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

Mar 2015
1,489
Yorkshire
It seems that in south sweden there were vast amounts of tin. So there must have been a lot of travelling to that direction too.
You will have to justify that with some evidence - as far as I am aware there was no extraction of tin and still is not.

There was copper in Norway but it was never exploited despite huge quantities of copper imported into the Danish area from Spain and Ireland together with tin from Cornwall and Brittany.

BTW tin itself is soft, can be scratched with a finger nail and was rarely used neet even for jewellery. The price we know from Mesopotamian records was extremely high - worth ten time the price of Silver by the time it reached the Euphrates.
 
Aug 2019
160
Netherlands
You will have to justify that with some evidence - as far as I am aware there was no extraction of tin and still is not.

There was copper in Norway but it was never exploited despite huge quantities of copper imported into the Danish area from Spain and Ireland together with tin from Cornwall and Brittany.

BTW tin itself is soft, can be scratched with a finger nail and was rarely used neet even for jewellery. The price we know from Mesopotamian records was extremely high - worth ten time the price of Silver by the time it reached the Euphrates.
Well, to make bronze, copper is needed, which was available at multiple locations in europe. But you need to add 10% of tin to produce this. Now that tin was scarse in europe, only a couple of locations.

If i may believe this video that i just watched, i can see big tin locations in south sweden showed on a map. It appears that scandinavia with it's amber and tin were thriving very much, or better said, they were loaded. And here also another south german person ending in the north. A girl that could have been married off.
I love this youtube channel.

 
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Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,074
MD, USA
Well, to make bronze, copper is needed, which was available at multiple locations in europe. But you need to add 10% of tin to produce this. Now that tin was scarse in europe, only a couple of locations.
....

If you're talking about the map about a minute into that video, I think something is seriously wrong with it! For starters, it does *not* show the tin mines in Cornwall, which were the MAJOR source of ancient and medieval tin. It seems to show one in France?? Never heard of that! Can't see any in Scandinavia, which makes sense since I had heard that all bronze was imported to that area. I think the map shows way too many copper ore sources, as well. But a couple minutes of Googling have not turned up a better map, sorry.

Matthew
 
Aug 2019
160
Netherlands
If you're talking about the map about a minute into that video, I think something is seriously wrong with it! For starters, it does *not* show the tin mines in Cornwall, which were the MAJOR source of ancient and medieval tin. It seems to show one in France?? Never heard of that! Can't see any in Scandinavia, which makes sense since I had heard that all bronze was imported to that area. I think the map shows way too many copper ore sources, as well. But a couple minutes of Googling have not turned up a better map, sorry.

Matthew
Ok, thanks
 
Mar 2015
1,489
Yorkshire
1 amber copper.JPG

This map is little confusing but demonstrates the size of the copper trade with Scandinavia (large yellow blobs), mainly Spain and Tyrol and the white blobs representing the Tin trade from Devon and Cornwall - the reciprocal trade in amber is shown in red.
 
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Aug 2018
697
london
Trade between Scandinavia, Egypt and Mesopotamia in the Bronze Age:

'Between Egypt, Mesopotamia and Scandinavia: Late Bronze Age glass beads found in Denmark' (2014)

New research results from glass beads found in Denmark reveal surprising evidence for contact in the14th-12th centuries BC between Egypt, Mesopotamia and Denmark, indicating a complex and far-reaching trade network.

“The Egyptian and Mesopotamian glass beads found in the Danish graves (most frequently in female graves, but also in those of men and children) suggest that by the 13th century BC trade routes between the Mediterranean and Scandinavia were already well established. At about the same time as the blue glass beads reached the area of the Nordic Bronze Age culture, c. 1400 BC (mature Nordic Bronze Age per. II), other objects demonstrating influence from the Eastern Mediterranean appeared as well. Folding stools, with an intact example from an oak coffin burial in Guldhøj, South Jutland, tree-ring dated to c. 1389 BC (Randsborg and Christensen, 2006; Prangsgaard et al., 1999; Wanscher, 1980), have been considered as evidence of such influence. Including the Guldhøj stool, folding stools are known from 16 graves and one hoard in Denmark, South Sweden and North Germany. All seem to belong to the 14th century BC. During the same time period, similar stools are known from Egypt, and from frescoes from the palaces of Pylos and Knossos (Wanscher, 1980). The introduction of the one edged razor in South Scandinavia shortly before 1400 BC offers another example of influence from the Eastern Mediterranean (Kaul, 2013). In both cases, it was not the objects themselves that were imported, but the design and idea behind that was transmitted over long distances. The folding stool may be considered as a symbol of dignity, and the emergence of the razor could reflect the introduction of new ideas for hair-fashion (Kaul, 2013). It should be emphasized that every drop of copper and tin was brought to South Scandinavia from far away sources; the Alpine area was among the closest for copper, but also copper from Cyprus was used in the Nordic Bronze Age (Ling et al.,2014).

The determination of provenance of a number of Danish glass beads marks an important step towards an understanding of the long distance contacts of the Bronze Age. The Danish glass beads represent firm physical evidence of the most extended connections, reaching even beyond the Mediterranean to Egypt and Mesopotamia. Possible intermediate stations could be pointed out, such as Mycenae, Pylos, Tiryns and Volos (Smirniou et al., 2012; Walton et al.,2009). Further places where different trading networks were connected could be in Adriatic South Italy, in the Caput Adria area, the Po Valley, the North Italian/Austrian Alpine regions, in South Central Germany and in the middle Danube areas.

But what is the explanation for the large number of glass beads in the Danish material? The answer may be found at the 7300 km-long shoreline of Denmark, where it is possible to find large quantities of Baltic amber - the ‘gold’ of the north. Amber was another material of high value, and like glass provides evidence for long distance exchange and ancient routes of contact. Today, most of the Bronze Age amber found in the Mediterranean has been scientifically determined to be succinate, the ‘Baltic amber’ recovered from the coasts of the Baltic Sea, here including the South Swedish coasts of Scania and Danish Jutland, along with the northwest German Frisian coast on the North Sea (Faber et al., 2000; Goldhahn, 2013). Evidence for the collection and storage of unworked amber has been found at a Middle Bronze Age farm at Bjerre, near the coast in northwestern Jutland (Bech and Mikkelsen, 1999), while at Understed near the east coast of North Jutland, 3.3 kg of unworked amber lumps were deposited in a pottery vessel together with two bronze neck collars, dating the deposition to around 1400 BC (Jensen, 2002). There were many amber routes (Harding,1984), and these may be seen as parts of a system with many possibilities of intercrossing, including in Central Europe north of the Alps. A group of western routes followed the Weser-Elbe river systems and the Rhine, while other more eastern routes followed the Oder River (Kaul,2013).The distribution of amber finds demonstrates that in the Alps, the Brenner and Julier passes were important corridors leading to the Po valley and further, to the Adriatic Sea. An easterly route via Vienna or Sopronpassing just east of the Alps would also reach the Caput Adria area. Further transport was by sea along the coasts of the Adriatic, where there may have been middle stations in South Italy before this long communication route ended in Mycenaean Greece. Splendid Late Bronze Age examples of the most distant finds of Nordic amber are provided in Syria by the ‘Qatna Lion,’ a small lion-shaped amber cup, probably locally produced from a large lump of amber (Mukherjee et al., 2008), and the beads and scarabs of Nordic amber that were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen (Hood,1993).

Amber and glass were linked at many points. In North Germany the 13th century BC hoard from Neustrelitz contained bronze ornaments,180 blue glass beads and 20 amber beads. The glass analyzes pointed towards an origin in the Mediterranean area (Mildner et al., 2010). In a burial belonging to the tumulus culture from around 1400-1450 BC, at Schwarza in South Thuringia, Germany, blue glass beads and amber beads have also been found together (Ebner, 2001). In South Italy there is a concentration of both amber beads and glass beads (Bellintani, 2010a, 2010b), while further to the east, following the Danube River through Hungary and Romania, evidence of trade with amber and glass beads shows another amber route. Hoards in Romanian caves containing both amber and blue glass beads once again demonstrate how the two materials were interlinked in the Late Bronze Age. Two hoards from the Cioclovina cave, Hunedora district, dated to the 14th-12th century BC based on the morphology of the artefacts, included bronzes and sets of ornamented antler bridle rods from two horses' harnesses, along with 500 faience beads, 1770 amber beads and 1395 glass beads (Petrescu-Dîmbovita, 1977). Further south, in the heartland of Late Bronze Age societies, both Baltic amber beads and beads and ingots made of Egyptian glass formed partof the precious cargo of the ship wrecked at Uluburun (Jackson and Nicholson, 2010). In Denmark, when glass beads have been found in secure burial contexts they are often together with amber beads. It is possible that glass and amber beads shared some symbolic or magical value that made it beneficial to carry them together. In addition, a social value would have been apparent. People of the highest levels of society that controlled and benefitted from the amber export may have been the receivers of the exotic and valuable glass beads, with some of the richest Danish female graves (Sovigaarde, Omme and Humlum) physically close to well-known amber find-spots along the Danish west coast.”

https://www.academia.edu/10159599/Between_Egypt_Mesopotamia_and_Scandinavia_Late_Bronze_Age_glass_beads_found_in_Denmark
 
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Aug 2019
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Netherlands
View attachment 23756

View attachment 23757


I have taken these cuttings from a couple of articles by Ling on the Metal trade in Scandinavia.

He and I think there was a direct link between supply of copper and tin into the area and the amber trade.
Probably you know this, but there was a grave found of that time another place in denmark. She was originally from tyrol i believe.

Are there sites in cornwall or devon with similar finds like the ones in denmark and tollense?
 
Aug 2018
697
london
Probably you know this, but there was a grave found of that time another place in denmark. She was originally from tyrol i believe.

Are there sites in cornwall or devon with similar finds like the ones in denmark and tollense?
I'm not sure about Egyptian beads. There are bronze age amber necklaces identical to those in Mycenae. it's not clear if they were made in Britain and exported to Greece or the other way round. Also other artefacts connected to Mycenae such as the remains of a sceptre similar to one found in a Mycenaean royal burial, among other things. There are similar types of weapons and shields to those found in Denmark and Germany.

Tin was exported from Britain to the eastern Mediterranean and Middle East:

'Scientists uncover the origin of Bronze Age tin' (September 15, 2019)

"Researchers from Heidelberg University and the Curt Engelhorn Centre for Archaeometry in Mannheim discovered that ancient tin ingots from the Bronze Age found in Greece, Israel, and Turkey did not come from Central Asia, as previously assumed, but from tin deposits in Europe. Using lead and tin isotope data as well as trace element analysis, they were able to get to the origin of the objects. “The tin artifacts from Israel, for example, largely match tin from Cornwall and Devon in Great Britain,” they said in a media statement."

https://www.mining.com/scientists-uncover-the-origin-of-bronze-age-tin/

Stonehenge also appears to have been an important centre in the Bronze Age, though I'm not sure about the late Bronze Age.

The Nebra Sky Disk (c.1600BC) was also made with gold from Britain, but this is quite a bit earlier than the Tollense battle period.
 
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Aug 2018
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Warfare in Bronze Age Society (edited by Christian Horn and Kristian Kristiansen, 2018)


"there is a concentration of swords and Aegean imports/imitations in Slovakia and the Carpathian basin, and then there is another heavy concentration in Denmark and Mecklenburg, with an empty stretch of several hundred kilometres in between. [This] suggests directional and regular trade connections between these two rich and powerful regions. Hammered bronze vessels of various types produced in the Carpathian zone reached the Nordic zone in quite large numbers and testify to the elite level of trade (Metzner-Nebelsick 2003). In the Nordic zone, Mecklenburg rose to dominance during period III, and it is therefore not surprising that hostilities would occur in this region - as witnessed in Tollense. In the following, we shall therefore discuss in more detail the possible historical processes leading to this major change in trade routes (and religious beliefs) during the late fourteenth and early thirteenth centuries BC.


New Forms of Warfare and New Forms of More Centralized Government Go Hand in Hand

Traditionally, Bronze Age warfare was mostly local and linked to raids and oppression using small war-bands of typically fifteen to twenty lance-carrying infantry, with one or two sword-carrying commanders. From Period III, they might have been on horseback. This pattern of small war-bands can be traced from the early Middle Bronze Age down to the Late Bronze Age (Harding 2007; Vandkilde 2013). What we see now with the Urnfield period is the beginning of more organized battles with hundreds or even thousands of warriors. This only makes sense: if you were to control you enemy’s territory after a conquest, you needed centralized settlements housing all major institutions and functions needed to govern and control a larger territory, eventually supported by smaller local forts. This form of government started on a smaller scale in the Carpathian basin with the tell cultures during the Middle Bronze Age (Earle and Kristiansen 2010) and reached a new momentum in the very same region by the fourteenth century BC, which led to settlements and increased population.


New Forms of Settlement and Increasing Population Densities

Cornesti Iacuri in Transylvania represented a new form of proto-urban settlement of a size never seen before or until the historical period. This settlement, nearly 6 kilometres across (1,733 hectares/ 17km2), had four fortification lines and an inner settlement with a diameter of approximately 2 kilometres (Szentmiklosi et al, 2011). Magnetic mapping and preliminary excavations suggest a dense and well-organized settlement of urban character. An estimated 824,000 tonnes of earth had to be moved for the fortification walls alone. Archaeological material and a few C14 dates suggest the construction took place during the early Urnfield Culture in the middle of the fourteenth century (Bronze D), and the settlement was apparently abandoned and burned down some time later, during HaA1 in the thirteenth century BC. There is still a long way to go before we fully understand this mega-site; archaeological work is so far preliminary, but it suggests that something completely new was taking place in terms of organization of large populations. There is also evidence of two smaller fortified sites, 1 kilometre across, which might also have been part of this new political structure. We must envisage these mega-sites as being part of a political centralization process, a complex chiefdom or archaic state that perhaps failed; however, we find corresponding rich graves from the same period, and it was contemporary with the Bernstorf fortification [in southern Germany] and its subsequent devastation. Furthermore, such population surplus would be a natural prime mover for later migrations, especially if the settlement was abandoned in part or totally.

Such migrations correspond with evidence from Tollense in fertile Mecklenburg (Price 2014). It was here that a huge army of several hundred or perhaps even several thousand warriors met a defending army. This led to a battle that raged along the small river over several kilometres. The attackers apparently came from the south and used bronze arrowheads and also horses. Dating of the battle through C14 so far places it in the middle of the thirteenth century BC. Such a migration to the Nordic cultural zone could have been the kind of event that broke off the old exchange network to south Germany and established a new connection to the south - Slovakia and the Carpathians. It suggests that Bronze Age societies were highly organized, but also that overpopulation and new forms of political authority might have led to emigration, first to the north, later to the south. It further provides part of an explanation for a temporary collapse of the metal trade in the thirteenth century BC, as shown by the dominance of heavily worn swords.


New Forms of Agrarian Intensification Created Large Food Supplies

New crops and more intensive agrarian regimes were introduced during the Urnfield period, and this transformed landscapes on a large scale (Bartelheim and Stauble 2009), just as river valleys became prone to erosion (French 2010). Some of these new agrarian strategies could well have been inspired by the south, but, more importantly, they allowed more people to be fed that by the predominantly herding economies of the Tumulus culture.

We may therefore conclude that during the thirteenth century BC societies in Central Europe underwent not only a religious reform with the onset of the Urnfield culture, but also economic and political reforms - in short, a new political economy with a higher degree of centralization was established, and, consequently, many later settlement were now fortified (Harding 2002: 296). The more extreme centralization processes may have succeeded only in the heartland of Central Europe, but they spurred new migrations to the north, the west, and later to the south. A similar development of a more hierarchical settlement structure followed by more violence i also shown through the Terramare Culture in northern Italy (Cansi et al. 2009), where a large population concentration reached its tipping point around 1200 BC and more than 100,000 people abandoned their homes. Some of them settled elsewhere in Italy, while others evidently became part of the Sea Peoples (Cardarelli 2009; Kristiansen 2016). Such a build-up of populations in northern Italy and Central Europe provides a necessary background for understanding how bronze age societies in Europe could provide the population surplus for the huge migrations on land and sea that came to characterize the twelfth century BC and which led to the onset of the Dark Age in Anatolia and the East Mediterranean.

The change of the dominant trade routes from west to east Central Europe during the decades around 1300 BC was therefore part of regional competition between different political economies in which the new Urnfield Culture represented a return to a more centralized political economy organized around large fortified settlements in opposition to the individual farms and hamlets that characterized the Tumulus Culture and early Urnfield Culture in the west (Kristiansen 2013; Sperber 1999). Their network was based upon chiefdom confederacies, although they would have a few fortified settlements in the central hubs of the trade network, such as Bernstorf (Bahr et al. 2012). The Urnfield trade network, however, was based on control of larger parts of the network from a few large fortified settlements. due to higher population densities, they were also able to settle areas along the network through migrations supported by armies. it seems that the new eastern network maintained some political alliances with the west, as exemplified by the Riegsee and Dreiwulstschwerter sword types, but the west was not allowed full access to the metal trade, as shown by the increasing circulation time of these sword types.

continued below...
 
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