Friday, December 1, 2017

Secret talent of Henry VIII’s last Queen

Katherine Parr was, in fact, a master of public relations who rallied England behind its King on the road to war, according to an academic who is preparing the first performance in 470 years of the queen’s secret musical work.

Dr. David Skinner, fellow and Osborn director of music at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, is to oversee the 21st century debut of Thomas Tallis’s Gaude gloriosa Dei Mater, with words, written in English, by Parr herself.
The lost manuscript, thought to have belonged to 16th century organist Thomas Mulliner, was used to stuff cracks in the walls of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, possibly by builders ignorant of its significance.

When it was uncovered in 1978, it was identified as being from the six-part Gaude gloriosa, which is among Tallis’s greatest works.

read more here @ National Post

Women in a Temple of Death

Trenches Peru SacrificeArchaeologists have long known that ancient societies on Peru’s north coast killed male prisoners of war and drank their blood in grisly sacrifice ceremonies. Now researchers have found an unusual twist on that scene: the remains of six young women, sacrificed in a ritual in about A.D. 850. Their bones were found under the floor of a mudbrick temple complex in Pucalá, near the city of Chiclayo. The women show no signs of disease and had been wrenched into odd positions. Four lay atop each other in a single grave, and two others rested a few feet away, accompanied by a baby llama. Most are missing rib bones, indicating that their remains were left exposed and that their organs had been eaten by vultures after death, a “purification rite” that the bodies of male sacrifice victims were also subjected to, says archaeologist Edgar Bracamonte of the Royal Tombs of Sipán Museum.

read more here @ Archaeology Magazine

Unravelling the Mysteries of the Tomb of the Red Queen of Palenque

A remarkable tomb dating back to 600 or 700 AD was discovered by Mexican archaeologist Arnoldo Gonzalez Cruz in 1994. When the researchers opened the burial chamber they couldn't believe their eyes… 

The tomb is located inside Temple XIII, among the ruins of the ancient Maya city of Palenque. Excavations were carried out at the temple to discover its construction sequence and the methods used in building it. Works began in 1973 by a team led by Jorge Acosta. He located the space which he called the burial chamber.

The team started to clean the area they believed to be the tomb and discovered a small blocked-up door on the vertical section of the substructure's second level, about 2.80 meters (9.19 ft.) over the level of the Temple Plaza. When they removed the block, they saw a six meter (19.69 ft.) long corridor which led to one of the best preserved galleries discovered in Palenque to date. A few meters later, between the other magnificent corridors and chambers there was a treasure waiting – one which overwhelmed the researchers.

read more here @ Ancient Origins

The Murder of Mary Phagan

On April 26th, 1913, Confederate Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember the armed forces of the Confederacy, most of the stores and business were closed in Georgia, as they were in other Southern states.

However, one of the offices in the National Pencil Company in Atlanta was open that day. Inside, superintendent Leo Frank, a young Cornell University graduate, was working on his financial report and delivering wages to the employees.

One employee, 13-year-old Mary Phagan, stopped by to obtain her wages and what happened to her that day had lasting repercussions for Georgia, the South, and the entire United States. Mary Phagan was murdered in the factory where she worked for only 10 cents per hour. There was an investigation to find her killer, a trial, public outrage, and finally a lynching.

read more here

Vatican unveils frescoes in Catacombs of Priscilla

Newly restored Italian frescoes have revealed what could have been women priests in the early Christian Church.

The frescoes, dating back to between 230 to 240 AD, are housed inside the Catacombs of Priscilla of Rome and were unveiled by the Vatican this week.
A fresco is pictured inside the catacomb of Priscilla in Rome. The catacomb, used for Christian burials from the late 2nd century through the 4th century, reopened yesterday to the public after years of restoration
Proponents of a female priesthood have said that the frescoes prove there were women priests in early Christianity.

The area is often called the ‘Queen of the catacombs’ because it features burial chambers of popes and a tiny, delicate fresco of the Madonna nursing Jesus dating from around 230 to 240 AD - the earliest known image of the Madonna and Child.

read more here @ The Daily Mail

Treasure-filled tomb of Etruscan 'princess' unearthed

Treasure-filled tomb of Etruscan 'princess' unearthed

From The Local:
Excavations of a tomb in northern Lazio dating to around the 8th century BC have uncovered treasures including an amber necklace, a golden Egyptian scarab amulet and rare pottery that archaeologists say likely belonged to an Etruscan princess.

The excavation of the Tomb of the Golden Scarab follows its discovery earlier this year in the archaeological site of Vulci, a former Etruscan city.

Anthropological research helped back the theory that the tomb belonged to a princess within the ranks of the nascent Etruscan aristocracy. A few bones wrapped in precious cloth are all that remains of her.
The excavation of the tomb was carried out in the laboratories of the Vulci foundation in Montalto di Castro near Viterbo.

A group of international archaeologists are set to begin a new digging campaign at the Vulci site in April.

read more here @ The Local

New rooms discovered at Constantine's mother's house

From ANSA:

New rooms have been discovered in the domus (house) of Empress St. Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, in the bowels of the basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme in Rome, officials said Friday.

"These are nothing less than the living quarters of Helen's court ladies," said superintendent Francesco Prosperetti.

"We have shed more light on the main entrance into the domus and better established the divisions between the various rooms," said archaeologist Anna De Santis.

The Basilica di Santa Croce in Gerusalemme or Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and titular church in the Esquilino district of Rome.

According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Christ, including parts of the True Cross, brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Helena. At that time, the Basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem.

Helena ranks as an important figure in the history of Christianity and of the world due to her major influence on her son, who legalised Christianity, helping make it the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. photo: Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

Mummy study reveals clues to girl's story

Who is she, this little mummy girl? Northwestern University scientists and students are working to unravel some of her mysteries, including how her body was prepared 1,900 years ago in Egypt, what items she may have been buried with, the quality of her bones and what material is present in her brain cavity.

Just over three feet long, the little girl's body is swaddled in a copious amount of linen. The outermost wrappings have been arranged in an ornate geometric pattern of overlapping rhomboids and also serve to frame the portrait. The face, painted with beeswax and pigment, gazes serenely outward, her dark hair gathered at the back. She is wearing a crimson tunic and gold jewelry.

read more here @ Popular Archaeology

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Philippa Langley's Quest For The Princes In The Tower

It is perhaps the greatest of all cold cases: who was responsible for the death of the two Princes in the Tower. But historians who believe their disappearance will forever remain a mystery should think again.

Philippa Langley, the historian and screenwriter who spearheaded the Looking for Richard project that resulted in one of the greatest historical discoveries of modern times – the grave of Richard III located beneath a car park in Leicester – is back once more, attempting to crack the case, The Independent can reveal.

“I have three key lines of investigation – two that have never been investigated before,” she said. “There are a couple of European lines of inquiry that are looking very interesting. We do know that [Richard III’s successor] Henry Tudor tried to destroy all copies of Richard’s legal right to the throne, the Titulus Regius. What we don’t know is how much of the other paperwork he destroyed quietly behind the scenes. So, we’re hoping that further [destruction] might not have taken place on the Continent. There might be more information available over there.”

From the Guardian - why the princes will stay buried:
Previously confidential correspondence reveals that the Church of England, with backing from the Queen and ministers, has repeatedly refused requests to carry out similar forensic tests to those used to identify the remains of Richard III this week to see if the bones buried in Westminster Abbey are those of Richard's two nephews.

Buckingham Palace and then home secretary, Michael Howard, were consulted and both the Queen and the minister were in "full agreement" with the church authorities that matter should not be reopened. 

read more here