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Half the population of the Viking-town Sigtuna were migrants

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Republication from Stockholm University

New analysis of the remains of 38 people who lived and died in the town of Sigtuna during the 10th, 11th and 12th century reveals high genetic variation and a wide scale migration. The study is the largest of its kind so far in Sweden and a combination of several methods, including DNA analysis and Strontium isotope analysis of teeth. The results are published in a new article in Current Biology.

Sigtuna is well known as one of the earliest actual cities in the area and was formally founded around 980 AD. More unknown is the fact that the picturesque town, which today is home to around 10 000 people, was a distinctly cosmopolitan place back then.

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Fortification plan of Vincennes, French fort of 14th century

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Fortification and architectural plan of Vincennes, French fort of the second half of 14th century.

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A detailed map of the Avar kingdom in Europe

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An interesting detailed map in Hungarian, of the Avar kingdom in Europe. It shows the movements of the Avar people, the expansions of its realm (shades of green) and other features, easily understood.

Transl: Avar Birodalom: Avar kingdom,  Keletromai Birodalom: East Roman empire

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Book Review: The Decline of Medieval Hellenism in Asia Minor and the Process of Islamization from the 11th through the 15th Century by S. Vryonis, University of California Press

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The loss of Asia Minor is often seen as the most decisive factor in the fall of the Byzantine Empire. Asia Minor was the territorial core of the empire during the Middle Byzantine Era. It was a wealthy and populous country of many millions of inhabitants, the main source of resources, raw materials, human resources, employees and soldiers for the Byzantine Empire. Its loss was, indeed, a major cause for the collapse of the Empire. However, this collapse was due to higher and wider political, social, economic, military, religious, ethnological and other negative parameters which in the first place led to the fall of Byzantine Asia Minor and then to the fall of the other imperial territories and eventually of the capital itself. More

Βιβλίο: Βρυώνης Σπύρος: Η παρακμή του Μεσαιωνικού Ελληνισμού στη Μικρά Ασία και η διαδικασία του εξισλαμισμού (11ος-15ος αιώνες.), Εκδ. Μ.Ι.Ε.Τ., επανέκδοση 2008.

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Η απώλεια της Μικράς Ασίας θεωρείται συχνά ως ο αποφασιστικότερος παράγοντας που επέφερε την πτώση της Βυζαντινής Αυτοκρατορίας. Η Μικρά Ασία υπήρξε ο εδαφικός πυρήνας της αυτοκρατορίας κατά τη Μεσοβυζαντινή Εποχή. Ήταν μια πλούσια και πολυάνθρωπη χώρα αρκετών εκατομμυρίων κατοίκων, η κύρια πηγή πόρων, πρώτων υλών, ανθρώπινου δυναμικού, υπαλλήλων και στρατιωτών για το Βυζάντιο. Η απώλεια της υπήρξε, πράγματι, σημαντικότατο αίτιο της κατάρρευσης της αυτοκρατορίας. Ωστόσο, αυτή η κατάρρευση οφειλόταν σε απώτερες και ευρύτερες πολιτικές, κοινωνικές, οικονομικές, στρατιωτικές, θρησκευτικές, εθνολογικές κ.α. αρνητικές παραμέτρους που επέφεραν καταρχήν την πτώση της βυζαντινής Μικράς Ασίας και έπειτα των υπολοίπων αυτοκρατορικών εδαφών και τελικά της ίδιας της πρωτεύουσας.

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The evolution of shields in China (with references also to Korea and Japan) part III

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Shang Dynasty warriors with shields and bronze masks (reconstruction by the archaeologist A.I. Colovbeva)

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CONTINUED FROM PART II

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In this last part, I go on with modern reliable images of Chinese troops bearing shields from the Shang Dynasty Era up to the 19th century in order to demonstrate specifically the evolution of the Chinese shields. There are also a few examples of Korean and Japanese shields which are closely related to the Chinese ones, sometimes being almost identical with them.

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