mediaevalist: (Gryff)
A single article, but two doses of history in one.

Early edition of Magna Carta has been found in a Victorian scrapbook.
The discovery has come months ahead of the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in Runnymede in 1215.

Kent archivist Dr Mark Bateson had been asked to search for another charter from the town of Sandwich.

Dr Bateson found the town's Charter of the Forest in a Victorian scrapbook in Kent County Council archives - with the long-forgotten Magna Carta edition.

The document was ripped with about a third missing but could still be worth up to £10m, according to Professor Nicholas Vincent, a specialist in medieval history from the University of East Anglia.

Its high value comes from the fact that it was found with the Charter of the Forest. The only other such pair - dating from 1300 - in the world is owned by Oriel College, Oxford.
mediaevalist: (Funney!)
This 3,500-Year-Old Dagger Made a Really Great Doorstop

The History Blog reports that a farmer in Norfolk, England, unearthed a bent piece of bronze while plowing a field. He put it to work as a doorstop, and it served that purpose for more than a decade. Eventually, the farmer started thinking about getting rid of the four-pound thing. But a friend convinced him to ask an archaeologist about its origins before consigning it to the local dump.

That’s where things get interesting—because the farmer's doorstop wasn’t trash at all. Experts have identified the piece as “the Rudham Dirk," a bronze ceremonial dagger dating from 1,500 B.C.
mediaevalist: (King Arthur as a girl)
I have been extraordinarily lazy about this blog, but nothing in news has really grabbed me enough to feel it warrants a post. But this? You betcha.

A skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of English king Richard III.

Experts from the University of Leicester said DNA from the bones matched that of descendants of the monarch's family.

Lead archaeologist Richard Buckley, from the University of Leicester, told a press conference to applause: "Beyond reasonable doubt it's Richard."

Richard, killed in battle in 1485, will be reinterred in Leicester Cathedral.


The painstaking process itself is utterly fascinating, as well. A major piece of English history recovered through some very interesting science.
mediaevalist: (Default)
Early medieval royal stronghold discovered on Trusty's Hill in southwest Scotland

Recently, historians have started to doubt that the Pictish stone carvings were genuine, since the carvings are rather far from the historically Pict-controlled lands in the north-east.

The Galloway Picts Excavation did indeed uncover an early mediaeval Pictish fort on the site, with considerable evidence of ritual activity.

The Galloway Picts Project has more information on the ongoing excavations.
mediaevalist: (Philosophy)
Wow, it's been a while. I remember this site from years back. It's gone now, apparently, but just about all the pages are archived for our convenience. Huzzah!

Some of the stuff on general New Age beliefs like Wicca aren't entirely accurate, but the primary function here is historical and cultural preservation. Nothing against Wiccans, but they're perfectly capable of defending their own religion. But there's a number of points on the essay which got me there that I feel need addressing. Kaathryn MacMorgan, while stressing the need to do all the research, trips up and commits that very same mistake when it comes to the Holy Church here. As we like to tell people who claim they distrust "organised religion", our comeback is always "So do I! That's why I'm Catholic!" And we have nothing on Judaism in that regard.

Onward into what's probably just a repeat of anything C. S. Lewis already addressed )
mediaevalist: (Default)
'Witch's cottage' unearthed near Pendle Hill, Lancashire

Complete with the bones of a cat bricked into the wall, probably buried alive. Poor kitty.

Engineers have said they were "stunned" to unearth a 17th Century cottage, complete with a cat skeleton, during a construction project in Lancashire.

The cottage was discovered near Lower Black Moss reservoir in the village of Barley, in the shadow of Pendle Hill.

Historians are now speculating that the well-preserved cottage could have belonged to one of the Pendle witches.

The building contained a sealed room, with the bones of a cat bricked into the wall.

It is believed the cat was buried alive to protect the cottage's inhabitants from evil spirits.

...

Simon Entwistle, an expert on the Pendle witches, said: "In terms of significance, it's like discovering Tutankhamen's tomb.

"We are just a few months away from the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, and here we have an incredibly rare find, right in the heart of witching country. This could well be the famous Malkin Tower - which has been a source of speculation and rumour for centuries.

"Cats feature prominently in folklore about witches. Whoever consigned this cat to such a horrible fate was clearly seeking protection from evil spirits."
mediaevalist: (King Arthur as a girl)
Scientists discover source of rock used in Stonehenge's first circle

Scientists have succeeded in locating the exact source of some of the rock believed to have been used 5000 years ago to create Stonehenge's first stone circle.

By comparing fragments of stone found at and around Stonehenge with rocks in south-west Wales, they have been able to identify the original rock outcrop that some of the Stonehenge material came from.

The work - carried out by geologists Robert Ixer of the University of Leicester and Richard Bevins of the National Museum of Wales - has pinpointed the source as a 70 metre long rock outcrop called Craig Rhos-y-Felin, near Pont Saeson in north Pembrokeshire. It's the first time that an exact source has been found for any of the stones thought to have been used to build Stonehenge.


However, the debate on whether the stones were quarried and transported by prehistoric humans, or whether glaciers eroded the stones and carried them to the general area where Stonehenge stands today.

June 2015

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