Alfred the Great, Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-Saxons, Archaeology, Britain, British History, England, Great Britain, Landscape, medieval warfare, Viking, Viking Age, Viking history
Republished from The Conversation
Aerial view of the Burghal Hidage site of Wallingford with the Thames in partial flood. Outline of the Saxon ramparts and ‘Alfredian’ streetplan is clear. Image courtesy of the Environmental Agency, Author provided
Senior Research Associate in Archaeology, UCL
The Last Kingdom – BBC’s historical drama set in the time of Alfred the Great’s war with the Vikings – has returned to our screens for a second series. While most attention will continue to focus on the fictional hero Uhtred, his story is played out against a political background where the main protagonist is the brooding and bookish mastermind Alfred the Great, vividly portrayed in the series by David Dawson.
Archaeology, Corinth, Denmark, ports, underwater archaeology, University of Copenhagen
Republication from the University of Copenhagen website
Aerial photo of the Western Mole (K. Xenikakis & S. Gesafidis)
Underwater archaeology. In Greece, underwater excavations of Lechaion, ancient Corinth’s partially submerged harbour town, reveal the infrastructure of more than a thousand years of flourishing maritime trade. Researchers from the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports and the University of Copenhagen are using cutting-edge methods to uncover the configuration and scale of the harbour.
Corinth ranked among the most economically and militarily powerful, and enduring, cities of the Greek, Roman and Byzantine periods. The city had an exceptional geographical advantage in the North East corner of the Peloponnese and controlled the Isthmus that facilitated land travel between Northern and Southern Greece, and travel by sea between the Western and Eastern Mediterranean.
Anthropology, Archaeology, Europe, Europeans, Indo-European, linguistics
Republication from the Annual Review of Linguistics
The Indo-European Homeland from Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives
Vol. 1: 199-219 (Volume publication date January 2015)
David W. Anthony1 and Don Ringe2
1Anthropology Department, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York
2Department of Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Archaeological evidence and linguistic evidence converge in support of an origin of Indo-European languages on the Pontic-Caspian steppes around 4,000 years BCE. The evidence is so strong that arguments in support of other hypotheses should be reexamined.
Figure 1 Wheel terms found in Indo-European language branches. Modified with permission from Anthony (1995).
Altaic, Archaeology, Byzantine, Byzantine army, Byzantine Empire, Cavalry, Dumbarton Oaks, medieval warfare, Middle Ages, Military history, Military topics, Slavic
Byzantine iron mail cuirass (Byzantine Museum, Athens, Photo copyright: Giovanni Dall’ Orto).
By Periklis Deligiannis
Continued from PART I
The best time of the year to unleash a campaign against the steppe peoples was February or March, when the nomad horses were not in a good physical condition, due to their stress from the winter weather.
When a Byzantine army defended the imperial territory against the nomad onslaught, it was better for its commander to cover its rear which could be rapidly overtaken by galloping enemy horse-archers, having in the back of the imperial army an impassable for horses geophysical obstacle (rugged terrain, river, marshes etc.). During the battle, the Byzantine frontline should be consisted of infantry spearmen (a sort of pikemen), who pointed their spearheads against the enemy horses. Usually the Byzantine infantrymen could confront the steppe warriors more effectively than the imperial cavalrymen, so the Byzantine infantry and cavalry should not in any way, be severed during the battle against them. The steppe horse-archers usually feared of the Middle Byzantine infantry archers, because their bows had usually a greater range of bowshot than their own nomadic. Both of them (Byzantines and nomads) used types of composite bows (mostly of Hunnic design) but the Middle Byzantine bows were more effective. The tactics of the combined military action of the imperial frontline (infantry spearmen) with the archers of the middle lines of the Byzantine order of battle (who hurled bowshots over the heads of their fellow spearmen), were almost impossible to be encountered by the nomad horse-archers. Generally, the nomads could hardly break a defensive formation of this type, even if they unleashed against it their cataphracts/heavy cavalry (which would be confronted immediately by the enemy heavy cavalry – Byzantine or any other imperial).
From the 6th century and on, the Byzantine Empire had to deal with the Slavic invasion of its territories. The Slavs were led initially by Altaic (mostly Turkic), Sarmatian and other steppe tribes which had been imposed to them as suzerains (sometimes without any Slavic reaction as it seems, due to the military benefits for the Slavs from their cooperation in raids with the powerful nomad cavalry). This is the reason why the Byzantine tactics against them, are dealt in this essay along with the imperial tactics against the Eurasian nomads.