Tag Archives: Architecture

Book Review: 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries

Book Review: 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries

(Originally written about 2004, I pretty sure this has been published somewhere, I just can’t find proof)

100 Great Archaeological Discoveries.  Edited by Paul G. Bahn.  Barnes & Nobel Books: New York, 1995.

This book is a fascinating passport into the past.  The clothing, tools and crafts far surpass in skill and detail that a modern person would expect of  “primitive” times.  Concrete bathhouses in the 2nd century AD, intricately tattooed people from 400 BC, a thirty foot stone tower built with an internal staircase created 9,000 years ago and ground ovens over 30,000 years old are just a few of the items left behind by our ancestors.  Mankind ever moves forward, our wealth not based on gold and silver, but the work and discoveries of those that have gone before.  This book gives the combination to the vault of history and lets us take a moment to admire its contents.  Beautifully illustrated, the book is able to be read in short bursts with two or three pages devoted to each discovery.  Skim for the headliners, such as Tutankhamen’s tomb, then go back and read the rest of the articles. You will be amazed at how far we have come.

Applications:  History of Garb, Architecture, Beads & Glasswork, etc… Personas – Viking, Roman, Spanish, Russian.
Cost: $16 through Barnes & Nobel (in 2004).

Book Review: Knights and Castles

Book Review: Knights and Castles

(article submitted for publication in December 2017 to The Phoenix,  Barony of the Sacred Stone)

Knights and Castles. Rupert Matthews. DK Books, a Division of Penguin-Random House: New York. June 2016.

Part of the DK reading series, Knights and Castles is aimed at “L3 – Reading Alone,” about the second to third grade reading levels. Each of the five chapters contains a different subject related to the Medieval times (950 to 1500 ad). Chapter 1 covers the initial wooden forts, including a nice schematic on how to build a Motte-and-Bailey castle. Combined with chapter 2, a reader gets a good idea about the evolution of castles from earthen works through towers to multi-level stone fortifications. Chapter 3 talks about several knights: Sir James Douglas, Sir John Hawkwood, El Sid, and Sir William Marshal. Chapter 5 discusses some of the most famous sieges.

Chapter 4, my favorite, is on monk-knights like the famous Templars and the lesser known orders like Calatrava. I’ve attended some short lectures on the monastic warriors and this book answered some lingering questions.

An informative book, Knights and Castles, is perfect for SCA children, though parents may want to keep it on their own shelves.

Applications: Siege weapons, history, architecture, personas
Cost: $4 cover price, available at Books-a-Million and other locations.