Friday, 26 November 2021

7x7

limerent limerick: help in recognising unhealthy obsessions and how to work one’s way out of intrusive think—hopefully through bawdy rhymes 

there and back again: Gene Deitch’s animated short The Hobbit—the first such adaptation  

roll for perception: a collection of resources, a florilegium from a Society for Creative Anachronism member for the LARP community—via Mx van Hoorn’s cabinet of hypertext curiosities  

avenue of the sphinxes: a restored promenade between Luxor and Karnak opened with fanfare  

opiate for the masses: drug use in Antiquity 

mlhavý: Martin Rak’s fog-draped forests in Saxon-Bohemia—see previously 

here’s mud in your eye: a select glossary of beer and imbibing terminology—via Strange Company’s Weekend Link Dump


 

Sunday, 7 November 2021

facce di bronzo

Via the always superb Everlasting Blört, we are not only introduced to the sensational discovery of the so-called Riace bronzes in the early 1970s but how the Italian mayor of the namesake town is planning a museum and further excavations on the fiftieth anniversary of their recovery from the waves off the Calabrian coast to see if there are more Greek warrior statues yet to be uncovered. Made in the fifth century BCE using the lost wax casting technique are among the few surviving examples of Greek artistry, most being melted down, and were found by accident by a snooping chemist called Stefano Mariottini in 1972 and are conjectured to be either anonymous Delphic soldiers as part of an ensemble monument to the Battle of Marathon or possibly as depictions of Erechtheus, foster son of Athena and legendary king of Athens, and Eumolpus, son of Poseidon and inventor of viticulture.

Thursday, 21 October 2021

newfoundland

The clue possibly lying in the name of the province, researchers, using new dating techniques and studying the remnant of an ancient solar storm, have pinpointed the first transatlantic crossing and settlement of Viking explorers to exactly a millennium hence, nearly five hundred years prior to the voyages of Christopher Columbus, marking the first encounter and reunion with inhabitants of the New and Old World, the aboriginal population having migrated the long way around. A known flare event in the year 992 unleashed a burst of high-energy cosmic rays that left a marker in the growth rings of trees, felled twenty-nine years after the storm whose timber was used for construction of shelters, sod longhouses (reconstruction pictured in L’Anse aux Meadows), demonstrating that the encampment was set up in 1021. The Viking chronology suggested their journey took place in the eleventh century (see also) but before there was no corroborating evidence—which makes one wonder what other truths might be in the epic sagas.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

cyrus charter

Though in possession of the British Museum, the ancient clay cylinder bearing the declaration of king Cyrus the Great, outlining his genealogy and conquest of Babylonia as favourite of the god Marduk and documentation of the end of exile of the Jewish people and allowing them to resettle within the empire was loaned to Tehran on this day in 1971 for a period of sixteen days for the gala celebration of the two-thousand-five-hundredth anniversary of the founding of Persia—see previously, beginning mid-month ten days later. The artefact recovered in 1829 (in Mesopotamia, in modern day Iraq) is considered by many historians as the pioneering attempt to administer and multicultural state with universal human rights and was made the official symbol of Iran in absentia.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

iceman

Discovered on this day in 1991, the human, natural mummy named Ötzi (previously) was found by a pair of German tourist on the east ridge of the Ötztal (Venoste) Alps spanning the Italo-Austrian border believing that this five thousand year old corpse was the remains of a more recently departed mountaineer and immediately summoned the authorities, the forensics department turning the case over to the archeologists. Frozen and exquisitely preserved, scientist were able to study his clothes, shoes and tools as well as the contents of his stomach, bodily composition, toxicity and glean a lot of about his civilisation’s lifestyle, diet and technical prowess.

Sunday, 22 August 2021

wadi musa

Familiar to only a few locals and unknown to the West until its rediscovery on this day in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, the capital of the Nabataeans called Raqmu by its denizens is commonly referred to Petra (Al-Batrāʾ) after its designation as a client state of the Empire after Rome annexed their kingdom as Arabia Petaea.

The settlement in southern Jordan between the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqada is only accessible via a narrow gorge and was a major regional trading hub in antiquity, controlling routes from Gaza to Damascus and onto the Persian Gulf. Accustomed to privation and periods of drought and deluge, the Nabatean city includes advanced methods of gathering and storing rainwater and flood control, allowing the population to thrive and supporting numbers approaching twenty-thousand residents at its height. A marvel of engineering and with many cameos in popular culture, in most years, Petra greets over a million international tourists annually.

Thursday, 12 August 2021

fava beans and a nice chianti

Our gratitude again to Nag on the Lake for the update on this incredibly, impeccably preserved ancient thermopolium (see previously) excavated on the site of Pompeii is opening to the public. With only the wealthy cooking at home, most Romans would have patronised such snack bars, with more than eighty found in the rubble of this ill-fated city alone. Much more to explore at the links above, including an amazing gallery of frescos advertising the menu.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

dama de elche

Discovered just south of the eponymous private estate on this day in 1897, the intricate limestone bust known as the Lady of Elx is a fourth or fifth century BC Punic-Iberian artefact depicting the Carthage goddess Tanit, the equivalent of Astarte—Romanised as Juno Caelestis. Possibly used as a funerary urn, the originally sculpture would have been polychromed and the coils of her elaborate headdress are called rodetes and once featured on the one peseta bank note.

Sunday, 25 July 2021

queenhithe

The Gentle Author of Spitalfield’s Life directs our attention to a new, epic mosaic along the Thames path that illustrates two millennia and more of human history with the estuary’s natural course at the inlet named ‘the Queen’s Harbour’ after Matilda granted around 1104 the establishment of a dock there and the excise of duties on goods delivered. Learn more at the link above, including a treasury of panels from the procession, pictorial chronicle of the ages.

Wednesday, 21 July 2021

bohus fästning

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1WRAqqhDaIFD9vg3_9UnhhjIdLHDaT8UGhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1ua36-ik9Cp_VTv-_saE17Q1KJBQj7LBYCrossing again the large island of Orust to travel inland on the outskirts of Göteborg, we came to the convergence of the Göte Älv (the River of the Geats and basis of the Göte Canal) to Kungälv to visit the ruined bastion once a stronghold of Håkon V. Magnusson to protect trade and defend from incursions at the former Norwegian-Swedish border, guarding the region from 1308 until the peace and territorial re-allotment of 1658. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=19JDyj1pm0Md4LumCU-8M3XMDn_s_8e6rhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1k4PjMsZJcp5YLPtBc8hqjv_QR08mubr9https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1VMV2WmHmeXoAehL-PZ1hspvAECPk23j4https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1HLw9N9QGTRbc83CUm55QRxbFGr7Sr3Wmhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1fKnJDOHSUwfRq-xkaYztk18qIMr--0q1 Besieged no less than fourteen times, the fortress was never taken but allowed to fall into disrepair after it lost its strategic importance. The grounds held a variety of activities for those whose attention is not satisfied with history alone. Afterwards we toured the old town centre with its wooden structures. On the way back to the campsite for one last night’s stay, we stopped at an archeological site called Nedre Hoga—a settlement occupied for the past six millennia but with artefacts, a rune stone (locally referred to as Raimund’s Häll) and Thingstatte or Domarringar—a stone circle once believed to be a seat of justice but now believed to be the setting for funerary rituals that date to the ninth century and the transitional period between the Vikings and the Vandalshttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1FaBqCpxlHiSkRsPasu63nLyy9EWNXpV6https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1s3RYeHpUg87IKJSsKGTHij7ShlQOeO-ihttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1P-sf_dPiukQft4HUf_p08ZYqrTBmsvgA The inscription reads, “I, Haur of Stream, raise this stone for Raimund—the name preceding the translation by hundreds of years just as Hoga’s farm refers to the proto-Nordic term for the mounds of the Iron Age grave-field. We also encountered a few current residents along the way, including a horse masquerading as a zebra, to thwart flies and hooded, I’m given to understand, to let him acclimate to new surroundings.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

fiskeläge

We spent the day exploring more craggy coves and islets that were once crown dependencies granted to fisherfolk to settle and establish maritime industries on the nearby island groups of Orust and Tjörn. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Jy9h7XBx5M1Jpuqo9-gt2fH5dxc2IW_-https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1gLOHBVj_j0iclfgXrW-5yYcFmrqoNSfnhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1UdRfVxcjCKMjWYyuUvK1hj83B1c387IWFirst we came to the anchor community of Henån that once specialised in traditional boat making and continues to supply craftsmanship and expertise to larger yacht and ship manufacturers. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Zu33ieIXD7aj9urGF6gWh9dXSlWs54GOhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1zmwwOsWoNz0C8aek9oK8popGQD0oquZuhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1d5oCBwVp1LKTeUzFu7LCxiHlN7HLLLcqhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1M6iYu5_EFQR67UigX9-pe_Egwvfq_31Jhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1iAYtzFIWWSvu9b9VeNGTJexjKXRRKmsxhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1b81tl5PClqtDySiMuHrEC_OZDlBlE1qdContinuing along the coast with several stops at lagoons and landings in between, we sought today’s catch at a small fish (fisk) market in a town called Mollösund with a vista over the archipelago and looking out to sea with a widow’s walk and a busy marina below. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PwOPr5Mqs6iZL623lOObq1CzM7qfB4onhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1w0pxO4hF2RlbSC65Gd7IEJPKgvXfV0jdhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1hnRD5NMGrZRFK36trkYwxNT2XlRUUmnEhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1i-jqUjUvP_mLNaqVNPve7mBmp0byjHWbhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1hjGvHooBUHtlwxdjjjP4BMxfeQAONE8thttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1jdIvgL6TTt7akVJCDxL8RsvrS4Rp3xyjStopping to marvel at the fjord that clefts the islands, we drove on to an Iron Age archeological site with numerous burial sites and standing stones called Pilane in Klövdal that annually hosts an outdoor exhibition of monumental sculptures, this season showcasing the work of artist Sean Scully and various others. The colossal bust over the ridge was especially transfixing in this natural setting and dramatic, ancient landscape.

Saturday, 17 July 2021

kristinehamn

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1XOBtX9QAxTfEjb4A5NC2W1vHBIviab2Ahttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1n9AB972gW74XGfrKHsQfvlLYzUjQ-RF5Driving a few kilometers to the city on the shore of Lake Vänern—the larger of the two and biggest in all of the European Union, third on the continent, we marveled at the Brick Gothic Kristinehamns kyrka opened in 1858 and informed by a similar construction boom after the Wiesbaden school to my mind. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1n0YqS3GD9FaGJAtz2b7lr-hRCuIdQw22https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1dadNxuLIbHuQayYpEQRzcTYM_UirOx8rhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1_qLx4g0BdhUMo-9ss1wLdQKDr4ym9pJU On the lakefront preceding the harbor, there is a monumental sculpture from Pablo Picasso looking into the blue expanse, the fifteen meter high pillar the artist‘s largest and part of a series called „les dames des Mougins.“ Not overseeing the construction in person, the location of the installation was reportedly a contest between Sweden and Norway, with the latter ultimately conceding. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1IkYqb4zNS_IFzhzfHyLld724548kDBfhhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1mLRLipuGMgLSJ-dhRxVM78ErfBg3eLTh Just outside of town in a meadow of daisies and guarded by a flock of sheep stands the Järsberg Runestone, a bit less verbose than the previous, the inscription is one of the oldest known. Essentially „I made a thing,“ the writing is translated as „Leubaz I am called…I, the earl, write the runes.“

Thursday, 15 July 2021

the stone ship of nässja

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1cKGhWPPSLQjrNB38KYX4iNhZJ4tRsLR-https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1CHHcuKkLl5IuFrGsLfFTPDBz8Fsoj0trThough slightly smaller than the last megalith and not presently on a cliff overlooking the sea, this oval of twenty-four giant boulders near Vastena was nonetheless a pretty remarkable setting to contemplate. Sacred oak in the centre spared, traditional wisdom held that these rings were the tribunal sites for pagan judgments and trial-by-ordeal to be carried out. Subsequent scholarship and excavations suggest that these were burial grounds for tribal chieftains—likely dating from the early Iron Age.
https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1W-wVuVlDHbOpRMtHs5GG13iDilLmGrak

elder fuþark

https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1EME3e0K_iUmPU71K8-AZ872w8vCkgTSehttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1asRT-dloZSBsIUa3v57-U0zk2CAm-rNXhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1Yia7UdIcRvpAowBzvOa17T9JvRr0wt9vAfter visiting the impressive cloister ruins of Avestra, we doubled back before continuing through Östergötland to the village of Rök Whose parish church hosts the famous runestone (Rökstenen, Rundata inscription number 136), the five tonne megalith considered the first written document of Sweden and thus the starting point of recorded history was rediscovered in the nineteenth century as part of the medieval church’s wall. Removing it for study and conservation—revived interest in such artefacts coinciding the 1865 deciphering of the runic alphabet by Norwegian academics retrieving a lexicon lost to the ages, at around seven hundred characters, the inscription represents the longest extant pre-Christian passage and contains a bit of Norde mythology and a reference to the Roman emperor of the latter day rump state—dating the writing to the ninth century. https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1QXoXtRtGb0664uL27MpVkd3KQGas9Y-yhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PlPY2tDeUIc9AWptctz5sZLPTVp5JYKB Most scholars agree on the translation but many forward competing theories on allegorical interpretation. There was also an informative exhibit on runic writing in an outdoor pavilion and signs reminding that the church was open and welcomed one’s visit as well.