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phrygo-boeotian helmetPhrygoboeotian helmet.

By Periklis Deligiannis

This is a little bit late dedication, but I was just informed about the death of the great Russian archaeologist, academician, historical author and illustrator Mikhael V. Gorelik (Михаил Викторович Горе́лик) who died on January 2015 in Moscow. Gorelik had been one of my favourite scholars and writers. I really admire his lifetime work especially on the study of the warfare of the Eurasian Steppes nomadic peoples.

The Phrygoboeotian (Phrygo-Boeotian) helmet is a case of hybrid helmet used by the Macedonian armies of Alexander the Great and his Successors (Diadochoi and Epigonoi), as the archaeological finds demonstrate – either original pieces or artistic representations.
The Phrygoboeotian helmet was actually the old Boeotian casque with the addition of the peak of the “ethnic” Macedonian helmet known as Phrygian or Thracophrygian.
The Boeotian helmet was a patent of the Boeotians, initially appearing when they manufactured in metal form the shape of their characteristic leather caps. Xenophon in his “Hipparchikos” considers this casque as the ideal one for the cavalry due to its advantages, mainly the fact that it ensures a wide visual range for the cavalryman.



Ηow and where the Viking age began

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Republication from Science Nordic

Viking dragon3Dragon heads in the prows of Viking longships.


By Charlotte Price Persson


The story of the Vikings begins in the year 793 AD, after Norwegian Vikings landed in England on the first official Viking raid. To this day, these fierce raids are the most famous of Viking stories.

Now, a new study suggests a more peaceful start to Viking seafaring — and it all began in Denmark.

Three archaeologists from the University of Aarhus (Denmark) and the University of York (UK) have shown that maritime voyages from Norway to Ribe, the oldest commercial centre in Denmark, occurred long before the Viking age officially began.

The study shows that early Vikings travelled to Ribe in South Denmark as early as 725 AD.

The researchers discovered deer antlers in the oldest archaeological deposits of Ribe’s old marketplace and they turned out to be the remains of Norwegian reindeer.

“This is the first time we have proof that seafaring culture, which was the basis for the Viking era, has a history in Ribe. It’s fascinating,” says Professor Søren Sindbæk, one of the authors of the new study, which has just been published in the European Journal of Archaeology.


Dutch archaeologists discover the location of Caesar’s battle and massacre on the Tencteri and Usipetes tribes

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Republication from the VU University of Amsterdam


Hundreds of skulls and other bones, considered to belong to the massacred Germanics were found in the excavated location (credit: VU University of Amsterdam).

VU archaeologists discover location of historic battle fought by Caesar in Dutch river area

Earliest known battle on Dutch soil.

At a press conference held on Friday 11 December in the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam, archaeologist Nico Roymans from the VU Amsterdam announced a discovery that is truly unique for Dutch archaeology: the location where the Roman general and statesman Julius Caesar massacred two Germanic tribes in the year 55 BC. The location of this battle, which Caesar wrote about in detail in Book IV of his De Bello Gallico, was unknown to date. It is the earliest known battle on Dutch soil. The conclusions are based on a combination of historical, archaeological, and geochemical data.

Skeletal remains, swords and spearheads
It is the first time that the presence of Caesar and his troops in Dutch territory has been explicitly proven. The finds from this battle include large numbers of skeletal remains, swords, spearheads, and a helmet. The two Germanic tribes, the Tencteri and the Usipetes, originated in the area east of the Rhine and had explicitly appealed to Caesar for asylum. Caesar rejected this request for asylum and ordered his troops to destroy the tribes by violent means. Nowadays, we would label such action genocide.
During the press conference, Roymans described in detail the discoveries made in Kessel (North Brabant) and their historical significance. He also showed weapons and skeletal remains from this battle.


The genetic structure of the British population

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Republication from Nature


Each row represents one of the 51 European groups (labels at right) that were inferred by clustering the 6,029 European samples using fineSTRUCTURE. Only European groups that make at least 2.5% contribution to the ancestry profile of at least one UK cluster are shown. Each column represents a UK cluster. Coloured bars have heights representing the proportion of the UK cluster’s ancestry best represented by that of the European group labelled with that colour. The map shows the location (when known at regional level) of the samples assigned to each European group (some sample locations are jittered and/or moved for clarity, see Methods). Lines join group labels to the centroid of the group, or collection of groups (Norway, Sweden, with individual group centroids marked by group number). © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries.


01a, The routes taken by the first settlers after the last ice age. b, Britain during the period of Roman rule. c, The regions of ancient British, Irish and Saxon control. d, The migrations of Norse and Danish Vikings. The main regions of Norse Viking (light brown) and Danish Viking (light blue) settlement are shown. © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries (coastlines).


ΦΡΥΓΟ-ΒΟΙΩΤΙΚΟ ΚΡΑΝΟΣ: μία περίπτωση υβριδικής περικεφαλαίας


phrygo-boeotian helmet

Φρυγο-βοιωτική περικεφαλαία.
Π. Δεληγιάννης
Το φρυγοβοιωτικό κράνος είναι μία περίπτωση υβριδικής περικεφαλαίας που χρησιμοποιήθηκε από τους μακεδονικούς στρατούς του Μεγάλου Αλεξάνδρου και των Διαδόχων και Επιγόνων όπως δείχνουν τα ευρήματα, αυτούσια ή εκείνα που το αναπαριστούν.
Η φρυγοβοιωτική περικεφαλαία ήταν στην ουσία το παλαιό βοιωτικό κράνος με την προσθήκη της κορυφής του «εθνικού» κράνους των Μακεδόνων, γνωστού ως φρυγικού ή θρακοφρυγικού (αποκαλούμενου ενίοτε και «θρακικού», εσφαλμένα κατά την άποψη μας).
Το βοιωτικό κράνος, ευρεσιτεχνία των Βοιωτών όταν εκείνοι απέδωσαν σε μέταλλο το σχήμα του δερμάτινου καλύμματος της κεφαλής τους, θεωρείται από τον Ξενοφώντα στο έργο του «Ιππαρχικός» ως το ιδανικό για το ιππικό λόγω των προτερημάτων του, κυρίως του ότι εξασφαλίζει ευρύ οπτικό πεδίο για τον ιππέα.


Bronze warship ram reveals secrets

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Republication from National Oceanographic Center


Analysis of a bronze battering ram from a 2,000 year-old warship sheds light on how such an object would have been made in ancient times.

Known as the Belgammel Ram, the 20kg artefact was discovered by a group of British divers off the coast of Libya near Tobruk in 1964. The ram is from a small Greek or Roman warship – a “tesseraria”. These ships were equipped with massive bronze rams on the bow at the waterline and were used for ramming the side timbers of enemy ships. At 65cm long, the Belgammel Ram is smaller in size and would have been sited on the upper level on the bow. This second ram is known as a proembolion, which strengthened the bow and also served to break the oars of an enemy ship.