Medieval kids’ doodles on birch bark
Here’s something very special. In the 1950s archeologists made a great discovery near the city of Novgorod, Russia: they dug up hundreds of pieces of birch bark with all sorts of texts written on them. The 915 items are mostly letters, notes and receipts, all written between 11th and 15th century. Among the more notable scraps is a marriage proposal from a man called Mikita to his beloved Anna: “marry me - I want you and you want me, and the witness to that is Ignat Moiseev” (item 377).
The most special items, however, are the ones shown above, which are from a medieval classroom. In the 13th century, young schoolboys learning to write filled these scraps with alphabets and short texts. Bark was ideal material for writing down things with such a short half-life. Then the pupils got bored and started to doodle, as kids do: crude drawings of individuals with big hands, as well as a figure with a raised sword standing next to a defeated beast (lower image). The last one was drawn by Onfim, who put his name next to the victorious warrior. The snippets provide a delightful and most unusual peek into a 13th-century classroom, with kids learning to read - and getting bored in the process.
More information - On the scraps in general, see here. Here is a full inventory, in Russian. On the excavation, see here and here. More kids’ doodles here and here. Some letters in this Flickr stream.
Ahhhhh, this is awesome!!!!
Kaige the Canadian Timber Wolf. ♂
First ever wolf pelt, I actually won him on eBay from a seller in the UK who imported him from Canada a few years ago. He has his papers and I genuinely didn’t think I’d ever get a wolf. The joy I felt that day I realised I won him will probably not be felt ever again, and while I was kind of hoping for a bigger wolf, I am not at all displeased with Kaige, I love him to bits and I’m very happy to have him. x)
I had made an attempt to rehydrate and reshape his face but due to the age of his tan he started to rip so I decided it wasn’t worth loosing him. I fixed the rip with a bit of fabric glue and felt that’s a similar colour to his tan.
The fence is brand new hence why it’s not painted yet D;