The battle of Tollense 1200 - 1300 bc Bronze age weapons vs stone age weapons?

Aug 2018
563
london
Bronze Age fortified settlement in northern Germany from the same time as the Tollense battle:
In every battle all over the world for four thousand years there were few people killed by swords. The most common threat for all of that time was from spears and arrows.
According to Kristiansen:

"During the early second millennium BC the lance and the short sword/dagger were dominant, to be replaced by the long sword from the seventeenth century BC. A shift from rapier/axe combinations to slashing swords/knives took place from the late fourteenth century BC, while after 1000 BC lances again gained dominance as the standard weapon of the hoplite, and also in central and northern Europe."

The Rise of Bronze Age Society (2005)
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,749
Australia
Kristiansen is wrong. 1. The spear was always the dominant weapon on the Bronze Age battlefield. 2. Barry Molloy has demonstrated that the so-called "rapier" was just as much a slashing weapon as later swords.
 
Aug 2019
67
Netherlands
That sounds like south against north. Any strontium analyses on teeth?
Yes they did. The people involved were quite varied, from locals to people from south germany i believe. It could have been a heavily guarded caravan of traders who were ambushed by locals, but this is just speculation.
 
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Mar 2015
1,450
Yorkshire

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,749
Australia
If it was a raid on a trading caravan, they would have taken the tin and copper, since that would have been the entire purpose of the attack.
 
Jul 2019
46
Ghana
If it was a raid on a trading caravan, they would have taken the tin and copper, since that would have been the entire purpose of the attack.
I'm not saying it was an attack on a trading caravan, but your argument against it seems a little flimsy. Finding 2 spiral rings of tin and some small bronze spirals at the bottom of the old riverbed, 3 meters deep doesn't mean that the victors didn't take whatever tin wasn't at the bottom of the river after the fighting was over. Some gold was also found... In this regard, it almost doesn't matter what the reason behind the battle was. The only reason they would have left gold, bronze and tin is because it wasn't recoverable (bottom of the river), or because they simply missed it (it's a large site). Again, I'm not a proponent of the "raid on a trading caravan" idea, but the finds of bronze, tin and gold neither prove nor disprove the idea.
 
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Reactions: Hoosierhiver
Mar 2015
1,450
Yorkshire
I'm not saying it was an attack on a trading caravan, but your argument against it seems a little flimsy. Finding 2 spiral rings of tin and some small bronze spirals at the bottom of the old riverbed, 3 meters deep doesn't mean that the victors didn't take whatever tin wasn't at the bottom of the river after the fighting was over. Some gold was also found... In this regard, it almost doesn't matter what the reason behind the battle was. The only reason they would have left gold, bronze and tin is because it wasn't recoverable (bottom of the river), or because they simply missed it (it's a large site). Again, I'm not a proponent of the "raid on a trading caravan" idea, but the finds of bronze, tin and gold neither prove nor disprove the idea.
Agreed but also - Various societies at this time had a habit of consigning articles from successful battles to the river\water Gods as a sort of thank-you. It is not beyond possibility that items of loot could have been such an offering.

The Tollense valley was the major trade route north\south to the Baltic and its riches of Amber, furs and maybe slaves.