Contributions to Slingshot, Journal on ancient and medieval warfare

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[Slingshot 308, September-October 2016]


Some time now I’m contributing to Slingshot, the research Journal of the Society of Ancients (published since 1964), specialized in ancient and medieval warfare, tactics and wargaming.

Many thanks for this to Paul Innes and Nick Harbud.


Periklis Deligiannis





Collateral relatives of Amerindians among the Bronze Age populace of Siberia?

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Republication from Pub Med

siberia map[maps added by the republisher]

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1999 Feb;108(2):193-204.


Nonmetric and metric traits were studied in cranial series representing prehistoric and modern populations of America and Siberia. Frequencies of the infraorbital pattern type II (longitudinal infraorbital suture overlaid by the zygomatic bone) are universally lower in Amerindians than in Siberians. The os japonicum posterior trace, too, is much less frequent in America than in Siberia. The only two Siberian groups with an almost Amerindian combination are late third to early second millennium BC populations from Okunev and Sopka, southern Siberia. The multivariate analysis of five nonmetric facial traits and ten facial measurements in 15 cranial series reveals two independent tendencies.


Ancient babies boost Bering land bridge layover

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Republication from University of Utah News


PHOTO CREDIT: Ben Potter, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

This map shows the location of the Upward Sun River site in Alaska where the remains of two infants were found in an 11,500-year-old burial. A new University of Utah analysis shows the infants belong to two genetic groups or lineages known as B2 and C1. The maps shows other Native American groups throughout the Americas that are part of the same lineages.


University of Utah scientists deciphered maternal genetic material from two babies buried together at an Alaskan campsite 11,500 years ago. They found the infants had different mothers and were the northernmost known kin to two lineages of Native Americans found farther south throughout North and South America.

By showing that both genetic lineages lived so far north so long ago, the study supports the “Beringian standstill model.” It says that Native Americans descended from people who migrated from Asia to Beringia – the vast Bering land bridge that once linked Siberia and Alaska – and then spent up to 10,000 years in Beringia before moving rapidly into the Americas beginning at least 15,000 years ago.

“These infants are the earliest human remains in northern North America, and they carry distinctly Native American lineages,” says University of Utah anthropology professor Dennis O’Rourke, senior author of the paper set for online publication the week of Oct. 26 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Ancestors of Native Americans migrated in single wave, genetic study finds


Reblogged/ Source: news.ku.edu/2015/07/21/ancestors-native-americans-migrated-single-wave-23000-years-ago-genetic-study-finds

LAWRENCE — A new genome-scale study that includes a University of Kansas anthropological geneticist has determined ancestors of present-day Native Americans arrived in the Americas as part of a single-migration wave from Siberia no earlier than 23,000 years ago.

Later migrations of Aleuts and Eskimos occurred approximately 9,000 and 4,000 years ago.

“Using coalescence analyses, not just using one piece of DNA, but the entire genome, we find that the earliest someone could have come to the Americas was 23,000 years ago,” said Michael Crawford, head of KU’s Laboratory of Biological Anthropology and a professor of anthropology. “This study also pretty well does in the whole idea that gene flow from Europe contributed to the original migration of present-day Native Americans.”

Crawford is a co-author on the study, and the journal Science has published its results online. The Center for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen headed the international research team, which included co-authors Eske Willerslev, a Lundbeck Foundation professor at the center in Copenhagen; Maanasa Raghavan, a postdoctoral researcher at the center; Yun Song, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, statistics and integrative biology at University of California, Berkeley; and David Meltzer, an anthropology professor at Southern Methodist University, among others.

To more accurately pinpoint the account of how and when modern humans populated the Americas from Siberia, the team generated genomic data from several present-day and past Native American and Siberian populations. This included an analysis of the DNA of the fossil known as Kennewick Man, found along the Columbia River in Washington State in 1996.

“This is not just mitochondrial DNA,” Crawford said. “It’s shown on the entire genome that’s been sequenced.”


CANADIAN ARMIES ON THE WEB (Governmental site)

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By Periklis Deligiannis

A Governmental Web site with plenty of material that has really impressed me is the Canadian Military History Gateway, and especially its Online Reference Books under the general title ‘Canadian Military Heritage’. Materials on that web site were produced and/or compiled by the Canadian Department of National Defence and various partners, namely Rene Chartrand and Serge Bernier who wrote the texts and a group of renowned military illustrators: G.A. Embleton, Eugène Lelièpvre, Michel Pétard, David Rickman, Ron Volstad and others (I apologize for not mentioning all of them, due to lack of time).
The site also includes numerous photographs of classical paintings, drawings and diagrams of forts, battlefields, weapons, maps, statues, portraits and anything else related to Canadian Military History. Enjoy it!

Below are some  illustrations and photographs of the site with their captions. Τhe captions were written by Rene Chartrand and Serge Bernier (Chartrand wrote the texts refereeing to the period AD 1000-1871 and Bernier the texts of the years 1872-2000):


Grenadier of the French Guyenne regiment (left) and a corporal from the Béarn regiment (right), circa 1756




oseberg viking ship

 hansa cog

Τop: The famous Oseberg Viking ship.
Below: A German cog. These  ships
– real floating  fortresses – were the  Nemesis of the Viking longships. Note the high towers on the prow and stern, heavily manned with archers. The marines used to take posistions on the deck of the ship.

by  P.  Deligiannis

The Proto-Scandinavian boats, the progenitors of the Viking longships, first appear in cave paintings of Norway around 1500 BC. Millennia of evolution led to the superb Viking longships. Around 600-700 AD these progenitor ships were exclusively oared light, flexible and fragile structures that could not withstand the weight and pressure of the mast and sail. Soon afterwards the Scandinavian shipbuilders imitated the ships of the Mediterranean, adding a long beam (the keel) along the bottom of the ship. The keel made ​​them strong enough to hold the mast and sail. The addition of the keel around AD 700 marked the beginnings of the classic Viking ship and since then it was no longer propelled only by oars. The Scandinavians soon adopted the square sail of the Mediterranean, which allowed them to sail in the seas far away from their homeland.



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By  Periklis    Deligiannismap

At  the  begginings  of  the  American  Civil  War  (1861-1865),  the  government  of  the  Confederacy  (Confederate  States  of  America),  had  many  hopes  for  help  from  Europe (military,  resources, diplomatic  etc.), especially  from  Britain  and  France.  The  Confederate  President  J. Davis  hoped  for  an  official  recognition  of  the  Confederation  by  these  countries  and  (his  ultimate  hope)  for  their  military  involvement  in  the  war  in  favor  of  the  American  South.  But  efforts  to  approach  these  countries  failed,  because  of  the  following  reasons.  First,  because  of  the  fear  of  Britain  and  France  for  military  intervention  of  the  Union/Federation  (United  States  of  America)  in  their  American  colonies.  Second,  due  to  the  common  opinion  of  the  people  of  the  two  European  countries  which  rejected  slavery  and  therefore  did  not  want  to  enforce  the  Confederacy.  Third,  because  of  the  skilful  diplomacy  of  two  Republican  colleagues  of  the  Federal  President  Abraham  Lincoln:  Foreign  Minister  William  Seward  and  Federal  ambassador  in  London,  Charles  F.  Adams.
It  seems  that  the  British  government  could  not  “forgive”  the  “rebellion”  of  the  Americans  in  1776-1783  and  their  independence  from  the  British  Empire.  Although  the  English  could  not  support  openly  the  Confederation,  they  did  whatever  they  could  for  its  “preservation  to  life”,  aiming  possibly  to  a  permanent  break  of  the  U.S.A.  Except  the  aforementioned  vengeful  tendencies  of   London  and  its  concern  for  the  exponential  growth  and  rise  of  the  U.S.  in  international  politics,  the  British  had  two  more  good  reasons  to  seek  covertly  for  the  weakening  of  the  Union:  the  permanent  American  assertion  in  Canada  and  the  national  Irish  liberation  cause  (Canada  and  Ireland  were  parts  of  the  British  Empire).  But  the  same  reasons  prevented  the  British  from  their  active  support  to  the  American  South,  as  we  shall  discuss  below.

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