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The expansion of Roman rule in Asia Minor

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The expansion of Roman rule in Asia Minor from Shepherd’s Atlas of World History.

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Early farmers from across Europe directly descended from Neolithic Aegeans

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Republication from biorxiv.org

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Zuzana Hofmanová, Susanne Kreutzer, Garrett Hellenthal, Christian Sell, Yoan Diekmann, David Díez del Molino, Lucy van Dorp, Saioa López, Athanasios Kousathanas, Vivian Link, Karola Kirsanow, Lara M Cassidy, Rui Martiniano, Melanie Strobel, Amelie Scheu, Kostas Kotsakis, Paul Halstead, Sevi Triantaphyllou, Nina Kyparissi-Apostolika, Dushanka-Christina Urem-Kotsou, Christina Ziota, Fotini Adaktylou, Shyamalika Gopalan, Dean M Bobo, Laura Winkelbach, Jens Blöcher, Martina Unterländer, Christoph Leuenberger, Çiler Çilingiroğlu, Barbara Horejs, Fokke Gerritsen, Stephen Shennan, Daniel G Bradley, Mathias Currat, Krishna Veeramah, Daniel Wegmann, Mark G Thomas, Christina Papageorgopoulou, Joachim Burger

Abstract

Farming and sedentism first appear in southwest Asia during the early Holocene and later spread to neighboring regions, including Europe, along multiple dispersal routes. Conspicuous uncertainties remain about the relative roles of migration, cultural diffusion and admixture with local foragers in the early Neolithisation of Europe. Here we present paleogenomic data for five Neolithic individuals from northwestern Turkey and northern Greece, spanning the time and region of the earliest spread of farming into Europe.

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ON THE MILITARY ARCHITECTURE OF TROY: Some remarks on the difficulty of conquering the city

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1111Restored Plan of Troy’s citadel adapted from W. Dorpfeld’s excavations. The successive archaeological and urban levels are noted. Note also the outer and inner walls of Troy VI.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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My initial intention was to give an outline of the military architecture of Troy but the detailed studies of W. Dorpfeld, M. Wood, H. Schliemann, R. Neumann, C.W. Blegen, J.L. Caskey, M.Rawson, M. Korfmann, D. Easton and others, most of which are free on the internet, does not leave any room to add something new to the subject beyond the usual data. Therefore, in this article I will deal with the essential result of that architecture, namely the difficulty of conquering the mighty fortress which Troy VI had been.
Which of the archaeological urban levels of the city discovered and excavated by H. Schliemann at the hill of modern Hissarlik was the city of Homer’s epic? This is one of the main problems concerning the Homeric Epic Cycle. It is considered certain that the Homeric Troy corresponds to one of the levels VI (about 1900-1250 BC) and VIIa (about 1250-1180 BC). Wilhelm Dörpfeld who in 1893-94 continued Schliemann’s excavations in Troy, indicated level VI as the Homeric city. Dörpfeld found that the last phase of that level (VIh) was hit by an earthquake and concluded that after the blow, the city was captured by enemies who according to his view they were the Homeric Achaeans. The German archaeologist found that the earthquake caused damage to the city but the destruction was the work of man, a view based on the discovery of extensive fire traces in the VIh destruction level and on archaeological evidence, mainly traces of military activity.
This theory of Dörpfeld and those who agree with him today (e.g. M. Wood and others) is the most believable in my opinion, that is why in this article I will base my analysis on the assumption that Homer’s Troy was the archaeological level VI (phase VIh). In a future article I will deal with the arguments of those who argue that Homer’s city was the level VI and the ones of those who argue that that city was level VII (less likely).

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A rare and detailed representation of the total city of Troy (urban area and citadel). Most of the modern representations use to deal just with the architectural and engineering status of the citadel. Most of the defensive features mentioned in the text are noted, but please observe notably the scalar urban distribution of the buildings of the lower city and the citadel, essentially being the fourth defensive line of Troy (Copyright: National Geographic Magazine. Art by William Cook. Source on Troy: Troy project).

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ON SOME POSSIBLE ‘SEA PEOPLES’ SETTLEMENTS IN SICILY, SARDINIA AND CORSICA (Bronze Age)

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Sea PeoplesΑ map in Polish, of the migrations of the Sea Peoples (Ludy Morza in Polish) in which the possible settlements of some of them on mainland Italy and the neighboring islands are noted. I do not consider possible at least the settlement of the Shekelesh in Sicily. If they were the proto-Sicels their settlement would have been in Calabria.
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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Many scholars believe that some groups of the ‘Sea Peoples’ of the Bronze Age mainly after their final defeat by the Egyptians, sailed to the western Mediterranean. Their numbers are unknown and cannot be calculated, but it appears to have been small. Although the presence of groups of Sea Peoples in various parts of peninsular Italy and the neighboring large islands seems to have been archaeologically detected, today there are many disagreements among the scholars on the influence that these groups had on the ethnogenesis of later historical peoples of those regions. In this article and the next one for the peninsular Italy that will follow, I will give a very brief overview of the modern theories concerning this influence: theories that however remain controversial. A much more extensive analysis of the same topic will appear in a series of texts of mine in the future, unfortunately not in my website (but only in print). I will not deal with the most known views on the possible settlements of the Sea Peoples in Italy but mostly with some less known.
The present first article of this broader topic is dealing with the presence of the Sea Peoples in Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica, while the second which will follow refers to their possible presence in mainland Italy. The names of the Sea Peoples in these two articles are noted as they were read in the Egyptian records, followed by their modern verbal performance with vowels.
It has been speculated that the Sikels, the Sardi and the Corsi who in historical times lived in Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica respectively, were associated with at least two of the Sea Peoples, that is the Shklsh (Shekelesh or Shakalasha) and the Shrdn (Sherden or Shardana). These hypothetical settlements are archaeologically supported mainly in the case of Sardinia and Corsica, through the Nuragic culture (Sardinia) and the Torre culture (Corsica) which demonstrate obvious influence from maritime peoples of the Eastern Mediterranean. It seems that the Shrdn who supposedly settled in Sardinia, colonized as well Corsica (Cyrnos in ancient Greek) forming there the Corsi people (or Cyrnii). This may be also indicated by the earlier presence of a Corsi proper tribe on the northern corner of Sardinia.

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CAPPADOCIANS, ARMENIANS and GREEKS IN BYZANTINE EASTERN ASIA MINOR: AN ETHNOLINGUISTIC APPROACH

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Map of Byzantine Asia Minor in 780 AD, with the classic regions in black letters.  These regions must not  be confused with the Byzantine themata (provinces) in red letters (map source: wikipedia)
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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In the 4th century BC, before the conquests of Alexander the Great, Asia Minor (or Anatolia) was a multiracial area inhabited by several peoples with different ethno-linguistic origins. The Lydians, Carians, Lycians and the natives of Pamphylia and Cilicia were of Luwian origins. The Lycaonians, the Pisidians and the Phrygians belonged to the Phrygian group of peoples. The regions of Ionia, Aeolis, Doris, Troas and the coasts of Pamphylia and Cilicia had Greek population (descended from the Mycenaean and Archaic Greek colonization and the Hellenization of the natives). The Mysians and Doliones were Proto-Thracian populations, while the neighboring Bithynians were a Thracian proper tribe. The Cappadocians of Cappadocia proper and the Western Pontos (see below) were speaking several “hybrid” Phrygian, Iranian, Luwian, Hurri-Urartian and Palaeo-Caucasian  dialects like the neighboring Armenians did, but the mixed Irano-Phrygian ethnic character with a lead of the Phrygian element, tended to prevail in both mentioned peoples.

The Kartvelian (Palaeo-Caucasian) tribes were the main population in Eastern Pontos (Pontus in Latin). In Paphlagonia, the local Palaic language (of the region Pala or Pa(ph)la in the Hittite archives) was loosing speakers in favour of the Phrygian. The following clarification needs to be made on the place terms “Cappadocia” and “Pontos”. Both regions were initially a geographical unit: Cappadocia, which extended to the south coast of the Black Sea (Euxeinos Pontos for the ancients) but since the establishment and development of the Hellenistic kingdom of the Mithridatids in coastal Cappadocia (3rd-2nd century. BC), known as “Cappadocia of Pontos”, or possibly even earlier, the specific area was geographically separated from the mainland and was eventually called simply “Pontos”. Moreover a geophysical separation of the region from the rest of Cappadocia existed, because of the high mountains that stretch between them. Finally, the north coast of Anatolia was also dotted with Greek city-colonies.
I do not mention Anatolian Galatia because this area was just a state, being the result of an invasion and not an ethnic region. The area of Galatia was comprised from parts of Cappadocia and Phrygia. The Gallic/Celtic overlords were scant in number compared to their numerous native subjects. That is why in this study I consider Galatia as the western part of Cappadocia and the eastern part of Phrygia.

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THE FIRST ARAB ATTACK ON CONSTANTINOPLE (AD 674-678)

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis

Walls of Constantinople

The Walls of Constantinople today.

In 661 AD, the new caliph Muawiyah (Muāwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān AD 602–680)became the absolute master of the Islamic-Arab Caliphate after the murder of his antagonist, Ali. He made Damascus the Arabic capital, while Syria became the new political center of the Islamic world. The advanced peoples of Syria-Palestine and Egypt were the main supporters of the new Ummayad Dynasty (AD 661-750) of caliphs founded by Muawiyah. The new caliph based his power on the old Byzantine administrative officials, because the Arabs had not yet the required experience in governance issues. The Ummayad Caliphate had its political-administrative center in former Hellenistic Syria and used the Greek of the former Byzantine rule as its administrative language (and also used the Greek/Byzantine administrative infrastructure), thereby closely resembled to a more extensive Seleucid Kingdom. The main politico-military supporters of the Ummayads were the pre-Islamic local Arabs of Syria and Palestine (the Arab tribes of the Ituraeans, Palmyrans, Gasanids and others), who had become Muslims.
After the proclamation of Muawiyah as caliph, the Arab forces moved again against Byzantium (Eastern Roman Empire), following two directions of attack. A portion of them was carrying out devastating raids in Asia Minor, while another portion attacked the Byzantine Exarchate of Africa (modern NW Africa). One by one the Byzantine fortresses and the (Berber) tribes of the Numidians, Mauri and Maurusians were subjugated by the Arab invaders.

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THE SEA PEOPLES: HISTORY, WEAPONRY AND A DETAILED LIST OF THEIR TRIBES (13th-12th century BC)

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By  Periklis    Deligiannis

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An  excellent  depiction (by  Igor Dzis)  of  the sea  battle  against  the  Sea  Peoples,  in  the  Nile  Delta (Copyright: Igor Dzis 2010)

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The  ‘Sea  Peoples’  (as  mentioned  in  Egyptian  and  Greek  Records – in  the  later  as  Pelasgoi, meaning  exactly  ‘Sea  People’)  was  a  tribal  union  of  the  Aegean  and  western  Asia  Minor,  whose  invasions  in  the  eastern  Mediterranean  around  1229-1187  BC  caused  destruction  of  cities,  states  and  empires  (Hittite  Empire)  and  countless  victims.  Shortly  after  the  destruction  of  Troy  VI  (almost  certainly  the  Homeric  Troy)  by  the  Achaeans (Mycenaeans),  probably  in  the  middle  13th  century  BC,  began  the  disintegration  of  the  Mycenaean  world  because  of  the  prevailing  famine  and  anarchy.  These  conditions  are  due  to  broader  socioeconomic,  political,  commercial  and  climatic  causes,  occurring  in  Asia  Minor  probably  earlier  than  the  Mycenaean  territories.  The  impressive  palaces  of  Mycenae,  Pylos  and  other  Mycenaean  citadels  belong  mainly  to  the  13th  century  BC,  giving  a  false  image  of  prosperity  for  them.  Nevertheless  it  was  a  period  of  decline  for  the  Mycenaeans,  as  shown  by  the  archaeological  findings.

The  Achaean  kings  (wanaktae)  were facing  financial  problems  as  their  factories  were producing  about  half  the  products  compared  with  the  production  of  the  14th  century  BC.  They  lacked  skilled  craftsmen  and  slaves,  although  their  territories  were  been plagued  by  overcrowding.  The  commercial  sea  routes  that  they  used  were  becoming  more  and  more  insecure,  due  to  the  increasing  piracy  and  raids,  and  their  savings  had been ‘evaporated’.  The  monarchs  and  aristocrats  were  forced  to  seek  new  areas  for  raw  materials,  new  resources,  laborers  and  slaves,  probably  lands  for  colonization,  to  plunder  the  goods  of  other  countries  and  to  discover  new  trading  routes.  So  they  destroyed  Troy,  but  soon  after  they  had  to  abandon  Greece  en  masse,  due  to  the  final  failure.  The  Achaean/Mycenaean  and  other  Aegean  navigators  who  suffered  this  politico-economic  collapse,  turned  to  the  open  sea,  and  became  the  famous  Sea  Peoples  already  from  the  first  half  of  the  13th  cent.  BC.  The  British  archaeologist  Elizabeth  French (University  of  Manchester),  suggested  that  Tiryns  in  Argolis,  the  last  Mycenaean  palace  that  was  abandoned  by  its  inhabitants (except  Athens),  was  the  base  of  the  Sea  Peoples.  She  supported  her  theory  on  the  archaeological  conclusion  that  Tiryns  had  experienced  its  greatest  prosperity  (about  1200  BC)  when  the  other  Mycenaean  citadels  had  already  turned  to  ruins  or  ‘lingered  out  their  lives’.  In  my  opinion,  Tiryns  was  probably  the  base  of  the  two  tribes  that  probably  gave  rise  to  the  Later  ‘wave’  of  the  Sea  Peoples,  i.e.  the  Peleset/Philistines  (Peleset/Pulasti  in  Egyptian,  Pelasgians  in  Greek)  and  Denyen/Danuna (most  probably  the  Greek  Danaans).

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