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Fortification Plan of El Morro, citadel of San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Plan of El Morro in 1742, being the citadel of San Juan, Spanish Puerto Rico (Instituto de Historia y Cultura Militar, Madrid). As it can be seen on the map, El Morro was a small peninsula in a strategic location protecting the harbour of San Juan.
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Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon genomes from East England reveal British migration history

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A very interesting ethno-political map of Britain in AD 530 (above) based on the archaeological map below, the literary sources and other data (maps credit: Home Page for Howard Wiseman in Griffith Univ., maps added by periklisdeligiannis.wordpress.com)

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Republication from Nature.com

 

 

Stephan Schiffels, Wolfgang Haak, Pirita Paajanen,  Bastien Llamas, Elizabeth Popescu, Louise Loe, Rachel Clarke, Alice Lyons, Richard Mortimer, Duncan Sayer, Chris Tyler-Smith,   Alan Cooper & Richard Durbin

Nature Communications7,  Article number:10408  doi:10.1038/ncomms10408

 

British population history has been shaped by a series of immigrations, including the early Anglo-Saxon migrations after 400 CE. It remains an open question how these events affected the genetic composition of the current British population. Here, we present whole-genome sequences from 10 individuals excavated close to Cambridge in the East of England, ranging from the late Iron Age to the middle Anglo-Saxon period. By analysing shared rare variants with hundreds of modern samples from Britain and Europe, we estimate that on average the contemporary East English population derives 38% of its ancestry from Anglo-Saxon migrations. We gain further insight with a new method, rarecoal, which infers population history and identifies fine-scale genetic ancestry from rare variants. Using rarecoal we find that the Anglo-Saxon samples are closely related to modern Dutch and Danish populations, while the Iron Age samples share ancestors with multiple Northern European populations including Britain.

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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.

Abstract

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.

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

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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.”

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THE BATTLE OF STONES RIVER or BATTLE OF MURFREESBORO (Part II)

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confederate
Confederate infantry reenactment (copyright: John Moore-Getty Images).
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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THE BATTLE OF STONES RIVER or BATTLE OF MURFREESBORO (Part I)

On the night before the big showdown, there was a “singing battle” between the rival soldiers who were established in positions within a few hundred meters apart. Some Federals began to sing their ‘national’ folk songs “Hail Columbia” and especially the “Yankee Doodle”, and the Confederates answered immediately singing their own traditional songs “Dixie” and “The Bonnie Blue Flag”. Soon the two rival lines began to sing each one its own traditional song more and more loudly, in an almost unbearable squealing. Eventually a group of soldiers started to sing the nostalgic song “Home Sweet Home” for the home and the family that every soldier had left behind, which brought a “musical compromise” of the opponents. Soon, thousands of ‘Yankees’ and “Rebels” were singing simultaneously its nostalgic lyrics, as an informal peace, without knowing that in the next day they would clash in the second bloodiest battle of the Civil war, after the battle of Gettysburg.

At dawn of December 31, Major General Hardee led the Confederate left wing and a strong cavalry force against the Federal right. The impetuous Southerners quickly outflanked their opponents who fell back towards the bank of Stones River. Thus Bragg surprised Rosecrans, forcing him to cancel his own envelopment maneuver. Around 7.00 am and under the pressure of the Confederate attack, Rosecrans recalled the division of his left wing which he intended to use for the maneuver. Its commander, Major General Thomas Crittenden, had crossed with his men the Stones in order to outflank the Confederate right wing under Major General John Breckinridge. Meanwhile, in the center of the two lines, the Union division of Major General Philip Sheridan and the Confederate Army corps of Major General Polk were clashing with unusual ferocity. The two rival army corpses were “familiar” to each other since the battle of Perryville, where they had clashed with the same determination.

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THE BATTLE OF STONES RIVER or BATTLE OF MURFREESBORO (Part I)

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Re-enactors Union troops

Union infantry reenactment (copyright: EPA).
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By Periklis Deligiannis
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(OK, I know that you are a little disappointed when I’m not posting on ancient and medieval topics, but as you have probably guessed the Colonial Americas and the American Civil War are among my favorite topics. This article is a summary of the chapter “The Battle of Stones River or Battle of Murfreesboro” of my book “The Civil War”)
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In July 1862, the skilful Confederate Commander in Chief in the West, General Beauregard, was assigned back to the Eastern Front, but President Davis did not define a replacement for his office. The Confederate president confined in assigning the thrice distinguished in the Mexican War, Major General Braxton Bragg, as general commander of the armies at the Tennessee-Mississippi front, who was from now on the unofficial Commander in Chief in the West. Braxton Bragg and his subordinates Major Generals Kirby Smith and Earl Van Dorn started to prepare the Confederate counterattack in order to recover the lost territories in the Western Front. Their distressed forces were reinforced and revived by the recent conscription.

map(copyright: US Military Academy)
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The general Confederate plans involved three synchronized campaigns in all the fronts from the Mississippi River to Virginia. In the East, General Robert Lee (the new commander of the Army of Northern Virginia) would invade Maryland. On the Western Front, the armies of Bragg and Smith would launch major offensives to Kentucky rushing from Chattanooga and Knoxville respectively (southeastern Tennessee). Simultaneously, Van Dorn would campaign from the Mississippi State against Grant’s army in western Tennessee. If he could manage to force back Grant’s army, he would then join Bragg and Smith somewhere in Kentucky. The ultimate aim of the Southerners was to encourage the (Southern after all) states of Maryland and Kentucky in leaving the Union and joining the Confederacy. Much depended on the speed of their march, the communications and the logistics.
The success of the Confederate plan would also yield benefits on the diplomatic field because Britain and France would probably acknowledge the C.S.A. as a sovereign state – a much desired aim of the Richmond government. The French Emperor Napoleon III wanted to promote his plans on turning Mexico to a French dominion or semi-colony, but he would not officially acknowledge the Confederacy if the British did not do the same. However, the British were waiting patiently watching the progress of the war.

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