THLord Stefan li Rous provides updates to Stefan's Florilegium for December 2014.
“Send me a shirt, towel, trousers, reins, and, for my sister, send fabric. If I am alive, I will pay for it,” wrote a 14th century father, Onus, to his son, Danilo, in the block letters of Old Novgorod language on a birch bark scroll. The note, among a dozen others, was discovered recently in the "magicial mud" of Veliky Novgorod, Russia.
Gold was believed to have magical powers in Anglo-Saxon society, which may have led to discovery of special processes to make the metal appear "more golden than gold." These findings are part of a new study of the Staffordshire Hoard which "showed goldsmiths knew how to remove alloyed metals such as copper and silver from the surface of objects."
As the reburial of King Richard III approaches, the city of Leicester, England and Leicester Cathedral prepare for the festivities by calling on the locals to help with fundraising. The diocese has raised only UK£1.9m of the £2.5m cost of the celebration.
September 2014 was a great month for British metal detector enthusiast Derek McLennan. The retired businessman discovered "one of the most important Viking hoards ever found in Scotland" in a field in Dumfriesshire, Scotland. (photos)
In early medieval Italy, "burying the dead facedown was a way to prevent the impure soul threatening the living,” says anthropologist Elena Dellù. This might explain the remains of a teenage girl discovered recently at the complex of San Calocero in Albenga, Italy. (photo)
A team of archaeologists from AOC Archaeology Group, along with members of the community, were intrigued by discoveries resulting from two weeks of excavations near York, England's Guildhall. The workers found artifacts dating from Roman times through World War II, including evidence of a medieval friary.
According to Wikipedia, Lavenham, England "is a village and civil parish in Suffolk, England noted for its 15th-century church, half-timbered medieval cottages and circular walk." Now the town's business forum and parish council plan to apply to UNESCO for a World Heritage grant to "help balance tourism, the local economy and traffic." (photos)
The Bayeux Tapestry famously depicts King Harold II's death by arrow to the eye during the Battle of Hastings, but new evidence may show that the king survived the battle.
Dr Carenza Lewis is well known to audeinces of Channel 4’s Time Team and the BBC’s The Great British Story, but now she has a different role: leading members of the community of Sudbury on an archaeological survey. Lewis heads up the "big dig" organized by the Sudbury Society, the Sudbury History Society, and the Sudbury Museum Trust.
Richard III died before the Reformation, but Leicester Cathedral, where the king will be buried, is staunchly Anglican, facts which should have produced strife. The funeral of a king, however, has brought the two faiths together to offer Richard III a burial "with the dignity befitting his rank."
Master Yehudah nagid ben Yitzhak, Minister of Protocol, reports that at Their Feast of St. Maurus. Their Majesties Vladimir and Petranella of the Kingdom of Northshield placed Peter Joyner (fka Petro Petrovitch) on vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Chivalry.
Twice in seven years, 1274 and 1281, the Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan tried to invade Japan. On one of those missions a ship sank in a typhoon off the island of Takashima. Now arhaeologists hope to learn the secrets of the Mongol warship from the recently-discovered wreck.
Iconic baddie Vlad the Impaler seems to have slept more places than George Washington. The latest claim comes from Turkey which says that the young prince was held captive in a fortress there. Rachel Nuwer for Smithsonian Magazine online has the story. (photo)
Near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem lies a complex of ancient buildings including Ahar Kotlenu a refurbished 14th century caravansary, an inn for caravans, now open to the public. The site includes a 3,500 square feet (325 square meters) grand hall with cross-vaulted stone roof held aloft by six reinforced pillars.
In 1583, the merchant ship Gagliana Grossa sank off the coast of Biogradna Moru, in Croatia. Now the shipwreck has become a subject of study by a group of Texas A&M students led by Filipe Castro, in partnership with Irena Radic Rossi from the University of Zadar. (video)
Renaissance fair enthusiast Larry Steven McQuilliams was killed by police recently after firing more than 100 rounds at the Mexican Consulate and other buildings in Austin, Texas. McQuilliams was reportedly upset by US immigration policy. (photo)
The British Museum has been invaded by witches - at least until January 2015. A new free exhibit, Witches and Wicked Bodies, will look at the history of witches in Great Britain from the 1400s until the Victorian era, and will include artists' renditions, objects of sorcery and magic, as well as artifacts from antiquity depicting famous witches.
In 2013, archaeologists in Janakkala, Finland were thrilled by the discovery of the grave of a medieval warrior in what might be an ancient burial ground or even a settlement. The discovery has sparked enough interest to support more excavations, depending on the results of a recent survey.
Most historian state that Christopher Columbus came to America in 1492, but new evidence, in the form of period parchments, may show that Marco Polo landed on the west coast nearly two centuries earlier.