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Angela
26-03-16, 20:08
I saw this on the Dienekes blogspot about a recent Science article:
Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle (http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/slaughter-bridge-uncovering-colossal-bronze-age-battle)

http://www.dienekes.blogspot.com/2016/03/bronze-age-war-in-northern-germany.html

"About 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.

...

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.

...

Northern Europe in the Bronze Age was long dismissed as a backwater, overshadowed by more sophisticated civilizations in the Near East and Greece. Bronze itself, created in the Near East around 3200 B.C.E., took 1000 years to arrive here. But Tollense’s scale suggests more organization—and more violence—than once thought. “We had considered scenarios of raids, with small groups of young men killing and stealing food, but to imagine such a big battle with thousands of people is very surprising,” says Svend Hansen, head of the German Archaeological Institute’s (DAI’s) Eurasia Department in Berlin. The well-preserved bones and artifacts add detail to this picture of Bronze Age sophistication, pointing to the existence of a trained warrior class and suggesting that people from across Europe joined the bloody fray. "

"Ancient DNA could potentially reveal much more: When compared to other Bronze Age samples from around Europe at this time, it could point to the homelands of the warriors as well as such traits as eye and hair color. 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. “This is not a bunch of local idiots,” says University of Mainz geneticist Joachim Burger. “It’s a highly diverse population.”

My first thought was that perhaps this was a battle between remnants of the MN culture groups and newer more steppe like groups, but wouldn't this be too late for this to be true? The steppe people had moved across Europe long before this. Plus, this is the Baltic region, where Neolithic groups didn't get much traction. Wouldn't the people who remained from the prior culture be predominantly WHG like? It's possible, of course, we'll have to wait and see if there's any way to assign the bronze wielding warriors to a certain autosomal profile.

The other possibility is that this is somehow related to the contact between this area and the Mycenaeans that we see reflected in the archaeology. This is right around the time of the Trojan War if I'm not mistaken.

A stray thought occurred to me. I may be totally off base, and I don't have the time to do much checking right now, but don't some of the experiments show a possible influx of CHG into northern Europe aside from what would have come with the Yamnaya related people? I also think that Urnfield was slightly more CHG wasn't it? Wasn't there J2 among them as well? Like I said, this may be totally off, but I thought I'd mention it.

There's a whole text on the subject of such contacts, but there's no free access to it:
http://www2.ulg.ac.be/archgrec/aegaeum27.html

The papers cited here are also interesting:
http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2013/05/links-between-mycenaeans-and-scandinavia.html

If someone has specific knowledge of the culture in that area at that time, in particular the level of sophistication of their bronze working, that would be really helpful to get a handle on it.

bicicleur
26-03-16, 22:29
it's been in the news a year ago or something
then it was speculated that it was a trading convoy ambushed and attacked as arrows would have been shot from higher positions, maybe from trees
probably some war over the control of trade routes

coincidence or not, it is the same period as the 'Sea peoples' attacking Egypt and the destruction of Ugarit, the Hittites and the Mycenaeans

LeBrok
26-03-16, 22:38
Exciting news! Not because thousand died in the battle, but a discovery of unknown history of Europe.
Isn't it smack in center of Bronze Age collapse time? Dramatic climatic changes and population movements related to it bring big upheavals and wars. Perhaps we are dealing with new population movement from East to West, as happened many times in history during climatic change, especially the global cooling.
So they already did some DNA testing, but unfortunately released only few details. We would have devoured it happily here. :) Anyway, my hunch is that these folk from South could have been local farmers not fully mixed with IEs yet. Or perhaps this was a Celtic invasion, (who took part in ethnogenesis of Germans) into this territory and they brought some south element from their base in Balkans?
They said that some of them look more like modern Polish or Swedish. It is a little baffling because modern Northern Germans are not much different from both. Perhaps they imply Corded Ware connections for these individuals, and Northern "Germans" at this time were more EEF like, at least in this exact region? Interesting nevertheless.

Fire Haired14
26-03-16, 22:42
The ones with South European-affinity are definitely migrants/immigrants/newcomers. No doubt about it. They should be able to tell more than South European, like if they were connected to Spanish or Northern Italians or Greeks.

The relationship of the other warriors to Scandinavians and Poles makes a lot of sense. Our Urnfield genome is from the same time period and region, and he belonged to a typical East European form of R1a. It's impossible for Slavs to have exterminated every last human being in Eastern Europe during the Early Middle Ages. So, it'd be no surprising a Bronze age person from around Poland had genealogical connection specifically to Polish, even though he wasn't Slavic. Also, this part of Germany is right next to Scandinavia.

LeBrok
26-03-16, 22:48
it's been in the news a year ago or something
then it was speculated that it was a trading convoy ambushed and attacked as arrows would have been shot from higher positions, maybe from trees
probably some war over the control of trade routesProbably a different occurrence, as they talk about a big battle of thousands of warriors. Not just an ambush.


coincidence or not, it is the same period as the 'Sea peoples' attacking Egypt and the destruction of Ugarit, the Hittites and the MycenaeansThat's what I thought, the Bronze Age collapse times. I checked some dates and in seems to be just before the collapse.
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30089-The-Bronze-Age-Collapse

Tomenable
26-03-16, 23:01
Location of the Tollense River Valley, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern:

http://history.sf-fandom.com/files/2011/05/tollense-01.jpg

The battle took place around 1250 BC (according to radiocarbon dating).

It was apparently a time of major upheavals in many parts of Europe:

"1200 BC - War, Climate Change & Cultural Catastrophe - ABSTRACTS":

http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/1200BC_abstracts.pdf

===============================

And here a translated quote from another forum:

"Fantastic discovery!

In several next days from now I will try to search through available reports, especially seeking information or photographs concerning military items and equipment found at Tollense battlefield. And these military items can be of key importance assuming, that the dating of the site to period BrD or maybe III OEB in chronology by Montelius is correct. I am especially interested in melee weapons.

First of all, we are talking here about a period in which Tumulus cultures were being replaced by Urnfield cultures. It was also the beginning of a revolution in military technology, associated with the beginnings of European swords which could be used for both cutting and stabbing. The question is, were those swords - likely of Reutlingen type - present there? Theoretically it is a bit too far to the north of territories until now considered as their place of origin, but considering the scale of this battle, I would not be surprised. Especially, that some single specimen have been found even in Southern Scandinavia. If we accept the date of 1250 BC, the age is correct.

Another issue are evident climate changes. Climate changes, which in the end culminated in Southern Europe in what is known from written sources as migrations of the Sea Peoples.* Today we have no doubts, that what we know as the Sea Peoples was just the last episode of large-scale population movements. Perhaps now we have discovered one of the first episodes of that process. I have always been suggesting that those population movements had originated in areas of modern Czech Republic or Germany. So if what I suppose gets confirmed, it will be an argument supporting my theory. If I find some more details, I will of course share."

Originally posted on this forum (link below) by user Marthinus, who is a professional archaeologist:

Link (http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.historycy.org%2Findex.php%3Fsho wtopic%3D139756%26view%3Dfindpost%26p%3D1533087)

*From wikipedia: "The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of naval raiders who harried the coastal towns and cities of the Mediterranean region between c. 1276-1178 BCE, concentrating their efforts especially on Egypt."

=================

So, the battle of Tollense could have something to do with events trigerring a series of massing migrations, culminating in the Mediterranean World in what was described by literate civilizations of that time as "the invasions of the Sea Peoples".

bicicleur
26-03-16, 23:02
Probably a different occurrence, as they talk about a big battle of thousands of warriors. Not just an ambush.

That's what I thought, the Bronze Age collapse times. I checked some dates and in seems to be just before the collapse.
http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/30089-The-Bronze-Age-Collapse

no, it was about the same, the Tollense massacre
but indeed attacking a trade convoy shouldn't make thousands of victims

bicicleur
26-03-16, 23:12
Location of the Tollense River Valley, in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern:

http://history.sf-fandom.com/files/2011/05/tollense-01.jpg

The battle took place around 1250 BC (according to radiocarbon dating).

It was apparently a time of major upheavals in many parts of Europe:

"1200 BC - War, Climate Change & Cultural Catastrophe - ABSTRACTS":

http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/1200BC_abstracts.pdf

===============================

And here a translated quote from another forum:

"Fantastic discovery!

In several next days from now I will try to search through available reports, especially seeking information or photographs concerning military items and equipment found at Tollense battlefield. And these military items can be of key importance assuming, that the dating of the site to period BrD or maybe III OEB in chronology by Montelius is correct. I am especially interested in melee weapons.

First of all, we are talking here about a period in which Tumulus cultures were being replaced by Urnfield cultures. It was also the beginning of a revolution in military technology, associated with the beginnings of European swords which could be used for both cutting and stabbing. The question is, were those swords - likely of Reutlingen type - present there? Theoretically it is a bit too far to the north of territories until now considered as their place of origin, but considering the scale of this battle, I would not be surprised. Especially, that some single specimen have been found even in Southern Scandinavia. If we accept the date of 1250 BC, the age is correct.

Another issue are evident climate changes. Climate changes, which in the end culminated in Southern Europe in what is known from written sources as migrations of the Sea Peoples.* Today we have no doubts, that what we know as the Sea Peoples was just the last episode of large-scale population movements. Perhaps now we have discovered one of the first episodes of that process. I have always been suggesting that those population movements had originated in areas of modern Czech Republic or Germany. So if what I suppose gets confirmed, it will be an argument supporting my theory. If I find some more details, I will of course share."

Originally posted on this forum (link below) by user Marthinus, who is a professional archaeologist:

Link (http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=pl&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.historycy.org%2Findex.php%3Fsho wtopic%3D139756%26view%3Dfindpost%26p%3D1533087)

*From wikipedia: "The Sea Peoples were a confederacy of naval raiders who harried the coastal towns and cities of the Mediterranean region between c. 1276-1178 BCE, concentrating their efforts especially on Egypt."

=================

So, the battle of Tollense could have something to do with events trigerring a series of massing migrations, culminating in the Mediterranean World in what was described by literate civilizations of that time as "the invasions of the Sea Peoples".

the 1st swords - Apa type - appeared northwest of the Black Sea 1700 BC and soon after also in the Carpathian Basin - the Mycenaeans probably arrived in Greece 1650 BC with swords too
according to Barry Cunlife http://www.amazon.com/Europe-Between-Oceans-9000-BC-AD/dp/0300170866
there was intense trade between Nordic Bronze in Scandinavia and the Cartpathian Basin
probably swords were allready that far north by 1250 BC

about the Sea Peoples a lot has been investigated and discussed, but still the exact nature of this turmoil remains unknown
it would be a combination of seismic activity in Anatolia in the Aegean, climate change and hunger, revolts and people movements
like in Greece the Mycenaean palaces would have been destroyed, but not the countryside
it would be more a change in the political structures than mass invasions, mass movements from the Balkans existed though right after this period (Dorians, Eolians, Ionians, Phrygians and Armenians)

Tomenable
26-03-16, 23:12
The Battle of Leipzig in 1813 AD, is also known as "Battle of the Nations" because so many ethnic groups were involved.

The battle of Tollense from ca. 1250 BC was apparently a similar one, in which peoples from distant places took part:

"(...) What does the archaeological evidence say about where they came from? So from isotopic evidence, chemical composition of the teeth, it looks like some of those people came from the local area, but some of them also came from maybe hundreds of kilometers to the south and east. One archaeologist compared this to Homer actually, and to the attack on Troy, where lots of different warbands came together to fight in one place, a very long way. Ancient DNA evidence is just in the beginning stages of analyses, but the ancient DNA is telling a similar story, that these folks came from pretty far afield and were related to different modern populations, some of them look like modern Poles or Russians, and some of them look like modern Italians. So really, really different in terms of the DNA as well. (...)"

Source (listen to 20:40 - 21:20 of this podcast):

http://www.sciencemag.org/podcast/podcast-battling-it-out-bronze-age-letting-go-orcas-and-evolving-silicon-based-life

And also:

"(...) chemical tracers in the remains suggest that most of the Tollense warriors came from hundreds of kilometers away. The isotopes in your teeth reflect those in the food and water you ingest during childhood, which in turn mirror the surrounding geology—a marker of where you grew up. Retired University of Wisconsin, Madison, archaeologist Doug Price analyzed strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotopes in 20 teeth from Tollense. (...) “The range of isotope values is really large,” he says. “We can make a good argument that the dead came from a lot of different places.” Further clues come from isotopes of another element, nitrogen, which reflect diet. Nitrogen isotopes in teeth from some of the men suggest they ate a diet heavy in millet (...) Ancient DNA could potentially reveal much more: When compared to other Bronze Age samples from around Europe at this time, it could point to the homelands of the warriors as well as such traits as eye and hair color. 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. “This is not a bunch of local idiots,” says University of Mainz geneticist Joachim Burger. “It’s a highly diverse population.” As University of Aarhus’s Vandkilde puts it: “It’s an army like the one described in Homeric epics, made up of smaller war bands that gathered to sack Troy” - an event thought to have happened fewer than 100 years later, in 1184 B.C.E. That suggests an unexpectedly widespread social organization, Jantzen says. “To organize a battle like this over tremendous distances and gather all these people in one place was a tremendous accomplishment,” he says. (...)"

Source:

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/slaughter-bridge-uncovering-colossal-bronze-age-battle?utm_source=sciencemagazine&utm_medium=facebook-text&utm_campaign=bronzeagebattle-3174

===================

Some of other papers related to this battle:

http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/tollense-battle.html

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/250308033_A_Bronze_Age_Battlefield_Weapons_and_Tra uma_in_the_Tollense_Valley_north-eastern_Germany

http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/OCTOPUS;jsessionid=5EC30D98DA8BD862BD8526C7F96187D E?context=projekt&id=236942581&language=en&task=showDetail

Tomenable
26-03-16, 23:20
probably swords were allready that far north by 1250 BC

If I understand him correctly, Marthinus wrote not just about swords of any kind.

He meant specifically such swords which could be used for both cutting and stabbing.

Those early swords you mentioned could be used only in one of these two ways, IIRC.


the Mycenaeans arrived in Greece 1650 BC with swords too

It seems that Mycenaean swords could only be used for stabbing (thrusting):

http://www.karwansaraypublishers.com/pw/ancient-warfare/blog/swords-in-ancient-greece/


Initially, the Mycenaeans had a fondness for long, thin, and relatively fragile rapier-like swords, but over time they started to use ever shorter and stouter blades, which began to resemble dirks more than anything else and were probably all used for thrusting. A problem with bronze is that it bends relatively easily and tends to dull more quickly, which is why shorter, stabbing swords tend to be more common in the Bronze Age.

Swords capable of efficient cutting, not just stabbing, emerged only later - it seems.

Tomenable
26-03-16, 23:26
Alongside over 130 killed men, also 5 horses killed in that battle have been found so far.

Those five horses were stabbed to death with use of spears:

Quote: "Horses belonging to high-ranking warriors crumpled into the muck, fatally speared."

Of course this far from being all of the victims, because only 450 m2 of battlefield - or between 3% and 10% - have been excavated so far (there can be hundreds more of other killed men and horses in the remaining part of the battlefield):

Quote: "By counting specific, singular bones—skulls and femurs, for example—UG forensic anthropologists Ute Brinker and Annemarie Schramm identified a minimum of 130 individuals, almost all of them men, most between the ages of 20 and 30. The number suggests the scale of the battle. “We have 130 people, minimum, and five horses. And we’ve only opened 450 square meters. That’s 10% of the find layer, at most, maybe just 3% or 4%,” says Detlef Jantzen, chief archaeologist at MVDHP. “If we excavated the whole area, we might have 750 people. That’s incredible for the Bronze Age.” In what they admit are back-of-the-envelope estimates, he and Terberger argue that if one in five of the battle’s participants was killed and left on the battlefield, that could mean almost 4000 warriors took part in the fighting."

Some of the Bronze Age warriors who died at Tollense, including a cavalryman and a foot swordsman:

http://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/article_main_large/public/warriors_03.png?itok=QXbzKPUA

We have been discussing advantages of Copper Age & Bronze Age warriors over Neolithic warriors here:

http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/32030-A-real-life-Stone-Age-battle

Many typically Neolithic weapons continued to be used throughout the Bronze Age, like flint arrowheads.

But also new innovations emerged, so certainly warriors of the Early Metal Ages were advantaged.

Archers at Tollense were using both metal arrowheads (1st pic) and flint arrowheads (2nd pic):

http://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/inline_small__3_4/public/Sch%C3%A4del6-innen.jpg

http://s24.postimg.org/jd1wrnwwl/Abb_02.jpg

As we can see, both types were efficient - could penetrate bones and get stuck deep inside them.

===========================

Many men at Tollense fought with wooden clubs like these, which could still be dangerous for unarmored foes:

http://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/styles/inline_colwidth__16_9/public/ThingsTheyCarried.jpg

Tomenable
26-03-16, 23:49
Even if they aren't already doing this, they will surely be testing autosomal DNA of fallen warriors.

They want to check genes related to Vitamin D and Calcium metabolism, hair color, eye color, etc.:

http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/OCTOPUS?context=projekt&id=236942581&language=en&task=showDetail

"(...) Furthermore, the excellent preservation of these samples will allow us to conduct a population- genetic analysis of paternal lineages. Not least, this is an opportunity to retrace evolutionary adaptation processes (e.g. Calcium- and Vitamin D metabolism) originating in the Neolithic transition. We plan to use mitochondrial and nuclear aDNA capture essays and next generation sequencing technology to generate the most comprehensive prehistoric DNA data set to date. This study will be the first to combine multi locus aDNA capture assays and spatially explicit coalescence analyses of prehistoric DNA, and will undoubtedly set a new standard for human population genetics. The relevance of these results will extend far beyond the archaeological site of the Tollense Valley, and our data will be interpreted within the diachronic and supra-regional context of European population history. (...)"

====================

And this from Science Magazine article posted in the OP by Angela:

"Ancient DNA could potentially reveal much more: When compared to other Bronze Age samples from around Europe at this time, it could point to the homelands of the warriors as well as such traits as eye and hair color."

Tomenable
26-03-16, 23:56
The relationship of the other warriors to Scandinavians and Poles makes a lot of sense. Our Urnfield genome is from the same time period and region, and he belonged to a typical East European form of R1a.

This battle took place in times, when Tumulus peoples were being displaced / replaced by Urnfield peoples.

It seems that it was an invasion from the East (and maybe also some additional invasions from other directions as well).


Also, this part of Germany is right next to Scandinavia.

This part of Germany became the borderland between Nordic Bronze Age and Urnfield cultures which replaced Tumulus.

IMO "Scandinavian-like" = locals; "Polish-like" = Urnfield men from the East; and "Italian-like" = men from the South.

Tomenable
27-03-16, 00:04
So, it'd be no surprising a Bronze age person from around Poland had genealogical connection specifically to Polish, even though he wasn't Slavic.

What do you mean by "wasn't Slavic", considering that the authors say that genetically they were like Poles or Russians?

If you mean language, then of course "Italian warriors" at Tollense also did not speak Italian, nor did they even speak Latin.

It is doubtful if they even spoke Italic, or any Indo-European (because Italy also had many Non-IE groups, like Etruscans).

But since when is being Italian related to language ??? Italy has always been a place where many languages were spoken.


even though he wasn't Slavic.

It is possible that Slavic language did not yet exist at that time, but was still at the stage of some "Common Balto-Slavic".

However, since Slavs did not come from another planet, their direct genetic ancestors were around during the Bronze Age.

And apparently some of them fought at Tollense, if this early genetic data becomes confirmed by further research.

Tomenable
27-03-16, 00:12
By the way - Urnfield culture maybe wasn't Balto-Slavic, but it certainly wasn't Germanic.

Some Pre-Proto-Germanic language could be spoken in the Nordic Bronze Age, which was centered on Scandinavia.

Vast majority of what is now Germany was inhabited by Non-Germanic people back then. So if we are talking about "exterminating people in Eastern Europe", you should ask if Germanic tribes did that when they moved to that region during the Iron Age.

In the Bronze Age there were no Germanic people there. They colonized that area only later, in the Iron Age.

Sile
27-03-16, 00:32
seems like the germanic tribes pushing eastwards against the balts

they could not go south and west due to the celts and gallic peoples

Tomenable
27-03-16, 01:51
seems like the germanic tribes pushing eastwards against the balts

Too early for that.

It looks like Urnfield pushing west and north-west, into lands of Tumulus.

Urnfield originated in Slovakia and North-Eastern Hungary, the Piliny culture.

Rethel
27-03-16, 01:57
By the way - Urnfield culture maybe wasn't Balto-Slavic, but it certainly wasn't Germanic.

It is much easier to say: it was an indoeuropean culture :)

Promenade
27-03-16, 02:51
I wonder if ancient battles like this eventually evolved into myth about fights between gods and such. I think much of the religious and the tradition of the iron and classical age is probably based on mythic interprattions of ancient events like these brought by years of retelling and shaping them.

It is also interesting to see that such diverse group of people were involved. Did the article say if the battle was between the southern and northern European like people or did they fight side by side neglecting genetic background?

dodona
27-03-16, 09:36
BTW apparently the whole news is suppressed in Germany who invented Nationalsocialism and Marxism.

bicicleur
27-03-16, 09:54
Too early for that.

It looks like Urnfield pushing west and north-west, into lands of Tumulus.

Urnfield originated in Slovakia and North-Eastern Hungary, the Piliny culture.

or allready beyond Tumulus, a clash between Urnfield and Nordic Bronze?

7658

did Tumulus culture exist this far north?

oldeuropeanculture
27-03-16, 12:03
The battlefield lies on the Amber road. Caravans traversed this route going up and down central Europe for millenniums before this battle and continued to do so after this battle. Is it possible that the battle was not a war battle, but an attack on a large caravan going north to exchange goods from the south of Europe for Amber from the Baltic?

This blog post


http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.ie/2015/07/tollense-battle.html


proposes that considering the presence of women and children on the battlefield it is much more likely that the battle was an attack on a caravan.


In the article from Science Magazine which is linked from the above blog post, one other thing is mentioned: genetic diversity of combatants.



(...) chemical tracers in the remains suggest that most of the Tollense warriors came from hundreds of kilometers away. The isotopes in your teeth reflect those in the food and water you ingest during childhood, which in turn mirror the surrounding geology - a marker of where you grew up. Retired University of Wisconsin, Madison, archaeologist Doug Price analyzed strontium, oxygen, and carbon isotopes in 20 teeth from Tollense. Just a few showed values typical of the northern European plain (...) The other teeth came from farther afield (...) “The range of isotope values is really large,” he says. “We can make a good argument that the dead came from a lot of different places.” Further clues come from isotopes of another element, nitrogen, which reflect diet. Nitrogen isotopes in teeth from some of the men suggest they ate a diet heavy in millet (...) “This is not a bunch of local idiots,” says Joachim Burger. “It’s a highly diverse population.” As University of Aarhus’s Vandkilde puts it: “It’s an army like the one described in Homeric epics, made up of smaller war bands that gathered to sack Troy”—an event thought to have happened fewer than 100 years later, in 1184 B.C.E. That suggests an unexpectedly widespread social organization, Jantzen says. “To organize a battle like this over tremendous distances and gather all these people in one place was a tremendous accomplishment,” (...)


Well not really an accomplishment if the party that was attacked was a large caravan, consisting of many different parties, from different parts of the great amber road trading route, all banded up together for protection. In that case you would see exactly this composition of people...


Caravan is a living entity. People join caravans on its way. This one was probably going to the amber country to exchange goods from the south (like metal and who knows what else, maybe vine, food, textile...) for amber in the north. Also don't forget that mercenaries from many different places could have been employed as guards as well.

So maybe people see what they want to see, great glorious battles of epic proportions, which sound much cooler than an attack on a southern caravan by the raiding gang from the north.

Greying Wanderer
28-03-16, 13:27
no, it was about the same, the Tollense massacre
but indeed attacking a trade convoy shouldn't make thousands of victims

I think they dug more and found there were far more bodies - so originally maybe looked like an attack on a caravan but then got too big.

Greying Wanderer
28-03-16, 13:41
I have no clear view on this other than it's a fantastic find and i hope the whole battlefield is dug.

I wouldn't be surprised if through some kind of domino effect its somehow connected to the same event(s) that sparked the Sea Peoples (but it could equally well be a dozen other things).

As a Tolkein fan to me it has a "Battle of Five Armies" vibe to it - like two coalitions rather than two sides - but that's just gut feelz.

love it

bicicleur
28-03-16, 15:36
I have no clear view on this other than it's a fantastic find and i hope the whole battlefield is dug.

I wouldn't be surprised if through some kind of domino effect its somehow connected to the same event(s) that sparked the Sea Peoples (but it could equally well be a dozen other things).

As a Tolkein fan to me it has a "Battle of Five Armies" vibe to it - like two coalitions rather than two sides - but that's just gut feelz.

love it

note that it is accidently that these bones have been preserved by the right soil conditions
there may have been many more battle fields that didn't leave any traces

it is very interesting indeed, hope to hear more about it in the future

bicicleur
28-03-16, 20:09
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.
“The crossing played an important role in the conflict. Maybe one group tried to cross and the other pushed them back,” Terberger says. “The conflict started there and turned into fighting along the river.”


it looks like a conflict over trade routes
and it was an ideal location for an ambush

LeBrok
28-03-16, 20:26
note that it is accidently that these bones have been preserved by the right soil conditions
there may have been many more battle fields that didn't leave any traces

it is very interesting indeed, hope to hear more about it in the future
I bet there was a big flood from this river close by, right after the battle, covering bodies and weapons with thick layer of mud. That's why it all was preserved so well. Otherwise bodies would be buried after the battle and precious weapons collected by winners.

Greying Wanderer
29-03-16, 11:15
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.
“The crossing played an important role in the conflict. Maybe one group tried to cross and the other pushed them back,” Terberger says. “The conflict started there and turned into fighting along the river.”


it looks like a conflict over trade routes
and it was an ideal location for an ambush



One aspect of that is in later times such a critical crossing point nearly always had a castle nearby to control/protect/tax trade so I wonder if this one did also?

Is there an ancient Troyberg on some nearby high ground?

bicicleur
29-03-16, 12:51
One aspect of that is in later times such a critical crossing point nearly always had a castle nearby to control/protect/tax trade so I wonder if this one did also?

Is there an ancient Troyberg on some nearby high ground?

no, no cities, no settlements nothing nearby

Greying Wanderer
30-03-16, 12:59
no, no cities, no settlements nothing nearby

yes, looking at google maps it is very flat round there

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Tollense/@53.7519142,12.8930659,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x47ab94f6251bce27:0x80e2a 0795e46ab68

clicking on the various towns and looking at the photos you get a lot like

Neubrandenburg http://213.23.74.38/hotel/fileadmin/grafik/Boxen/Tollensesee_17-crop.jpg

Demmin http://www.mv-travel.de/images/stories/orte/demmin/demmin-stadtpanorama.jpg

Gnevkow https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Gnevkow,+Germany/@53.791212,13.1990779,3a,75y,214h,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1s93619010!2e1!3e10!6s%2F%2Flh3. googleusercontent.com%2Fproxy%2FMr3yQ8yhMS82OogY2C dw7Y5zlcJSCQSJ37sgnSLXcOlBc-38HkTjKnQ4WtuyahECeJhHNi4LdvLp9uG_KsmDnc1rrk1_iQ%3 Dw203-h152!7i4000!8i3000!4m2!3m1!1s0x47ab943b27b980e7:0x 04251ae8ad8489b0!6m1!1e1

which makes me think if there was a Troyberg nearby it would probably have to have been a lake town now underwater

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looking on a physical map the only bit of high ground that sticks out nearby is the small patch at 116 (i assume metres) to the west of Tollense in between neubrandenburg, demmin and machlin

http://www.zonu.com/fullsize2-en/2011-06-08-13898/Physical-map-of-Mecklenburg-Vorpommern-2008.html

which (guessing) looks it might be Kreisow on the google map

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Kriesow,+Germany/@53.7306861,12.9875156,12z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x47ab92da4020e909:0x89bab 9658a4e6d4b

maybe this (almost) hill is the 116?

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Kriesow,+Germany/@53.723415,13.0358791,3a,75y,32h,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1s94820646!2e1!3e10!6s%2F%2Flh6. googleusercontent.com%2Fproxy%2Fcpw7wV-5l6pwlGX7t6b1zVYAF6ImEvTML8j0pvvNma367-TwY21MMR6ZNI3nGFODSD3LpqLp7YM_3Hh_c6T5Yr97YiHHEg%3 Dw203-h152!7i4000!8i3000!4m2!3m1!1s0x47ab92da4020e909:0x 89bab9658a4e6d4b!6m1!1e1

looks a bit small to be a Troyberg but if there was a trade route passing through over a giant swamp/lake terrain then maybe a rest stop along the way?

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just messing about really but if there's an important trade route crossing between a town A and a town B then it makes you wonder where A and B were and if not local (which seems plausible given the terrain) then A and B would be somewhere that makes sense for the route i.e. Tollense would likely be a path of least resistance between A and B at the time.

Another thing that popped up on my googling may give a hint

https://photos.tripsite.com/assets/files/1272/malchin_to_berlin_final.jpg

If it's amber trade (plausible) then that lagoon is maybe where the Troyberg was and the Tollense crossing was one of the routes to it.

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wild speculatin for fun

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edit

one last map centerd on the battle site

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Tollense/@53.7515081,12.8930753,10z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x47ab94f6251bce27:0x80e2a 0795e46ab68

i'd think the easiest route from the SW (around the Machlin area) to the lagoon would be via the Peene river through Demmin to Anklam (which has had some kind of fortress to guard/extort access to the lagoon since at least viking times)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altes_Lager_(Menzlin)

however interestingly looking at the map Tollense is pretty much equidistant as the crow flies between Machlin and Anklam.

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what would be cool with all this would be a place name translator

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edit2

also hard to tell distance accurately on the map but notice Kriesow is c. 15-20 km from Machlin - days journey for traders?

if there was an overland route Machlin -> Anklam then you might also expect a rest-stop on the other side of the Tollense river crossing - maybe somewhere around Breest