It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle

page: 1
31
<<   2 >>

log in

join
share:
+13 more 
posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:06 PM
link   
I just found this fascinating article today,





bout 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea. The confrontation can’t be found in any history books—the written word didn’t become common in these parts for another 2000 years—but this was no skirmish between local clans. Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology.

Struggling to find solid footing on the banks of the Tollense River, a narrow ribbon of water that flows through the marshes of northern Germany toward the Baltic Sea, the armies fought hand-to-hand, maiming and killing with war clubs, spears, swords, and knives. Bronze- and flint-tipped arrows were loosed at close range, piercing skulls and lodging deep into the bones of young men. Horses belonging to high-ranking warriors crumpled into the muck, fatally speared. Not everyone stood their ground in the melee: Some warriors broke and ran, and were struck down from behind.


This is fascinating stuff indeed, even I had figured, that in Northern Europe there weren't any socio-political institutions with enough control of the people or resources to wage thisd kind of warfare.



The Tollense river as it appears today


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.

“If our hypothesis is correct that all of the finds belong to the same event, we’re dealing with a conflict of a scale hitherto completely unknown north of the Alps,” says dig co-director Thomas Terberger, an archaeologist at the Lower Saxony State Service for Cultural Heritage in Hannover. “There’s nothing to compare it to.” It may even be the earliest direct evidence—with weapons and warriors together—of a battle this size anywhere in the ancient world.


Some of the injuries




Why the men gathered in this spot to fight and die is another mystery that archaeological evidence is helping unravel. The Tollense Valley here is narrow, just 50 meters wide in some spots. Parts are swampy, whereas others offer firm ground and solid footing. The spot may have been a sort of choke point for travelers journeying across the northern European plain.

In 2013, geomagnetic surveys revealed evidence of a 120-meter-long bridge or causeway stretching across the valley. Excavated over two dig seasons, the submerged structure turned out to be made of wooden posts and stone. Radiocarbon dating showed that although much of the structure predated the battle by more than 500 years, parts of it may have been built or restored around the time of the battle, suggesting the causeway might have been in continuous use for centuries—a well-known landmark.


Slaughter Bridge

So were these related people fighting or were they from different cultures with different languages.

I wonder if it was conflict influenced from the med?


Cant wait to see if some dna can be extracted and find out who the people were.


edit on p0000003k07352016Fri, 25 Mar 2016 17:07:36 -0500k by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:12 PM
link   
a reply to: punkinworks10

Very cool... S&F

Looks like someone got hit in the shoulder with a nasty arrow... pretty powerful shot to still be lodged in bone




posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:15 PM
link   
a reply to: punkinworks10
Nice point, too, eh?



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:31 PM
link   
Surely someone who would commend such large numbers (thousands?) would have left a significant footprint on history.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:34 PM
link   
a reply to: JohnnyCanuck
Yes It is JohnnyC,

I wonder how many other points are laying round out there



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:37 PM
link   

originally posted by: bigfatfurrytexan
Surely someone who would commend such large numbers (thousands?) would have left a significant footprint on history.


You would think,
Which make think this was more of an ethnic conflict, where there is a built motivation to fight.



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:37 PM
link   
Article says that they are going to do DNA studies, it will be intresting to see what they will find. I hope some of the samples will be publicly available raw files.
edit on 25-3-2016 by dollukka because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 25 2016 @ 05:42 PM
link   
Nice find..S&F for later consumption.



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 07:02 AM
link   
a reply to: punkinworks10

Curious that so many bodies were just left where they fell to rot, and apart from that flint arrow head, there doesn't seem to be any weapons among the dead...?

I see a straightish shaft near the bottom left of the main image...but that could be anything other than a weapon handle.


Maybe they were all collected up by the archaeologists, or perhaps the weapons were valued higher than the actual Humans back in the Bronze age and were collected and gathered up after the battle, leaving the bodies to rot...not particularly respectful..but efficient.


edit on 26 3 2016 by MysterX because: added text



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 07:12 AM
link   
I would guess that it was invaders from around the Med or perhaps from Asia expanding their territories and they were spotted and an ambush was set up at that spot precisely because of its geography - looks/sounds like a perfect spot for a few to bottlenecks lots more.

Thermopylae is a good example of what I mean.



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 07:17 AM
link   
a reply to: johnb
My understanding is (though it may not be up-to-date) that the Celtic peoples may have held territories further north in Germany than they occupied in Caesar's time.
I wonder if this was a conflict between the Celts and an expansion from the direction of Scandinavia.


edit on 26-3-2016 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 07:20 AM
link   

originally posted by: MysterX
Curious that so many bodies were just left where they fell to rot, and apart from that flint arrow head, there doesn't seem to be any weapons among the dead...?

The victors would not have felt motivated to bury their enemies, especially if they were not going to live on the battlefied afterwards.
As for the weapons, I think those would have been part of the spoils of victory.



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 07:28 AM
link   

originally posted by: punkinworks10
This is fascinating stuff indeed, even I had figured, that in Northern Europe there weren't any socio-political institutions with enough control of the people or resources to wage thisd kind of warfare.

With genuine popular enthusiasm for attacking, or repelling the attack of, that horrible tribe on the other side, there would be no need of "control of the people" to get the war going.
They would just nominate their best fighter to be a battle-leader, and if wars were happening often enough the battle-leader might then evolve into a kingship.



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 11:10 AM
link   

originally posted by: punkinworks10
So were these related people fighting or were they from different cultures with different languages.

No one can say for certain, but a thousand years later, the Germanic tribes were at constant war with each other - briefly united by Ariminius to take out two whole Roman legions, but that truce didn't last.


I wonder if it was conflict influenced from the med?

I doubt it. At the time,the superpowers in the Med were on the rise and more concerned with each other than with points farther north - and this in enroute to the Baltic Sea (near Sweden/Norway.) It's not close to the earliest known mining areas there.

This find is a real game-changer for the understanding of this area!


Cant wait to see if some dna can be extracted and find out who the people were.

My bet is that they're my ancestors (Germans/Swedes/Norwegians)



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 04:28 PM
link   

originally posted by: Byrd

I wonder if it was conflict influenced from the med?

I doubt it. At the time,the superpowers in the Med were on the rise and more concerned with each other than with points farther north - and this in enroute to the Baltic Sea (near Sweden/Norway.)


Wouldn't that put it close to the amber route then?


From at least the sixteenth century BC amber was moved from Northern Europe to the Mediterranean area.[2][3] The breast ornament of the Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamen (ca. 1333-1324 BC) contains large Baltic amber beads [4][5][6] Heinrich Schliemann found Baltic amber beads at Mycenae, as shown by spectroscopic investigation.[7] The quantity of amber in the Royal Tomb of Qatna, Syria, is unparalleled for known second millennium BC sites in the Levant and the Ancient Near East.[8] Amber was sent from the North Sea to the temple of Apollo at Delphi as an offering. From the Black Sea, trade could continue to Asia along the Silk Road, another ancient trade route. In Roman times, a main route ran south from the Baltic coast through the land of the Boii (modern Czech Republic and Slovakia) to the head of the Adriatic Sea (modern Gulf of Venice).

The Old Prussian towns of Kaup and Truso on the Baltic were the starting points of the route to the south. In Scandinavia the amber road probably gave rise to the thriving Nordic Bronze Age culture, bringing influences from the Mediterranean Sea to the northernmost countries of Europe.


en.wikipedia.org...

Increased demand from the Med could have precipitated conflict further up the supply chain, cutting out middle men.

I think Dollukka's right, the genetics could be very informative.
edit on 26-3-2016 by Anaana because: amber route



posted on Mar, 26 2016 @ 06:13 PM
link   

originally posted by: Anaana

Wouldn't that put it close to the amber route then?

It would... but control of amber wasn't that hotly contested. This is something far bigger than that. My guess would be that it's about control of territory.



I think Dollukka's right, the genetics could be very informative.

I agree! However, as I said, I suspect they'll turn out to be my kinfolk.



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 07:11 AM
link   
a reply to: Byrd

Hello, i added you as friend



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 08:14 AM
link   
Did''t Thracians wander up that way?
I heard from a Bulgarian they have a history of them having done so.
edit on 27-3-2016 by cavtrooper7 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 10:09 AM
link   
Anaana,
The trade in baltic amber goes back at least 6k years if not considerably more. What i find very interesting is that when the Indo-Europeans show up the trade of baltic amber comes to a halt, just as the flow of spondylus, a spiny oyster, stops from the med.

Ancient amber trade

and
www.dropbox.com..." target="_blank" class="postlink" rel="nofollow">Agean spondylus trade

edit on p0000003k33302016Sun, 27 Mar 2016 10:33:31 -0500k by punkinworks10 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 27 2016 @ 10:52 AM
link   
a reply to: Byrd

Byrd,
According to the discussion about this at Dienekes' blog there is a division in the genetics of the warriors,


Genetic analysis is just beginning, but so far it supports the notion of far-flung origins. DNA from teeth suggests some warriors are related to modern southern Europeans and others to people living in modern-day Poland and Scandinavia




Dienekes Blog; Bronze Age War In Germany

So, On the surface it would seem that there is a division in the ethnicities of the people fighting, but i had it backwards i believe.
I do believe this conflict represents a major cultural shift in the area, with the neolithic communities, EEF(Early European Farmers)/WHG(Western Hunter Gatherers) being over run by more advanced metal using Indo Europeans, and like you said in an earlier post the other group represents the early germanic tribes.
Its been preety clear in the last couple of years, that the genetecists say that the EEF were most like modern sardinians( southern europeans). There are other ancient genetic links between bronze age sweden and poland.
I stil believe that the conflict is due to pressure from the med,or more properly southern europe, this is also about the time we see the southern celtic people really starting to assert themselves, and forming larger political entities that goe beyond basic tribalism.



new topics

top topics



 
31
<<   2 >>

log in

join