After discussion at the barony’s business meeting last week, we are postponing the College of Three Ravens and will not be holding it on February 18, 2023 because of stalled planning and struggles to incorporate a hybrid style of event.
We are working on trying to find a viable site that would allow in person and virtual and accommodate the needs of the event. We are spending this time in between now and the February business meeting research our options as to if/when/where we can successfully hold our annual schola. The decision will be made at the February 21 meeting.
That being said, if you know of any possible sites within our barony, please reach out to me directly with info on the site. Location-wise, it would need to be a site that could possibly accommodate 150+ gentles, with room for fighting and rapier as well as room for multiple class tracks, and a space for court.
Thank you for your understanding and patience. Our most sincerely apologies at the delay and uncertainty of this year’s C3R.
We are so very excited for you to join us on this year’s Journey Reimagined as we celebrate newcomers to the SCA, celebrate those embracing new skills, and celebrate the journeys each of us took to get into our beloved Dream.
Thank you to every teacher, artisan, zoom-moderator, attendee, and member of our wonderful Society for helping to make this event happen!
Lady Elswyth Rosamond (mka Rosalie Mae Carter Hillman) passed away on February 7 at the age of 83. In addition to holding an AoA, she was a member Thescorre’s service order, the Raven’s Feather, and a recipient of Æthelmearc’s Order of the Keystone, also for service.
Her daughter, Brehyres Gwendolyn the Graceful, says she frequently served at troll and as event registration clerk, and sang in Thescorre’s choir, Ravensong.
Her Excellency Dubheasa, Baroness of Thescorre, says “I knew Lady Elswyth as Ro. My first event was C3R (College of Three Ravens) over 20 years ago. I walked into the event, not knowing what to do or where to go. Ro was sitting at Troll, and when I told her I was new, she directed me to the kitchen. I spent that event in the kitchen, making life-long friends. I also spent several events sitting next to Ro at Troll, where I delighted in her knowledge and sense of humor. Because of Ro, I’ve developed my passions of the kitchens and service to Thescorre and Æthelmearc. I am forever grateful I knew Lady Elswyth.”
Dame Aine O’Muirghesan remembers “When I was expecting Emily, I bought Adam tickets to a Mandy Patinkin concert at the Eastman Théâtre for his birthday, the beginning of January. Emily wasn’t due until January 17, so we were good. Except the little stinker came three weeks early. So I needed a sitter, for a newborn baby. Mom (Rosalie) to the rescue! She and Gwen also gifted me with a rocking chair, because they had an extra one, and I should have one to rock my baby. I remember her kindness.”
Mistress Orianna Fridrikskona says: “I remember her working troll and being part of Ravensong. She always had a sweet smile and was a delight to be around and work with.”
Join the Industrious Barony of Thescorre as we partake in our annual wintertime schola, this time with a new twist!
Rediscovering the Dream: It’s the Journey, Not the Destination.
For more information, see the event page.
Class Registration is live and we are now accepting classes for this fabulous event. We cannot run our beloved schola without the work of the amazing teachers throughout the SCA and we’re delighted to offer themed tracks this year that fit our theme of Its the Journey, not the Destination. We’re honoring that spirit of the newcomer (to the SCA) and the novice to our crafts!
Track 1: SCA Newcomers. These are classes geared toward people who have just joined the SCA. These can be about SCA-specific terminology, or clothing that signifies a station/order. What even are the awards? What are the officers and what do they do? Think back to when you joined and teach about something you would have loved to know back then.
Track 2: Novice. For people new to an art/science/activity. These are fondly referred to as “Beginner Classes”. What can you teach the very beginning of? Basic footwork? Simple stitching? Maybe making rice? Whatever you can think of to get someone started on their own journey.
Track 3: Tips and Tricks. These will be classes taught by veterans of an art/science/activity, that offer hacks and helpful hints on how to accomplish that task easier/quicker/better. Maybe it’s a class on how not to burn out, or how to organize a kitchen so that you serve on time. Maybe you have tricks for how to herald a court or how to make a specific award medallion for easy largess. Anything you have done that makes life in the SCA easier and more fun, pass it on!
Track 4: Peer Challenge. We issue a challenge (all in fun, of course) to the Peers of the Kingdom! We want you to try something NEW! Have you been doing service since you joined, but never had time to try out calligraphy? Now is your chance! Have you spent every event in the kitchen, but never had the opportunity to try out fencing? This pause in our SCA lives has allowed us a beautiful moment. We have the chance to think about what we really WANT. We have the grace of this moment to consider WHY we spend our precious little time on THIS hobby. Use this time to explore something new and then share that experience with us. You can do this as a question and answer, a show and tell, even amusing anecdotes about your times trying out your “new thing”. Step off your personal path for just a moment and try a different journey, even just for a short time. We hope it brings you joy and that you find renewed interest in our Dream.
Track 5: Other. Of course, there will be an “Other” category for those who have classes that they would like to share that don’t fit the above categories. We would just ask that you give us a short blurb about how it might fit the theme of “Reimagining the Dream – A New Journey”. You can get creative. It’s kinda what we do.
We, the autocrats of College of Three Ravens (Virtual!) wish to issue forth these Arts and Sciences challenges unto you all!
We know our Kingdom, as well as all other kingdoms who might hear of our missive, is full of skilled artisans! Masters of their crafts! We know this and celebrate you all for it!
And now we ask you to challenge yourself and try your hand at a NEW arts and sciences track, and show us your results! For this year’s College of Three Ravens, we have three A&S tracks that we seek entries to, all within our theme of Reimagining the Dream!
Our categories of competition are:
1st Attempts – anything you have never done before, but always wanted to try out. Share your new found excitement with us!
The Journey – Show us your project, from the earliest learning of the art to as complete as you want to consider it. You don’t need to have a “complete” project for this one, just show your work!
Beauty in Failure – Share your attempts that didn’t succeed. We learn from our mistakes, so this is your chance to help us all learn!
**For all of the categories, be prepared to share your favorite part of the experience, even if it was laughing at yourself when it didn’t work. Help us experience your art through your joy.**
Here begins the Report of the Court of Gareth and Juliana, King and Queen of Æthelmearc at Their Crown Tournament, held in the Barony of Thescorre, October 9, AS 56, Jorundr hinn Rotinn, Silver Buccle Herald, reporting, with the assistance of Silent Herald Mistress Gytha Oggsdottir, Silver Sycamore Herald.
In the morning.
Their Majesties summoned Baroness Amalie Rinehardt before Them to answer a question posed by Their predecessors. Their Majesties called for The Order of the Pelican to attend Them, and take Baroness Amalie to Vigil that she might contemplate joining that order. Baroness Amalie asked Their Majesties to hold the Coronet of the Baroness of Delftwood in trust while she contemplated.
On the field.
Their Majesties summoned before Them Earl Thomas Byron of Haverford and Countess Ariella of Thornbury. King Gareth placed the Heir’s Coronet on Byron’s head, crowning him Prince of Æthelmearc. King Gareth then handed the Consort’s Coronet to Prince Byron who placed the Coronet on Ariella’s head, crowning her Princess of Æthelmearc.
In the evening, joined by Their Heirs Prince Byron and Princess Ariella, and Baron Eldjarn of Thescorre.
Their Majesties invited Master Eric Grenier de Labarre, the autocrat of the day, to address the populace. Master Eric spoke of the two-year adventure in planning this event that was originally intended for AS 54, and the impressive support given by his event staff.
Their Majesties then called for all newcomers to attend Them. As is Their Majesties’ tradition, They gave gifts of mugs to those newcomers to welcome them to the society.
Their Majesties next sought the presence of one Baron Christian Goldenlok, who was instructed to carry the toy chest and deliver gifts to all the youth assembled.
Their Majesties invited the Ladies of the Rose and Garnet present to join them. The Ladies of the Rose spoke of the honor and Chivalry displayed on the field during the day. They invited Lord Gregory Hillson, the current holder of the Shield of Chivalry, and thanked him for his service, and then called upon Posadnik Zvonimir Zadodchikov to attend them. His Chivalry particularly impressed the Ladies of the Rose, so they instructed him to take up the Shield of Chivalry and join the Royal Court. They further wished to give tokens to some of the combatants that impressed them this day and called on THLord Hrafn inn Trausti, Sir Arden Scot, and Lord Tiberious Hostilous Mallous.
Their Majesties summoned Baron Gunther and Baroness Rois of Saint Swithin’s Bog, who renewed their oaths of service and stewardship for their Barony.
Their Majesties next invited Their Chronicler Dame Aine O’Muirghesan who having served a full two terms and an extra bonus year beyond that wished to be allowed to step down. Their Majesties called for Baron Maghnus de Lyons to attend Them. Upon confirming his desire to serve as Chronicler and hearing his oath, they did invest him as Kingdom Chronicler.
Their Majesties next invited Laird Kenneth MacAnleigh, King’s Arts and Sciences Champion, and the Queen’s Arts and Sciences Champion Lady Ilaria Rosati to attend them. Laird Kenneth passed on the regalia and Book of Champions to Lady Alaria so that she might complete her entry before the Kingdom Arts and Sciences Championship to be held at Tavern Brawl in King’s Crossing on October 30.
Their Majesties called The Order of the Chivalry to appear before Them. His Majesty had been delivered the newly finished box of the Chivalry created by Baron Robert of Sugargrove and the accompanying Book of Chivalry by the hands of many of the Kingdom’s scribes. He passed these items to Sir Murdoch Bayne so that they might be passed to Sir Tigernach and then to all new members of the Order of Chivalry as they are created.
Their Majesties summoned Finley to attend Them. Finley assisted Their Graces Maynard and Liadain in bringing much joy and merriment to the Kingdom during a dark time, and for this Their Majesties felt it only right that he join the Sylvan Pack. Scroll by Amalie Rinehardt. Collar by Duchess Runa EikBrandrskon.
Their Majesties spoke to Lord Daven M’Kinnay and commended him on his service as chatelaine in the Barony of Endless Hills.
Their Majesties next called Ascillia Attebroke. Her fighting prowess on the heavy field as well as her assistance water bearing and sewing has been spoken of by many. Thus Their Majesties did Award her Arms. Scroll by Riobard O’Suilleabhain.
Next, Their Majesties called on Torsteinn Olfuss. This gentle also impressed Their Majesties and thus They Awarded him Arms. Scroll illuminated by Anastasie de Lamour with calligraphy by Wat Tuttle.
Their Majesties next sought Lord Torbjörn Sigurdson. Lord Torbjörn is known for assisting with autocratting events and being staff at events, and marshaling on Thrown Weapons ranges in the Barony of Thescorre. For this, Their Majesties did induct him into The Order of the Keystone. Scroll by Gwen Cooke.
Lady Eadaoin Gaelach Rua was next added to the rolls of the Order of the Keystone in absentia for her service as a bard, and as event staff, often being the last to leave the event. Scroll by Caleb Reynolds.
Lady Margareta le Sayre was also added to the Order of the Keystone in absentia for her long service as a cook, retainer, and setting up Æthelmearc Royal encampment at Pennsic. Scroll by Caleb Reynolds.
Their Majesties did next seek Lady Gwen Cooke. They wished to talk of her skill in the scribal arts, which included scrolls that were part of this very Court, and her further skill in embroidery and sewing. For this, They did have her join the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Ekaterina Volkova.
Their Majesties demanded the presence of The Thorsol. Sir Thorsol Solinauga does good art. His Majesty spoke of a cup that Sir Thorsol made that he uses regularly, and his further skill in woodworking. For this Their Majesties did induct Sir Thorsol into the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Renata Rouge.
Their Majesties next wished to talk of the garb worn by THLady Muireann ingen uí Muirchertaig, who looks like she stepped out of a tapestry or portrait, to join us at events. For this, Their Majesties were pleased to induct her as the third recipient of The Order of the Golden Mirror. The scroll is a work in progress by Guisah al-Zakiyya.
Their Majesties next summoned Shaykha Jan al-Tha’lab, known as Fox. Shaykha Jan is known for her work in creating and organizing SASS, which is greatly of service to the martial communities at Pennsic. For this, Their Majesties felt it only right that Shaykha Jan answer to a certain group of people. They summoned Their Order of the Millrind and upon ascertaining that it is indeed their wish that Shaykha Jan join them, Their Majesites did induct her into the Order. Scroll by Mairghead Stoibheard inggean ui Choinne.
Their Majesties did next invite Their Predecessors, Duke Maynard and Duchess Liadain to join Them that They might finish some business initiated by Their Graces. They then called for Baroness Amalie Rinehardt to present herself before Them. After being guided in by a special extra live AELive featuring Maestro Filippo de Sancto Martino and Dame Zofia Kowalewska, guest starring Baron Caleb Reynolds as Pelican IT, words were spoken on Baroness Amalie’s behalf by a member of the populace, THNoble Rhys Penbras ap Dafydd, a member of the Order of the Chivalry, Duke Magnus Tindal, a Master of Defense, Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede, a member of the Order of the Laurel, Mistress Nuzha bint Saleem, a Royal Peer, Duke Timothy of Arindale, a Jewel of Æthelmearc, Countess Caryl Olesdatter, a member of the Order of the Pelican, Kameshima-kyo Zentarou Umakai, and former mentor, Master Alaxandair Ó Conchobhair. Hearing these words, Their Majesties decided to continue, and returned Baroness Amalie’s Coronet as Baroness of Delftwood to her. They heard her Oath as a Meisterin of the Pelican, and presented to her the regalia befitting a Pelican. The ancestral Pelican medallion of Æthelmearc was presented by Dame Zofia Kowalewska for Master Rhion Elandris of Glyndyfrdwy, a family medallion was presented by Mistress Gytha Oggsdottir, a personal medallion was presented by Baintighearna Ania Mhoireach, a cloak was presented by the Shire of Angel’s Keep, and a Cap of Maintenance was presented by Freiherrin Helena Mützhazenin and Posadnitsa Zaritsa Zavodchikovna. Upon reading a scroll by Master Jonathan Blaecstan with words by Master Po Silvertop Their Majesties did declare Meisterin Amalie a Companion of the Pelican and bid her to join her new order.
Their Majesties called for Mistress Alina Marie de Valenciennes to appear before Them. The scroll commemorating her induction to the Order of the Pelican during Their last reign had been delivered so They wished to deliver it to her. Scroll by the hands of Ekaterina Volkova.
Her Majesty wished to speak to Mistress Rioghnach ni Rose. Mistress Rioghnach was Her Majesty’s inspiration this day and so Her Majesty wished to award her a Golden Escarbuncle.
His Majesty wished all who attended this day safe travels and thanked the staff and the Barony of Thescorre for hosting. He further wished to invite any members of the Kingdom that are interested to join Him as he plans to attend Gulf Wars in the spring.
Unto the Known World does the Barony of Thescorre send Greetings!
DO you miss playing in an SCA kitchen with other cooks? Are you sad you won’t be able to sit down to yet another famous College of Three Ravens feast prepared by the Cauldron Bleu Cooks Guild?
We, members of the Barony’s 43-year-old cooks guild, invite you to join us in celebrating our favorite past time; we cordially invite all who are interested in helping us prepare a virtual feast for this year’s C3R.
While we cannot have this event in person, we are provided with the perfect opportunity to have ALL OF YOU “in the kitchen” with us! We are currently choosing period recipes from our favorite places and times, with absolutely no respect given to any semblance of order or plan for a “menu” (this is still a pandemic folks – we can’t be THAT organized).
We have been redacting, cooking, and photographing or video recording our endeavors and sharing them with all of you throughout this month right up until the event on February 28. Our hope is to have quite a fun time learning redactions, techniques, and sharing in each others’ tables.
What we would like from you:
Join the Cook-Along-At-Home Feast page on Facebook. We invite you to choose your own items that you love or have always wanted to make, redact (or choose a redaction that you like, or work with someone you know to create the redacted recipe).
Post your medieval recipe(s), your redaction(s), your process, your photos, videos, etc. Whatever you would like to share with everyone. MISTAKES ARE WELCOME. Please share as you go through the process and PLEASE do not leave out what didn’t work. We are here to learn, to enjoy cooking, and to share with those we love. No one is perfect and food can be pretty, but let’s hear about all of it – the good, the bad, and the ugly. There are no parameters except that you choose an item that interests you and that you work safely (please do not break any rules handed down from the BOD about social distance, etc. This is meant to be done safely in your own space, not as a get- together.)
You are welcome (and encouraged) to safely drop off test batches or extra surplus foods created to your neighbors and local friends, whether SCA or not.
Let’s have some fun! This is open to the entire Known World, so feel free to share far and wide – If you cannot share, but would still like to participate, please email the info to our webminister and she will update for you: webminister AT thescorre DOT org. Just let her know your name and any info you’d like in the post so she can properly credit.
So far, we have honey-glazed carrots and Boxing Day coffins, among other dishes. Thank you to everyone who is cooking along at home with us!
This winter, join the Barony of Thescorre at our annual schola as we move our festivities to a virtual space for the year’s C3R…. The COVID Corvid College of Three Ravens!
We are gathering together on Saturday, February 27, 2021 and using Zoom, Facebook, and our Barony Website to organize and run the event! While we are still physically distanced from one another, this is an opportunity to join in classes, A&S, workshops, bardic activties, feasting, and court from the safety of our homes.
This year, we are celebrating all that we love about the SCA and we have the unique opportunity to share that love with any and all who want to participate. We hope that this virtual format will allow gentles from Æthelmearc and the Knowne World entire to join in our fun as we work to learn together and come together in the safest ways possible.
You must complete the Google forms appropriate (listed below) to get the Zoom log-in information.
To register to attend the event and access the ZOOM Rooms, please fill out this form.
To register to teach a class for C3R, please fill out this form.
To submit an entry for A&S or Largess, please full out this form.
(Entries can be traditional SCA projects OR can be projects you have worked on during the pandemic to help your neighbors using your SCA skills, such as mask making, cooking for neighbors, etc.)
To perform during our feast (singing, playing instruments, or storytelling to name a few things), please contact Torbjorn.
We look forward to seeing everyone in this digital platform this winter when we come together for this year’s COVID Corvid College of Three Ravens!
Baron Sir Athos participating in the fighting at Pax in 2016. Photo by Baroness Katja.
Pax is happening tomorrow and Saturday!
Over the past four months, nearly all current and near-future events and practices across the Known World have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID19 pandemic.
The Barony of Thescorre, however, rather than cancelling its annual summer camping event, Pax Interruptus, decided to move it online to offer a virtual event this weekend.
Although there cannot be in-person heavy fighting, fencing, archery, and thrown weapons as the event has boasted for almost 40 years, there will be online classes, some drumming, a bardic circle, a baronial court, and videos to celebrate past Pax events and Thescorre history throughout the day on Saturday. Numerous Thescorreans provided photographs for the nostalgic slideshows.
For those of you desperately missing the opportunity to see friends and hang out as you normally do at the event, there will be open socializing time available throughout Saturday.
On Friday, the Barony will host a concert by the international minstrel group Wolgemut, famous and well loved for its performances at SCA events like Pennsic and Gulf Wars as well as numerous Renaissance faires and events throughout the world.
Further, to support the merchants who normally offer their wares at the event, there will be a virtual merchants row.
The event will take place in several rooms on Zoom.
According to Their Excellencies Eldjarn and Dubheasa:
It’s important for our SCA community to continue having opportunities to interact, even when required to be physically separate. We may not be able to have our usual martial activities, but we can still see, socialize, and learn from each other. It’s a time to reminisce and continue to acknowledge the contributions of our populace. Sharing goodwill and appreciation is critical to the emotional well-being of many while we must isolate away from our friends and family. We would much rather do so face to face, but for the time being at least, this is what we can do safely. Come join us this weekend.
Friday: 7 p.m., Room 4, Wolgemut concert
Rooms 4, 5, & 6
9:15 to 9:45 a.m.
Virtual Weedwalk with Sadira
Since we can’t gather at the campground, come join me in my garden and field of weeds – I mean “lawn” – for a virtual weedwalk, featuring food, medicine, and tool plants that can be found in this area! Videography by Nuzah.
The revised handout that would have been used for Pennsic 2020 can be accessed online here.
Several poison plant handouts, originally intended for child care students who wanted to open home day care centers, which may be handy for parents in this time of “crisis schooling,” are here and here.
10:00 to 10:50 a.m.
Wash Your Hands! with Gwenhwyvar Thredegold
Making a felted wool soap ball. If you want to play along, you’ll need a bar or two of your favorite soap and some wool roving or felting wool in whatever colors you want.
This is a kid-friendly project!
11:00 to 11:50 a.m.
14th Century Parti-Colored Cotehardie with Gwen Cooke
14th century parti-colored cotehardie history and construction. Have you ever wanted to know a bit about the history of those lovely multi-color dresses we see folks wearing at events? Ever wanted to display your heraldry in an absolutely stunning fashion? Ever wanted to hide geeky references to your favorite things in some of the most comfortable garb you’ll ever own? Come on over to the cotehardie class!
Creating a parti-colored cotehardie with handmade fabric buttons may be just the project you need to undertake. We’ll chat a bit about the history and documentation behind the construction of a parti-colored cotehardie and then I’ll walk through the steps in constructing the garment and how to add little bits of heraldry or other fun moments into your garb (like my Gryffindor-themed red and gold cotehardie). I’ll happily talk through the process as well as how the steps of construction of the dress can also be used to create a parti-colored tunic as well.
The class will discuss history, documentation, the steps to create, and even the hand-sewing techniques that will help your clothing hold up for years of events.
Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Their Excellencies Eldjarn & Dubheasa Sit in State
An open time for gentles to speak with the Baron and Baroness of Thescorre. Their Excellencies will speak to individuals or small groups in turn, so please be patient while waiting in the queue.
1:30 to 3:00 p.m.
Middle Eastern Drumming & Dancing
Raven Raqs Beladi, Thescorre’s longtime drumming and dancing troupe, will hold a casual circle/hafla. Gentles are welcome to listen, dance, or drum along, but please silence your microphones. Chat will be available.
Their Excellencies and Baronial Herald Andrew will address the populace.
Thescorre Fighters Video
An entertaining video created by the Barony’s fighting community that they hope you will find amusing and touching.
Pax Through the Ages – A Slide Show
A compilation of photographs of various activities and gentles at the event over the past several decades.
This Is Thescorre – A Slide Show
A compilation of photographs celebrating the Barony and its people over the past several decades.
An open circle for singers, storytellers, and poets to perform.
In addition, Zoom rooms will be available for free chatting and hanging out at various times throughout Saturday:
Room 4, 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Room 5, 11:00 a.m. to Noon
Room 6, Noon to 5:45 p.m.
Room 5, 3:00 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Finally, the pandemic has taken a huge toll on merchants throughout the Society for Creative Anachronism, many of whom make a majority of their livelihoods at spring and summer events each year. In order to support them and provide visibility, the Barony is hosting a virtual Merchants Row.
Links and business information for various merchants will be available here. The page will go live this weekend and be available through to the end of July (when Pennsic would have occurred). Please support SCA merchants if you can.
No login information will be released through any public social media channels in order to prevent scammers from joining the Zoom rooms.
If you are not on Thescorre’s email distribution list and wish to attend the event, please email Thescorre’s webminister, Baroness Nuzha bint Saleem, at webminister AT Thescorre DOT org.
She can also be reached via direct message on Facebook Messenger at “Melinda DeHollander.”
The Zoom rooms will have waiting rooms associated with them. Baroness Nuzah will admit you as soon as she is able, based on what is happening in the room.
Also note that the login info for Room 4 is different for Friday night than it is for Saturday. Please use the correct info for the correct day.
For more about the event, please see Thescorre’s website here and the event Facebook page here.
For more about Wolgemut, please see their Facebook page here or their website here.
Reporting by Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina (Chris Adler-France)
The Rochester Institute of Technology Center for Imaging Science hosted a lecture on January 23, 2019 by Dr. David Messinger, Director of the Center, and his PhD students, Di Bai and Morteza Maali Amiri, on the Gough Map, the oldest-known surviving map of Great Britain (dated to approximately 1410 C.B.E., completion date).
The lecture discussed recent work performed to learn more about the origins, materials, tools, and uses of the map. The work has been a collaboration between the R.I.T. team and David Howell of the Bodleian Library at Oxford University where the map is housed, Andy Beebe of the University of Durham, and Catherine Delano-Smith and Damien Bove of the University of London (a group composed of physicists/image scientists, a chemist, a material scientist, and two map historians, respectively).
The Gough Map shows all of England and Scotland and part of Ireland. Robert Gough bequeathed it in 1809 to Oxford after acquiring it from the estate of Thomas “Honest Tom” Martin. The map measures about 115 x 56 cm (45 x 22 inches), which is very large for a manuscript of this era. The parchment is about two-thirds sheepskin and one-third lambskin. The seam joining the two can be seen running across Scotland.
The R.I.T. team’s role was to use a nondestructive technique called hyperspectral imaging spectroscopy (which entails hundreds of colors of light as opposed to the red/blue/green light that digital or phone cameras employ) and a lot of sophisticated mathematics while consulting with the greater team to determine what the materials of the pigments and inks were composed of and which areas of the map contained what materials. To achieve this end, the R.I.T. team traveled to Oxford in 2016 and will continue studies there this summer focusing in more detail on the inks.
Henry IV was king at the time of the map’s creation. It includes 654 place names shown as text in boxes or cartouches. What originally appeared to be roads on the map has proven to be distances between these places. However, the reason for gathering this distance data and how it was used remains a mystery.
There are various characters on the map including fish, sea monsters, and boats, and text such as “where King Arthur landed.” These objects and text can be seen in detail at the interactive, searchable version at www.TheGoughMap.
All of the churches and buildings on the map are identical and are illuminated over four pin holes. It is surmised that a template, as was then common in monastic illumination, was used to draw them and held in place by the holes.
The map was extensively revised after about 100 years of use. Further phases of study will be aimed at determining what materials appear to be different due to aging of the original materials or because they were added during later revisions and/or are indeed different pigments or inks.
During the 1600s, there was some damage to the map. The owner was told the text would be restored if he applied red wine on a sponge to those areas. This actually worked for a few weeks and then, due to chemical reactions, completely destroyed the text and images on those areas of the map. This hyperspectral technique was used to reveal the text and illumination that was removed from the map manuscript.
The map has also been featured in Imago Mundi, a cartography magazine whose editor is Dr. Delano Smith , one of the scientists. They are sponsoring a conference this summer and panel on the map seating Dr. Messinger.
The hyperspectral analysis revealed that the Hadrian’s Wall on the map was not composed of the same material as the red text writing. Analysis initially showed there were two different pigments. Further analysis showed that they were both vermillion pigment, however the text was done with no binder and a quill pen whereas the wall was done with a brush and a binder (such as egg white) had been added to the vermillion. Five unique red pigments were identified in use on the map.
Not only do the pigments appear different depending on how they were mixed, they appear different on the various substrates such as sheepskin versus. lambskin parchment.
The R.I.T. team identified five unique green pigments for the open waterways. Were they used to denote tides? Crossing spots? River depths?
They also identified five unique green pigments for the for inland waterways. Were they used for labels? Town signs? Distance markers?
The answers to these questions remain unknown at this time.
The map was created in three phases starting in 1360 C.B.E: first, the outline of Great Britain and Scotland, second, the other towns, and lastly, London.
Regarding the green pigments, one is a mixture of indigo (also known as woad) and a yellow pigment, but hyperspectral analysis showed the yellow is not orpiment. It is an organic yellow. However, it is not believed to be saffron due to the expense. Another possibility is buckthorn yellow and studies in this area will continue. Further analysis discovered verdigris or copper-based green pigment. This discovery was due to the R.I.T team’s work and a new algorithm they developed. The same technique will be used to separate which areas of the map employ iron gall and carbon inks.
There are years of additional analysis and discovery planned for the map and other historical documents including minimizing light exposure from the imaging analysis to avoid possible long term damage, how to analyze pigments by “unmixing” them spectrally, using hyperspectral fluorescence to recover text and damaged areas, automating the process to identify pigments, and creating an affordable imaging system (the two systems at R.I.T. cost about $50,000 each; the goal is $2,000 per unit).
Rochester, N.Y., located in the Barony of Thescorre in AEthelmearc, is establishing itself as the world center for recovery of historical documents, whether they have been damaged by age, smoke, or water or are palimpsests (which are documents where the original text was scraped off from the parchment or other substrate and new text and or illumination applied). The Rochester Cultural Heritage Imaging, Visualization and Education (R-CHIVE) group meets alternately at R.I.T. and the University of Rochester and is a collaboration of university researchers and students from across the globe. They have held conferences for the past two years in Rochester. You can read the full text of Dr. Messinger’s paper (published in SPIE) through a link at the R-CHIVE website.