>On 5/16/2012 7:58 PM, Paul J Gans wrote:
>>> On 5/16/2012 10:30 AM, Paul J Gans wrote:
>>>>> It also seems strange that in his earlier work he is extremely
>>>>> aggressive about people not using evidence correctly, particularly with
>>>>> ethnogenesis and migration (I put a book of his and one of Wolfram's
>>>>> next to each other on my bookshelf and wondered if the books would
>>>>> actually fight) and more recently, rather than rationally refuting
>>>>> Halsall and Heather when they call his accommodation theory into
>>>>> question due to his own use of evidence(the Burgundians just don't fit -
>>>>> even I can see that with my rudimentary Latin), he gets so vehement.
>>>> Bernard Bachrach has been accused of the same thing.
>>>> I suspect that part of the problem is that there is not enough
>>>> evidence. At one of the sessions I attended there was a discussion
>>>> of the major need for historians and archaeologists to cooperate.
>>>> As it is now each seems to be unaware of the other. And, like other
>>>> scientists, archaeologists write in a jargon that makes their work
>>>> difficult for the non-specialist to understand.
>>>> One example (not one that came up in that discussion) is the Saxon
>>>> conquest of major parts of England. The sources claim that it was
>>>> done with fire and bloodshed. The archaeology seems to indicate
>>>> that for the most part the "takeover" was peaceful with no major
>>>> evidence of the burning of villages.
>>>> There's clearly something not quite right here. And there is a
>>>> real need to settle the question.
>>>> The transition years including the end of the western Empire and
>>>> the emergence of a new order in the west seem to suffer from the
>>>> same sort of problem.
>>>> For my part I tend to distrust both. There's lots of work that
>>>> needs to be done.
>>> How about historical genetics? Talk about incomprehensible "jargon".
>>> A 2002 genetic study indicated a lot of Romano/Celtic males (not
>>> females) went missing from the gene pool in Britain during the time of
>>> the Anglo Saxon takeover.
>>> A few relevant timeline points come to mind:
>>> The Roman "Count of the Saxon shore" got killed fighting the Saxon et al
>>> raiders which indicates they were militarily effective and using force,
>>> at least during those times (mid 300s).
>>> By around 390 most of the Roman military had left Britain for the
>>> continent, leavng various doors open.
>>> "To Ætius, now consul for the third time: the groans of the Britons.
>>> The barbarians drive us to the sea; the sea throws us back on the
>>> barbarians: thus two modes of death await us, we are either slain or
>>> In the absence of the Legions, the Scot and the Pict tribes starting
>>> attacking the Romano-celts from the west and the north, and apparently
>>> the Angles, Saxons, etc. were hired by the Romano-celts as mercenaries
>>> to combat them (not a peaceful scenario) and then they decided to
>>> themselves move in and take over - afterall, they had dealt with the
>>> tribes the Romano-celts couldn't deal with.
>>> It could be speculated that several centuries of Roman
>>> occupation/government and reliance on their professional military forces
>>> had eroded tribal military institutions and capabilities, making the job
>>> easier for the incoming Saxons et al.
>>> The "Arthur" war band leader who defeated the Saxons at Mt. Baden c. 500
>>> and slowed their encroachment was, well, a *war* band leader.
>>> I would bet that there was a substantial amount of episodic fighting
>>> going on during the 400s into the 500s, in various places, between
>>> various opponents.
>>> If they can avoid it, invaders don't destroy property that they intend
>>> to make their own - these weren't Huns. The Norman conquest didn't leave
>>> an "ash layer" in Angle-land.
>>> Here's a piece on the genetics study, the entire article is well worth
>>> " AN EXEMPLAR of this new approach is geneticist Mark Thomas of
>>> University College London, whom McCormick invited to speak at Harvard as
>>> part of the initiative in December 2007. Thomas was among the scientists
>>> who ﬁrst identiﬁed the suggestive pattern of Y-chromosome distribution
>>> among British men in 2002; he had been seeking a plausible explanation
>>> for the data ever since. As he recounted in a lecture titled, “No Sex
>>> Please, We’re English: Genes, Anglo-Saxon Apartheid, and the Early
>>> Medieval Settlement of Britain,” Thomas had found that genetically, not
>>> one of the English towns he sampled was signiﬁcantly different from the
>>> others. Welsh towns, on the other hand, were signiﬁcantly different from
>>> each other and from the English towns. Most importantly, he found that
>>> inhabitants of the Dutch province of Friesland were indistinguishable
>>> genetically from the English town-dwellers. Friesland is one of the
>>> known embarkation points of the Angl0-Saxons—and the language spoken
>>> there is the closest living relative to English. (“Listening to a
>>> Frisian speak,” says Thomas, “is like listening to somebody speak
>>> English with a frog in their mouth.”) "
>> I take your point, but I suspect that you miss mine. There is
>> still little or no archaeological evidence for the violent
>> replacement of one population by another. And yes, I understand
>> that written material says otherwise.
>I think I understood your point, I mentioned that: "If they can avoid
>it, invaders don't destroy property that they intend to make their own -
>these weren't Huns. The Norman conquest didn't leave an "ash layer" in
>Or maybe I am missing something - what sort of definitive archaeological
>evidence do you think should be present?
to the ground. Such burning leaves marks.
Of course we could be looking in the wrong places. And it is
very likely that the sources exaggerate.