Sunday, 15 April 2018

Secrets of Europe's most ancient battlefield - Tollense Valley

The Gross Raden Archaeological Open Air Museum is presenting an exhibition featuring artifacts, many of them found on the site of a battle which took place in the Tollense Valley, in the northeast of Germany.
Since the beginning of the excavations in 2007, over 10,000 human bones have been found. A whole series of bronze weapons, such as lances, arrowheads and knives were found. A few wooden clubs which were used for battle as well as the remains of about five horses have been found. The horses died on the battlefield.

The discovery of this battlefield in the Tollense Valley provides much to consider.
The massive violence wasn't random. The Tollense battle demonstrates a clearly organized form of violence. It was required to be able to assemble such a large group of young men and issue orders. It demonstrates that power was conditional for such a large, violent conflict.

This young man did not see death coming his way 3300 years ago. A bronze arrow tip pierced the back of his head. The bronze arrow tip is still stuck in the skull.
The warriors were exclusively men, mostly between the ages of 20 and 25. The bodies on the battle site that were accessible were apparently thoroughly looted. They had no metal left on them – although they must have been wearing metal, since bronze was also part of men's dress during this period. The remains of those who fell in the river are different, as metal objects have been found on them. Less than 10% of the site has been excavated.

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