch with colored pipe cleaners added to the back to look like flame as it flies. 
In the picture below, cords made of 10 lb. fishing line run from the witch to a heavy cardboard tube above the witch. All that is left is to tie a clothesline to a tree, run the line through the cardboard tube, and tie the other end to another tree. Tie a line to the witch’s broom and have the marshal stand at a safe distance while slowly pulling the witch across the field.

This is a “for fun” shoot, so be sure to pull slowly enough that the archers get 3 or 4 shots before you call Hold.

Finally if you want to try this shoot, it will be at the Castle Archery Muster in Debatable Lands this April. The witch will fly up to the castle roof, so if you ever wanted to go on a “flying creature hunt,” now is your chance.

This month’s safety tip: in the article I talked about a safe distance for the marshal to stand when pulling the rope. Check the diagram below. The marshal should be at least 10 yards back from the firing line so he or she can see the target and also watch the archers. 

In service,

Deryk Archer

Editor’s note: no actual witches were harmed in the making or use of this target.

Categories: SCA news sites

Collecting Tales of Duke Kenric

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2018-01-18 15:48

Photo by Raziya bint Rusa

Stories, songs, and poems about Duke Kenric are being collected in an online Google Form. The works submitted will be laid out, printed, and given to his family. Anyone may submit a story, which can be as long or short as the person wishes. Final stories will be edited for spelling only; no other edits will be made. If you would like to submit a story, the form can be found here.

East Kingdom Law & You: Statement of Inclusion from Curia Agenda

East Kingdom Gazette - Thu, 2018-01-18 10:12

Hello and welcome to a new series of articles from the East Kingdom Gazette entitled: East Kingdom Law & You. Articles will feature detailed, sometimes riveting and always informative pieces submitted to or solicited by the East Kingdom Gazette by members of the populace on existing East Kingdom Law & upcoming Curia Agenda Items.

Reminder: The East Kingdom Gazette is an unofficial group of volunteers unaffiliated with any East Kingdom Office working to provide the best information we can. For official interpretations of East Kingdom Law, Society Law, or any Local/Kingdom/Society Policy, please consult your local Seneschal.

The first East Kingdom Law & You article has been sent to the Gazette by Master Philip White, OL, OP and includes information about one of the upcoming Curia Agenda items following Market Day at Birka.

Greetings,

The East Kingdom is committed to being a welcoming and supportive place.

As part of this commitment, a proposed Statement of Inclusion for Kingdom Law has been added to the Birka Curia agenda:

X. Rights of Subjects 

 A. Statement of Inclusion

The East Kingdom is committed to celebrating equity, diversity, and inclusiveness. We promote social equity and diversity in all activities including but not limited to race, ethnicity, culture, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, national origin, veteran status, socioeconomic class, religion, and professional status. We are committed to providing resources and opportunities for all subjects of and visitors to the East Kingdom.

Link to Curia Agenda Here.

Before Curia at Birka we are sharing with you some thoughts and we are looking for feedback from you.

For reference, there are some related policies already in place. This Statement of Inclusion does not replace those existing policies.

From the SCA Organizational Handbook:

XIII. POLICY ON ACCESSIBILITY TO SOCIETY FUNCTIONS

The SCA, Inc. will not discriminate against any member or participant on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, age or disability. The SCA, Inc. will comply with all laws of the nation in which the meeting or event is held. For any meeting or event held in the United States, the SCA, Inc. will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The SCA, Inc. will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities to enable all participants to fully enjoy the events whenever it is possible to do so. The SCA, Inc. will at all times attempt to provide reasonable accommodations, while preserving the fundamental nature of the SCA event.

From the Society Seneschals Handbook:

XXIV. SOCIETY SENESCHAL POLICIES & INTERPRETATIONS

  1. Harassment and Bullying

The SCA prohibits harassment and bullying of all individuals and groups.

Harassment and bullying includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • offensive or lewd verbal comments directed to an individual;
  • the display of explicit images (drawn or photographic) depicting an individual in an inappropriate manner;
  • photographing or recording individuals inappropriately to abuse or harass the individual;
  • inappropriate physical contact; unwelcome sexual attention; or retaliation for reporting harassment and/or bullying.

Participants violating these rules are subject to appropriate sanctions. If an individual feels subjected to harassment, bullying or retaliation, they should contact a seneschal, President of the SCA, or the Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman. If a participant of the SCA becomes aware that someone is being harassed or bullied, they have a responsibility pursuant to the SCA Code of Conduct to come forward and report this behavior to a seneschal, President of the SCA or Kingdom’s Board Ombudsman.

These policies are in place to stop things from happening in the SCA.

But what about what we do want in the SCA? That’s why we are looking at adopting a statement specifically letting people know that we are an inclusive organization.

Statements of Inclusion:

  • Encourage different experiences and perspectives.
  • Establish diversity and inclusion as underlying aspects of the principles and traditions of an organization.
  • Strengthen organizations by specifically stating that everyone has a voice and is encouraged to contribute.

That’s our starting point.

Next?

We want to hear feedback, suggestions, and questions in order to make this a more useful guiding principle for our members.

Members of the populace can email me here.

To facilitate that next step, we wanted to help set expectations and answer some initial questions we anticipate people will have.

Question 1:

“Is this really necessary?”

Yes. There are people that look at the SCA from the outside and do not see it as a welcoming place. That’s because they can take a casual look at our organization and see a visible lack of diversity.

Our current membership has underrepresented populations. Our minority members may already feel welcome. And our majority populations may feel like we are already supporting diversity and promoting inclusivity. But that’s from an insider’s perspective.

A Statement of Inclusion tells everyone, prospective members and existing members alike, that they are welcome in the SCA even if they do not see people who look like them at events.

Question 2

“Are we simply stating what we are doing anyway?”

In many ways, yes, this is something we already do. Putting what we do into law lets newcomers and prospective members know that we are committed to an inclusive organization.

Question 3

“I don’t think this is a problem. So why are we changing things?”

That’s great. We’re glad your participation in the SCA is going well. Lots of our members are happy and productive participants already.

The policy, then, is not so much for you. You already feel welcome. This policy is put in place to let our current members and prospective members know that they are welcome too.

We want it to go well for all of our members alike. So, for you, it may not feel like a change. For them it will feel like an improvement. Your part would be to continuing helping them know that they are welcome, too. To let them feel some of what you feel when you are a part of the SCA.

Question 4

“This doesn’t happen here. That’s only a problem in other Kingdoms.”

Adopting this Statement of Inclusion will help us continue the good work we already do. It will help us make sure it doesn’t happen here. And it will help us improve on it.

Question 5

“Do you have proof that people are not being included? I think people are blowing things out of proportion.”

Experiences will be different for each of us. You may be in a position to feel like everyone has equivalent access and opportunity to the SCA.

If that were the case, I would ask you talk to some of your fellow local SCA members and hear about their experiences.

Do you have a friend who is underemployed? As them about event expenses. Do you have a friend that is disabled? Ask them about how it is to get around at a camping event. Do you have a friend that is dyslexic? Ask them about trying to write documentation for an A&S entry.

These are just a few examples of experiences we would like to find ways to make easier for individuals.

Question 6

“We don’t even have enough minority or marginalized populations now to make stuff like this worth it. Why bother?”

That’s actually the perfect reason. If there is a lack of diversity then you need a tool to help promote inclusiveness and equity. This is a visible and articulated commitment to minority and marginalized communities.

Question 7

“This is a history club. Isn’t this a modern issue?”

The historical times and places that we study and recreate in the SCA are wide and varied. Those times were diverse through people, place, and culture. Diversity is actually already part of our game.

We are also a modern day organization that studies history. Our membership deals with modern issues day in and day out. We cannot ignore that there may be modern obstacles and barriers in place that limit people’s participation.  A Statement of Inclusion allows us to recognize that modern issues may limit potential members from enjoying the history we study. We want to help them overcome those limitations.

Question 8

“Diversity isn’t period. And it is period to exclude people. Why are we even talking about this?”

Actually, diversity is very much period. It may not be very well known but it is well documented.

Improving membership diversity would make actually make us more accurate historically, not less.

That said, this policy is part of the administrative aspect of the SCA. This is not put in place for persona purposes only. It is part of the entire game that we play and applies to all aspects and interactions of the SCA, administrative and game-side both.

We’re a modern organization made up of modern people. That is our membership. We are addressing those needs here in this policy.

Question 9

“Why does everything need to be so inclusive? Can’t this just be a game?”

We are a volunteer organization with limited resources on time and money. We’re a stronger group with more people to help this game happen. Many hands make light work. We do not want to turn people away, even unintentionally.

Inclusivity helps us with our shared values of generosity and kindness while showing many of the attributes of chivalry.

When a new person hears about the SCA we’d like to automatically feel welcomed. This Statement helps with that goal.

Question 10

“Not everyone can be the same. Our award structure will not allow for that.”

We are promoting equity in order to encourage diversity and inclusiveness across the organization in all aspects of the SCA.

This is separate from the ceremonial hierarchy established by the award structure of the SCA.

The Order of Precedence is a game function important to persona play. We have inherited it as a way to interact together while dealing with game interactions.

Question 11

“Does this mean I have to let people be a part of my household?”

That’s not what we’re asking. The SCA is made up of lots of different personalities. We have all sorts of individuals that cross multiple kinds of boundaries.

We’re not expecting you to form relationships with each other. You’re not being asked to make everyone your friend. You’re not being asking change your household or your other private gatherings.

We’re asking you to treat each other like neighbors or partners all working towards the same goal of making the SCA a welcoming place.

Question 12

“Does this mean we are going to have religious ceremonies as parts of events?”

No. That’s not what it means. It means that people of different religions observations, or none at all, are welcome to participate in SCA activities where and as they are able.

The SCA has a policy regarding region already.

SCA, Inc. Policy on Religion:

  1. Having no wish to recreate the religious conflicts of the period under study, the Society shall neither establish nor prohibit any system of belief among its members. No one shall perform any religious or magical ceremony at a Society event (or in association with the name of the Society) in such a way as to imply that the ceremony is authorized, sponsored, or promulgated by the Society or to force anyone at a Society event, by direct or indirect pressure, to observe or join the ceremony. However, this provision is in no way intended to discourage the study of historical belief systems and their effects on the development of Western culture.
  1. Except as provided herein, neither the Society nor any member acting in its name or that of any of its parts shall interfere with any person’s lawful ceremonies, nor shall any member discriminate against another upon grounds related to either’s system of belief.
Question 13

“Aren’t people going to falsely claim that they are not being included?”

Let us hesitate to label anything as false. What may feel inclusive to one person may feel exclusionary to another person. Avoid making assumptions about a situation and try to learn more about what the individual is requesting.

Now, the SCA will not be a good fit for everyone. We’re still following the basic precepts of our game. For those people who are interested in the SCA we want to give them a way to be involved without barriers in place.

Question 14

“Will this be a philosophical mandate with no monetary backing?”

Yes, actually. That’s correct. We’re not asking for groups to fund individuals. Including others of different economic situations does not mean funding their hobby. We are asking you to be understanding of their circumstances.

What does that mean? It means finding new and different ways to help them participate. Can you teach through a website broadcast for people that can’t afford to travel? Can you provide instructions or access to public transit for people who need mass transit? Do you have loaner gear that others can use? Or do you have common materials people can try out new arts with?

Question 15

“Will there be training?”

Yes. There can be. We plan to have this information on the Kingdom website with FAQs, access to diversity training, classes at events, sessions on the web, and availability for one-on-one questions.

Question 16

“How do we think this will change our Kingdom?”

When an organization makes a commitment like this to its members it lets its members know that they can ask for help. Can they ask for help today? Yes, of course. That opportunity already exists. Does everyone know this? No. And by making this statement we can let everyone know that they are able to speak up.

Question 17

“Are we thinking of a long-term plan?”

Yes. Our organization will develop and grow through our continued commitment to diversity and inclusion. We believe that this will give us more opportunities for learning and teaching.

Question 18

“Who are the ones that are going to be responsible for this?”

Ultimately? We are all in this together. Anyone who want to see this organization grow will be committed to finding ways to supporting others participating in the way that they can.

5.6 metric ton coin hoard found in China

History Blog - Wed, 2018-01-17 22:40

On October 13th, 2017, a massive cache of an estimated 300,000 copper coins for a total weight of 5.6 metric tons were discovered during construction work on the foundations of an old house in Chalian Village, near Jingdezhen in East China’s Jiangxi province. They are wén coins from the Song Dynasty (960–1279). Archaeologists from the Ceramics Archaeology Institute excavated the site starting October 22nd.

The property is 100 square meters in area and is surrounded by village houses. After the coins were discovered, word of the find spread like wildfire. There was intense interest from the locals who wanted to dig up some buried treasure even though experts noted the coppers have little monetary value. Their worth is not in conversion to modern currency via black market sales, but rather in their historical significance.

It is known that the coins date from the time of the Song dynasty (960-1279). The dynasty relocated its capital to Lin’an (Hangzhou today) after the city of Kaifeng was lost to the Jurchen Jin in 1127. Lin’an is near where the coins were found. The problem is that there is no local source of copper, which quickly led what was then the Southern Song dynasty to produce lower quality coins than those issued by the Northern Song dynasty. This also led to the emergence of paper money as copper cash coins became scarce. Iron coins were issued, but due to corrosion and manufacturing problems were never popular. Some numismatists have referred to this as the Qian Huang or “currency famine” for the Southern Song dynasty.

The southern government cut military wages in half by 1161 due to a shortage of wen coins. In 1170 Huizi paper money became a permanent fixture since it was mandated half of all taxes be paid with this form of currency. This resulted in increased demand for the notes as well as for the increasingly scarce bronze coinage. Inflation eventually led to the use of small coin tallies called Qian Pai.

Nonetheless, as soon as the government archaeologists left, villagers returned to the site with their digging implements to help themselves to any loot they might have missed. Individuals who did manage to remove coins from the site before and after the official excavation were persuaded to hand them over after being told that they were breaking cultural heritage laws by keeping the objects.

Local folklore has it that the coin hoard was the treasure of a landlord who buried it under the foundations of his home 1,000 years ago. There is no evidence of this being true. Of the three filled cellars unearthed during the excavation, two were filled with coins and one with assorted debris. The fill in the third cellar included some dateable materials placing it in the Yuan Dynasty period. The story of the landlord puts him in the Ming Dynasty. Besides, it’s highly unlikely that a landlord, tradesman or any one individual would have had access to such a huge cash reserve, and even if they did, they would have converted it into more easily portable silver or gold bullion. According to Fuliang County Museum Director Feng Ruqin, the coins were probably stashed by a private organization or a bank.

The excavation is over now and all three cellars have been backfilled for their protection. Conservators and researchers now have to commence the daunting task of cleaning, derusting, classifying weighing, cataloging and studying 5.6 metric tons of coins. The process is expected to take at least two or three years.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Agenda Published for upcoming Curia

East Kingdom Gazette - Wed, 2018-01-17 15:31

En Français

Greetings to all who see these words,

As published in the January 2018 issue of Pikestaff
Ivan and Matilde, Tsar and Tsaritsa of the East Kingdom, will hold a Curia after the Market Day at Birka, in the Barony of Stonemarche (Manchester NH), on Sunday 28 January 2018, starting at 10:00 am. Event Announcement.

The agenda for Their Majesties’ upcoming Curia is now available on the Seneschal’s web site.

in service,
Eadgyth aet Staeningum
Clerk of Laws

En Français.

Publication de l’ordre du jour pour la prochaine Curie

Salutations à tous ceux lisant ces mots,

Comme publié dans le Pikestaff de janvier 2018
Ivan et Matilde, Tsar et Tsarine du Royaume de l’Est, tiendrons une Curie après le Jour de Marché à Birka, en la Baronnie de Stonemarche (Manchester NH), le dimanche 28 janvier 2018, commençant à 10:00 heures. Annonce de l’événement.

L’ordre du jour de Leurs Majestés pour la prochaine Curie est maintenant disponible sur le site web du Sénéchal.

En Service,
Eadgyth aet Staeningum
Gardien des Lois

Runes call a comb a comb

History Blog - Tue, 2018-01-16 23:14

Archaeologists excavating the ancient market square in the city of Ribe in southwest Jutland, Denmark, have unearthed a comb from around 800 A.D. that is inscribed with the word “comb” written in runes. They also discovered a second runic inscription on a plaque of bone or antler that has yet to be deciphered.

This is a sensational find, especially for Denmark. Runic inscriptions of any date are rare in Denmark; runes dating to the 9th century are exceptionally rare in Scandinavia period. Almost all of the runes from that period are carved on runestones, not inscribed on combs or bone plates. (Interestingly enough, the oldest Germanic language discovery ever made in central Germany were 3rd century runes also inscribed on a comb.)

So few runes have been found in Denmark that the discovery of two runic inscriptions from around 800 A.D. doubles the number of rune-engraved artifacts found in Ribe. The oldest extant town in Denmark, Ribe was already bustling in 793 A.D. when Viking raiders pillaged the monastery of Lindisfarne launching the Viking Era. Archaeologists have found evidence, however, of peaceful trade between the Norse of Norway and Denmark in Ribe. During an earlier dig season at the Ribe marketplace, antlers from Norwegian reindeer were found. They date to 725 A.D., which means the Norse were already taking on significant sea voyages and engaging in lucrative transactions with their neighbors long before the accepted date of the Viking Era.

Given its history as a market city big enough to attract business from elsewhere in northern Europe, the comparative lack of runes on the archaeological record is puzzling. The runic alphabet was undergoing a seachange when Norsemen were trading reindeer antlers in Ribe, with the more complex Elder Futhark giving way to the newly succinct 16-letter Younger Futhark. The transition took place gradually over the 7th and 8th centuries, but by the early 9th, largely coinciding with the arrival of the Viking Era, the Younger had decisively overthrown the Elder. Researchers have been hoping to find more runes from this pivotal transition phase to shed new light on the transition to Younger Futhark and the role the towns played in the shift.

Archaeologists were especially interested to find out whether the script on the comb and plate were the new alphabet, which came into use at the beginning of the Viking Age.

Previously, the Vikings used a more complicated alphabet known as the 24 character futhark—itself a combination of the first six letters of the alphabet.

“It was built up so each rune had its own name and indicated the sound. But as the language developed, the names and sounds changed too, and in the end it was too difficult to remember the sound value of each rune and there was too much uncertainty in the message being conveyed,” says rune expert Lisbeth Imer from the National Museum of Denmark.

“At some point they decided not to use the old system anymore,” says Imer, who was invited to Ribe to study the two new discoveries and decipher whether it was the old or new alphabet.

Imer found that both inscriptions were written in Younger Futhark, just the linguistic jackpot they were hoping for. The word “comb” in inscribed on both sides of the comb, although they are different parts of speech. The verb “to comb” is on one side, the noun “comb” on the other. The handwriting suggests the inscriptions may have been carved by two different people.

The runes on the bone plate are fragmentary — both ends are missing — and the piece was damaged by fire at some point making it even more difficult to read. It is clear that the text was engraved by one person, someone with a fine hand who could pull a proper line. He did not use the markers which denote the beginning and end of a word, so while the inscription is in theory decipherable, it’s difficult and experts haven’t cracked it quite yet.

Here’s Imer giving it a go in this video:

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Arts & Sciences Research Paper #22: Recreating an Illuminated Persian Manuscript Page

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2018-01-16 10:45

Our twenty-second A&S Research Paper comes to us from Lady Onóra ingheainn Uí Rauirc of the Barony of An Dubhaigeainn. She takes us through her process of recreating a manuscript page in the Persian style, and shows us some fascinating things in the process. (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

Recreating an Illuminated Persian Manuscript Page

Detail view of final painting. (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

Table of Contents
Introduction
Materials and Methods
Conclusion
Examples of Historical Pages
Reference

Introduction

I set out to create a double page illumination inspired by Persian manuscripts painted during the Safavid Dynasty; this article describes the process for the left-hand page, which is all illumination. Although the Safavids ruled from 1501 to 1736 in what is present day Iran, I chose an art style that was popular with scribes in the beginning of the dynasty, specifically between 1527 and 1550 (see figures 1-4). During this time, the designs were simpler in comparison with those found in the later Safavid period. The floral vine work and geometric patterns were much less complex, and scribes used fewer shades of pigments.

I was inspired to create this piece while researching Mongolian culture. I came across several sources that described the Mongol influence on Persian art after they invaded the Persian Empire in the early 13th century. I began to dig further into the illuminated manuscripts created by Persian scribes after that invasion and was inspired to challenge myself with a style of art which is completely new to me.

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Materials and Methods

Historical Materials Used Materials I Used Polished cotton, hemp or flaxseed paper Heavy cotton hot pressed paper Charred twig Graphite pencil Mineral pigments in a gum Arabic base Gouache pigments in a gum Arabic base Squirrel fur brushes with a feather handle Nylon brushes Gold leaf paint Gold leaf paint

Persian scribes were highly regarded for their art and chose only the finest materials to use for their manuscripts. They started with a high quality paper. On the western side of the Persian empire, now modern day Saudi Arabia, artists used a variety of fibers for their paper including flaxseed and hemp. However, artists on the eastern side of the empire near India used cotton fiber paper. Based on my research, I posit that the use of cotton fiber paper was probably adopted from Indian artists since cotton was the primary type of paper fiber used in Indian art (Barkeshli, 2009).

Historically, this scribal paper was created by soaking wet fiber in a sizing material such as starch, fish glue, vegetable glue or gum Arabic. The sizing material acted as a filler for the paper fibers and created a smooth waterproof surface. The scribe would prepare the paper for painting by burnishing the page to a glossy finish using a smooth agate stone. This created a slick, almost impermeable surface to work on. I used a high quality hot pressed watercolor paper for my piece. This paper is 100% cotton fiber sized with natural gelatin. It was prepared by applying heat at a high pressure to create an ultra smooth finish. This technique mimics the polishing process of period scribes. I chose this type of paper because the materials and the manufacturing technique used are the closest match to its’ period equivalent available.

After the paper was prepared, the scribe would use a charred twig to sketch out a rough draft of their design onto a thin sheet of paper or animal skin. This was called the “tarh”. The sketch was then transferred to the final sheet of paper using the pounce method, which works the same as modern carbon paper. The pounce method involved filling a linen bag with charcoal powder and bouncing the bag on the underside of the tarh to apply a thin coat of charcoal dust to the back of the sketch. The draft was then placed over the prepared final paper. The artist carefully sketched over the design, pressing the charcoal powder onto the  polished paper (Sardar, 2003). To sketch my design, I chose to use a fine graphite pencil. I felt that the fine tip of a mundane pencil would be easier to use since the intricate detail of this art is new to me. Instead of tracing the design, I started by using a straight edge to measure out the spacing and placement of the shapes I would use, then I sketched my design directly onto my final paper. Carefully placed guidelines eliminated my need for a rough first draft, which saved me a lot of time.

Sketching the design in pencil with guidelines. (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

Persian artists began painting by laying down all the gold pigment first. This process was called “tazhib,” which literally translates to “gilding” and is a term still used today. Artists created gold paint by placing a thin sheet of gold into a porcelain bowl and adding a small amount of honey. This combination was thoroughly smashed with a porcelain mortar and pestle into a fine dust (Pakzad, 2016).

Grinding gold dust with honey. (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

Warm water was then added in small amounts until the honey was dissolved. After the gold dust settled to the bottom of the bowl, the gold was carefully strained until the water was removed. The process of adding water, mixing and straining was repeated two or three times to clean the gold.

Cleaning the gold dust with water. (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

The artist then mixed in a binder such as gum arabic or isinglass (a glue obtained from fish bones), and set the paint to dry. Water would be added to rehydrate the gold for painting. For my piece, I followed this method as closely as possible to maintain period accuracy. Although I could not find documentation on the specific type of honey Persian artists used, I suspect that they used honey that was locally collected instead of honey that was imported from neighboring regions since beekeeping was serious business in the Persian Empire. In fact, the art of beekeeping in Persia was inspired by the Egyptian mastery of the craft. (Crane, 1995). With this thought in mind, I chose to use locally collected honey since it was readily available to me.

Preparing gold leaf sheets. (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

To finish the tazhib process, artists burnished the gold with a smooth agate stone. This is supposed to smooth the surface of the paint and create an illuminated effect. I attempted to use an agate stone to burnish the gold on my piece, however I found that it rubbed the paint off the paper so I skipped this step in the final product. I will certainly research this issue in more depth so I can use this technique on future scrolls.

Once the tazhib process was complete, the artist began to add color to the painting. Colored paints were made using mineral pigments mixed with a binder. To prepare colored paints, Persian artists crushed the stone or ore into a fine dust. The mineral was then cleaned by pouring water over the mineral, allowing to mineral to precipitate, pouring off the water and repeating. The mineral was then dried, and a small amount of gum Arabic was added as the binder for the pigment (Pakzad, 2016). According to several sources, gum arabic was the most popular binder; however, I also found instances where isinglass or egg yolk was used instead. Once the minerals were mixed with the binder, they were dried and rehydrated when needed (Pakzad, 2016; Arias, 2008).

The color palette I used was chosen to specifically match the colors used in early Safavid Dynasty manuscripts. The table below shows the most popular colors used and what they were derived from. I used wet gouache pigments mixed with gum arabic and a little water for my scroll. I chose gouache since it was the most readily available paint to me at the time. Upon close inspection of my reference pieces (Examples of Historical Pages), I noticed that the pigment was opaque and very evenly applied. I mixed a small amount of gum arabic and water with my paint to create the same visual effect while maintaining the use of period materials.

Color Origin Azure Azure stone Vermillion Cinnabar ore Orpiment Yellow Orpiment mineral Malachite Green Malachite stone White Lead White lead Black Carbon soot

Of these colors, I used azure, vermillion, yellow, white and black as they matched my reference materials most closely (Figure 1 and Figure 2).

Persian artists used fine brushes of squirrel fur to apply paint to their manuscript. According to the writings of Sadiqi Beg, a poet, biographer and well known artist of the Safavid period, the squirrel fur was trimmed and attached to a pigeon feather with silk thread (Barkeshli, 2009). I chose to paint my piece with synthetic nylon brushes instead. I felt that since this was my first time painting in this style, it would be beneficial to me to use a synthetic brush so I could maintain better control over the flow and precise application of the paint. I am looking forward to learning more about Persian brush making so I can make period brushes in the future.

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Conclusion

This project was certainly a challenge, but I learned so much in the process. One thing that I found surprising was drawing the design was not as difficult as I thought it would be. Although Persian manuscripts look intimidating with their ornate and intricate designs, they are actually quite simple. Each design is composed of a repeating pattern and filled in with vine work. The pattern can be broken down into sections and simplified into basic shapes including circles, triangles and diamonds. I found that when I used this common artist technique of breaking things down into simple shapes and patterns it was pretty easy to draft the piece.

Completed linework. (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

I did, however, run into challenges making the gold paint. I knew that I would have to be really diligent in grinding the gold leaf down to a fine dust, but I was not prepared for how difficult and tedious this process would be. This step alone took at least an hour of sheer muscle to grind eight sheets of gold leaf. I also needed to resort to grinding the gold with my bare fingers. Although the porcelain mortar and pestle I own is similar to those used in period, I could not seem to create a fine enough dust. I plan on researching this issue in depth to obtain better results in future paintings.

Gold paint completed. (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

The second challenge I ran into with the gold was drying time. I learned that the dry environment that is characteristic of the Middle Eastern dessert is very important for the paint to dehydrate properly. Since it was very humid at the time, my paint took three full days to dry. Despite the trouble I went through, I truly think it was worth it to make the gold paint for this piece. I get a lot of joy out of learning a new period technique and it was exciting to be able to apply it to my own work.

The completed page! (Photo courtesy of Lady Onóra.)

In the future I plan on making the gum arabic for my next batch of paint using period techniques. The readymade gum arabic I used was quite watery, and I think it would be beneficial to be able to control the consistency and create a thicker medium when needed. I also noticed that mixing the gouache pigments with gum arabic and water resulted in a blotchy finish in my painting. My theory is that this is due to the inconsistency in the water to gum Arabic ratio in the paint. Handmade gum Arabic may fix this issue as well in the future.

I plan to continue to create Persian illuminated manuscripts in the future, since I most certainly enjoyed this project. For my next piece, I would love to work with a complete set of period mineral pigments. I also plan on making my own brushes. I absolutely loved the entire of process of researching and preparing this piece of illumination, and I look forward to continuing my research on Persian manuscripts.

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Examples of Historical Pages

1. Left-hand page of a double page illumination with text from an unidentified manuscript. Iran, circa 1550. Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper. (Image courtesy The Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

2. Right-hand page of a double page illumination with text from an unidentified manuscript. Iran, circa 1550. Ink, opaque watercolor and gold on paper. (Image courtesy Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

3. Right-hand page of an illuminated front piece from “Kulliyat-I Sa’di” (the Collected works of Sa’di). Iran, circa 1527, poems by Muslih-I Din Shaykh Sa’di. Ink and pigments on paper. (Image courtesy The Walters Museum)

4. Right-hand page of an illuminated front piece to the beginning of the poem “The Treasury of Mysteries” from a collection of poems entitled “The Khamsa” by Nizami. Iran, circa 1541. Medium not specified. (Image Courtesy the State Hermitage Museum)

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References

Arias, Teresa Espejo et.al. “A Study About Colourants in the Arabic Manuscript Collection of the Sacromonte Abbey, Granada, Spain. A New Methodology for Chemical Analysis.” Restaurator: International Journal for the Preservation of Library and Archival Material, Vol. 29, issue 2 (2008)

Barkeshli, Mandana. “Historical and Scientific Analysis of Iranian Illuminated Manuscripts and   Miniature Paintings.” Quarterly on the History of Iranian Art and Architecture vol. 5 issue 2 (2009) pp. 8-22

Crane, Eva. “Beekeeping in the Islamic World” Ahlan Wasahlan pp. 34-38 (1995)

Pakzad, Zahra. “Color Structure in the Persian Painting.” Review of European Studies vol. 9, issue 1 (2016)

Sardar, Marika. “The Arts of the Book in the Islamic World, 1600-1800.” Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History (2003)

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Flooded cellar in France may be medieval mikveh

History Blog - Mon, 2018-01-15 21:22

Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux, an ancient city in southeastern France that boasts a splendid 12th century Romanesque church, medieval town walls and gates and a cobblestoned downtown of considerable charm, can also lay claim to unique vestiges of a small Jewish community that abided there for three centuries or so before the saw the anti-Semitic writing on the all and got out while the going was good.

There was a small but consistent population of Jews in the city from the 12th century well into the 15th. They were ghettoized into a handful of streets on and around the Rue Juiverie, the street that is still named after them centuries after their departure. As was the custom with these segregated neighborhoods, the residents had a curfew and were locked in at night. Still, bounded on one side by the town market and on the other by bishop’s palace, the Jewish quarter was in the very heart of the city and the 70 or so families who lived there made good.

We know there was a synagogue in the neighborhood because a 15th century Holy Ark was found in one of the buildings, known as Tower House, in the early 18th century. Dated 1445, the stone archway with wooden doors was where the synagogue’s Torah scrolls were kept. It is a unique survival, the only one of its kind in France and is now on display in the local archaeological museum.

To the marked advantage of the Jewish community, the town wasn’t part of France in the Middle Ages. It was ruled by the Holy Roman Empire, so yes,while they were locked in at night and subject to a number of discriminatory laws and practices, at least they didn’t have to deal with repeated expulsions, confiscations and a wide variety of oppressive measures ordered by French kings like Philip II, who was just 17 years old when he kicked out the Jews and stole their stuff in 1182, and Louis IX who set copies of the Talmud on fire by the thousands, made usury illegal and forced Jews charged with the newly criminal offense to pay huge sums in support of the Crusades and turned the Inquisition up to 11. They even managed to dodge the mass expulsion edict of 1394 when all the Jews in France were forced to leave the country by order of King Charles VI.

Provence was absorbed into France in 1481. Initially it seemed like Jews in the province, which had deeply rooted Jewish communities going back to the 1st century A.D., might be okay. Their privileges were confirmed in 1482. But de jure and de facto are two very different things, and in 1484 waves of anti-Semitic violence broke out regularly. Provencal Jews, recognizing the stench of pogrom approaching, starting packing up and leaving, and the Jews of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux were no exception. Archival records note there were just three Jewish families left in town by 1486, and that’s the last mention of any Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux Jews on the historical record.

In the 1990s, the city government began to buy properties in the old Jewish quarter with an eye to restoring it and creating a suitable environment to return the Holy Ark to its original context in the Tower House. Archaeologists have been studying the neighborhood since 2014 and have discovered remains going back to Gallo-Roman times. The most recent work has unearthed a flooded cellar that archaeologists believe was a mikveh, a ritual Jewish bath. The city called in experts from France’s National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) to explore this intriguing find.

This small (7 by 4 meters), vaulted and partially buried construction contains a groundwater emergence point. The bath would have consisted of a shallow pool. The construction forms and techniques could correspond to the configurations of Medieval mikvaots.

The building has since been modified several times. The cellar was used to store bottles, for example (the archaeologists collected more than 600 of them), and anomalies suggest a later, more complex, modification. A diverticulum and the existence of a walled, partially masked, opening suggest architectural alterations that were masked by later transformations. They could be the remains of spaces associated with the mikveh and necessary for its functioning (dressing room, stairway access, etc…).

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Missive from TRM

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2018-01-15 21:18

En Français

Tzar Ivan and Tzaritsa Mathilde at East Kingdom 12th Night AS 52. Photo by Baron Brendan Crane.

As all have come to know, Duke Kenric aet Essex has been lost at sea. Like all of you, We feel that there has been a hole made in our Kingdom, in our lives, and in our hearts.It is Our deepest wish to pay Our respects to his beloved wife Duchess Avelina and daughter Lady Aethelthryth, and to attend the memorial service in his honor this coming Saturday. However, We are scheduled to attend Owlsherst Country 12th Night, to pay a visit to the good gentles in one of the farthest corners of this great Kingdom.

It is because Duke Kenric loved this game so that, in his memory and to honor his commitment to our Society, We will still be attending this event. Kenric was a man who showed us how to live life with passion, with sincerity, and with honor. While we mourn his loss, we celebrate his life, and his great love of this game we play and society we cultivate. His family remains most assured of Our love, respect and commitment to their needs. We know they are secure in the hands and hearts of the loving people of the East.

Whether you choose to attend the memorial for Kenric, the event in Owlsherst, or have another commitment, take a moment to remember our lost Duke, and express love and support for your friends, your family, and your chosen family. We believe that Kenric would expect all of us to continue on in this manner.

In heartfelt service and love,

Ivan Rex Matilde Regina

 

En Français.

Missive de Leurs Royales Majestés

Comme tous le savent maintenant, Duc Kenric aet Essex est disparu en mer. Comme vous tous, nous ressentons qu’un vide s’est créé dans notre Royaume, dans nos vies, et dans nos coeurs.

Il est notre voeu le plus cher d’aller rendre hommage à sa douce épouse Duchesse Avelina et sa fille Dame Aethelthryth, et d’assister à la cérémonie commémorative en son honneur ce samedi. Cependant, Nous sommes présentement engagés a assister au 12th Night d’Owlsherst Country, afin de rendre visite à notre bonne population dans un des coins les plus éloignés de ce grand Royaume.

C’est parce que Duc Kenric aimait ce jeu, qu’en sa mémoire et pour honorer son dévouement à notre Société, Nous irons toujours à cet événement. Kenric était un homme qui nous montrait à vivre la vie avec passion, avec sincérité, et avec honneur. Tandis que nous pleurons sa perte, nous célébrons sa vie, et son grand amour de ce jeu dont nous faisons partie et cette société que nous cultivons. Sa famille reste bien assurée de Notre amour, respect et engagement pour leurs besoins. Nous savons qu’ils sont entre bonnes mains et dans les coeurs des gens dévoués de l’Est

Que vous choisissiez d’aller à la commémoration de Kenric, l’événement à Owlsherst, ou ayez un autre engagement, prenez un moment afin de vous souvenir de notre Duc perdu, et assurez-vous d’exprimer votre amour et support pour vos amis, votre famille, ainsi que votre famille choisie. Nous croyons que Kenric s’attendrait à tous nous voir continuer dans cette voie.

D’un amour et service sincère,

Ivan Rex Matilde Regina

Service commémoratif pour Duc Kenric

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2018-01-15 20:08

Un service commémoratif multiconfessionnel pour Duc Kenric sera tenu ce samedi 20 janvier 2018, à midi à l’église Saint Benedict’s à Warwick, RI. Suivant le service, une collation sera servie dans le hall de l’église, jusqu’à 4pm. L’église est située au 135 Beach Avenue. La famille et les amis sont bienvenus. Soyez avisés que ceci ne constitue pas un événement costumé. Pour toute question, veuillez contacter Amy Dickens.

Il y aura aussi un service commémoratif à Pennsic, dans le pavillon du Royaume de l’Est. Plus de détails concernant le service à Pennsic sont à venir.

In Memoriam: Duke Kenric æt Essex

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2018-01-15 14:34

Photo by Raziya bint Rusa

The East Kingdom Gazette has published a memorial to Duke Kenric, who is now presumed lost at sea.

You will find the page here.

We extend sympathy to his family, his friends in the East Kingdom, and his friends throughout the Known World.

Categories: SCA news sites

In Memoriam: Duke Kenric æt Essex

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2018-01-15 14:19
“When righteousness and mercy are associated in the ruler’s authority, he may, while soothing the hearts of his subjects, inspire them with reverence, and, whilst correcting, sooth them. So spoke Alfred, great King of the Saxons, and it is as if he had known Kenric ætEssex.” – From the ducal scroll of Kenric æt Essex

Photo by Raziya bint Rusa

Duke Kenric æt Essex, Knight, Laurel, has been declared lost at sea following a boating accident on Friday, January 12th. Kenric was one of the most highly accomplished and beloved citizens of the East. He and his wife, Avelina Keyes, reigned three times as King and Queen of the East. He was the only person in the history of the East to be inducted into five orders of High Merit. Prior to his first reign as King of the East, he served as East Kingdom Brigantia Herald for four years, then subsequently as Kingdom Chamberlain for two years, and at the time of his death was serving as East Kingdom Marshal of Armored Combat.

Kenric was a fixture in his home Barony of the Bridge for decades and was a leading member of Duchy Von Drachenklaue and of House Silverwing. He recieved his Award of Arms in the Fall of 1994 from Lucan II and Jana II and was shortly thereafter inducted into the Pillar of the Bridge for his contributions to his local group. He was a companion of the Order of the Sagittarius (1998), of the Silver Crescent (1999), of the Maunche (2000), of the Tygers Combattant (2001), of the Chivalry (2002), of the Silver Rapier (2014), of the Laurel (2014), and of the Golden Rapier (2017). In addition, he held the rank of Master Bowman.

Coronation of Kenric I and Avelina I. Photo by Duchess Caoilfhionn inghean
Fhaolain

He was recognized with the Queen’s Honor of Distinction by Caitlin and by Jana IV, and with the Queen’s Award of Esteem by Caoilfhionn II, and he was recognized with the King’s Cypher by Lucan for his personal service to the Crown during three different reigns, as well as twice by Brennan.

Kenric enters Coronation. Photo by Sir Michael of York

For his courtesy and comportment in the Crown Lists, he was awarded the Shield of Chivalry four times. He twice served as Queen’s Champion of Arms and also won the position of King’s Champion of Arms three times. He was recognized with the Order of Valor of the East by Darius II and Roxane II at Pennsic 32 in recognition of his valor on the battlefield.

Kenric was a skilled metalworker, who at this past Pennsic was one of Champions representing the East for the Arts and Sciences War Point. He also did extensive and immersive research on Anglo-Saxon culture and language, learning to read and speak Anglo-Saxon English and striving at all times to make his person and persona as historically accurate as possible, to make history real and tangible to enhance both his own experience and that of those around him. To note only one vivid example, he was a performer in a battlefield telling of Beowulf at Pennsic XLII during his first reign. As one audience member described it, “when it came to be his turn he rose from his high seat to speak just as the sun was setting. He was exactingly dressed for the role, and as the light shifted from the setting sun to the torches in the tent, the Anglo-Saxon King of the East spoke the words of King Hrothgar in the original language that the poet put in that king’s mouth. We were transported.”

Viking silver spiral armring, Smithing by Duke Kenric aet Essex.

Photo by Lady Perronnelle de Croy

Kenric and Avelina reigned three times in the East. At the end of their first reign, Kenric “retired” his original persona and name of Kenric of Warwick, and at the Coronation of Edward II and Thyra held elaborate funeral rites for the death of the King, culminating in the elevation of Prince Edward and Princess Thyra to the Crown. The story of the passing of King Kenric captured the imagination of many in the East, and a number of artworks, stories, and songs were inspired by the life of “Saint Kenric of Warwick of Blessed Memory”. During their second reign, Kenric adopted the persona of Kenric æt Essex, cousin of the original Kenric, who had married Avelina and who again reigned in the East. During their third reign, Kenric instituted King Kenric’s Challenge, whereby he pledged to personally reward any and all Eastern Citizens who completed two, three, or four war point activities in armored combat, rapier, archery, or thrown weapons at Pennsic War.

Kenric is survived by his beloved wife, Duchess Avelina Keyes, and their daughter, as well as a wide circle of family and friends. An interfaith Memorial Service will be held this Saturday, January 20, 2018 at noon at Saint Benedict’s Church in Warwick, RI.

Photo by Raziya bint Rusa

It is the wish of the family that all media inquiries be directed to media@eastkingdom.org

Date limite pour les recommendations de Leurs Altesses Royales

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2018-01-15 12:22

Leurs Altesses Caoilfhionn et Brennan souhaitent rendre connu de tous qu’ils accepteront des recommandations pour un jour supplémentaire. S’il vous plaît assurez-vous que la recommandation est dans la fin de la journée.

Souvenez-vous que vous n’avez pas besoin d’être membre d’un ordre afin de recommander une personne que vous pensez méritante. Si vous pensez que des gens que vous connaîssez sont méritoires, il y a un formulaire en ligne facile à remplir afin que leur candidature soit considérée au travers de http://surveys.eastkingdom.org/index.php/945932

Merci!

Memorial Service for Duke Kenric

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2018-01-15 00:12

An interfaith Memorial Service for Duke Kenric will be held this Saturday, January 20, 2018 at noon at Saint Benedict’s Church in Warwick, RI. Collation to follow in the church hall until 4PM. The church is located at 135 Beach Avenue. Family and friends are welcome. Please be aware this is a non-garb event. For any questions, please contact Amy Dickens.

There will also be a memorial service at Pennsic in the East Kingdom Pavilion. More details on the Pennsic service will follow.

Wicked copper-headed barbed arrow found in melting ice

History Blog - Sun, 2018-01-14 23:30

A wicked looking copper arrowhead still masterfully attached to a barbed antler shaft discovered in a melting patch of ice in Yukon, Canada’s northwestern most province, in 2016 has been found to be almost 1,000 years old making it one of the earliest copper artifacts ever found in the Territory.

The credit for this discovery goes to a herd of caribou, because even though the arrowhead was found by an archaeologist, he wasn’t at the site to excavate or search for ancient artifacts. Archeologist Greg Hare was flying over the area in a helicopter accompanied by a film crew that was shooting a documentary. He was pointing out some of the sites where he and his colleagues have discovered First Nations hunting weapons when they saw the caribou. The documentarians wanted to get a clean shot of the majestic ruminants so Hare’s helicopter landed to allow the filmmakers in the second copter to get a clean shot.

The rocky hillside where they landed was topped with a rapidly vanishing layer of half-melted ice and under normal circumstances they would never have stopped there given the precariousness of the melting ice on the surface. While they were waiting, the team spotted a barb sticking out of a barely-there thin layer of ice. They pulled it out gingerly and found a copper blade attached to the barb.

“This is one of the oldest copper elements that we ever found in the Yukon,” Hare said.

For thousands of years, caribou took refuge in the summer up high on the alpine ice patches to escape the heat and swarms of harassing insects. That made those ice patches good areas for ancient hunters to get close to the caribou.

Some weapons would miss their marks and disappear in the snow and ice, over time building a treasure trove of artifacts now revealed by the melting ice. Archaeologists have found ancient hunting tools made of wood, antler bone, and now copper.

“The significant part of the story is that [the arrowhead] is so old, and it is such a beautiful expression of copper metallurgy,” Hare said. “Copper only first shows up in the Yukon about a thousand years ago and this is almost at the beginning of that technology.”

The arrowhead was radiocarbon dated to 936 years ago. Bows and arrows only began to be used by First Nation hunters about 1,100 years ago, so this really is an incredibly early example of copper metallurgy in the area. For thousands of years before then the weapons of choice were atlatli, throwing darts launched by striking them with a paddle. It was a technology that was employed by indigenous peoples in Yukon for almost 7,000 years before it was abandoned in favor of the bow and arrow.

The copper in the arrowhead is incredibly pure at 99.9 percent, and it is of local extraction. The nugget from which it was made was recovered in the metal-rich creeks of the southwest Yukon. The quality of workmanship is exceptional and the hunter who missed his target doubtless would have searched for it in the snow and ice-covered terrain for days, even weeks, after it was lost.

The random good luck that put Hare and his team down on that hillside to recover such a rare and important transitional in the evolution of indigenous hunting weaponry would have passed them (and us) by if the timing had been only slightly off. Two weeks after the discovery, Hare returned to the site to explore it further and all the ice had melted leaving nothing behind to find besides lumps of still-frozen caribou dung. If there was anything there, it was carried away by the runoff into the rocks or down the hill.

Look at the condition of this arrowhead. It is a spectacular piece of work and we are very fortunate the right people were in the right place at the right time to rescue it in such pristine condition just as it emerged from the melt.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Polling Recommendation Deadline Extended to Monday Night

East Kingdom Gazette - Sun, 2018-01-14 23:13

Caoilfhionn Princepissa and Brennan Princeps wish it to be known that the deadline for award recommendations for their first polling has been extended a day.  Please ensure that recommendations are in by the end of the day Monday, January 15th.

Please remember that you need not be a member of any order to recommend someone you consider deserving.  If you know someone you feel strongly about, there is an easy online form you can fill out to submit them for consideration.

Many questions about the awards process can be answered through this great article by Her Grace, Duchess Avelina: How the Awards Process Works