Source: Googling the Dead Sea Scrolls
I told you all of the cool stuff was happening in Israel.
When I was in graduate school, my professor showed us a newspaper image that he found a bit ridiculous. It featured a scholar holding in one hand a tiny fragment of one of the Dead Sea Scrolls with a pair of tweezers and in the other hand a magnifying glass and lit cigarette.
The world has changed a lot since then.
Nowadays you no longer need to go to a research library or order expensive fascicles to see the Dead Sea Scrolls yourself. You can view them online at the Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library.
Source: After 1,500 years, frankincense returns to the Holy Land in time for Christmas
Our stated purpose is to research and re-create the arts and sciences of Medieval and Renaissance Europe. Well, a botanist in Israel is literally recreating Ancient and Early Medieval agriculture.
In 2005, Dr. Elaine Solowey successfully began growing an ancient date palm from a 2,000 year old seed! Clearly not the type of person to let extinction have its way, Dr. Solowey is now growing frankincense plants that disappeared from Israel 1,500 years ago.
A few months ago, Master Reynard de la Rochefoucauld asked me for help with identifying a Greek coin from Roman Imperial times. It has been a few months, but I think we determined that it was minted during the reign of Severus Alexander.
Move forward a few months as I am searching online for links of interest to SCAdians and I come across the British Numismatic Society—numismatics being the study or collection of currency and related objects—which has published their journal online. And that is not just a small sampling: they have almost every volume dating back to 1903!
Source: British Library: Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog – Exploring Our Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts
Just after Christmas, The British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts blog (@blmedieval) tweeted about their catalog of more than 35,000 public domain images of medieval manuscripts. As of 23 November 2012 they had images from over 4,200 different manuscripts!
If you are into the scribal arts, particularly illumination, this is a literal treasure trove of material. Even if, like me, you lack the skills (or patience) for the scribal arts, this catalog is the next best thing to travelling to the British Library yourself. Unless you know what you are looking for, I recommend checking their virtual exhibitions.
I started with the Arthurian manuscripts. What did you start with?
Source: Temple and sacred vessels from Biblical times discovered at Tel Motza
Ancient Israel is a little early for the majority of the SCA, but how often do we get to discuss a nearly three-millennia-old archaeological find? The story linked above discusses temple ruins discovered near Jerusalem as part of preparations for highway construction! Israeli archaeologists date the ruins to the 8th Century BCE, around the time of King Hezekiah of Judah and the Prophet Isaiah.
Note: I originally came across this story via a Yahoo! article, but chose to link to the Israeli government website because I found the original press release more informative.