Monday, June 30, 2014

Mr. Chuckles was hovering around The Wizard's Cauldron to greet Kennedy Ryan

The Wizard says:

The wonderful thing about social networking is meeting fantastic people from around the world. 

Take debut novelist Kennedy Ryan. 
As a native of  Georgia USA - famously, the setting for "Gone With The Wind" - the odds on us meeting would be every long indeed, but through popular romance novelist Katie Oliver, we were introduced and struck up several, often surreal, conversations. 

Through wizardly powers of deduction, I soon discovered she was about to release her debut novel and extracted a promise from her to come around the Cauldron - and here she is. 

I picked up the Wizphone and caught up with her somewhere near Atlanta. She was coy when I asked whether she was sipping Mint Juleps or carrying a lemon parasol.

Read more at:

Follow on Bloglovin

Sunday, June 29, 2014

History Trivia - Union of Kalmar signed

June 30

 296 St Marcellinus began his reign as Catholic Pope. The violent persecution of Roman Emperor Diocletian dominated his papacy.  Also the papal archives were seized and destroyed, but the famous Cemetery of Calixtus was saved by the Christians when they blocked its entrance.

 350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantine dynasty, was defeated and killed in Rome by troops of the usurper Magnentius.

1397 Denmark, Norway & Sweden signed the Union of Kalmar under Queen Margaretha.


Follow on Bloglovin

Everyday I'm shuffling

Follow on Bloglovin

Saturday, June 28, 2014

History Trivia - Globe Theatre in London, England burns to the ground

June 29

512 a solar eclipse was recorded by a monastic chronicler in Ireland.

1194 Sverre was crowned King of Norway.

1509 Margaret Beaufort, mother of Henry VII of England died.

1613 London's Globe Theatre burns down when a theatrical canon is fired during the play 'All Is True'.

1644 Charles I of England defeated a Parliamentarian detachment at the Battle of Cropredy Bridge, the last battle won by an English King on English soil.

Follow on Bloglovin

Friday, June 27, 2014

History Trivia - Fighters of the First Crusade defeat Kerbogha of Mosul

June 28

 548 Byzantine Empress Theodora, wife of Emperor Justinian I, and thought to be the most influential and powerful woman in the Roman Empire's history, died.

767 Pope St Paul I died. His reign was dominated by relations with the Frankish and Lombard kings and with the Eastern Roman Emperor.

1098 Fighters of the First Crusade defeated Kerbogha of Mosul.

1245 First Council of Lyons (13th ecumenical council) opened

. Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, June 26, 2014

History Trivia - Roman Emperor Julian dies, ending the Pagan Revival

June 27

363 Roman Emperor Julian died, ending the Pagan Revival.

678 St Agatho began his reign as Catholic Pope. The great event of this pontificate was the Sixth General Council, the Third of Constantinople which extinguished the Monothelite heresy and reunited Constantinople to Rome.

Follow on Bloglovin

Explorer 99.9 percent sure he found 17th-century wreck at bottom of Lake Michigan

Griffin Shipwreck_Admi.jpg
A debris field at the bottom of Lake Michigan may be the remains of the long-lost Griffin, a vessel commanded by a 17th-century French explorer, said a shipwreck hunter who has sought the wreckage for decades.
Steve Libert told The Associated Press that his crew found the debris this month about 120 feet from the spot where they removed a wooden slab a year ago that was protruding from the lake bottom. Libert believes that timber was the bowsprit of Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle's ship, although scientists who joined the 2013 expedition say the slab more likely was an abandoned fishing net stake.
"This is definitely the Griffin — I'm 99.9 percent sure it is," Libert said. "This is the real deal."
He described the bottomland area as littered with wooden planks that could belong to a ship's bow, along with nails and pegs that would have fastened the hull to the rest of the vessel and what appeared to be sections of a mast.
VIDEO: Hundred-year-old shipwreck found off San Francisco coast
He acknowledged his dive team had found no "smoking gun" such as a cannon or other artifacts with markings identifying them as belonging to the Griffin. But the nails and other implements appeared similar to those from La Belle, another of La Salle's ships that sank near the Gulf of Mexico, Libert said.
He said his organization has sent images of the debris to three French underwater archaeologists who took part in last year's search, and that he hopes state and federal permits can be obtained to excavate in the area in September.
The French team was led by Michel L'Hour, director of the Department of Underwater Archaeological Research in the French Ministry of Culture and an authority on shipwrecks. L'Hour told the AP by email Tuesday that the latest findings were "encouraging" but that more evidence was needed to determine the origin of the items.
"The wooden remains that have been observed could correspond to a wreck," L'Hour said.
They include treenails with wedges and square nails that have some similarity with La Belle's fasteners "and a few other details already observed on wrecks dated in the 17th century," he said.
But he said the artifacts that have been seen could be dated as late as the 19th century and that items such as ceramic shards are needed to provide more certainty.
"We are always interested in participating to assess the site," L'Hour said, adding that the U.S. and France would need to approve any new involvement in the project by his team, which comprises civil officers of the French government.
Dean Anderson, Michigan's state archaeologist, said Monday he hadn't been notified of the find and could not speculate about whether the Griffin had finally been located. Anderson supports the theory that the timber discovered earlier was a fishing apparatus.
The area strewn with debris is roughly the size of a football field, said Brian Abbott of Nautilus Marine Group, who joined Libert's search this month and took sonar readings of the bottomlands. It is near tiny Poverty Island in northwestern Lake Michigan and about 50 feet below the water's surface.
The Griffin is believed to be the first ship of European design to sail the upper Great Lakes. It disappeared with a crew of six on its maiden voyage in 1679 after La Salle had disembarked near the mouth of Wisconsin's Green Bay Follow on Bloglovin

19th Century 'Elixir of Long Life' Found

by Rossella Lorenzi

The elixir of long life is a bitter, alcohol-heavy concoction — if you trust a 150-year-old bottle unearthed at a hotel construction site in New York’s Lower East Side.
The site, once a German beer garden and music hall called the Atlantic Garden, contained hundreds f liquor bottles dating from as far back as the 1850s.

Among them was a greenish glass vial that was believed to help people cheat death.
Intrigued, the team behind the find at Chrysalis Archaeology tracked down the historic recipe in Germany. They found it in a 19th-century medical guide.
The ingredients included aloe, gentian, rhubarb, Spanish saffron, Zedoary (white turmeric), and one part water to three parts alcohol.
“Many of the ingredients are still used in herbal medicine or as natural remedies,” Alyssa Loorya, the president of Chrysalis, told Discovery News.

Aloe has an anti-inflammatory effect, gentian root and powdered rhubarb help digestion, the Zedoary (white turmeric) spice is said to purify the blood and help cell regeneration, while Spanish saffron is used to treat a number of health conditions, including depression.
With the tiny Elixir of Life bottle held less than an ounce, it’s likely that the bitter potion was taken one drop at a time.
Loorya’s team also unearthed another bottle that contained a popular 19th-century medicinal drink.
It was labeled Dr. Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters and it was indeed bitter.

The drink turned out to contain gentian root, orange peel, cinnamon, anise, coriander seed, cardamom seed, peruvian bark, gum kino, grain alcohol, water and sugar.
“We read Dr. Hostetter’s was so popular that it was served by the glass in bars throughout the U.S., including Alaska,” Loorya said.
Since both the Elixir of Life and Dr. Hostetter’s formulas required copious amounts of alcohol as a medium, “it may have been difficult for consumers to determine whether the active ingredients were actually effective,” Loorya added.
To discover the drinks’ actual taste and effects, Chrysalis is planning to brew them by the end of the month.
“We’re hoping to have a tasting party,” Loorya said.
Meanwhile, it is possible to find the “miracolous” recipes on DNAinfo.
Image: The vial containing the Elixir of Long life (left) and the bottle containing Dr Hostetter’s Stomach Bitters (right). Credit: Chrysalis Archaeology.
Follow on Bloglovin

Iron Age Hillfort Open to Tourists This Summer

By Kelly Dickerson
The excavation of the massive hillfort has taken five years.
The 5-year excavation of the hillfort in Leicestershire comes to a close this summer.
Credit: John Thomas/ University of Leicester

This summer, archaeologists are welcoming tourists to explore an ancient British hillfort full of prehistoric artifacts, as the researchers wrap up an excavation at the site.
The fort, called Burrough Hill, was carved into the side of a 690-foot (210 meters) mound in the modern-day English county of Leicestershire during the Iron Age, around 500 B.C., and was used until the third or fourth century A.D. of the Roman period.
A five-year excavation of the site yielded bones, jewelry, pottery and even game pieces. Archaeologists will open the hillfort to visitors on June 29, hosting guided tours that allow people to touch some of the artifacts, and offering Iron Age combat lessons before the dig comes to a close at the end of the summer

Last year, the team discovered a collection of stone tools and pottery that dates back to 2800 B.C. In the final stage of the excavation, archaeologists will investigate what they believe could be a second entrance into the fort.
"We have been surprised by the quantity and quality of the information we have uncovered," John Thomas, co-director of the excavation and archaeologist at the University of Leicester, in England, said in a statement. "It has really painted a new picture of life at Burrough Hill and helped to fit the hillfort into a wider view of Iron Age life across the county that we have steadily developed through other excavations over several decades."
Historians believe most hillforts were built to protect against Roman invaders. The whole fort system discovered at Borough Hill spans 523,000 square feet (48,600 square meters) and includes several ramparts that stand 10 feet (3 m) tall. After the Iron Age, the fort was abandoned as a defense post and then used as a farmstead. Later, it hosted a large medieval festival.
The team of archaeologists hopes the discovery of artifacts, such as pottery and quern stones used for grinding corn, will shed light on the lives of humans living in the Iron Age and help historians better understand the transition from the Iron Age into the Roman period.
The University of Leicester uses the large excavation site at Burrough Hill as a dig training site for archaeology students. The site has been designated a scheduled monument, which in the United Kingdom means it is protected and cannot be changed without government permission.

Follow on Bloglovin

4,000-Year-Old Burial with Chariots Discovered in South Caucasus

By Owen Jarus

 the roof of a 4,000-year-old burial chamber
Here, the roof of a 4,000-year-old burial chamber buried in a Kurgan (mound) in the country of Georgia.
Credit: Photo courtesy Zurab Makharadze

An ancient burial containing chariots, gold artifacts and possible human sacrifices has been discovered by archaeologists in the country of Georgia, in the south Caucasus.
The burial site, which would've been intended for a chief, dates back over 4,000 years to a time archaeologists call the Early Bronze Age, said Zurab Makharadze, head of the Centre of Archaeology at the Georgian National Museum.
Archaeologists discoveredthe timber burial chamber within a 39-foot-high (12 meters) mound called a kurgan. When the archaeologists reached the chamber they found an assortment of treasures, including two chariots, each with four wooden wheels
The team discovered ornamented clay and wooden vessels, flint and obsidian arrowheads, leather and textile artifacts, a unique wooden armchair, carnelian and amber beads and 23 golden artifacts, including rare and artistic crafted jewelry, wrote Makharadze in the summary of a presentation he gave recently at the International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, held at the University of Basel in Switzerland.
"In the burial chamber were placed two four-wheeled chariots, both in good condition, [the] design of which represents fine ornamental details of various styles," Makharadze wrote. Thechamber also contained wild fruits, he added.
While the human remains had been disturbed by a robbery, which probably occurred in ancient times, and were in a disordered position, the archaeologists found that seven people were buried in the chamber. "One of them was a chief and others should be the members of his family, sacrificed slaves or servants," Makharadze told Live Science in an email.
A time before the horse
The burial dates back to a time before domesticated horses appeared in the area, Makharadze said. While no animals were found buried with the chariots, he said, oxen would have pulled them.
many artifacts still remain
Credit: Photo courtesy Zurab Makharadze, cropped by Owen Jarus
Other rich kurgan burials dating to the second half of the third millennium B.C. have also been found in the south Caucasus,said Makharadze in another paper he presented in February at the College de France in Paris. The appearance of these rich burials appears to be connected to interactions that occurred between nomadic people from the Eurasian steppes and farming communities within and near the south Caucasus, Makharadze said.
These interactions appear to have led to some individuals, like this chief, getting elaborate burials. The newly discovered armchair symbolizes the power that individuals like the chief had. "The purpose of the wooden armchair was the indication to power, and it was put in the kurgan as a symbol of power," Makharadze said in the email.
The kurgan was found in eastern Georgia near the municipality of Lagodekhi and was excavated in 2012.
Follow on Bloglovin

Strange Stone Spheres Top List of New World Heritage Spots

By Stephanie Pappas
Mysterious stone spheres dot the Pre-Colombian Chiefdom Settlements of the Diquis in Costa Rica, which is now a World Heritage site.
Credit: © Museo Nacional de Costa Rica / Juan Julio Rojas

Enigmatic archaeological sites in Costa Rica dotted with mysterious stone spheres are among six new spots newly designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The stone sphere sites, on the Diquis Delta in southern Costa Rica, join places like the Great Wall of China and Yellowstone National Park on the list of 1,007 sites designated as World Heritage Sites by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The organization lists places that are "of outstanding universal value," based on criteria such as representing a masterpiece of creative genius, recording testimony of a vanished civilization, or containing exceptional natural beauty.
The U.N.'s World Heritage Committee, currently meeting in Doha, Qatar, announced the additions to the list today (June 23). Other than the Diquis Delta sites, the new honorees include the architectural remnants of a medieval Eurasian city, spectacular landscapes in Vietnam and India, a wildlife sanctuary in the Philippines and a site offering geological evidence of the meteorite collision that killed off the dinosaurs

The new sites are:
1. Bolgar Historical and Archaeological Complex, the Russian Federation: Along the banks of the Volga River, south of Kazan, Tatarstan, is an archaeological site containing the remnants of the medieval city of Bolgar. Built in the seventh century by a civilization called the Volga-Bolgars, Bolgar remained an important town until the 15th century, according to UNESCO. In the 1200s, it was the capital of the Golden Horde, the northwestern region of the Mongol Empire. The Volga-Bolgars converted to Islam in A.D. 922, and the site remains a destination for pilgrimages by Tatar Muslims today.
2. Pre-Colombian Chiefdom Settlements with Stone Spheres of the Diquis, Costa Rica: Consisting of four archaeological sites in the Diquis Delta, this new site encompasses the archaeological remains of human civilization before Europeans arrived in Costa Rica. The sites date to between A.D. 500 and 1500 and include burial sites, paved areas and mounds, according to UNESCO. Most intriguing, however, are the stone spheres that dot the sites. These spheres range in size from 2.3 feet to 8.4 feet (0.7 to 2.57 meters) in diameter, and many remain in the locations where they were placed centuries ago. No one knows how the stones were made — or why. [The 7 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth]
3. Trang An Scenic Landscape Complex, Vietnam: The stunning landscape on the south side of the Red River delta in Vietnam earned this area a place on the UNESCO list. Dramatic limestone peaks and mountainside caves define this region of so-called karst topography. (Karst landscapes are formed when easily dissolvable rocks such as limestone erode into impressive shapes, typically pockmarked with caves.) The caves contain artifacts of human settlement dating back 30,000 years. Today, the site also includes Hoa Lu, the capital of Vietnam in the 10th and 11th centuries, as well as villages, temples and farms.
The Great Himalayan National Park in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh was inscribed in June 2014 as a World Heritage site.
The Great Himalayan National Park in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh was inscribed in June 2014 as a World Heritage site.
Credit: © IUCN/Graeme Worboys
4. Great Himalayan National Park, India: This national park in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh is rich in both beauty and biodiversity. Located in the western Himalayan Mountains, the park's landscapes include low, wet plains, high, dry deserts, mountain peaks and major rivers. Threatened species, including the endangered snow leopard and red-headed vulture, call this park home. This site is extremely important for biodiversity conservation, according to UNESCO.
5. Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, Philippines: The iconic Philippine eagle and the striking white-and-red Philippine cockatoo make their homes in this species-rich sanctuary, which runs north-south along the Pujada Peninsula of the Philippines. At least 11 endangered vertebrates live in the range, along with dozens of species that can be found nowhere else on Earth.
6. Stevns Klint, Denmark: The striking white chalk cliffs on Denmark's island of Zealand aren't just beautiful. They're paleontological wonders. These cliffs are made of rocks set down at the end of the Cretaceous and the beginning of the Tertiary 65 million years ago. A layer of ash likely marks the spot in time when a meteorite crashed half a world away in Mexico, filling the atmosphere with sun-obscuring dust and probably killing off the dinosaurs. This 9-mile-long (15 km) stretch of cliffs is the longest, best-exposed geological site showing this boundary between eras, according to UNESCO.
In addition to the six new sites, UNESCO expanded three existing World Heritage sites. These expanded regions include the South China Karst site, which will now be 124 acres (50,000 hectares) larger. This site, on the list since 2007, encompasses a stunning karst landscape in four provinces in southern China.
The second extension was granted to the Białowieża Forest on the border of Belarus and Poland, which has been a World Heritage Site since 1979. Here, primary forest provides shelter for the European bison, which was once hunted to extinction in the wild. Now reintroduced, the bison is Europe's largest land animal.
Finally, UNESCO extended the Dutch and German Wadden Sea World Heritage Site, which has been on the list since 2009. This expanse of wetlands and mud flats sits in the southeastern North Sea and is home to hundreds of thousands of birds, as well as seals and other species.
Follow on Bloglovin

History Trivia - Pied Piper leads 130 children out of Hamelin, Germany

June 26,

221 Roman Emperor Elagabalus adopted his cousin Alexander Severus as his heir and received the title of Caesar.

363 Emperor Julian, the last Roman emperor to oppose Christianity, died in Mesopotamia at age 32, while fighting the Persians. General Jovian was proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield.

684 Pope St. Benedict consecrated. The consecration of Benedict was delayed nearly a year until Byzantine Emperor Constantine IV could approve his election.

1284 the legendary Pied Piper led 130 children out of Hamelin, Germany.

1409 Western Schism: the Roman Catholic church was led into a double schism as Petros Philargos was crowned Pope Alexander V after the Council of Pisa, joining Pope Gregory XII in Rome and Pope Benedict XII in Avignon.

1483 Richard III was crowned king of England after declaring his nephews Edward and Richard illegitimate. 

1498 Toothbrush invented
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, June 25, 2014