Relic Hunter


Students create a replica of an artifact that would have been used in Renaissance time by one of the periods great thinkers along with a write up of why it is important and how its use changed the world. Examples might include Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, Galileo’s Telescope, Kepler’s compass or Gutenberg’s printing press. Some of the following are part of the Relic Hunter Hall of Fame.

"Operation Flushy"
Joel H., Brady K. and Matthew M. 2015.

Sir John Harington, godson to Queen Elizabeth I invented the flushing toilet in 1596.


Harrington proudly showed-off his new invention, and the Queen herself tried it out! She was so impressed it seems, that she ordered one for herself.


His water-closet had a pan with an opening at the bottom, sealed with a leather -faced valve. A system of handles, levers and weights poured in water from a cistern, and opened the valve.

In spite of the Queen's enthusiasm for this new invention, the public remained faithful to the chamber-pot.


These were usually emptied from an upstairs window into the street below, and in France, the cry 'gardez-l'eau' gave warning to the people below to take evasive action. This phrase 'gardez-l'eau' may have been the origin of the English nickname for the lavatory, the 'loo'.


Ellen Castelow, Historic UK.


Printing Press
Wyatt R. 2015.

The printing trade was well established even before Gutenberg's time, using woodblock technology. A sheet of paper was placed on the inked woodblock and an impression taken by rubbing - a complex and time-consuming procedure.

The genius of Gutenberg's invention was to split the text into its individual components, such as lower and upper case letters, punctuation marks, ligatures and abbreviations, drawing on the traditions of medieval scribes. These individual items were then cast in quantity as mirror images and assembled to form words, lines and pages.


John Burland, Gutenberg's Invention.

Il Duomo di Firenze
Carlos S. 2015.

Florence's cathedral stands tall over the city with its magnificent Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The cathedral named in honor of Santa Maria del Fiore is a vast Gothic structure built on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata, the remains of which can be seen in the crypt.


The cathedral was begun at the end of the 13th century by Arnolfo di Cambio, and the dome, which dominates the exterior, was added in the 15th century on a design of Filippo Brunelleschi. A statue to each of these important architects can be found outside to the right of the cathedral, both admiring their work for the rest of eternity.


Lourdes Flores, Visit Florence.







The way Leonardo da Vinci saw it, the problem with the canons of the time was that they took far too long to load. His solution to that problem was to build multi-barreled guns that could be loaded and fired simultaneously.

This idea forms the basis of war inventions like da Vinci’s 33-barreled organ, which featured 33 small-caliber guns connected together. The canons were divided into three rows of 11 guns each, all connected to a single revolving platform. Attached to the sides of the platform were large wheels.


Leonardo Da Vinci's Inventions.

Da Vinci's Machine Gun
Logan R. 2015.