Stories Of The Paranormal, The Unexplained, And All Things Incredible

October 8, 2011

The Troublesome Turkey in the Tapestry

It is commonly thought that when the Spanish conquistadors invaded Mexico they took a liking to the Aztecs domestic turkeys and brought some back to Spain. That would be in the 1500s.

How then to explain the picture of a turkey in Britain's 230 foot long Bayeux Tapestry, embroidered around the year 1070? Among the animal border gracing the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England is a very turkey-like bird. Some historians claim it is a badly drawn peacock. Others suggest that the Vikings had indeed visited North America in the 1000s and brought the bird back with them.

Then there are the medieval murals that decorate the Schleswig Cathedral in Germany. Turkey. Dating from the late 1200s, once again the bird we love to gobble shows up about 300 years before he had 'officially' immigrated. This one has an explanation though. It came out during an art forgery trial.

"Lothar Malskat was a restorer who was commissioned to work on deteriorating Medieval frescoes in two European cathedrals. Instead of restoring the existing works, he found it easier to simply whitewash over the existing paintings and repaint completely new works on the walls. The project was carried out under the utmost secrecy, and managed to defy detection by the most notable art experts and government officials for years. Being something of an anarchist he added a turkey into the mix." Read more about that here where I stole this paragraph and the turkey picture from.

But there's still the Bayeux Tapestry.


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