AD 1066 Norman Period
1066 may just be the most famous date in British history, but from a geneticist’s point of view, it is not all that interesting. There seems to be little to no genetic trace left by the Normans today, perhaps because they came across the channel in relatively small numbers. Whilst there was certainly devastation to the local populations following failed rebellions in the north, life for the surviving peasantry would not have been all that different following the Battle of Hastings. It has been almost a thousand years since this war for the English throne, and in that time the boundaries within England itself have changed remarkably little in places. As such, we see little in the way of genetic splits between different populations after 1066, as the political power of the Normans and their progeny largely held the country intact.
The same cannot be said however for the border regions of Wales, Scotland, and Ireland in the centuries following William the Conqueror’s invasion. Well into the 20th Century, wars and insurgencies have been fought over the rights to rule these territories, and so it is no surprise that we see genetic divergences occurring in these places. Cumbria and Northumberland form distinct clusters from one another during this period, whilst Northern Ireland and South West Scotland see a huge demographic shift due to the Ulster Plantations set up during the reign of King James I. South Wales also splits into eastern and western clusters at this time, due to a great influx of English settlers into Southeast Wales during the numerous wars fought for control here. As a result, many of the people from this part of Britain today have a unique mix of ancestry, with a strong Welsh component also intermingled with Anglo Saxon signatures.1044
The Chinese of the
Song dynasty are the first to describe gunpowder. Within a centure the Chinese begin to use early forms of guns.
1096-1291 Period of the Christian crusades, set up after increased Muslim interference in the free unhindered travel of Christian pilgrims towards Jerusalem. Godfrey de Bouillon was one of the leaders of the first crusade. Richard Lionheart was a key player in the third crusade.
1120 Creation of the Knights Templar. They do their best to protect pilgrims traveling to Jerusalem and act as storm troopers on the battlefield against Muslim armies.
1185 Japan enters its medieval/feudal era. Powerful family clans (Daimyo) rule Japan, who are only subordinate to the shogun, the military commander. The emperor is a figurehead, often compared to the role of the pope. The Daimyo have samurai soldiers working for them.
1202 Leonardo Fibonacci introduces his Fibonacci sequence, indicating that there’s a mathematical order to various things in nature. He uses an unrealistic example of breeding rabbits, but in the modern era we are finding examples of the Fibonacci sequence in trees, pineapples and at the DNA and atom level.
1207 The Mongols, under the leadership of Gengis Khan, begin their invasion of China and Central Asia.
1241 The Mongols are at the border with Germany, having crushed the Polish army of well-armed knights at Wroclaw, western Poland. The main force of the Mongols is working to conquer various Hungarian castles, but have control of the countryside. In December Ogedei Khan dies, ceasing Mongol military operations, as the leaders all rush back to Mongolia to appoint a successor.
1250 Rise of European cities, with their distinct cultural differences with the countryside.