Skip to comments."Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank"
Posted on 05/22/2011 6:37:56 AM PDT by Covenantor
Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank
22 May 11 02:38 ET
? By Neil Bowdler Science reporter, BBC News
Fractured human remains found on a German river bank could provide the first compelling evidence of a major Bronze Age battle. Archaeological excavations of the Tollense Valley in northern Germany unearthed fractured skulls, wooden clubs and horse remains dating from around 1200 BC. The injuries to the skulls suggest face-to-face combat in a battle perhaps fought between warring tribes, say the researchers. The paper, published in the journal Antiquity, is based primarily on an investigation begun in 2008 of the Tollense Valley site, which involved both ground excavations and surveys of the riverbed by divers. They found remains of around 100 human bodies, of which eight had lesions to their bones. Most of the bodies, but not all, appeared to be young men. The injuries included skull damage caused by massive blows or arrowheads, and some of the injuries appear to have been fatal. One humerus (upper arm) bone contained an arrow head embedded more than 22mm into the bone, while a thigh bone fracture suggests a fall from a horse (horse bones were also found at the site). The archaeologists also found remains of two wooden clubs, one the shape of a baseball bat and made of ash, the second the shape of a croquet mallet and made of sloe wood.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
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Interesting stuff. Ancient Germany was one place even the Romans never conquered, even though they did try. The Black Forest was someplace you simply never came out of, which is why the Romans usually didn’t go there; kind of for the same reason the Romans did not regularly venture North of Hadrian’s Wall in Britain...
A couple of years ago someone unearthed the remains of a large Roman attempted retreat out of Germany where the entire Roman column had eventually been slaughtered over a miles long march. Smithsonian magazine had an excellent article, and I may try and did it out of the bookcase later to refresh my memory.....
What was going on, in Europe, c. 1200 BC?
Massive population migrations, the collapse of the Hittite Empire, Egypt’s invasion by the “Sea Peoples”, etc. If there was a period where you’d expect large-scale war in Germany, this would be it.
The weapons used were apparently arrows and wooden clubs, so how is it they call this a “Bronze Age” battle site?
If they find any jet skis and beer bottles, then it was probably my ancestors holding a family reunion.
“The injuries included skull damage caused by massive blows or arrowheads, and some of the injuries appear to have been fatal.”
This struck me as odd. By definition, those remains found on the battlefield are of people whose wounds were ultimately fatal.
Because the Bronze Age in Europe spanned (approx.) the years 3000-600 BC.
I suppose that the battlers of the time would make use of whatever weaponry and equipment that was available to them including a mix of older (wooden) and newer (bronze) weapons.
The victors and anyone else who came upon the site would likely have scavenged anything of value from the dead and leave the old or broken weapons behind at the scene.
1. "Bronze Age" is a dating method.
2. Bronze weapons may have been valuable enough that they were not left behind by the victors. Looting the bodies of dead enemies is a longstanding tradition of war.
3. Bronze Age just means that bronze was smelted and used for some tools/weapons. Not that it was common or inexpensive.
“The weapons used were apparently arrows and wooden clubs, so how is it they call this a Bronze Age battle site?”
Simple. The winners simply picked up all the bronze spears. Bronze was valuble.
The spears were probably made in Brittany. Wouldn’t you pick up a Brittany Spears?
I had a friend who got a degree in ancient Egyptian plumbing...
...she was a Pharaoh’s Faucet Major.
That was the battle of Tutenburg Forest about 4 AD. That revolt kept the Romans out of Germany.
Queen Boedicia’s failed revolt in England against Rome in 60 AD resulted in the annexation of England
The Jewish revolt revolt against rome in 70 AD also failed with pretty disastrous consequences.
(Jesus prophesied/alluded to this event in the New Testament.)
Perhaps you're refering to "Battle of the Teutoburg Forest."
Germanic warriors storm the field
Germanic tribes led by Arminius
I have been to the Tuetenburgwald and seen the Statue of Arminius. It is an amazing thing to climb to the top and look at the forest for miles around. A cold and gloomy place where many Roman soldiers lost their lives. And like so many heroes Arminius was betrayed by his own people. Great Story that would make one hell of a movie.
That’s the battle I was trying to recall...Thanks!
"In this picture we cannot see the Germanic warriors..."
And as Augustus said many times later when he needed troops, and didn’t have them...
“VARIUS! GIVE ME BACK MY LEGIONS!”
Might I suggest severe fluctuations in climate could have initiated the migrations, the collapse of the Hittite Empire, and the invasion of the eastern Mediterranean coastline by the “Sea Peoples”?
According to Brian Fagan in The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization, there was a very long, hot dry period between 2200 to 1200 bc. Beginning on page 177, he claims a widespread drought in 1200 bc affected much of eastern Europe and the Middle East.
Thanks for mentioning that book. I found it fascinating.
I was also fascinated in the way the author expected it to convince his readers of the importance of cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
He seemed to think that by explaining how past climate changes had impacted or destroyed past civilizations, we’d immediately jump to the conclusion that we need to do all we can to prevent the next climate change.
Somehow, he seems to think that after having explored a number of past incidents of climate change - in eras when there could have been no anthropogenic factor - we’d assume that we could prevent future incidents of climate change, simply by adopting a “green” lifestyle.
That all of those prior civilizations that had been destroyed by climate change had been living “green” lifestyles doesn’t seem to have occurred to him.
Global warming mongers are like The Mob - they demand criminal extortion. For scientists, it is in the form of pushing politcaly-oriented lies. This has, unfortunately, been happening for years.
Heh. Excellent! (Thanks, I needed that laugh tonight.)
That’s just the stuff they left behind. :’) But your question points to what I regard as the fundamental stupidity of continued use of “bronze age” “iron age” etc to date things.
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I think you are referring to the battle of Toutoburg Forest where the Roman Varus (thought to be the 4th most important man in Rome) was totally defeated and he along with most of his legions killed. It was during the reign of Augustus, who reportedly beat his head against a wall screaming, “Varus give me back my legions.” All this from a very detailed Wiki article which I recommend reading.
I thought it was an interesting detail that the Romans retired the numbers for the 3 lost legions, as well as the number for the Legion that fought the Bar Kochba rebellion by the Jews.
Until I read tacitus (iirc), I didn’t know that germanicus was right back at the sites of varus’ pitched defenses within a few years, defeated everyone who fought him, took back some legionary eagles, etc.
Interesting to wonder if Tiberius and his mother hadn’t been so paranoid, and had left germanicus where he was and not poisoned him, if it would have made a lasting impact on the history of the region during roman times.
My ancestors fought naked in the snow BTTT