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34 votes
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What kind of evidence (if any) could be used to identify a large conquest in the time before writing?

Diffusion of technology and fashion. Some pre-written civilizations are identified by their artifacts, like the Beaker Culture or the Corded Ware Culture. A large-scale conquest would spread the ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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27 votes
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Was touching your nose a greeting in second millenium Mesopotamia?

It seems like this was the 'polite' gesture of greeting in ancient Sumeria, and is actually the meaning of a Sumerian phrase for greeting: She faces in the direction of the cultic activity, her ...
justCal's user avatar
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12 votes

Where are the Dorians from?

Historical Linquistics can perhaps help here. While the existence, timing, and nature of any "Dorian Invasion" is controversial, we can gather a lot from looking at ancient Greek dialects and their ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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12 votes

Where are the Dorians from?

In the context of Mycenaean palace societies and their collapse, i.e. Late Bronze Age, c. 1200 BCE, I believe a very good recent source is: Eric H. Cline's "1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed"...
J Asia's user avatar
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12 votes
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Where are the Dorians from?

There is much we can only guess at when it comes to when and how the Dorians first appeared in the Peloponnese. Most historians accept that the Dorians moved into southern Greece during the early part ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
12 votes
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Was bronze ever used for chainmail?

"Was it ever?" Certainly. The style of armour evolved with swings of a pendulum as can be seen from the earliest bronze age up until now, with conspicuous heights found in the trench warfare ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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10 votes
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When did Aurochs (large wild cattle) become extinct in Britain?

According to Five thousand years of livestock in Britain Biological Journal of Linnean Society (1989), 38: 31-37 : There may also have been some interbreeding between domestic and wild cattle in ...
DavePhD's user avatar
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10 votes
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What attributes did Yahweh have before becoming a monotheistic deity?

Early Israelite religion was not monotheistic, and it remained in that classification for at least several hundred years. YHWH was developed very slowly in a syncretistic process were he was ascribed ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
10 votes

What was the estimated population living in Egypt around 1446 BC?

Population estimates A number of estimates have been made for the population of ancient Egypt but, as the article The people of ancient Egypt says, Egyptologists tend to dodge the issue of ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
8 votes

What is the true reason for the destruction of the Indus Civilisation?

We don't really know. For comparison, note that historians are still arguing over what exactly caused the fall of the (western) Roman Empire, which at the time was the most literate Civilization on ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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8 votes
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How common / uncommon was sword-vs-sword combat on ancient battlegrounds?

I can think of at least one place where it would have been common. Roman infantry were typically equipped with short-swords which they used once combat got down to hand-to-hand. Of course their ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
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7 votes

Have there been any notable battles fought with steel vs. bronze weapons?

Also check out Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor to unify China (same man who's tomb has the terracotta army surrounding it). The Qin province sent forth massive armies using bronze while a lot of the ...
Fexen's user avatar
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7 votes
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How multilingual would Canaanite citizens have been?

In short, not at all. Part of the reason is that our modern concept of language, as a determinant of national identity, is a 19th century construct. Prior to the rise of nationalism, and publicly ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
7 votes
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How old is the Egyptian winged disk? Is it Assyrian?

The winged disk in Ancient Egypt usually represents the god Horus-Behdety, and yes it is known from the Old Kingdom. I couldn't find any references online (other than the Wikipedia article) to ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
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7 votes

What attributes did Yahweh have before becoming a monotheistic deity?

Nobody really knows for sure. El/Elohim (which by the time of the writing of most of the Hebrew scriptures had become synonymous) has ancient Semitic roots, but Yahweh appears to be (nearly) unique to ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
7 votes

What kind of evidence (if any) could be used to identify a large conquest in the time before writing?

Linguists can offer some insight. In The Horse, The Wheel and Language, the spread of Proto Indo European languages, along with accompanying technology, helps explain what might have been a series of ...
DBWeinstein's user avatar
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6 votes
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Could the warriors of the Tollense battlefield be considered the world's first standing army?

The Bronze-Age site in the Tollense Valley is an interesting one. However, I would treat many of the claims in that article with caution. To date, only a few peer-reviewed papers have been published, ...
sempaiscuba's user avatar
  • 77.3k
6 votes

What kind of evidence (if any) could be used to identify a large conquest in the time before writing?

Dead bodies! Seriously, preserved remains with markers of violence are the one side, the weapons used for that and obviously also fortifications the other: There seems to be general agreement that ...
user36448's user avatar
5 votes
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How was the start date of the bronze age determined?

Let's break it down to two different parts: method used to determine age, i.e. a relative-dating system (seriation), the year should be 1816 classification of Three-Age System, the year should be ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
4 votes
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Was there any Empire that only used bronze?

This is probably only a partial answer, but when the Hyksos invaded Egypt and established the 15th dynasty they didn't have iron weapons, relying instead on the chariot and composite bow. In ancient ...
James Cook's user avatar
  • 1,661
4 votes

What kind of evidence (if any) could be used to identify a large conquest in the time before writing?

If a conquest happens shortly enough before the region becomes literate, legends of the conquest may be written down after literacy begins, and then later historians can dispute forever whether that ...
MAGolding's user avatar
  • 19.3k
4 votes

How safe were ancient boats on the sea?

Largely, they weren't. Quite apart from the physical dangers, the risks of getting lost while out of sight of land were just too high. In very general terms, navigation while out of sight of land is a ...
T.E.D.'s user avatar
  • 120k
3 votes

Could the warriors of the Tollense battlefield be considered the world's first standing army?

Wouldn't these warriors be considered the world's first standing army? Possibly. Am I missing something here or is this archaeological dig that significant? Also, what is this line, "Tollense ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
3 votes

Was bronze ever used for chainmail?

Not exactly the most 'historic' question but anyway Bronze is an alloy and has been used since 3500 BC. Around 3500 BC the first signs of bronze usage by the ancient Sumerians started to appear in ...
Jake's user avatar
  • 431
3 votes
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How was the Urnfield culture represented around 1300 BC in the area the Romans called Gallia Belgica?

My previous answer was deleted, preventing me from editing it to expand my answer to this. Here are two rough maps. While these maps don't include modern borders, by observing the coast we can easily ...
Rubellite Fae's user avatar
3 votes

Did the proto-Indo-Europeans displace or overlay the pre-existing European tribes?

Update - February 21, 2017: A new study ... Genetic data suggest that modern European ancestry represents a mosaic of ancestral contributions from multiple waves of prehistoric migration events. ...
J Asia's user avatar
  • 6,323
3 votes

Was the Minoan civilization warlike?

I think they were warlike, but mainly my reasons for feeling this is :1 They had slaves. In the Bronze Age slavery was a result of warfare. What do you do with the prisoners? It became so profitable ...
duane wirdel's user avatar
3 votes
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Are we now living in an Automation Age?

The very concept of "Age of" is flawed. If one hears phrases like stone age or dark ages, which are almost about the only two ages an historian would use seriously, you have instantly negative ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.9k
3 votes

Did bronze metallurgical development peak by the end of the bronze age?

Not an expert, but the main improvements were in the forge and specially, the fundition process. Making big swords requires much more molten material than a small knife, so the ancient metallurgists ...
Rekesoft's user avatar
  • 577

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