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By Auguste Demmin

Иллюстрированная история оружия и доспехов.

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The simultaneous consideration of these “separate but parallel sources of information” (Smith 1992:5l) provides explanations for the complex changes accompanying the transition to centralization in the study region. In addition to western European texts and official histories, I review indigenous documents, runic inscriptions, sagas, court poems, and travelers’ accounts. These written sources are supplemented by a large body of archaeological data that has been analyzed primarily by Scandinavian and German scholars, data that are not readily accessible outside of northern European institutions and libraries.

What type of situations are likely to be contested or likely to generate propaganda campaigns? The answers to these questions are sometimes unexpected. In conclusion, the existence of these fortuitous scraps of writing provide details, hints, or allusions to cultural practices that are often missing from the archaeological record. Elusive, yet profoundly important elements, such as concepts of regional identity, internal social conflicts, and ethnicity, become available topics of study, and like other puzzle-pieces that are routinely studied, may be tried and fitted against complementary data.

The answers to these questions are sometimes unexpected. In conclusion, the existence of these fortuitous scraps of writing provide details, hints, or allusions to cultural practices that are often missing from the archaeological record. Elusive, yet profoundly important elements, such as concepts of regional identity, internal social conflicts, and ethnicity, become available topics of study, and like other puzzle-pieces that are routinely studied, may be tried and fitted against complementary data.

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