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The Champlain Tech Project: What Did War and Weaponry Look Like in 1609? Experimental Ethnography of the 1609 voyage to Lake Champlain

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09/24/2008

In 1609, Champlain and the Native world stood at a little known material crossroads between the Renaissance and Colonial periods. For the French, their armour and swords stood at the apex of 900 years of mathematical and material sophistication; at the same time they bore the primordial firearm that ended it all. For the Native Alliance and Iroquois, they placed their faith in well-ordered, planned massed ranks of bowmen, each bearing complex body-symbols to protect himself from disease and harm, articulated shields and sophisticated slate or rod armour. In this lecture, Frederick Wiseman reports on two years of experimental work to gain insight into the long-extinct and complex interplay of 1609 clothing, weapons, and navigation systems.

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