Archive - Apr 2012 - Story

April 30th

Illuminated treasures from the British Library on YouTube

In a six-part video series available on YouTube, Dr Janina Ramirez "unlocks the secrets of illuminated manuscripts that were custom-made for kings and explores the medieval world they reveal."

Ancient Arabic manuscripts reveal abnormal weather patterns

Modern scientists hope to study global weather patterns with the help of ancient scholars. Using writings from 9th and 10th century Iraq, a team of scientists from the Universidad de Extremadura hope to learn about climate change by comparing ancient and modern data.

Life in A.S. III

Times were simpler in the SCA in A.S. III, as can be seen in an article chronicling Summer Crown Tournament in the West Kingdom (June 23, 1968). The article has been posted by Hirsch on the West Kingdom History website.

Drachenwald Spring 2012 Crown Tourney photos online

Kiriel du Papillon and Raphe Cuthbert report that they have created albums of photos from the Spring 2012 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Drachenwald. Kiriel's photos are available on Flickr, while Raphe's are available on Google.

April 29th

Sweden's National Historical Museum artifacts online

The National Historical Museum of Sweden has created a website showcasing over 500 artifacts from many eras including the Viking Age.

Re-enactors test effectiveness of Viking weapons

How effective were Viking Age weapons? That's what members of Hurstwic, a Viking re-enactment group located in New England, wanted to find out using sharpened weapons and a pig carcass. (video)

Secret message leads to Da Vinci investigation

Cerca trova - "seek and you shall find" is the message hidden in a Florence mural by Giorgio Vasari, long thought to have replaced Leonardo da Vinci's greatest work, leading scientists to use high tech methods to investigate behind the painting. (photos and video)

Viking mice rejected Newfoundland

It appears that Viking mice, which traveled on ships with their human warrior companions, found Newfoundland mostly not to their liking, according to a new study evolutionary biologist Eleanor Jones in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology.

April 28th

800-year-old choir boys don't look a day over 19!

Even though the Thomanerchor of Leipzig in Germany is celebrating its 800th anniversary, its boys don't look a day over 19! Once conducted by Johann Sebastian Bach, the Thomanerchor is considered to be the oldest choir in the world.

Medieval monastery town to be built in Germany

A team of researchers and historians have begun a decades-long project to build a Carolingian monastery town near Messkirch, Germany using only techniques and materials from the 9th century. (photos)

Skeletons halt resurfacing of Scottish road

Authorities have halted resurfacing work around Greyfriars Garden in St. Andrews, Scotland after the discovery of skeletons believed to be Franciscan monks from the 15th century.

Estrella War 2013 dates announced

Their Royal Majesties Craven and Elzbieta of the Kingdom of Atenveldt have announced the dates for Estrella War 2013.

April 27th

The history of the Persian carpet

Persians and Iranians have long been identified with their magnificent woven carpets. An article for Payvand Iran News traces the history of the Persian carpet from 500 BCE to the present, including documentation and artifacts. (photos)

English Brick Coloration: 1500-1650

A study of patterned bricks shows that not all English buildings were of one color. Exteriors and interiors used limewashes as well as different colors of bricks (or even glazed bricks!) to enliven the surface.

13th-Century Food Fights Helped Fuel the Magna Carta

The recent loan and display of a 1297 copy of the Magna Carta at the National Achives allows careful readers to note how food security and free trade prompted English Barons to negotiate with King John.

In Northumberland, moles assist in archaeology

In Northumberland, England, volunteers are sifting through mole hills looking for artifacts from Epiacum, a Roman fort 12 miles south of Hadrian's wall.

April 26th

Post-punk band goes medieval in new album

Sumer Is Icumen In is believed to be the oldest known song in the English language. Now the post-punk band, The Futureheads, is giving the song new life when it is included in their a cappella album Rant, to be released in April 2012.

Bouncy Stonehenge is fun for Druids and kids alike

A giant inflatable replica of Stonehenge is making waves in Glasgow, Scotland. The attraction is part of the Glasgow International art festival.

April 25th

And the horse he rode in on...

Mildenhall Museum in Suffolk, England is expanding to accommodate a new exhibit, the remains of an Anglo-Saxon warrior and the horse he rode in on - or at least with which he was buried - complete with bridle, sword and shield. (photo)

White Hart 2012 photos online

Joseph Piselli reports that he has created an album of photos from White Hart which took place in the Kingdom of AEthelmearc.

All the Queen's eels

For centuries the people of Gloucester, England, have sent a lamprey pie to the reigning royals in celebrations of important occasions. Due to declining numbers, the pie for the Queen's Diamond jubilee will be made from imported lampreys.

A day in the life of a beefeater

John Keohane recently retired as the Chief Yeoman Warder, or Beefeater, of the Tower of London. In a short clip from the documentary On the Road With The Chief Beefeater, Matthew Stadlen discusses the dress uniform. (video)

April 24th

Adapting to change - Viking style

The world seems to be changing very quickly with climate change, economic turmoil and culture wars taking place around the globe. Scientists studying global change believe much can be learned from the Vikings and how they adapted to their turbulent world.

"Everyone needs a silly hat in their life!"

Fans of Lord of the Rings, Vikings or fluffy beards will be glad to learn that they can knit their own dwarven battle helmet, complete with nasals, full beards and braids. (photos)

Elfsea Defender photos online

Caelin on Andrede reports that he has posted an album of photos from Elfsea Defender, which took place recently in the Kingdom of Ansteorra. The photos are available on Flickr.

Feedback from the Board of Directors' Meet-and-Greet Sessions

The Board of Directors has published an open letter addressing questions and comments received recently, including at several Meet-and-Greet sessions held at major events.

April 23rd

Medieval occupations

Modern people are often surprised to find that their medieval ancestors left them a legacy in their occupational surnames. The website What did people do: in a Medieval City? identifies professions of the Middle Ages and what those people did.

Ghent Altarpiece digitized

For the past year, a team of art historians has been working on a conservation project for Hubert and Jan van Eyck’s “Mystic Lamb,” better known as the Ghent Altarpiece. Along with the conservation, the altarpiece has been photographed at extremely high resolution to be released online.

Seven new Peers made at Spring Crown in the Kingdom of the West

Her Grace, Duchess Megan, reports that Their Majesties Uther and Kara of the West Kingdom offered elevation to the peerage to several of Their subjects at the March 25, 2012 Crown Tournament.

Footwear of the Renaissance fighter

John Clements, Director of ARMA (Association for Renaissance Martial Arts), is often asked “What shoes should I train in?” In response, he has written an article on Historical Fencing Footwear available on the group's website. (photos)