Welcome & Foreward

pantetteri squad

My name is Hunter Ross and I am originally from San Diego. In October of 2012 I flew to England for a postdoctoral project, but had no idea what I was getting myself into.

I was part of an archeological team digging in the Far Forest area of England under the supervision of Dr. Charles Weber. We excavated at two major sites, both were full of artifacts from around 1000 CE during the rule of Æthelred II (or the Unready). Our lead Professor, Doctor Weber, became increasingly unstable during the dig, and we later found out none of the required permits were obtained through the Council for British Archaeology.

far forest coinsDespite his antics, we stumbled upon one of the greatest archeological discoveries of the modern era. We unearthed three chests full of extraordinary scrolls, all of which were over one-thousand years old.

Upon translating the scrolls Professor R.C. Novotny and I discovered it was one complete story. Who wrote this epic tale? Only a cryptic signature was left on the bottom of the last written scroll (it consisted of four stylized A’s). All the illustrations have a unique autograph: a curling letter “A” with a four cleverly veiled within it.

Who was this “A4?” We honestly don’t know, but it is an area of active investigation. Many postulate he was a high-ranking courtier in Æthelred II’s court (or potentially Sweyn I, the Danish sovereign who briefly sat on the English throne in 1013 CE).

Despite the breaches in protocol by Dr. Weber, the coinage and other artifacts (pottery and weapons) found in the Far Forest area are currently being housed at the British Museum on Great Russell Street, London. Inexplicably, there are some in the academic community who shun the scrolls discovery as fraudulent. However, I was there, I saw the chests come out of the ground.

Dr. Weber has disappeared and my career has been blacklisted because of my association with the unearthing of these scrolls. I have come to terms with this, and with the help of Professor Novotny it is now my life’s mission to make sure this heroic tale is made available to the world.

Enjoy! Hunter        (my blog: http://hunterinengland.weebly.com)

“First of all, I was quite taken aback when my old student Hunter Ross called me and explained his amazing adventure. I had recently finished a sabbatical at the Univerzita Karlova v Praze (Charles University in Prague) and decided to stay for an extended holiday. I was reluctant, at first, to even look at his discovery after making some calls to colleagues in England and hearing their doubts about the scrolls veracity. Despite the rocky beginning, I am grateful for my involvement with this project.

Although all the scrolls are from around 1000 CE, I noticed obvious differences in age and wear from chest one to chest three. The scrolls in chest one were older and of better quality paper than those in chest three. This suggests that the author composed them over several decades. Given the markedly deteriorating hand writing of the last few scrolls, the author likely finished the work just before his death.

Translating the eclectic writing was time-consuming. The scrolls have a sprinkling of Latin and Greek, but are mostly an eclectic mix of Old English and distorted Norse, a testament to the stormy relationship between the two cultures at that time. The author was highly educated and well traveled as the themes running through the tale are complex and diverse.

R.C. NovotnyI discovered that the scrolls told one complete story. However, given the length of the writings I wanted to devise a way to preserve the original organization while making it practical for publication.

Therefore, the material in chest one I designated, “Book One.” The collective scrolls in chest two were labeled, “Book Two,” chest three became “Book Three.”

Inside each chest the scrolls were further divided. Groups of scrolls, usually five to ten, were bound by rope and a wax seal. The age and design of the rope are consistent with Middle Age England and obviously made with a rope jack machine (this was a mechanical way to braid together smaller strands to make rope). I arbitrarily decided to designate these bundles as “Chapters.”

To conclude, the contents of each chest became a book, and the cluster of scrolls tied together became chapters. Each scroll had a title, I added a numbering system for convenience. I hope you enjoy this tale, this unbelievable gift, as much as I have.

Sincerely, RC Novotny