Sorry, yes, actual content will return shortly, in the meantime may I distract you with some links? There are a few things I wanted to include in Carnivalesque just gone, and didn’t, because I’d already used content from that source or because it just didn’t fit or whatever, and then there are also a few things that have cropped up since. Here goes!
- Patricia Sutherland is an archæologist in Canada, whom we’ve talked about here before, who appears to be determined to demonstrate contact between Norse settlers and the peoples of the Northern Americas who were there inthe Viking era. Some people think she’s too ready to interpret her findings to fit this theory; either way it’s interesting and Heather Pringle reports on her current work at The Last Word on Nothing, here.
- Not unrelatedly, the loquacious Dr Beachcombing reports on what may actually be a find of Viking-era coinage from New England; it sounds obviously likely to be a hoax, but if so it’s taken twenty-plus years to be identified, so a very long-burning hoax. Intriguing!
- Some Viking stuff is more famous for being found in the British Isles, of course, and among these few more famous than the Lewis Chessmen, about which it has lately been proposed that they were made in Iceland, not Norway as usually reckoned; no less a personage than Alex Woolf is quoted taking this idea by the horns on the New York Times chess blog, Gambit, here (hat tip to Ralph Luker at Cliopatria).
- While we’re still in Scotland, meanwhile, a recent dig at the Moothill at Scone, erstwhile royal capital of the kingdom of Alba, has pushed back the date of the Moothill almost to that kingdom’s inception, as reported here at Medievalists.net. The spokesperson, Oliver O’Grady, calls the finding “the birth certificate of Scotland”. Hmm, I thought that was in Paris… But it’s still an exciting find, however tempting it may be to hype.
- Rather more immediately attractive, however, are the Ethiopian Garima Gospels, a beautifully illuminated codex that was thought to date to the eleventh century but now transpires, says newly-tested radiocarbon, to be from 330X650. This makes it certainly the earliest illuminated manuscript from Ethiopia and must push into the earliest from Christendom overall, mustn’t it? It may also push it back to the era of the monastic founder for whom they’re named, which would be an unusual development to say the least. Full report, and a few images, at The Art Newspaper, here, with a hat-tip to Loose Images, here.
- Then, writing from a not completely dissimilar part of the world, Colleen Morgan at Middle Savagery records what may be the best job interview ever, and, oh yeah, also has some things of deep importance to say about literacy, technology and the supposed ‘death of writing’.
- Lastly, it’s always nice to see that some of my friends know about the Carolingians without me having told them, but imagine if Marnanel used his powers for good!
That’s it for now, back shortly I hope…