In an stirring archeological find in Germany, excavations have unearthed fractured skulls, wooden clubs and horse remains which suggest a major battle during the Bronze Age, the first of its kind unearthed.
The discovery was made in the Tollense Valley (Tollensetal) which is located in northern Germany. Archeologists estimate these remains and artifacts as dating from around 1200 BC.
According to BBC, the investigation of this believed battlefield began in 2008 and "involved both ground excavations and surveys of the riverbed by divers."
In addition to the excitement of finding such ancient remnants, researchers also may be able to piece together more information from a historical perspective. The fractured remains found in the Tollense Valley suggest these were left behind after hand-to-hand combat occurred in the Bronze age. The remains from approximately 100 individuals were found, eight had lesions to their bones, including skull injuries, all of which suggest the physical injuries sustained.
In the BBC article Neil Bowdler reported an upper arm bone, called the humerus, was found with an arrow head embedded more than 22mm into the bone; a thigh bone contained a fracture that appears to have been sustained from a fall off a horse. Additionally, a large percentage are believed to be young men, further supporting the theory of a battle scenario.
Dr. Harald Lubke, Centre of Baltic and Scandinavian Archeology in Germany told the BBC "At the beginning of the Neolithic, we have finds like Talheim in Germany, where we have evidence of violence, but it doesn't look like this situation in the Tollense Valley where we have many humans there in the riverbed." Lubke also indicated bodies did not contain any evidence of healing and were not "buried in the normal way." No artifacts that resemble traditional burial rituals were discovered at the Tollense Valley site.
It is believed by researchers the bodies found are only a "sample" of the bloodshed that occurred.
A team of neurosurgeons have been examining the human remains and, through usage of various technologies, concluded head injuries were predominant.
Studies and archeological activity about the Bronze Age are active in Germany. In 2008, Spiegel reported on another area near the Elbe River in eastern Germany near the village of Pömmelte-Zackmünde where a place of worship was discovered. Dubbed the "German Stonehenge", the findings were noted to be from the Bronze Age and bore a notable similarity to Stonehenge except the structures were made of wood.
BBC News reports the recent Bronze Age findings about the battle scene were originally published in the journal Antiquity.