Author Topic: A Bronze Age Battle in Northern Germany  (Read 1222 times)


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A Bronze Age Battle in Northern Germany
« on: March 27, 2016, 03:06:37 PM »
Though this is the first I've heard of it, apparently it's been known for nearly 20 years that there was a very large battle in the Tollense River Valley about 3,200 years ago. Evidence has been discovered that indicates some of the participants in the battle came from (or at least grew up) 100s of miles away. This is of interest because according to previous ideas about this part of the world during that time, it tended toward a rather peaceful and not particularly organized society.

"Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle" | Science


The flint arrowhead embedded in this upper arm bone first alerted archaeologists
to the ancient violence in the Tollense Valley.
Image Credit: Landesamt Für Kultur Und Denkmalpflege
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern/Landesarchäologie/S. Suhr

In 1996, an amateur archaeologist found a single upper arm bone sticking out of the steep riverbank—the first clue that the Tollense Valley, about 120 kilometers north of Berlin, concealed a gruesome secret. A flint arrowhead was firmly embedded in one end of the bone, prompting archaeologists to dig a small test excavation that yielded more bones, a bashed-in skull, and a 73-centimeter club resembling a baseball bat. The artifacts all were radiocarbon-dated to about 1250 B.C.E., suggesting they stemmed from a single episode during Europe’s Bronze Age.

Now, after a series of excavations between 2009 and 2015, researchers have begun to understand the battle and its startling implications for Bronze Age society. Along a 3-kilometer stretch of the Tollense River, archaeologists from the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Department of Historic Preservation (MVDHP) and the University of Greifswald (UG) have unearthed wooden clubs, bronze spearheads, and flint and bronze arrowheads. They have also found bones in extraordinary numbers: the remains of at least five horses and more than 100 men. Bones from hundreds more may remain unexcavated, and thousands of others may have fought but survived.

[Continues . . .]
« Last Edit: March 27, 2016, 10:16:32 PM by Recusant »
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Re: A Bronze Age Battle in Northern Germany
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2016, 08:54:21 PM »
Since the bone was found at the battle site, the warrior died there.  This wound could have caused him to bleed to death, or he could have suffered other wounds.  Infection would have taken awhile, so that's probably not the cause of death. Quite a find.