Sunday 23 October 2011

Welcome to the Medieval Carnival!

It's my pleasure to host this month’s edition of Carnivalesque, showcasing the best in recent blogging on ancient and medieval history.

However, I’m actually going to start with some stories from prehistory. Something really rather 'ancient', is this piece on Quigley’s Cabinet about artefacts discovered in South Africa that point to the existence of a 100,000-year-old ochre-processing workshop. The History Blog discusses human-inflicted wounds on a 13,800-year-old mastodon skeleton, which prove that 'American hunting is 800 years older than we thought'. And something quite close to my ginger heart, The Ancient Standard tells us that the gene responsible for red hair and freckles may have been found in Neanderthals living 100,000 years ago in Europe.

Stonehenge Thoughts offers a story about a new full geological map of the UK the British Geological Survey, and how this might be of use to those interested in the 'bluestone quarry' at Rhosyfelin and the mystery of the Stonehenge bluestones.

Moving into the early Middle Ages, at Medieval History Geek, Curt Emanuel reviews Nicholas Everett’s Literacy in Lombard Italy, c. 568-774 and Michelle Ziegler discusses childhood illness and mortality in early medieval Ireland, in 'The Mortality of Children, Ireland 683-685' at Heavenfield. 'Even the Bishop of Girona doesn’t always win' writes Jonathan Jarrett at A Corner of Tenth-Century Europe. And what's this? The Staffordshire Hoard blog looks for suggestions and explanations of their 'mystery object'.

A story that has captured the attention of history bloggers this month was the 945th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. Again, this appears on numerous blogs and websites, including the Ordnance Survey blog, Mr Brame’s Blog, Kaye Jones and E.C. Ambrose. The Historical Novel Society asks nine authors to post on the anniversary on their own sites, and collects the posts on the HNS blog.

And another piece of medieval news this month is the research done into the discovery of the UK's first fully intact Viking burial site in Scotland, discussed on Medieval News. I'm glad I can mention this story, as the co-director of the project, Dr. Hannah Cobb, is an archaeology teaching fellow at the University of Manchester (my own institution).

Perhaps one of the most popular 'medieval' stories of the past month has been the reconstruction of the 'Black Death genome', using DNA samples taken from a fourteenth-century plague pit in East Smithfield, London. I won't list all the blogs that pick up the story, as there are many, but among them are Contagions, and MIT's technology review. For Francophone readers, the story also appears on Docbuzz.

Elsewhere, King's College London's Henry III Fine Rolls project offers a week in the life of Henry III: Sunday 16 October to Saturday 25 October 1261. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art blogs about rose hips and their significance in medieval seasonal celebrations at The Medieval Garden Enclosed. And at In the Middle, Karl Steel writes about the Canarian's Ship of Fools.

The British Museum's fabulous Treasures of Heaven Exhibition came to a close on October 9th. Over on the museum’s blog, metalworker Jamie Hall discusses medieval metalwork. The 8th October was the anniversary of the execution (or lynching?) of Cola di Rienzi (killed in Rome in 1354). ExecutedToday marks the date with Rienzi's story.

On Esmeralda’s Cumbrian History & Folklore, Diane McIlmoyle introduces us to the Cappel: Cumbria’s 'spooky black dog'. Haligweorc offers a piece by Derek Olsen on liturgical naming: 'Naming Spiritual Communities in the Sarum Rite'. And there's an introduction to medieval superstitions about revenants at Pure Medievalry.

Finally, although it's not a blog (and a little older than strictly appropriate for this Carnival), I thought this Flickr collection was worth a mention. Juliana Lees has been collecting images of pre-1200 Eastern textiles found in Western churches and cathedrals, with a particular interest in Silk Road influences.

Hope you enjoyed this tour of ancient and medieval blogging. If I've missed anything, leave a comment and let me know. Next month's Carnivalesque will be an early modern edition, hosted by Anchora.

1 comment: