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Talisman for warding off evil spirits in Middle Ages found in Norfolk

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A  silver gilt cross with size 14mm by 12mm (0.5in by 0.4in) from the 15th Century was recently found by a metal detectorist near Wramplingham in Norfolk.

During the Middle Ages, a feared disease named  St Anthony's Fire, affecting both humans and livestock, which caused dreadful symptoms developed in Europe and soon became
widespread.
It was initially believed to be the cause of bewitchment, therefore supersticious people would wear a talisman in the form of a cross in an attempt to ward off the evil spirits.

Norfolk's finds liaison officer for the county's Historic Environment Service, Julie Shoemark said that the symptoms were, amongst others, mania, convulsions, skin lesions and in
the progressive stage, gangrene.

The name St.Anthony's Fire came about after the disease broke out in France and hospitals were specially erected to treat victims. Gaston de la Valloire a nobleman of the Dauphiné,
was the founder of these hospitals and dedicated them to Saint Anthony (c…

106 year old fruit cake in its original packaging belonging to Robert Falcon Scott found

The fruit cake is described as extremely well preserved, looks and smells edible.

A fruitcake dating back to 1910, still neatly wrapped in paper and in its original metal tin packaging has been found.
It is believed that the cake was brought to Antarctica by British Royal Navy Captain, Robert Falcon Scott.
In 1910 he embarked on an expedition named Terra Nova, otherwise known as the British Antarctic Research for the purpose of scientific and geographical exploration. In documentation about the expedition it mentions the exact same brand of fruit cake from Huntley & Palmers as the one which was found.

Robert Falcon Scott and his companions pictured in 1912

Manager of the Antartic Heritage Trust, Lizzie Meek, describes the cake as extremely well preserved, even though the metal tin containing it has deteriorated. It has just a very slight rancid butter smell, but other than that smells and looks edible. Alcohol and sugar are both natural preservatives and the extreme cold climate has assisted in preventing it to spoil.
It is also known that explorers of the Antartic region in present days like to take fruit cake along, as it has a high calorie value which helps to keep energy levels up. The area is known for extreme low temperatures. The lowest temperature recorded is −89.2 °C (−128.6 °F). The annual temperature of the interior is −57 °C (−70.6 °F). In this climate at least 5,000 calories a day is required and even more if you engage in strenuous activity like pulling sleds across the snow.

The cake was found in its original metal tin packaging which corroded with age.

On their journey back to England, Robert Falcon Scott and his entire party perished on 29 March 1912 (aged 43), 150 miles from their base camp and only 11 miles from the next depot as a result of his written instructions not being followed for a planned meeting with supporting dog teams from the base camp. The search party who discovered Scott and his companions also found plant fossils they collected which proves Antarctica was forested in the past and joined to other continents. The fruit cake along with other items were left behind, as there were future plans to return to the location.

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