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

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

Proposed Corpora Language Change - Corpora VIII.B.4

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

No sale for Hastings sword

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

History meets entertainment at the Alabama Ren Faire

After 28 years, education is still the number one goal for the Florence, Alabama Renaissance Faire, but that doesn't keep it from being fun. “We keep it very light-hearted,” Faire chairman Billy Warren said. “If it ever quits being light and fun, then I’m out of here. Nothing about the Renaissance Faire ever keeps me up at night.”

West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village to get new house

The West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village in Suffolk, England, with its sunken-featured buildings, has been an important archaeological site since 1965 and a tourist attraction with reconstructed buildings since 1999. Now a new house will be built to replace one that is "beyond repair." (photos)

Anton and Isabeau new Prince and Princess of Calontir

Ingeborg reports that Anton Rhaghelan was the winner of the October 11, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Calontir. Prince Anton was inspired in His endeavor by Isabeau de Beauxyeux.

"Dracula stayed here"

Tokat Castle in Turkey "is completely surrounded by secret tunnels. It is very mysterious,” said archaeologist İbrahim Çetin about the dungeon-laden castle which once held the captive Prince Vlad III the Impaler, AKA Dracula.

Mary, Queen of Scots letter sells for US$28,000

On September 18, 2014, RR Auction, in Boston, Massachusetts, auctioned a private letter from Mary Queen of Scots transferring control of her property, Wassy Castle, located in eastern Champagne, France, to her maitre d'hotel, Jacques de la Montaigne. The letter was sold to a private bidder for US$28,750 (UK£17,472). (photo)

Two Medieval Monks Invent Maps: A lesson in cartography

The Toast website offers an imagined conversation between two monks creating world maps. Start (or end) your day right with Two Medieval Monks Invent Maps, a bit of medieval humor.

What medieval Venice can teach about controlling Ebola

Experts on disease control, working with the Ebola outbreak in Africa, are looking back to medieval Venice to understand how to contain the disease. Dr. Igor Linkov of the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center believes the key is resilience management, "managing physical movement, social interactions, and data collection."

Stefan's Florilegium updates for October 2014

THLord Stefan li Rous has published updates for Stefan's Florilegium for October 2014.

Net-weaving tutorial on Instructables

The Instructables website has an online tutorial for primitive net-making from the carving of the needle to the creation of the net. A PDF is available for Instructables members.

Mysterious Gedi: Kenya's Machu Picchu

In 1927, archaeologists discovered the remains of the fabled city of Gedi deep in the jungles of Kenya, but only recently have they begun to appreciate the advanced nature of the city. (photo)

Early medieval tavern found in Bulgaria

The discovery of "more than 100 glass cups, which were most likely used for drinking wine," has led experts to believe they have found a medieval tavern. The discovery was made at a site in the town of Misioni, Bulgaria.

SCA man defends hearth and home with a spear

Wichita Falls, Texas resident Thomas McGowan had a very bad day recently. He evaded the police by breaking into the home of SCA member Jimmy Morgan Jr., who defended himself with a spear, sending McGowan running into the street and the arms of the law. KFDX Fox-14 has the story.

"Great warrior" unearthed from Russian burial site

An 11th century burial site near Omsk in south western Siberia has revealed the remains of Bogatyr, meaning "great warrior," who lost an arm in his final battle. The "giant," measuring 5'11", was buried with amazing grave goods. (photos)

Soldiers' kits through the centuries

The British newspaper The Telegraph recetly published a history feature showcasing British soldiers' kits through the centuries. The feature consists of a slideshow of the complete set and an annotated list of each item.

A "faire day in Sunbury"

More than one thousand people came out to enjoy the medieval festivities recently when Sunbury Revitalization Inc. (SRI) joined members of the Society for Creative Anachronism to present the Lake Augusta Renaissance Festival in Sunbury, Pennsylvania. Sarah De Santis of Newsitem.com has the story. (photos)

Swansea remembers its medieval past

Officials in Swansea, Wales are trying to bring the city's medieval past to life for citizens and visitors by installing street markers pinpointing major sites in the town. Cemlyn Davies, of the BBC, reports. (video)

Madison, Wisconsin: Hub of geekery and activism

What is it about Madison, Wisconsin that attracts passionate followers of such geek genres as gaming, steampunk and the SCA, and why do such folk become politically active? In a feature article for Isthmus the Paper, Julia Burke interviews gamers and con attendees about their culture and activism.

Dorchester garden produces wealth of medieval pottery

Rosemary Maw's gardening has produced more than just beautiful flowers. Her home, The Old Manor in Stratton, three miles from Dorchester, England, has produced over 100 historical artifacts including "over 150 bottle fragments, almost 20 pieces of medieval jugs, and extensive cobble and flint foundations" from its back garden.

Green Vikings

Artifacts unearthed from an 11th century Viking settlement near Cork, Ireland show evidence that the settlers were good at recycling and land reclamation. A new report, Archaeological Excavations at South Main Street 2003-2005 by Ciara Brett and Maurice F Hurley, has been published by the Cork City Council.

Podcasting the Middle Ages

The Medieval Archives Podcast vault, maintained by the Archivist (Gary) includes a comprehensive list of topics of interest to those who study the Middle Ages. The podcasts are available for download or through RSS subscription or iTunes.

Medieval site with a royal connection

Archaeologists in York, England will have the rare opportunity to investigate a site which has lain undisturbed for nearly 500 years. The Hidden Guildhall investigation will focus on riverside property once the site of the medieval friary visited by the Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III.

Medieval cloister walls found at Merton Priory dig

Merton Priory, in Surrey, England, was founded in 1117 and dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538. In recent years, archaeologists have been excavating the foundations of the Merton Priory Chapter House and have uncovered the priory's medieval cloister walls. (photos)

Barley malting oven found in Northampton, England

A nearly perfectly-preserved barley malting oven from the 13th century has been discovered by archaeologists working on an excavation in Bridge Street, Northampton, England. The construction was found complete with char marks on the hearth. (photo)

Plague burial discovered in Barcelona

Spain in the 14th century was one of the countries hardest hit by the Black Plague, yet no burial of plague victims had been discovered, until now. Recently archaeologists working on the Basilica of Sant Just i Pastor in Barcelona unearthed a burial of 120 bodies "packed like sardines" under the sacristy.

Trust bids to buy Roman fort from the Church

A Roman dig considered "the Pompeii of the North" is being sold in order to keep the site out of the hands of developers. Binchester Roman Town, in Bishop Auckland, England, owned by the Church of England, has drawn a UK£2m bid from the Auckland Castle Trust.

Discovery of large church to shed light on early Czech religious history

Excavations at Prague’s historical Vyšehrad fort have recently revealed a large church, dating to the 11th century. The discovery of such a large building is expected to shed light on the nation’s early Christian history, and "help fill some blank spots on the map of early mediaeval Prague."

Roman soldiers "meditated" in comfort

Finding objects relating to everyday life is common for archaeologists at Vindolanda, the Roman fort near Hadrian's Wall, but the recent discovery of a wooden toilet seat - the oldest known - was special moment.