Archive - 2013

January 9th

Notation Knives

On display at the Victoria & Albert Museum is a rare "notation knife". Each side is engraved with the music and words for a blessing and a "thanks" for the meal.

January 8th

Army departure leaves Roman lifestyle behind

Archaeologists in Devon County, England are pondering the remains of a Roman settlement which thrived after the Roman army left the area for northern conquests.

Hidden Secrets of Tudor Portraits

Portraits of two Elizabethan courtiers, it seems, were painted over Catholic religious paintings.

January 7th

The Cloisters: "An intellectual Coney Island"

In the 1930s philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr. and American sculptor George Grey Barnard collaborated to create “an intellectual Coney Island” in Upper Manhattan. The result was the Cloisters, a complex comprised by elements from five medieval cloisters. Sarah Harrison Smith has written a lengthy feature article for the New York Times on New York's medieval museum.

Tamerlane the Disabled

Tartar warlord Tamerlane may have been the greatest conqueror of all, outshining Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great, but few recognize the fact that the great warrior was severely disabled in his youth. The BBC features Tamerlane in an article for Disability History Month.

January 6th

Experts stumped by Roman earring

The design on a gold earring disc, discovered by a metal detector enthusiast in Keswick, England, has experts stumped. The disc dates to the Roman era and "features a scorpion, phallus, snake and crab." (photo)

Gypsies originated in NW India

A new genetic study published in Current Biology reveals that European Gypsies originated in northwest India and migrated to the Balkan area of Europe in the 6th century. The study was led by David Comas of Spain's Institute of Evolutionary Biology,

January 5th

Boar mount possibly linked to Richard III

Experts are investigating the possibility that a copper-alloy boar mount, discovered near the Thames River in London, might have belonged to King Richard III. (photo)

Roman-era tartan?

A tiny piece of cloak depicted in a Roman statue may be the "the first-ever depiction of tartan". The plaid appears on a bronze statue of the Emperor Caracalla with a bound Caledonian warrior wearing what appears to be tartan trews. The statue was found in the Moroccan city of Volubilis. (video)

January 4th

New Baron and Baroness of Gryphon's Lair announced

Their Excellencies Bianca da Ravenna and Thorvald Ulfhednar, Baron and Baroness of Gryphon's Lair in the Kingdom of Artemisia have announced that, upon stepping down, they will be replaced by Master Defender Vilhelm Silberhammer and Mistress Elizabetha (Bethany) of Windermere.

Public Catalogue Foundation publishes all publicly-owned British paintings

The Public Catalogue Foundation (PCF), together with the BBC, has created a web database of the United Kingdom’s entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership - all 211,861 of them! The works are available on the Your Paintings website.

January 3rd

The souvenirs of Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall in northern England has long been a tourist attraction, but souvenirs, highlighted in a new book by Roman expert David Breeze, shows that the wall attracted tourists soon after it was built. (photo)

How the Teutonic Crusade changed Eastern Europe

"Within a few centuries, the Teutonic warriors led a major ecological and cultural transformation that swept the pagan Baltic tribes into the fold of European Christendom," according to a statement by Stanford University regarding an article by researcher Krish Seetah. The article was published in the November 30, 2012 issue of Science.

January 2nd

Teachers and craftsment needed for Gulf Wars Artisans' Row

Mistress Elizabet de Ross, Artisan's Row Coordinator for Gulf Wars, is in search of instructors and craftsmen for the upcoming 2013 War.

Art historians staggered by loss from Italian earthquakes

During the past few months, medieval and renaissance art and architecture in Italy have taken a pounding from earthquakes which devasted the country's mountain towns, killing over 20 people and damaging or destroying more than 2000 historic churches and buildings.

January 1st

Norfolk metal detectorist finds declared treasure

Several objects dating to the Middle Ages have been declared treasure by the Norfolk Historic Environment Services, including a 6th century brooch, an Anglo-Saxon sword belt mount, and a copper alloy jetton converted to a brooch. (photos)

Fermanagh crannog reveals wealth of Irish history

An archaeological dig at a crannog in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, has yielded a wealth of new insight into the living conditions of medieval families on the artifical island.

December 31st

Constantinian basilica found in Bulgaria

The discovery of a 4th century basilica in Sofia, Bulgaria leads experts to speculate that emperor Constantine the Great might have had plans to create a centre of Christianity in the area.