In time, perhaps the event passed into legend. 1300–1250 BCE, documenting a violent group conflict hitherto unimagined for this period of time in Europe, changing the perception of the Bronze Age. “The bronzes are not giving away clear hints at the persona of their owner,” he says. Men from both sides fell. A flint arrowhead was embedded in the bone. A larger sample size and longer analysis revealed a more homogenous population, DNA-wise, than he initially thought. Since the site is the only one of its kind (and barring the invention of time travel), it’s hard to say. In about 1300 BC in the sodden marshland of the Tollense Valley in northern Germany, 5,000 warriors assembled in two great armies. Researchers continue to examine clues from bones and weapons found at the site, and a paper published this week in Antiquity looks at an unusual group of artifacts that provide yet another twist in the decades-long search to understand exactly who fought at Tollense, and why. Get your free copy of the Gods of Bronze prequel The Wolf God now: display . In this place, Tollense meanders in a relatively narrow valley with wet meadows. 1200 BC. But now, more complete DNA results obtained by Burger’s team earlier this year throw water on the theory, at least from a genetic perspective. Terberger's group first revealed the results of their work on Tollense in 2011. It was reported long ago that genetic studies were being made on remains of a surprisingly big battle that happened in the Tollense valley in north-eastern Germany, at the confluence between Nordic, Tumulus/Urnfield, and Proto-Lusatian/Lusatian territories, ca. Over the past millennia, the flow of the river has changed slightly. “This was puzzling for us,” says Thomas Terberger, an archaeologist at the University of Göttingen in Germany who helped launch the excavation at Tollense and co-authored the paper. The dam was made of trunks of trees and stones more than five centu… “But even with modern genomes, you can’t make that much of a distinction between Bohemia and [northern] Germany.”. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. For a long time they were considered to be evidence of the oldest battle in history. Es wird aber leider direkt in der Hochsaison (Ende Juni bis Mitte August) gekrautet, so dass man oft an mehreren Stellen Krausperren überwinden muss. Das Tollense-Einzugsgebiet wird intensiv landwirtschaftlich bewirtschaftet. At least 130 bodies and 5 horses have been identified from the bones found. I am writing my bronze age fantasy series Gods of Bronze and although this battle takes place 1500 years later than my series, it really is a wonderfully evocative and stimulating tale. Embedded in the bone was a flint arrowhead. Isotope analysis of the remains seemed to bolster that conclusion. One group of “locals” originated from the area, they speculated, while a second was made up of a heterogenous group of fighters who may have gathered from hundreds of miles away for a Trojan War-style standoff on the riverbanks. The battlefield was discovered in 1996 by an amateur archaeologist, who saw an arm bone sticking out of the riverbank. An amateur archaeologist found the smashed body part protruding from the steep bank of the Tollense River river. They moved on, perhaps taking the land and women of the dead men, perhaps simply moving through the landscape to some new location. During the following years, a club made of ashwood was discovered as well as a hammer-like weapon made of blackthorn and more bones. Or perhaps they returned to their own homes, a matter of honour settled. Until one day in 1996, a voluntary conservationist reported finding a humerus bone at the Tollense riverside at low water with an embedded arrowhead made of flint. Back in 2016, says Burger, one of the bones he was given to analyze actually ended up being from the Neolithic age, which predates the Tollense battle by between 8,750 and 3,250 years. Preliminary aDNA results fueled speculation that the massive battle was regional, not local. Bei mehreren Wehren und Hindernissen (Steinschüttungen, niedrige Brücken und sogenannte Krautsperren) muss während der 68 Kilometer langen Bootsfahrt umgetragen werden. Thanks for reading. “It is the opposite of spectacular,” says Burger. Yes I agree. Their deeds have been remembered by poets and novelists. Archaeological discoveries in the Tollense Valley represent remains of a Bronze Age battle of ca. I never heard of Tollense river before. Learn how your comment data is processed. “It’s actually quite boring.”, Burger’s yet-to-be-published analysis may cast a dull shadow on the far-flung warriors thesis, but it doesn’t rule out the possibility of participants from places like Bohemia. Preliminary archaeological excavations began the same year around this site and further human and animal bones were found. Many were veterans of other raids and battles, with the scarred bodies to prove it. Smith, who was not involved in the Tollense research, says the battle’s sheer scale illustrates the violence Bronze Age warriors were capable of. Certainly by historical times however all knowledge of it was lost. “We can exclude Southern Europe—places like Serbia or Hungary,” he says. The Battle of the Bridge over the Tollense River The Tollense Bronze Age Battle Over three thousand years ago small bands of warriors came together and traveled a great distance to lay siege to an enemy fortress. “We don't see any sign of two different groups fighting against each other from our sample,” he tells National Geographic. Daher gibt es hohe Nährstoffeinträge, die zu starkem Pflanzenwuchs führen. It turned out Tollense river was a site of a big battle which took place around 1200 BC. Tollense battle. The new DNA analysis did rule out the possibility of the battle being among family members. Those axe stashes were likely designed as cultic collections, says Oliver Dietrich, an archaeologist with the German Archaeological Institute. “Now it’s more and more likely that we are not dealing with a local conflict,” he says. Human activity has had little impact on this area. That chaos—and what it says about the violence of the Bronze Age—provides a rare point of agreement for researchers and outside experts alike. Many were veterans of other raids and battles, with the scarred bodies to prove it. I never heard of Tollense river before. The other side was armed with only flint arrowheads and wooden clubs. Your email address will not be published. Splashing through the soft ground beside the river, the powerfully armed invaders charged the men defending their homelands. However, something like that did happen. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. In 2017, researchers published their analysis of the strontium, carbon and nitrogen isotopes in the teeth of 52 of the over 140 victims whose remains have been recovered so far. The Bronze Age site at the Tollense River was discovered in 1996 by an amateur archaeologist.. Der Fund verändert das Bild von der Bronzezeit: Vor 3300 Jahren kämpften im Tal der Tollense an der Ostsee Tausende Krieger gegeneinander. ... attle-3174 A neat and fresh article about the discoveries and interpretation of events from a battlefield So I decided to investigate the whole thing. But an excavator now draws entirely different conclusions. Like almost all events in history, it was forgotten forever. Radiocarbon dating showed they were from around 1250 BC. Was this a battle between different groups of people from across Europe, or just a very large, localized family feud? But what prompted the fighting at Tollense? According to the paper, a group of 31 bronze objects was found in river sediment about 1,000 feet away from an ancient causeway believed to be the battle’s starting point. Dietrich says the objects were likely personal property of someone involved in the fighting, but concedes it’s unclear whether a combatant or someone else carried them onto the battle site. “Why would a warrior be going round with a lot of scrap metal?” he asks. It was a great slaughter – the greatest known about in the Bronze Age. Since then, they’ve published several papers on the site, including one that confirmed its status as a battlefield through analysis of the lesions on victims’ bones and another that speculated the conflict started on the causeway. In 2013, using geomagnetic studies, traces of the existing 120-meter bridge or dam across the Tollense valley were discovered. In 2016, Joachim Burger, a population geneticist at the University of Mainz, told Science that initial aDNA analysis suggested a “highly diverse” group of warriors with genetic links from as far as southern Europe. Archaeologists have a fundamental problem. In the Bronze Age, the landscape was more open. More will be found here in future I’m sure and more analysis will be done. If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Proper investigations began in 2007 and since then the above picture has gradually emerged. They found two groups of fighters: one group of northern German locals and another, more diverse group from somewhere in Central Europe (Bohemia, a historical region located southwest of Germany that covered the western portion of what is now Czechia, is the strongest contender). Search: Add your article Home Landforms by country Bodies of water by country Rivers by country Rivers of Germany Tollense. To Terberger and his team, that lends credence to their theory that the battle wasn’t just a northern affair. “When the first example of anything crops up, people don’t know what to make of it,” agrees Martin J. Smith, a lecturer in forensic anthropology at Bournemouth University in the United Kingdom. (Burger is not an author of the current paper.). A remarkable resemblance to the Irish tradition. " Similarly, the River Tollense could have played a role in the flow of commodities; the causeway at the Kessin 12 site offers a possible connection of the south-north water transportation route via the Tollense River to the Baltic Sea with an east-west land route linking the River Oder estuary region and the Mecklenburg Lake District. Battle ranged up and down the valley in a hundred pockets of fighting and countless moments of valour and infamy. Abstract. 2020 National Geographic Partners, LLC. The objects include a bronze awl, a chisel and knife, bronze fragments, and a small, cylindrical bronze box designed to be worn on a belt. Thousands of human bones from the Bronze Age have come to light on the Tollense in Mecklenburg since 2009. The battle took place around 1250 BCE and involved more than 2,000 combatants. This is Tollense valley, a river valley located in western Pomerania. The upper course begins near a small lake named Mürzsee, near the village of Blumenholz.A part of it is traditionally called Ziemenbach, flowing to lake Lieps. The Tollense Valley site in north-eastern Germany was one of the biggest and most brutal battles in Bronze Age Europe +7 +7 Since the 1980s, several pieces of evidence of a battle … So I decided to investigate the whole thing. On one side of the battlefield, at the site of the last stand of the doomed defenders, a great mound of bodies was made by the victors and left for the crows. Tollense battle: Bloody slaughter for women and horses 2020-12-17T04:44:59.800Z. To interpret the cache—which includes distinctly un-warlike metalworking gear—as belonging to warriors is “a bit far-fetched to me,” he says. Over a thousand were killed and many more were wounded. This great battle would have been remembered for generations. Da gekrautet wird, wächst die Tollense nicht komplett zu. In about 1300 BC in the sodden marshland of the Tollense Valley in northern Germany, 5,000 warriors assembled in two great armies. In fact, some Bronze-Age warriors did carry around small collections of scrap metal, which they stored in the sockets of their axes. The battlefield site at the Tollense River is very different: no formal burials and no traces of settlement are present in the valley. “We have no parallels for that.”. Could the cache mean the Tollense site was used for more than just a battlefield—or just that its warriors carried more items than archaeologists once suspected? The Battle of the Tollense River, 1250 BCE In 1996, an amateur archaeologist found a human arm bone sticking out of the bank of the Tollense River in northern Germany, not far from from the Baltic Sea. A star-ornamented container, meant to be worn on a belt, is one of 31 ancient bronze objects found together on the Tollense battlefield site. I wonder also how much more evidence there is out there under our feet, waiting to be discovered…, Read more here: But the meaning of “local” depends on how large you consider the Tollense Valley’s ancient neighborhood to be. Skelettreste … The archaeological site by the Tollense River Detlef Jantzen: Large groups of young men killed each other in a bloody battle right by the river. Fascinating and sad at the same time. Over time, the team became increasingly convinced that the battle took place between two groups of warriors. ★ Tollense - rivers of germany .. Add an external link to your content for free. Not so fast, says Anthony Harding, an archaeologist and Bronze Age specialist who was not involved with the research. Ab Neubrandenburg kann die Tollense mit kleineren Booten (Kanus, Kanadier, Ruderbooten) befahren werden. “They just look like Central and Northern Europeans,” he says. The sheer scale and violence at Tollense— considered Europe’s oldest battlefield site—put to rest a stubborn 20th-century idea that Bronze Age Europe was a relatively peaceful place. More than three millennia after the sun set on the banks of the Tollense, the battle that took place there still inspires intense debate. A few weeks ago someone wrote this comment on my post about knobsticks: "One of the knobsticks found in the Tollense River is actually made from blackthorn (sloe) wood (Prunus spinosa)! All were men aged between 20 and 40. The heroes celebrated and the dead mourned. What I uncovered during this investigation can prove to be one of the most important things I discovered so far, the missing piece of the jigsaw which links all the archaeological, linguistic, genetic and ethnographic data I have so far collected into a single picture. © 1996-2015 National Geographic Society, © 2015- Remains of victims from the Bronze Age battle at Tollense. Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress. The bronze objects were found close to each other, and researchers think they were once held together in an organic container—perhaps a leather bag or wooden toolbox—that has since disintegrated. Archaeologists did some minor digging there at the time and found a bashed-in skull and a wooden club of 73 cm (29 inches). All rights reserved. Researchers believe the battle took place on both sides of the Tollense River, and that combatants were killed as they moved downriver, leaving their bones and belongings behind. The battlefield extends over a hundred meters along the river. Since 1997, archaeologists have been excavating miles of land along the Tollense River in northern Germany and recovering the weapons and remains of hundreds of men who fought on its banks here around 1,200 B.C. After the last of the defeated were dispatched, the bodies were stripped of their weapons, jewellery, armour, and valuables before being flung into the river. All were men aged between 20 and 40. I had no idea what this person was talking about. Fractured skulls and shattered bones found on a German river bank reveal clues to what is considered the earliest, ... Germany reveals Bronze Age remains of brutal battle in Tollense Valley. Think again, Dietrich says: “This assemblage is no scrap hoard.” The time period, site, and likely storage in a container are different enough from the characteristics of known Bronze Age scrap hoards to disqualify their being carried for spiritual reasons, he notes. Before this discovery, it was assumed that only raiding happened at this time and battles of this scale were a development of the Iron Age. The many bronze finds suggest that offerings took place in the valley during period III, most probably connected to post-battle rituals. But it didn’t make a compelling case for the two-group theory. What was thought to be one of Europe’s oldest known battles may have actually been a massacre, German archaeologists believe, with a caravan … The Tollense River was important for north-south trade, and there is an "amazing" concentration of valuable artifacts, like gold rings and jewelry, found … “We are dealing with the first battlefield site of the Bronze Age,” says Terberger. Among the stash are also three bronze cylinders that may have been fittings for bags or boxes designed to hold personal gear—unusual objects that until now have only been discovered hundreds of miles away in southern Germany and eastern France. That would have been interesting enough, but this arm bone had a … The invading force, led by great warlords and a mighty chief, was armed with spears, bronze swords, knives, sickles and bronze tipped arrows. BATTLEFIELD ARCHAEOLOGY - BRONZE AGE BATTLEFIELD TOLLENSE VALLEY | Research on Bronze Age battlefield remains (skeletal remains / weapon finds) in the Tollense Valley, NE Germany I still want the full story though. The metal’s origins may be unclear, but its loss points to battle chaotic enough to separate a group of valuable objects from its owner. In 1996, a violently broken human arm bone was discovered at the site of the so-called Tollense battle in Germany, near today's border with Poland, and about 80 miles north of Berlin. Could that mean a warrior carried the bronze scraps as an offering to the gods? But the stash still belonged to a warrior, right? Since 1997, archaeologists have been excavating miles of land along the Tollense River in northern Germany and recovering the weapons and remains of … After all, says Smith, “The prehistoric past was a dangerous place to live.”, Photograh by J. Krüger, University of Greifswald, Puzzling artifacts found at Europe's oldest battlefield, by Dan | May 13, 2020 | writing | 2 comments. But was this battle a clash of two armies, or an attack on a caravan traveling along the ancient Amber road? The bronze assemblage included 3,000-year-old tools, ornaments, and metal scraps—likely once stored in a container that has since decayed away. In a Danish laboratory, a team of archaeologists are studying a set of ancient remains. In fact, the scene as I described it would be argued against by many archaeologists, I’m sure, as there is very little agreement about the actual events. … The most important warriors amongst them rode into battle on stocky horses, slashing with their swords and stabbing with their spears. Human remains were also found in the sediment deposit, supporting the idea that the area was part of the Bronze-Age battlefield. The Tollense (German pronunciation: [tɔˈlɛnzə], from Slavic dolenica "lowland, (flat) valley") is a river in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in northeastern Germany, right tributary of the Peene.It has a total length of 95.8 km. But it makes one wonder, does it not, what other great battles occurred in the thousands of years of the Bronze Age and are now unrecorded and unremembered – other than in legend. Slagfältet vid Tollense är en arkeologisk fyndplats från bronsåldern i Mecklenburg-Vorpommern i Tyskland.Fyndplatsen ligger i Tollenseflodens dal, öster om Weltzin, i närheten av byarna Burow och Werder i Landkreis Mecklenburgische Seenplatte (se karta).. De arkeologiska fynden visar tydliga tecken på våld och konflikt.

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