Battle of Tollense - Northern European Bronze Age

Mar 2016
146
Bloodlands
#11
Play the podcast linked in post #8 and go to 20 minutes 40 seconds, when he says:

"(...) 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. (...)"

In the article from Science Magazine - linked in post #1 - they also wrote about this:

"(...) 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,” (...)"
 
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Likes: Rodger
May 2013
333
ireland
#12
To organize a battle like this over tremendous distances and gather all these people in one place was a tremendous accomplishment
Not 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...
 
May 2013
333
ireland
#14
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. It is the presence of women and children which puts the spanner in the wheel of the battle of two armies scenarios.
 
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authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,950
#15
Play the podcast linked in post #8 and go to 20 minutes 40 seconds, when he says:

..........

In the article from Science Magazine - linked in post #1 - they also wrote about this:

I think Science Magazine have reported this part rather poorly. There hasn't yet been a published study into this particular site although as Burger says, there will be one - "We plan to use mitochondrial and nuclear aDNA"

Doug Price has been involved in many studies which he lists here: https://au.academia.edu/TDouglasPrice


The book on the site, Tod im Tollensetal,

has a paper by Price, Isotopic Analysis of Human Tooth Enamel from the Tollense Valley, but I don't know how comprehensive it is. It's not published as a piece of research but for a chapter in a book, although it is cited in other publications. Without seeing it though, it would be unwise to quote with confidence what a popular media article has to say about it.
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
5,367
US
#16
I think Science Magazine have reported this part rather poorly. There hasn't yet been a published study into this particular site although as Burger says, there will be one - "We plan to use mitochondrial and nuclear aDNA"

Doug Price has been involved in many studies which he lists here: https://au.academia.edu/TDouglasPrice


The book on the site, Tod im Tollensetal,

has a paper by Price, Isotopic Analysis of Human Tooth Enamel from the Tollense Valley, but I don't know how comprehensive it is. It's not published as a piece of research but for a chapter in a book, although it is cited in other publications. Without seeing it though, it would be unwise to quote with confidence what a popular media article has to say about it.
It is this genetic testing (not speaking of it in a particular way, since this is not permitted) that is allowing the researchers to determine the ethnicity of the combatants, like those from southern Europe. A fascinating piece of history. Perhaps one of the largest scaled battles to date. Lack of the written word can be interpreted as a lack of "civilization," or - worse yet, a lack of history. But, we know this is not the case, although it is the written word that has allowed one's history to be told throughout the centuries.
 

authun

Ad Honorem
Aug 2011
4,950
#17
It is this genetic testing (not speaking of it in a particular way, since this is not permitted) that is allowing the researchers to determine the ethnicity of the combatants, like those from southern Europe. A fascinating piece of history.
Doug Price's research was into isotopes but Joachim Burger has funding for testing dna which might already be underway but which will certainly be published later.

It has the potential to be highly illuminating because the archaeology, below for example the distribution of bronze age Griffzungen type swords, shows how militarised the situation had become and this particular battle appears to have to occurred at one of the few crossing points over the river Tollense.

 
Jun 2014
717
Republic of Ireland
#18
Matthew Amt

Absolutely ridiculous. Aside from the fact that body armor probably wasn't even in use at that time in Germany, a state-of-the-art bronze cuirass probably didn't weigh more than 10 pounds. I'm one of many many historical reenactors whose "daily training" is lifting donuts to my mouth, and I have no problem running around in several times that weight of armor, a few weekends a year.
Totally agree. Used to train in modern riot armor, about 18 pounds, everything included.
The first few hours is grim, but after that you get so used to it, you are not even aware of it. You need to drink loads, though.
 
Aug 2011
1,610
Sweden
#19
Apart from locals, also people from Eastern Europe and from Southern Europe took part in the battle.

And also "Scandinavian-like" people took part, but those could be just locals of the area.

Some of them came from hundreds of kilometers away, according to isotopic evidence.
I have seen pictures of the tree clubs of the "crocket type" and they look like Scandinavians dung clubs.
 

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