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Fall Crown Tourney 2017: The Lineup

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-10-07 10:44

Baroness Ekaterina Volkova has posted the starting tree for today’s Crown Tourney (with 29 combatants) and plans on making regular updates.
Please be aware that the cell phone coverage on site is inconsistent.


Categories: SCA news sites

Irma canoe could date to the 1600s

History Blog - Fri, 2017-10-06 22:27

Researchers have wasted no time studying the dugout canoe churned up in Brevard County, Florida, by Hurricane Irma and rescued by photographer and local history buff Randy Lathrop. The first round of radiocarbon dating results are in and they tease a solid likelihood that the canoe is much older than Lathrop thought it might be. Or younger. Or a little of both.

According to the Florida Division of Historical Resources archaeologist who examined it and performed the radiocarbon analysis, there is:

• A 50 percent probability the wood used to make the canoe dates between 1640 to 1680.

• A 37.2 percent probability the wood dates between 1760 to 1818.

• An 8.6 percent probability that it dates to 1930 or later.

“It is important to note that this gives us the probability of when the log used to make the canoe died or was cut down,” said Sarah Revell, Florida Department of State spokeswoman.

“The canoe has some interesting features, like the presence of paint and wire nails, that indicate it may have been made in the 19th or 20th century, so this adds to the mystery,” she said. […]

Revell offered some possible explanations. In one scenario, the canoe was made in the 1800s or 1900s, but from an old log. Or, perhaps the canoe was made in the 1600s or 1700s, saw use for many years, and was modified over time. Then again, though the probability is lower, someone could have crafted the canoe during the 1900s, she said.

“Florida has the highest concentration of dugout canoes in the world. We have more than 400 documented dugout canoes in our state. Each canoe is important in that it adds to our database and helps fill out the picture of how people used these canoes over thousands of years,” Revell said.

“This canoe is unique in that the radiocarbon dating indicates the wood is very old, but it has features that indicate it is more modern — so it is a bit of a mystery,” she said.

The Bureau of Archeological Research (BAR) will be doing some additional testing on the paint as they begin conservation protocols to keep the wood from drying out. The aim is to put the canoe on display in Brevard so it can be enjoyed in the community where it was found. That won’t happen until the wood is stabilized and that can take more than a year, even for a smaller piece like this canoe.

While it is being cleaned and soaked in a bath of polyethylene glycol for months, the canoe will still be able to be studied by researchers near and far. It has already been laster scanned and documented in high resolution detail to generate a 3D model that will give scholars, conservators, experts and educators the opportunity to virtually examine the canoe. This will help with every aspect of the study — determining its age, origin, design style, condition, conservation needs — and in future education efforts. This video shows University of South Florida Libraries 3D imaging experts working with local archaeologists to scan the dugout canoe.

And here is the end-result of that effort, a highly accurate 3D model that can be turned and zoomed and seen every which way:

Wooden Canoe Discovered after Hurricane
by University of South Florida Libraries
on Sketchfab

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

More Bronze Age gear found on Swiss Alpine pass

History Blog - Thu, 2017-10-05 22:18

In the same pass in the Swiss Alps where the Bronze Age wooden lunchbox with wheat residue was discovered, archaeologists have unearthed more prehistoric artifacts that may have been part of the Bronze Age equivalent of an Alpine survival kit. Last month, experts from the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Berne Lötschen Pass unearthed assorted tools dating to the Bronze Age.

They’ve known there was something there since 2011 when Beat Dietrich, the guardian of the pass, notified them he’d seen artifacts exposed in the melting glacier. Archaeologists recovered some of them, including what would later prove to be the Bronze Age lunch box containing coarsely ground flour, the next summer. When the brief clement weather closed, the remaining objects were covered by snow and continued to be so for five years. It was only in September of this year that archaeologists were able to fully excavate the find site and remove the artifacts they had been unable to get to in 2012.

So now, on top of the box, the fragments of bows, three flint arrowheads, a cow horn vessel and snippets of leather recovered from the earlier dig, archaeologists can add four fragments of bows, more strips and bands of leather, broken arrows, pieces of birch bark and a cord made from animal fibers with a horn button.

Archaeologists believe this may well have been gear carried by the same mountaineer trudging through the Bernese Alps 4,000 years ago. His box of comestibles was supplemented by a bag in which he carried his bows and arrows. All those strips of leather and birch bark fragments could have been used to create a quiver or backpack kind of container.

Even if the objects didn’t all belong to one person, the discovery of so much Bronze Age mountaineering gear is unique. Dating to around 2,000-1,800 B.C., they are the oldest artifacts ever found in the pass.

The melting of the glaciers has also revealed later finds from the Iron Age, Roman era, Middle Ages and modern times, including human remains of people lost in the mountains decades ago. An archaeological survey performed by researchers in Bern has unearthed a wooden artifact of indeterminate purpose dating to Roman times, wooden stave buckets from the Middle Ages and a wood vessel from the Iron Age that bears traces of fire. Researchers believe it may have been used to carry embers through the mountains so people could quickly make fire in all weather conditions.

The range of dates and artifacts in these discoveries underscore that the Lötschen Pass has been used consistently by human travelers between the Bernese Oberland and the Valais for at least 4,000 years.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

We Are the Escarbuncle – Æthelmearc’s 20 Year Anniversary Celebration & Fall Crown Tournament

AEthelmearc Gazette - Thu, 2017-10-05 07:24

The staff of Æthelmearc’s 20 Year Celebration and Fall Crown Tournament share some insight on what promises to be a very special event.

There have been many questions about this weekend’s Æthlemearc’s Fall Crown and Twentieth Anniversary Celebration. Why are they being held together? What makes this event special? It’s really exciting, so the staff and I wanted to fill you in.

Cabins

This event is about celebrating the creation of our Kingdom and the choosing of new Royal Heirs, so we sought out a site that’s central for everyone: All Saints Camp (110 All Saints Rd, Emlenton, PA 16373.) We are pleased to offer tent camping space free of charge on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Troll will open at 3 pm on Friday evening, and Lady Zianna beguy urdina de Zabaleta has graciously provided us with a Traveler’s Repast; Vegetable soup , beef stew, bread, butter , vegetables, hummus, and a cookie.

On Saturday, there will be a brief Morning Court at 10 am on the List field followed by the Crown Tournament Processional. If you wish to have a shade on the field; please reach out to our Day Shade Coordinators – Lady Arthes MacLeod (Brandy Straub, blueduckie666666@yahoo.com, 412-352-0978) and Lord Alister MacLeod (Greg Straub, gstraubjr@gmail.com, 412-216-5443). We are giving priority to Combatant and Consort Pairs.

Lunch will be served to the Tournament Field with a seated lunch near our arts and sciences display. Mistress Illadore de Bedegrayne has provided a gracious menu. Please contact her directly at rani23@gmail.com with any food allergies or other issues.

Feast Menu from the THL Ottilige van Rappoltsweiler; a remove for each style of cooking she has studied. A love letter to her Kingdom through food! Please reach out to her with any food allergies at ottilige@rocketmail.com You will find the menu here.

Commemorative Token made by Edena the Red and Countess Anna Leigh.

We have a merchants row with several great vendors. A commemorative token for 20th year has been cast which will be sold as a personal fund raiser with proceeds to be split between the works of the Pewter Guild and Travel Expenses of their Majesties. The pewter work is by the hands of Edana the Red with detail beading by Countess Anna Leigh. They will be available onsite for $5.00. We have 100 minted and Edana has graciously offered to make more for those that would still want one after we sell out or are not able to attend the event. You will need to mail her a self-addressed envelope and the funds for your piece and she will send one out to you(Bridgette Montgomery; 128 Russellton Dorseyville Rd., Cheswick, PA 15024). The pewter token is based on an original pendant housed at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Created in 13th c. France during the Gothic period, the materials are gilded copper and champlevé enamel. It measures 4 x 3 1/2 inches. The difference in size accounts for the changes in details. Pewter tokens were used to mark an occasion such as a pilgrimage or royal event.

Reverse of Commemorative Token

Now, I know what you are thinking, this doesn’t sound all that different from a Fall Crown – but on the occasion of our Twentieth Anniversary, there will be an opportunity to enjoy almost anything that our fair kingdom has to offer. We have archery, atl-atl, thrown weapons, arts, history, heraldry, cut and thrust is starting a new competition, and the equestrians will be out in force. We’ve added a Friday evening torchlight tournament for rattan combat and a melee scenario after Crown Tournament on Saturday that will include the youth rattan fighters alongside the adults! There will be Fencing starting with Friday night pickups and an early bird tournament and activities all day Saturday. The Kingdom Historian’s Office is preparing a display of the origins or our Beloved Kingdom so that we can reminisce and celebrate our beginnings and the ways that we have grown!

All are welcome to participate in the arts and science display run by THL Eleanore Godwin! “We need your items for display! Please bring one item you’ve made for display that represents “We are the Escarbuncle” to you. No documentation is required! There will be 3×5 cards for your name and information about your item. There will be a book to write your name in and about your item and how it represents “We are the Escarbuncle” to you. Items will be accepted on Saturday, from 9:30am to 11:00am. Display will be open to the populace from 11:00am to 8:00pm.”

Prefer other Arts or Sciences? We have a Brewer’s Round Table so that you can taste and talk about what you are making, how you can improve it, and see what other brewers have learned. Consider bringing your potable to share. Stop by the heraldic consult table to discuss a new device, badge, or registering your name. The Debatable Choir will give a concert of Æthelmearc Songs, and we will end Saturday in celebration: a ball with choral music and live musicians! All are welcome to come dance, and musicians are wanted – speak with THL Sionn the Lost (Email jfkyle at gmail.com) about joining the players!

There’s simply too much to keep listing; our schedule and contacts are here.
We have already sold out of feast and cabins but bring your tent and we’ll find you a place to set up! There are also several hotels close by; the site if off I80 between Grove City and Clarion:
Quality Inn at 137 Gibb Rd, Harrisville, PA 16038; Motel 6 at 1010 Dholu Rd, Harrisville, PA 16038; Holiday Inn 225 Singh Dr, Seneca, PA 16346; and Microtel Inn and Suites 121 North Point Drive, Clarion, PA 16214.

More questions? If the website doesn’t answer them; please reach out to the Autocrats; THL Muirgheal inghean Dubhghaill (muirgheall at gmail.com, 724-683-7558) Baroness Elena de la Palma (elenadelapalma at gmail.com, 916-704-2367


Categories: SCA news sites

New video of wreck of Mars warship

History Blog - Wed, 2017-10-04 22:34

The wreck of the 16th century Swedish warship Mars, flagship of King Eric XIV (r. 1560-1568), son of Gustav Vasa, first of his dynasty and first king of an independent Sweden, has been captured in defiance of visibility conditions at the bottom of the Baltic in a crystalline combination of footage and 3D rendering.

In an ironic twist that isn’t all that ironic given the length of time involved, King Gustav Vasa had begun to build a permanent, state-run Swedish navy (as opposed to the medieval system of drafting merchant vessels for war duties as needed) with ships he bought from the Hanseatic city of Lübeck. After his death in 1560, his son Eric picked up where Dad left off, investing heavily in the development of a navy that could protect his crown, still tenuous given his father’s rebellion. Grasping at straws of legitimacy wherever he could find them, Eric slapped all those numbers after his name, claiming descent from ever so many Erics before him, real or legendary, related or not.

His Danish cousins were not impressed. They considered him a usurper just like his father. One of Eric’s solutions was to ramp up Swedish naval strength to control trade on the Baltic. Big ships were a key part of this plan. In 1561, he engaged master shipwright Holgerd Olsson to build the biggest ship yet. It was Eric’s idea to call it the Mars after the Roman god of war, telegraphing even more clearly his bellicose intent. Mars was completed in the fall of 1563, just in time for the fireworks. Also known as the Makalös (Matchless), the ship was big, the largest ever up until that point on the Baltic. It was said to be longer than Lübeck’s cathedral of St. Peter.

The Danes didn’t appreciate Eric’s ambitious encroachment on their turf in the lucrative Baltic market and neither did Lübeck. In 1563, the conflict escalated into the Northern Seven Years’ War. It was Sweden against Denmark–Norway, Lübeck and the Polish–Lithuanian union. Sweden’s navy was already intimidating compared to its rivals. It had 38 ships, 16 of them large warships. The Mars was armed with at least 100 guns, perhaps as many as 200, depending on which source you believe. Its heavy artillery enabled it to fight at a distance, eschewing the old-fashioned boarding followed by hand-to-hand combat tactics that had dominated naval warfare for so long.

When the Mars and other Swedish warships went up against the fleets of Denmark, Lübeck and the Polish–Lithuanian union off the coast of the Swedish island of Öland on May 30th, 1564, at first Mars seemed to dominate the field. With those big guns of hers, she disabled the Danish flagship Fortuna and sank the Lübeckian ship Alte Bark. The Danish and Lübeckian commanders realized they would have to board her or face certain defeat. On day two of the engagement, they managed to do just that. The only problem is the Mars was on fire. The enemy crews only had enough time to board her and initiate looting procedures before they were all blown sky high in an explosion so powerful that it shot the ship’s mainmast straight up in the air like a crossbow bolt. The Mars sank quickly, taking many coins, cannons and lives to the cold Baltic seafloor with it.

After decades, centuries even, of fruitless searches, in 2011 the wreck of the Mars was found near Öland 250 feet below the surface of the water. Even though it went down in such a spectacular fashion, it was in excellent condition. Its guts were exposed in the explosion, but the wood has been perfectly preserved by the Baltic’s slow currents, cold water and lack of woodworm.

From its discovery in 2011 through 2015, marine archaeologists have been studying the wreck under very difficult conditions. It’s so deep and cold, visibility is literally zero and it’s not possible to dive in a regular way. They needed a special mix of gases to protect them from the bends, and documenting the wrack in total darkness required specialized scanning equipment.

Over the course of several years, a research team led by Johann Rönnby, professor of maritime archaeology at Sweden’s Södertörn University, has photographed and scanned the 453-year-old wreck Mars, the legendary flagship of Swedish King Erik XIV. […]

The Mars wreck site was discovered in 2011 by Rönnby’s team near the Swedish island of Öland. Initial investigations of the vessel, lying at a depth of 250 feet, indicated that a combination of slow currents and a dark and cold environment helped to facilitate the stunning preservation of the wooden warship.

National Geographic helped fund the research, so keep your eyes peeled for the story to air on its cable channel. Meanwhile, here’s a taste of the breathtaking footage and rendering drawn from a site that requires hand-held Klieg lights to see even a tiny part of it.

Deep Sea Productions filmed the exploration of the wreck for a documentary. Below is a brief introductory video to the production and a surprisingly enjoyable clip of reenactments from the film. I’m not a fan of what I deem to be an overreliance on reenactments in history documentaries because I find them a cheesy shortcut to generate feeble “action scenes” as if the history itself couldn’t possibly keep bums in seats. I have to admit these look not too bad. (Still not good tho.)

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Report: Agincourt, September 23, A.S. 52

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-10-04 07:41

Here continues the Record of the Reign of Gareth and Juliana, King and Queen of Sylvan Æthelmearc, at Agincourt, September 23, Anno Societatis 52, in Their Shire of Sunderoak; as recorded by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle with the assistance of Lord Ronan O’Conall.

Their Majesties first gave leave to Their Excellencies Brandubh and Hilderun, Baron and Baroness of the Debatable Lands, to hold their court.

Their Excellencies’ court having been concluded, Their Majesties invited before them Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope to discuss the tournament held earlier in that day to determine Their Royal Majesties’ Youth Champion. Mistress Arianna informed Them that from the field of 6, two rose above the others, and Fox and Fritz were named Youth Champions in their divisions.

Mistress Arianna asked further leave of Their Majesties to discuss efforts to support those subjects of the Kingdoms of Ansteorra and Trimaris most recently affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. She thanked the populace for their donations thus far, and informed them of further opportunities to donate at future events.

Their Majesties then called forth Lord Robert MacEwin of Thornhill. They tasked him, with the assistance of the other Lord Robert present, to take the toy box away to be found by the children of Æthelmearc, who were then asked to assemble before Their Majesties. Seeing their opportunity, the two Lords Robert sped from the room before the children of the Kingdom were sent to give chase by Their Majesties.

Their Majesties next invited Master Jacopo di Niccolo to attend them. Master Jacopo spoke of the tournament held that afternoon to determine Their Majesties’ Archery Champion. He summoned his Lordship Alrekr Bergsson and Lord Ronan O’Conall, the final two competitors on the day. Lord Ronan finished in second place, and was acknowledged by Their Majesties and granted a token in recognition of his skill.  But his Lordship Alrekr had emerged victorious on the day, and for this was he name Their Majesties’ Archery Champion. He was then granted the trappings of the champion and invited to join Their retinue in Court.

Photo by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.

Their Majesties then called for the presence of Stiofan of Hahvehbier. Having heard of his efforts for decades in teaching new skills to SCAdians and spending time working with the Pennsic Land Staff, They were moved to recognize his efforts and awarded him Arms, creating him a Lord of Their Court. Illumination by Baron Caleb Reynolds,calligraphy not credited.

 

Photo by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.

 

Their Majesties then demanded the presence of Wolfgang von Ostheim. They spoke of Wolfgang’s commitment to fighting for the Kingdom army, even returning from an injury to defend the Sylvan lands, as well as his assistance provided at events doing whatever needs done. For this was he, too, awarded Arms and made a Lord of Their Court. Scroll by Lady Felice de Thornton.

Photo by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.

 

Lord Tertius Maximus Drusus was next summoned before Their Majesties. Word of his work as exchequer of Silva Vulcani, his teaching on the archery range, and his service in organizing transportation and other needs for his College had reached their ears. For this they thanked him and inducted him into the Order of the Keystone. Scroll by Thea Denes.

Photo by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.

 

Their Majesties next called for Takamatsu-san Gentarou Yoshitaka. Their Majesties were of a similar mind, and so named him a member of the Order of the Keystone for his service as archery marshal in Their Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands and his time spent working in Their kitchens and as a herald, and his efforts in building a camp gate for the Barony. Scroll by Lady Kolfina Jodisdottir.

Their Majesties summoned Lord Otto Boese before them. They thanked Lord Otto for his willingness to take on the role of exchequer in Their home Shire of Misty Highlands, and for making himself available to paint shields for Vikings at Miklagard and helping to set up and tear down other events. For this was he named a companion of the Order of the Keystone. Illumination by Baron Caleb Reynolds,calligraphy not credited.

Photo by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.

 

His Lordship Oliver Sutton was then called before Them. Their Majesties had followed his Lordship’s work creating his own inks for scrolls and in researching and creating period furniture. For this They were well pleased, and did then induct him into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Lady Rivka of the Debatable Lands.

Photo by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.

 

Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope was then invited again before Their Majesties. They spoke of Mistress Arianna’s tireless devotion to the Kingdom over many decades, most notably as Kingdom Youth Marshal, and as one who serves where it is needed and is a role model for others to follow.  For these reasons were they moved to claim her as one of Æthelmearc’s own and did give her right to an Augmentation of Arms to be determined in consultation with Their Heralds. Scroll by Master Kieran MacRae.

Photo by Lord Arias Beltran del Valle.

 

Their Majesties then invited Master Jacopo di Niccolo to return once again to Their presence. Her Majesty spoke about the success of his tournament to choose the next archery champion, not simply as a way to determine his successor, but also as one of the most entertaining tournaments They had witnessed. For this was Master Jacopo named Her Majesty’s inspiration for the day and given a Golden Escarbuncle.

Their Majesties then bid all those who had worked on those scrolls awarded this day stand and be recognized amongst the populace. They also recognized Mistress Elisabeth Johanna von Flossenburg and Baroness Sybilla Detwyller for their efforts in creating their garb for the day.

There being no further business, the Court of Their Majesties was then closed.

 


Categories: SCA news sites

Yeovil Hoard on display at Museum of Somerset

History Blog - Tue, 2017-10-03 22:14

A hoard of 3,339 Roman coins unearthed in March of 2013 has gone on display at the Museum of Somerset in Taunton, just a hop, skip and a jump from where they were found in Yeovil.

The hoard was discovered neither by archaeologists nor by metal detector enthusiasts. This one was found by bulldozer driver Mark Copsey who was moving masses of earth during installation of a fake turf hockey pitch at the Yeovil Recreational Centre. We have his exceptionally keen eye to thank that the hoard wasn’t scattered to the four corners of the earth and the vessel destroyed. After he leveled the old hockey field, he looked back upon his works, ye mighty, and saw a green stain on the newly exposed surface of the soil. Upon further investigation, he saw coins and the remains of the pot (the top of it had been sheered off by the bulldozer). He contacted South West Heritage Trust who sent experts to explore the find site. The coins he had already picked up and put in a sealed bag were sent along to the British Museum for examination. The in situ coins and greyware vessel fragments were raised en bloc and excavated in controlled conditions in the BM lab.

Conservators found that all of the coins date to the 2nd-3rd centuries A.D., most to the 3rd. The most recent coins in the hoard date to around 270 A.D., which is probably around the time they were buried, a period of turmoil in Britain when usurpers created a splinter “Gallic Empire” and ruled as rivals to the official Roman emperor. The overwhelming majority of the coins, 3335, to be precise, are base silver coins. Out of that number, only 165 are silver denarii. The rest are less valuable radiates which became the most circulated denomination in the 3rd century. The remaining four of the 3,339 coins are large brass sestertii. In the 3rd century, four sestertii were worth a single silver denarius.

At least some of them had been stacked in little piles and wrapped with textiles before being buried in the pot. In one of those great archaeological flukes that descend upon us all too rarely, the corrosion from the metal created a sort of caked-on crust that ensured the survival of fragments of organic textiles even though the ground wasn’t waterlogged or a peat bog or extremely dry or extremely cold.

The hoard contains a large array of different coins struck under different emperors (40 emperors and empresses, to be precise) some of them of significant historical note. There’s a series of coins struck in 248 A.D. during the reign of Emperor Philip I which commemorate the 1,000th anniversary of the founding of the city of Rome. Their reverse sides depict exotic animals — hippos, elephants, lions — thousands of whom were slaughtered in the games celebrating the millennium birthday.

Two months after its discovery, the Yeovil Hoard was declared Treasure and valued by the Treasure Valuation Committee at £53,500 ($71,000). The usual practice is for a local museum to be offered the treasure contingent on their paying the assessed value as a reward to the finder and landowner. At first it looked like they might be in for a bumpy ride. One of Mark Copsey’s co-workers claimed it was a “group find” and that they all should get a cut, but the coroner’s inquest determined there was no basis for the claim. Copsey was declared the finder free and clear.

The Museum of Somerset declared its desire to acquire the hoard in no uncertain terms and launched a fundraiser. The South Somerset District Council, owners of the hockey pitch and rec center where the hoard was discovered, were very much in support of the goal of keeping the hoard close to where it was found. They decided to waive their rights to half the reward, leaving the museum with £26,750 to raise. They got donations from individuals, the Friends of the Museum of Somerset and grants from several art/cultural patrimony funds. It took more than a year, but the fee was raised in full and now the Yeovil Hoard will be exhibited in a local museum, albeit one that was recently renovated for millions of pounds and is now a state-of-the-art facility.

Somerset has been on a long roll hoard-wise. The spectacular Frome Hoard, 52,503 Roman coins buried in a single pot, was found less than 30 miles northeast of Yeovil and is now on display at the Museum of Somerset, as is the Shapwick Hoard, discovered in 1998 and still the largest group of silver denarii found in Britain. The museum is also the permanent home of the Priddy Hoard, gold jewelry buried 1300-1100 BC. during the Bronze Age, and from the same date range, a twisted gold torc that is widely acknowledged as the finest piece of gold work ever discovered in Somerset.

Stephen Minnitt, head of museums at South West Heritage Trust, said: “Somerset has gained a reputation for the exceptional number of Roman coin hoards discovered in the county – these include the well-known Shapwick and Frome hoards.

“We are delighted that, thanks to the support of our funders and the district council, we have also been able to secure the Yeovil Hoard for the county.”

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Artifacts of Life III

East Kingdom Gazette - Tue, 2017-10-03 20:19

The third Artifacts of a Life was held Sept. 30, 2017, in the Barony Beyond the Mountain. This very special arts and sciences competition format encourages participants to present items which a person from our period of study could have possessed. There were categories for entries which covered “elite” displays of 6 to 9 articles, “typical” collections of 3 to 5 items, and “team” or “village” entries by a group of participants (though there were no entries in that category this time).

Throughout the day, visitors and judges admired the presentations and discussed them with the seven entrants.

Lord Brendan Firebow

Lord Brendan Firebow’s display was of various items found on his person at the time of his untimely death (possibly in a duel) in the late 1500’s. Presented were glasses, a knife sheath, a belt, and a pouch. Decoration on the pouch, the edges of the belt, and the leather frames of the glasses, was chemically stained black with an iron solution. The strapless pouch was worn against the body and held in place by the belt. His research into the leather framed glasses led him to discover that these were important 16th century trade items.

Lady Aibhilin inghean Ui Phaidin

Lady Aibhilin inghean Ui Phaidin

Lady Aibhilin inghean Ui Phaidin presented glass bead jewelry as found in the Deer Park Farms Settlement site in County Antrim Ireland. Beads, such as those in the strung grouping of 11, were found scattered in the bedding in one of the homes of the site, and a glass-topped pin like those shown was found in another structure. The beads Aibhilin reproduced were among the most common types found throughout the site. The description of her experimental bead furnace was fascinating. Her research into the beads has ignited her desire to learn much more about medieval Irish history.

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan

Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan’s artifacts were discovered while repairing WW2 damage to Maison Draguignan. An old box was found under broken floorboards. It contained a few playing cards, a pewter token, a padlock key, a fire-damaged pendant, a toy horse, a gravoir (a hair parting tool), and several handwritten notes and letters – items that would have been lovingly treasured by her 14th century persona. Participating in Artifacts of Life allowed Baroness Ysabella to explore art forms she had never attempted before.

Lord Bartholomew of Northampton was an archer on board the Mary Rose when it sank. His personal possessions include his yew longbow, arrows, wooden comb, embroidered purse, bracer (arm guard), wooden plate and bowl, bollock dagger and sheath, and a leather jerkin. It takes a special technique to pull a 104 pound bow.

Lord Bartholomew and his longbow

Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe

Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe

Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe was the widow of a Master Broderer who left the service of Queen Elizabeth to start his own shop. Her will leaves the contents of the shop to her son-in-law and daughter, as he was in the trade as a journeyman and pattern drawer. Presented were merchandise, supplies, tools, patterns and work samples of various forms of Tudor and Elizabethan embroidery.

Lady Tola knitýr

Lady Tola knitýr was a 14th century Swiss noblewoman. She made two knitted purses, likely to be used as reliquary bags in her church. Spools of her handspun silk thread survive, on her spool stand. The tiny scale of the knitting, and the complex patterns, are evidence of her skill. She is looking forward to continuing her explorations of natural dyeing techniques.

Lady Rosamund von Schwyz

Lady Rosamund von Schwyz presented the tools and technique of bobbin lace. Her pillow includes a roller, to facilitate making lengths of lace, and she made several of the many bobbins in use.

 

These skillful entrants demonstrated both breadth and depth in their explorations of medieval life. Their enthusiasm for their work was readily apparent. In Baronial Court, the event stewards, Mistress Elizabeth Vynehorn and Baron Jehan du Lac, thanked the entrants and judges, and announced the results:
Lord Bartholomew of Northampton was the winner in the “elite” category.
Lady Tola knitýr was the winner in the “typical” category.
Lady Elaine Howys of Morningthorpe received the stewards’ choice prize.
Baroness Ysabella de Draguignan was honored with the Baron and Baroness’ choice prize.

Information and rules for Artifacts of a Life III can be read here:
http://sca-artifactschallenge.blogspot.com/

Event staff requested that this report announce that the next Artifacts of a Life will be held in the Fall of 2019, so artisans and researchers should start planning their entries NOW!

Photos provided by Baron Joseph of the Red Griffin and Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood. Article written by Mistress Ose Silverhair and Baroness Ygraine of Kellswood.

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Filed under: Arts and Sciences, Events Tagged: Arts and Sciences, events

Harvest Raids, the Making of Knights, and the Bonds We Share

AEthelmearc Gazette - Tue, 2017-10-03 19:57

By Lord Christian Goldenlok

Sir Thorsol is knighted. Photos by Baron Steffan.

In relation to each other, the rubber band of geographical life is made from unequal parts time and distance. When it stretches, all too often we have too much distance between us and not enough time to spend when we are together.

The opposite is also true. While it’s nice to visit with old friends around the fire, hearts become restless to look out to the horizon and build bonds away from home. In a perfect world, we could all live within walking distance. Until then, we have to use our time effectively. I am terrible at time management, mostly because I spent half my raids hugging people. It’s a rough life.

At Court at Harvest Raids, an Æthelmearc event in Western New York, my King and Queen made the first set of knights of their reign. Two men were presented, two men with whom I have very different relationships.

The first man to be brought forth was His Lordship Thorsol Solinauga. The Thorsol and I have been friends for years. He sought me out from the VERY beginning of my journey and has never once not made me feel welcomed at an event. He is either a saint or an incredible actor.  We have fought against and beside one another, and we have shared laughter, a love for this society, and many good conversations and will continue to do so. Thorsol is a popular man and inspired me to strive to build up people outside of the household and shire that I could love.

I have always measured my goodness based on his example. He is the gauge of inclusiveness to which I try to measure up. I have never heard him raise his voice in anger. Besides his deeds on the battlefield, I am sure that his diplomacy is something others should emulate. He can and will out-humble you. He is a dirty hippie. Sir Thorsol was the first man my King knighted. He is absolutely worthy of the station.

If he lived in Pittsburgh, we would throw pottery together, sing and play guitar together, or play boardgames together. He would be a part of my life because I would make him do so whether he wanted to or not. I love The Thorsol, and the beauty of the words spoken for him by friends I also know told me what I already knew for years: that many people are joined with me in sharing in my love for him. Thorsol spoke words of fealty on the Sword of State, he received his last unanswered blow from King Gareth, and he made his way, humbly and happily, to be with his new Chivalric brothers.

His ceremony was fantastic, and I wept happy, ugly tears for my friend, a man I wish I had more time with and less space away from. My house is a Bon Jovi-free zone.

After Sir Thorsol got the hell out of the way (Thorsol, GIT!), the crown proceeded to its next point of business and called forth Baron Dominic I-don’t-even-know-his-last-SCAdian-name. (Editor’s Note: Morland)

Sir Dominic is knighted.

 

Down the isle processed a handsome man with his beautiful wife whom I can’t recall I’ve ever met. As he and his retinue processed I thought to myself, “I don’t know her, nope, don’t know that guy, nope not him, nope don’t know her.”

The stranger knelt before my King and Queen, the King and Queen I know better than ANY other SCAdians, are masters of the fighting house to which I belong, and with whom I have spent countless hours. As the seconds passed, dichotomies between Dominic and Thorsol and the differences in my familiarity with the Royals and my familiarity with Baron Dominic began shooting through my mind.

As the introductory words were spoken, I searched my memory and couldn’t remember a time I had ever interacted with this man save a handshake or two, maybe a pat on the back in passing. Dominic and I have NEVER had the opportunity to sit and talk together. Earlier, as I had passed his vigil tent, I actually couldn’t recall any of the people who were standing guard for him or in that general vicinity. I’m Christian (expletive) Goldenlok and I know everybody… yet an entire group of people were unintentionally foreign to me.

Dominic’s heraldry is stunning, however.

To my delight, as the moments went on, I started to become slowly, intensely connected to these people, the man being knighted, and the ceremony.

Other people I didn’t know stood before the crown and offered their endorsements of Dominic. I started to feel a connection between their love for this man in relation to my love for the people that I hold dear. Tears streamed down the faces of many friends of Dominic, the majority of whom I have never become acquainted.

I began to feel the spirit of reverence that emanated through the ceremony. Words like honor, mental toughness, and graciousness poured out of the mouths of his friends, and I began to see that the same kinship that exists between me and Sir Thorsol absolutely exists between these fine people and their fine friend and brother, Dominic.

He began to tremble while kneeling before Their Majesties. You could visually comprehend that all his sacrifice, all his time spent in harness, all his time serving his friends, family, and the kingdom he calls home were about to manifest into becoming a Knight of Æthelmearc. He was aware of all this and, I imagine, was reacting to it. I empathized with the weight he was feeling. You could see he was humbled at being exulted by his friends. His dream, and the dreams and hopes and expectations others had of him, seemed to turn into a heartfelt, tangible reality with every word that filled the hall of that great Court. With the mounting of spurs, the clasp of cloak, and the fitting of the belt, he was being reworked, remade.

And then I started freaking ugly crying.

 

With so much strife in the modern world, it isn’t surprising that we occasionally need to be reminded that there is so much positivity and so much commonality that transcends the boundaries of time and distance in the SCA. As we struggle, as we toil in the fields, we must be reminded that there will come a time for harvest because of our collective dedication. It was obvious to me that many placed stones for Sir Dominic to walk on in his path to knighthood, and it was truly inspiring to see the love his friends showed him.

 

In closing, we must learn to become even more inclusive, to become even more open and honest and caring, and to realize that there is so much love in this world to be seen if only we fix our collective eyes to see it. I felt that love for you, Sir Dominic, and I hope we have time in the future. I’m grateful for both of these men, their separate retinues, their relation to us all, and their example to me.

 

Harvest Raids was fantastic!


Categories: SCA news sites

Toys found in Roman-era child graves in Turkey

History Blog - Mon, 2017-10-02 22:43

Archaeologists have unearthed childrens’ toys in 2,000-year-old tombs in the ancient Greek city of Parion, located in the modern-day village of Kemer, in northwestern Turkey’s Çanakkale province. The small figurines were made of clay and are identifiable as grave goods for children because they were buried with them in small wooden coffins.

Parion, or Parium, was founded in 709 B.C. by Greek colonists, possibly from Eretria, the city in Euboea that just came up a couple of days ago in conjuction with the discovery of the Artemis sanctuary. In the 5th century B.C. Parion joined the Delian League, an association led by Athens ostensibly to unite in military defense against future Persian invasions but which Athens soon diverted to its own ends. The tensions that resulted between the Greek city-states by the end of the century led to the Peloponnesian War and the dissolution of the league.

At the time when the tombs were built, Parion was a Roman colony in its Asia province. It was a prosperous hub of the Aegean trade with two major harbours through which all goods bounds for what is today Istanbul passed.

Archaeologists have been excavating the site, including necropoli from various periods, since 2005. The necropolis from the Roman period includes burials of both adults and children. The children were buried in their own individual caskets, toys placed lovingly around their bodies. Some of them might have been favorite toys used during their lifetime. Others were a kind of posthumous present to send the child to the afterworld with plenty of things to play with. Others — symbolic animal figurines, deities, mythological creatures — had a religious function, to help the deceased with all their ritual needs to ensure a smooth transition to the other side.

Researchers have discovered toys and other articles during excavations at the ancient site, Professor Hasan Kasaoğlu from Atatürk University, who is the excavation leader at Parion, told the Anadolu Agency.

He noted that the toys were presented as “gifts for the dead” children and provide significant information about the sociocultural structure of the period.

For instance, Kasaoğlu highlighted that female figurines were found in tombs belonging to girls, while male figures were found in tombs belonging to boys.

“2,000 years ago girls played with ‘Barbie-like’ dolls, the same way they do now,” Kasaoğlu said, adding that although objects have changed shapes and features, humans have always had the same mentality.

That’s debatable, as this photograph captures rather succinctly:

Other child-sized artifacts have been recovered from the Roman necropolis at Parion. Less than a month ago the team unearthed a tiny earthenware vessel used to feed infants, the ancient version of the baby bottle which looks like a miniature teapot, complete with a wee handle and spout.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Editor’s Note

East Kingdom Gazette - Mon, 2017-10-02 11:24

Five years ago, Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd For, along with a staff of editors, brought the East Kingdom Gazette to life.  During that time, Mistress Catrin managed the site, staff, and content, and brought the Gazette to where it is today.  As of Saturday, October 1, 2017, Mistress Catrin has stepped down, and Lady Tola knitýr stepped into the role of Site Management and Content Editor.  Mistress Catrin will remain on the Gazette staff as the Massachusetts editor.  Lady Tola has been on the Gazette staff for four years, and is looking forward to the challenge of filling Mistress Catrin’s shoes.


Filed under: Announcements

Court Report: Under the Grenewode, August 26, A.S. 52

AEthelmearc Gazette - Mon, 2017-10-02 11:10

From the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of  Æthelmearc, as recorded by Dame Kateryna ty Isaf, Jewel of AEthelmearc Herald as conducted by Lord Arias Beltran del valle at Under the Grenewode hosted jointly by the Barony of Blackstone Mountain and the Shire of Port Oasis on August 26, Anno Societatis LII.

Their Majesties called for Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria to speak about the Arts and Sciences competition that had gone on throughout the day. In this competition, while all submissions were praised for their craftsmanship, two gentles did rise above to earn recognition. Lady Katarina of Twin Moons was named both the choice of the Populace and Their Excellencies of Blackstone Mountain for her blackwork chessboard, and Baroness Cerridwen de Skene was named Royal Choice and Heir’s Choice for her wool embroidery and silverpoint.

Lord Sasson with A&S competition winner Baroness Cerridwen

Their Majesties then gave Lord Sasson a different task: to convey the children’s toy chest from Their presence for the children of the Kingdom to begin their search. After allowing Lord Sasson the traditional head-start, the children were then sent to find him and receive a toy from those offered.

Their Majesties called for Their subject Rhiannon Borror to appear before Them. They noted this gentle’s long history of service to the kingdom as chatelaine and demo coordinator, and for this were They were moved to award her Arms and create her a Lady of their Court.

Rhiannon receives an AoA

Lady Aine ny Allane was next summoned to Their presence. Lady Aine had shown herself to be a presence at many events, recording the events of those she attends in picture form for those who could not be there themselves, and giving of her time to make sure the work of the Kingdom and Society is done and done well. For this did They induct her into Their Order of the Keystone. The scroll is a work in progress.

Lady Aine receives a Keystone

Their Majesties next demanded the presence of Lady Katharine McClung before Them. They spoke of this Lady’s long history of serving her Kingdom and Barony as a scribe and more recently as Onyx Pursuivant and Millrind Herald. Believing her work to be worthy of greater renown, They did then summon Their Order of the Millrind, and bid her join the ranks of the Order as its newest member. The scroll was created by Lady Juliana Ravenshaw.

Lady Katharine receives a Millrind

Their Majesties bade the Order to stay a moment longer as Their business with them was not yet finished. They invited Maestro Orlando di Bene del Vinta to attend Them as well. Citing his service to the kingdom as a vocal  herald, as the Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald to Their Royal Parents, and as a leader in the organization of Their fencing army, They did also name him to a place in Their Order of the Millrind. The scroll was created by Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria.

Maestro Orlando receives a Millrind

Next did Their Majesties summon Lord James Freeman to Their presence. Having succumbed to the exertions of the day in organizing certain activities, he was sent for. While the court waited, Their Majesties asked his mother to come forward that They might praise her for having raised such a hard working son and so that They might confound said son to the merriment of all. Once he appeared at speed, Her Majesty named him Her Inspiration for the day and bestowed upon him a Golden Escarbuncle, for She had seen the fruits of his labors throughout the day and noted the success
of the tournament format in entertaining the populace.

James Freeman receives a Golden Escarbuncle

Their Majesties then invited all those present whose work had contributed to a scroll handed out on the day to rise and be recognized by the populace.

There being no further business before Their Majesties, Their court was then closed.


Categories: SCA news sites

Viking wooden weaver’s sword found in Cork

History Blog - Sun, 2017-10-01 22:37

A Viking-era wooden weaver’s sword has been unearthed in Cork City, Ireland, at the site of the Beamish & Crawford brewery on South Main Street in the historic medieval city center. It’s not really a sword; that’s just the common name for it. It’s more of a utility tool, the blunt side used to hammer down threads on a loom and the pointed end to pick the threads while weaving a pattern.

The perfectly-preserved wooden sword is a little over 30cm in length, made entirely from yew, and features carved human faces typical of the Ringerike style of Viking art, dating it roughly to the late 11th century.

Consultant archaeologist Dr Maurice Hurley said it was one of several artefacts of “exceptional significance” unearthed during recent excavations at the South Main Street site, which also revealed intact ground plans of 19 Viking houses, remnants of central hearths and bedding material.

“For a long time there was a belief that the strongest Viking influence was on Dublin and Waterford, but the full spectrum of evidence shows that Cork was in the same cultural sphere and that its development was very similar,” he said.

“A couple of objects similar to the weaver’s sword have been found in Wood Quay [IN DUBLIN], but nothing of the quality of craftsmanship and preservation of this one,” said Dr Hurley, adding that it was “quite miraculous” how the various wooden items had survived underground in such pristine condition.

Not miraculous, exactly. Just your basic science: waterlogged earth is low in or missing oxygen and the microorganisms that consume organic materials can’t live in that environment. That’s how we get perfectly preserved wooden daggers, textiles, letters written on birch bark, human bodies, etc.

Founded by two businessmen, William Beamish and William Crawford in 1792 by acquiring an even older brewery (there may have been beer made at that location as early as 1500), the Beamish & Crawford brewery sold 12,000 barrels its first year. By 1805, less than 15 years after its founding, it was producing more than 100,000 barrels a year, making it the largest brewery in Ireland and the third largest in the UK. It held that position until 1833 when it was overtaken by Guinness.

In more recent history, B & C’s parent company was bought out by Heineken who shuttered the brewery on South Main in 2009. The buildings were left to their own devices and the inevitable ensued: in 2011, the site was declared derelict. It was still derelict in 2014 when the Heineken and developers BAM Ireland proposed it be turned into a multi-use events space. Cork City Council approved the plans and things seemed good to go, but the project has been beset with delays, overruns and unexpected expenses.

All the archaeological materials found there haven’t exactly helped the construction come in on time and on budget, but they have generated a great deal of excitement and interest. Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Tony Fitzgerald, who was thrilled to have the opportunity to hold the dagger, thinks these discoveries will put Cork’s Viking history on the map for once. Dublin and Waterford get all the attention for their Viking history. The extent and quality of the finds indicate that Cork was similarly settled and influenced by Viking culture.

The artifacts excavated at Beamish & Crawford are now at the National Museum of Ireland where experts are studying them and conserving them to ensure their long-term stability now that they’re no longer in their protective anaerobic environment. There’s a chance they might go on display at the Cork Public Museum in the future, perhaps as part of an exhibition on the Vikings in Cork. The mayor thinks that because interest in the weaver’s sword and other objects is so strong, they might get fast-tracked into an exhibition by February 2018.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

8th c. royal toilet found in Silla palace in Korea

History Blog - Sat, 2017-09-30 22:17

Korean archaeologists have discovered the remains of an 8th century toilet in one of the palaces of the Silla monarchs in Gyeongju, a town of the southeast coast of Korea. The facilities were found by a team from the Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage in the Gyeongju East Palace, a smaller building that was part of the great Dong Palace complex of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). It too was a royal residence and therefore only the butts of the royal family squatted over that fine hole in the floor.

Made from granite, the toilet features an oval opening in the floor about five inches long with large rectangular stones on both sides of it. The flagstones were tilted upward slightly to ensure that one’s feet would not be getting invited to the evacuation party. The hole in the floor leads to a culvert where the waste was carried away.

The Gyeongju National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage said Tuesday that excavation work at a site northeast of the Dong Palace in Gyeongju uncovered a stone flush toilet and draining system inside a stone structure.

It marked the first time for a bathroom structure, toilet and draining system to all be found at an ancient site in South Korea.

The institute explained that the oval-shaped flush toilet, made out of granite, has a drain and two rectangular slab stones on both sides apparently for users to plant their feet on when they are squatting.

An institute official said it appears that human excrement was flushed down the drain by pouring water into the toilet given that the bathroom had no water inflow equipment.

After use, the toilet would be “flushed” by dumping a lot of water into the hole. This is sufficient enough to get it props for being a flush toilet, but it’s a bit of a cheat though, because pouring a bucket of water into a hole cut into granite isn’t really the mechanism we think of as a “flush toilet.”

The rush of water ensured solid waste would move briskly through the culvert which was designed to use gravity as an aid, much like a Roman aqueduct. About 23 feet away from the toilet, the culvert is a foot and a half lower in grade than it is close to it. This incline kept the water (and the many gross things it carried) flowing.

The depth of architectural and engineering analysis of waste management systems at the highest levels of social status and rank in 8th century Korea was possible at this site solely so much of the toilet and disposal structure has survived. This isn’t the first ancient toilet discovered in South Korea. (One at the Iksan royal palace dates to the 7th century; another at the Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju from the 8th century.) Those aren’t complete, however. The palace’s draining toilet survives, but it has no foot slabs and no surviving drainage culvert. Same with the monastery.

The materials are also very different. Granite was an expensive stone, difficult to quarry and carve. It does not appear in the earlier toilet at Iksan or in the much more modest facilities of the temple. This was one ultra fancy toilet. That’s one of the reasons archaeologists are convinced it was intended for use by members of the Silla royal family. They’re hoping to find some organic remains, microscopic intestinal parasites, perhaps, that will lend new insight into the diet, health of the highest echelon of Silla society.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Baron Dominic Receives Chiv Writ at Harvest Raids

AEthelmearc Gazette - Sat, 2017-09-30 10:49

Baron Dominic is sent on vigil today.

Their Majesties Gareth and Juliana issued a writ this morning at Harvest Raids to Baron Dominic Morland to consider elevation to the Order of the Chivalry.

He is now on vigil, as is fellow vigilant THL Thorsol, and both will be elevated at tonight’s Court.

Vivant!

Reporting and photo by Baroness Katja

 

 

 

 


Categories: SCA news sites

Lost temple of Artemis found on Greek island

History Blog - Fri, 2017-09-29 22:04

An international team of archaeologists led by the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece (ESAG) in collaboration with the regional archaeological service have discovered the remains of the long-lost temple of Artemis near the village of Amarynthos on the island of Euboea in Greece.

Under the current director the excavations, University of Lausanne Professor Karl Reber, the team has been searching for the sanctuary since 2007, but they’re the new kids on the block, comparatively speaking. Researchers have been looking in vain for more than a century. The first Swiss archaeologists were invited to explore the ancient city of Eretria for the temple in 1964. Eleven years later, that initial foray cemented itself into a permanent institution when the mission was recognized by the Greek national government as the Swiss School of Archaeology in Athens. The dig has been so successful it has continued for more than 50 years. In 2014, 50 years after the first Swiss excavation broke ground in Eretria, the ESAG team could claim to have cleared the temple of Apollo, a shrine to Athena, the fortifications of the city’s western gate, a theater, luxury villas with elaborate mosaics, Roman-era public baths and a large gymnasium.

The sanctuary of Artemis Amarynthia, however, remained elusive. If it had ever been in Eretria, the Swiss team could find no trace of it. Starting in 2007, they moved further afield to study the environs of the city, territories under its control but not part of the actual city itself. At the foot of the Paleoekklisies hill just over five miles east of Eretria, ESAG archaeologists found a monumental portico dating to the 4th century B.C. that ran along the east and north boundary of an open-air structure.

This summer, the team dug survey trenches inside the portico perimeter in the hope of finding evidence from the most central location that this was indeed the much sought-after sanctuary. They were successful beyond their wildest dreams. They found the remains of a number of structures constructed between the 6th-2nd century B.C. (the period when the temple was at its most active) and an underground fountain made of architectural blocks and the recycled bases of monumental statues. Those statue bases proved to be the smoking gun that identified the temple. They were inscribed with dedicated to Artemis, her twin brother Apollo and their mother Leto.

The inscriptions and the architectural significance of the materials strongly indicate that this was the Artemis sanctuary. That was confirmed by another discovery, not as glamorous as the statue bases, more on the utilitarian side, but just as meaningful to archaeologists: multiple tiles stamped with the name “Artemidos” (meaning “of the Artemis”) inside a rectangular cartouche.

Now, after also finding artefacts with inscriptions, they are sure that they have located the site of the Artemis Amarynthia, which was the end point of the annual procession of people from the once prosperous trading city of Eretrea, 10km away. They held a festival in honour of Artemis, the untameable goddess of hunting in Greek mythology. She was worshipped as the patron goddess of Amarynthos, which takes its name from an Eretrean man who was besotted by Artemis.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Court Report: Æthelmearc Æcademy, June 17, A.S. 52

AEthelmearc Gazette - Fri, 2017-09-29 20:09

From the Scrolls of the Reign of Timothy and Gabrielle, King and Queen of
Æthelmearc, as recorded by Dame Kateryna ty Isaf, Jewel of Æthelmearc
Herald with the assistance of THLady Sophie Davenport, Silver Buccle Herald
in the Shire of Angel’s Keep on June 17, Anno Societatis LII.

In the morning:

Their Majesties called THLady Jacqueline de Molieres before Them.  They
asked her if she was ready to sit vigil this day and receive the counsel of
the Order of the Laurel.  She assented and Their Majesties called forth the
Most Noble Order of the Laurel to take her to a place made ready for her to
sit in contemplation of elevation to the peerage.

Jacqueline de Moliere is sent to vigil.

In the afternoon:

Their Majesties called forth Floki Bjornson.  Finding him to be overall a
very helpful young gentleman who works diligently as a kitchen assistant
and porter for the Shire of Angel’s Keep and beyond, They felt it was right
and just to induct him into the Order of the Silver Buccle.  The scroll is
a work of Lady Gilliane McGill de Verona.

Floki receives a Silver Buccle

Their Majesties called forth rest of the children present so that they
might chase the toy chest from the court.  They called upon the good graces
of Baron Perote Gormal Campbell and asked him to take up the toy chest.
The children were assembled and counselled to take one toy each, beginning
with the youngest child present once they stopped Baron Perote.  The count
being given, they did chase him from the court.

Their Majesties invited Mistress Alicia Langland to speak before the
court.  Mistress Alicia thanked the teachers who made the day so successful
and especially those who were teaching for the first time advising them
that they should see her to receive a pearl for taking on this new
endeavor.  She also thanked the staff of the event for organizing and
running such a fine day.

Their Majesties called Maddalena D’Agostino before Them.  For her many
works, including as tollner, kitchen staff, teacher of nailbinding and
deputy Herald of the Barony of Delftwood, Their Majesties Awarded her Arms
and made her a Lady of the court.  The scroll was created by the hand of
Lady Edana the Red.

 

Maddalena receives her AoA

Their Majesties called for the Rock to be brought forth in court.  A mighty
and impressive runestone was ceremoniously brought forward so that Their
Majesties could find a gentle worthy of carrying this burden.  Their
Majesties then called Bjorn Grimmson to present himself before Them.  They
Awarded him Arms for his work as Head cook for Dayboards, Chamberlain and
overall helper for the Shire of Angel’s Keep as well as his might of arm as
a fencer.  The carved scroll was etched by Lady Felice de Thornton.

Bjorn receives an AoA

Their Majesties called Ulfgrima Tannadotir to attend Them.  Knowing she
serves as the Shire’s Children’s Officer and by taking care of the upkeep
of the Gold Key with a smile for all, They saw fit to make her a Lady of
the court and Awarded her Arms.  The scroll was a work by THLady Julianna
Stafford.

Ulfgrima receives her AoA

Their Majesties called forth Lady Elisabetta Tempesta.  Having seen her
work for her Shire as Seneschal, Exchequer, Feast cook and autocrat, They
felt it right to induct her to the Order of the Keystone.   The scroll was
created by the hand of THLady Elyse le Bref.

Lady Elisabetta receives a Keystone

Their Majesties called Lady Maire ni Cathai O’Connor to attend Them.  To
engage the children of Aethelmearc and hold their attention is a gift this
gentle Lady excels in.   Their Majesties being parents are minded to be
appreciative of such a person and thus inducted her into the Order of the
Keystone. Scroll by Lady Edana the Red.

Lady Maire receives a Keystone

Their Majesties then called forth Lord Snorri skyti Bjarnarsson.   His
leatherworking is of fine detail, his arrows fly true.  For his works of
art including the scabbard he displayed at Ice Dragon, Their Majesties were
moved to induct him into the Order of the Sycamore.  Scroll by Lady Alysoun
of the Debatable Lands.

Lord Snorri receives a Sycamore

Their Majesties call for THLord AELric Ravenshaw to attend Them.  Noting
his attention to detail in his every effort to dress, fight and teach with
authenticity for his German persona and for his teaching of German
longsword techniques, Their Majesties inducted him into the Order of the
Golden Stirrup.  Scroll by THLady Mary Elizabeth Clausen.

THLord Aelric receives a Golden Stirurup and then is surprised with a Writ for the Pelican.

Their Majesties advised THLord AElric Ravenshaw to remain with Them as They
had another piece of business concerning him that needed to be attended
to.  With that, Their Majesties called before them the Most Noble Order of
the Pelican.  For his many years of service to the Shire of Ballachlagen as
well as his work as a scribe, They enjoined THLord AElric to return to Them
with a time and place where he would sit vigil in contemplation of
elevation to the Peerage as a Companion of the Order of the Pelican.  Writ
scroll by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.

Their Majesties called THLady Jacqueline de Molieres to rejoin Them.
Having sat vigil and received counsel, Their Majesties asked her if it was
her wish to continue.  She assented and Their Majesties called for the
Order of the Laurel to attend Them.  They asked for worthies to attest to
her qualifications to for this accolade.  As a Member of the Order of
Chivalry from Atlantia, Sir Bedawyr of Avaricum spoke of the fact that she is an
example of Gentility and Courtesy and chivalric grace.  As Jewel of
Aethelmearc, Lord Conrad Keinast spoke of how befitting it was that her
heraldry was the Dandelion, for her roots run deep.  He advised she was
instrumental in starting the Embroidery Day at Pennsic and sees worth where
others do not.  As a member of the Order of the Pelican, Mistress Alicia
Langland spoke of her generosity of spirit and how she sees a need and
brings others with her to fulfill it.  As a member of the Order of the
Laurel, Master Gille MacDhonuill spoke not only of her skill but also of
her extraordinary ability to teach others as a craftsman does.

Having heard these words and the counsel of the Order of the Laurel, Their
Majesties agreed it was right and fitting to elevate Jacqueline de Molieres
by Letters Patent to the Order of the Laurel.  They called forth for the
regalia of her new station, the Laurel wreath, the Cloak and a Laurel’s
broach for her to be adorned by so that all may know her to be a peer of
the Society.  A scroll was created for her by the hand of THLady Vivienne
of Yardley.  Their Majesties having received her oath of service as a
member of the Order of the Laurel, asked Mistress Jacqueline de Molieres to
bide a moment as They wished the presence of the Order while They completed
another item of business before the court.

THL Jacqueline is made a Laurel

Their Majesties called forth THLord Artemius Andreas Magnus.  The beauty of
his stained glass and lampwork being known throughout the Kingdom, They
advised him that it was Their will that he sit vigil upon a date mutually
agreeable to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Laurel.

Baron Artemius receives a Writ for the Laurel

Their Majesties asked that all scribes who contributed to the scrolls given
during the courts today stand and be recognized.

Her Majesty asked Lady Aurelie NicTurnear to attend Her.  Her Majesty
advised how she was moved by the joyful service of Lady Aurelie to name her
the Queen’s Inspiration of the day and bestowed upon her the Golden
Escarbuncle.

Lady Aurelie receives a Golden Escarbuncle

There being no further business this day, Their Majesties’ court was thus
concluded.

All photos by Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope.


Categories: SCA news sites

“Licking Dog” found in hoard of Roman bronze

History Blog - Thu, 2017-09-28 22:27

Metal detectorists Pete Cresswell and Andrew Boughton discovered a hoard of Roman bronze in Gloucestershire (the exact location is not being disclosed) that includes a figurine of a type never before found in Britain. It’s a free-standing bronze statuette of a dog with his tongue hanging out. Known as a “licking dog” figure, it is believed to have been a symbol of healing and may have some connection to the temple to Nodens, a deity of hunting, dogs and healing, at nearby Lydney Park.

The dog stands at attention, his expression alert and focused upward, like he knows his master has a ball and is waiting for him to throw it. Holes drilled in his paws suggest he was once mounted to a base and there are two more holes on the upper left flank that may have once held pins that were part of the mounting system. There’s also a square hole on its underbelly. Each shoulder is decorated with a sideways teardrop-shaped panel incised with what could be stylized leaf or feather designs.

Cresswell, from Gloucestershire, said: “It’s not every day you come across a hoard of Roman bronze.

“We have been metal detecting for a combined 40 years, but this is a once in a lifetime discovery. As soon as I realised the items were of historical significance I contacted the local archaeology team, who were equally excited by the find.

“It’s a great privilege to be able to contribute to local and British history.”

Archaeologist Kurt Adams, Gloucestershire and Avon Finds Liaison Officer, examined the hoard. He provisionally dated it to the 4th century (318 – 450 A.D.) and the exceptional dog is the only intact piece in the group excepting a coin or two. The other artifacts are all fragments, mostly made of copper alloy. They include pieces of a broken statue of a person wearing an elaborately draped garment, vase and furniture fittings, escutcheons shaped like animal and human heads, handle terminals, bangles, folded up banding from chests or boxes, a little spoon, a hinge and a great many bits and bobs of undeterminate origin. There’s even an inscribed copper alloy plaque broken into four pieces that when puzzled back together reads (V?)MCONIA. It is curved at the back, suggesting that it too was once mounted on something. These fragments appear to have been deliberately cut up or broken, perhaps by a metal worker collecting scraps to melt down for reuse.

Intact or fragment, these objects are of great archaeological significance and require specialized treatment for their conservation and security. They are being kept at Bristol museum for the time being to give experts the opportunity to fully document, photograph and catalogue them. Once that task is complete, the British Museum’s Treasure Valuation Committee will assess the hoard’s full market value and recommend a reward to be paid in that amount, half going to the finder, half the to the landowner.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

Take a 3D tour through Rothwell charnel chapel

History Blog - Wed, 2017-09-27 22:31

Rothwell charnel chapel is the UK’s most complete surviving medieval charnel house, rooms used to contain the bones of the dead to make room in cemeteries for the next generation of corpses. The charnel chapels attached to churches in the Middle Ages weren’t scary places. They were well-lit, clean, sturdily built with permanent access from the exterior (doors, stairways) so the general public could visit and pay their respects to the dead. Rothwell Parish Church built its charnel room under the church and contains the remains of at least hundreds of people who died in the Middle Ages.

It’s difficult to know how many charnel chapels existed in medieval Britain. Historians have generally thought they were fairly rare compared to their frequency on the continent, but researchers from the University of Sheffield think they have located as many as 60, or at least what little is left of them Time and the destruction wrought by the Reformation took an incalculable toll. That’s why Rothwell’s is so significant. One of only two medieval charnel chapels still remaining in situ (the other is St Leonard’s in Hythe, Kent), it is largely intact and still contains human skeletal remains placed there between the 13th and 16th centuries.

Dr Lizzy Craig-Atkins, who led the project from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Archaeology, said: “Rothwell charnel chapel is a site of major international significance. Surviving charnel chapels, with human remains still housed inside, are very rare in England. What is so fascinating about the Rothwell charnel chapel it is that it presents an ideal archaeological resource for researchers to use to advance our understanding of how the remains of the dead were treated during the medieval period.

With so little hard data to go on, many historians thought charnel houses were of minor religious import even in their heyday in England, that they were just places to store bones dug up from the intercutting of new graves or during church construction. The University of Sheffield’s Rothwell Project has upended that belief. It wasn’t until the 13th century that charnel houses and chapels began to be constructed. Before that, dug up bones were reinterred in the new grave or in mass pits. The new charnel spaces of the 13th century were the first time human skeletal remains were kept above ground in meaningful quantities. That’s a major shift in attitude and approach, and it can’t be explained in utilitarian terms because reburying the bones is a lot easier, cheaper and faster than building an above-ground space for them.

Rothwell Project researchers think this shift is connected to the doctrine of Purgatory receiving official Church recognition in 1254. Souls suffering the torments of purgation could be sped on their way to heaven by the prayers and hymns of the living on their behalf. Charnel chapels in mainland Europe are known to have had confessionals and been treated as places or repentance and forgiveness. English charnel chapels also had priests whose duty it was to hear confessions and offer absolution. The Sheffield team thinks all this is linked together, that charnel chapels, like chantries in the churches above them, provided the public with the opportunity to pray for the souls of the departed still locked in purgatory and to avoid the same fate themselves. The rejection of purgatory and confession by Protestants explains why the charnel chapels and their human remains were so cruelly disposed of during the Reformation. The bones were reburied, often in unconsecrated ground, and the rooms either walled up so no trace of them was visible from the outside or reused for random purposes rented out to local merchants for cool storage.

Unfortunately Rothwell charnel chapel is not widely accessible as an archaeological resource, no matter how valuable it might be, because it can’t accommodate human traffic (not of the living kind, anyway) due its delicate preservation conditions. The space is tight, keeping moisture and temperature steady is a challenge, and one false move could irreparably damage the structure and human remains.

In this day and age, there are other options. The Digital Ossuary is a collaboration between the University’s archaeology and computer science departments which has captured the physical space of the charnel chapel, its proportions, where the medieval access points were, high-resolution detail of the bones which will allow osteological study that was previously impossible as well as help determine conservation practices for the long-term preservation of the charnel.

“This new digital resource provides an opportunity for people all over the world to explore the site and helps us to preserve this fascinating window into the past for future generations.” […]

The new digital resource, together with research on the chapel, will be fed into undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for archaeology students at the University of Sheffield.

Archaeologists leading the project are also welcoming the input of researchers who might be interested in working with the model, which has been published via ORDA, the University’s file sharing platform.

And now, without further ado, here is the 3D flythrough of Rothwell Parish Church’s charnel chapel.

Categories: Arts and Sciences, History

On Target: Backyard Backstops Part 2, or The Arrows Stops Here

AEthelmearc Gazette - Wed, 2017-09-27 22:29

Before I begin, I want to thank all of you who reached out to me with your condolences at the passing of my Dad. He got me started in shooting over five decades ago. I’ve never met anyone that had as much experience shooting as he did.

This month I want to do a backstop that’s hanging in the air. Once again, we take five sheets of cardboard and zip tie them together.

Next, add a thin piece of Coroplast, because the cardboard will rip without it.

Now, attach D-rings or carabiners so you can easily clip the target to a rope going from tree to tree. This also allows the backstop to go easily on and off the rope.

I’ve discovered over the years that no matter how hard you pull on the rope, after a while the rope stretches and there is slack, so on the far end of the rope, hang a counterweight to keep it tight. In the picture, that’s roughly 40 lbs. of concrete blocks.

As you can see here, two of the backstops come up out of the ground. The third one hangs in the air. Now it’s a triple-layered backstop.

Next, I have two videos that show how well-layering backstops work. You can see how they absorb the kinetic energy as they catch the arrow and rock back-and-forth.

Finally, another thing you can do for safety in your backyard is use flu-flu arrows. The extra large fletching causes drag that slows the arrow down.

I’ve also been asked about shooting without tips. If you shoot without a tip, it will not penetrate the cardboard, and could throw the balance of the arrow off and break the shaft, which would be very unsafe in your backyard.

This month’s safety tip: marshals and shooters, beware of distractions on the line. In these photos*, the shooter is it at full draw when something behind her gets her attention. As she turns to look, she swings the loaded bow around and has it pointed in the wrong direction. Remember, where the eyes go, the body goes, and the body will bring the bow with it. Never hesitate to call a Hold.

*Thanks to our model, Lady Thalia Papillon, who graciously staged these photos.

In Service,

THL Deryk Archer


Categories: SCA news sites