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Archaeologists Discover Roman Battlefield in N.Germany - HISTORY & UPDATES

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Author Topic: Archaeologists Discover Roman Battlefield in N.Germany - HISTORY & UPDATES  (Read 5805 times)
Bianca
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« on: December 16, 2008, 07:38:19 am »










                           Archaeologists Discover Roman Battlefield in Northern Germany







Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 
Germany still holds surprises for archaeologists

DEC. 16, 2008
ArchaeologyNews.com

A third-century battlefield unearthed in northern Germany seems to point to Roman legions fighting in the region far longer than most historians have ever thought.

Roman soldiers were famously defeated by Germanic tribesmen at the Battle of Teutoberg Forest in 9 A.D. However, a newly discovered battlefield near Kalefeld-Oldenrode is even farther north than the Teutoberg Forest and appears to date from between 180 and 260 A.D., according to a report by the Associated Press news agency.

 

Archaeologists held a press conference on Monday, Dec. 15, to announce that they had used coins and weapons excavated from the area to date the battlefield.
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Bianca
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2008, 07:42:35 am »



Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: 
Roman times don't seem so far in the past for some











Digging for the truth

 


Archaeologist Petra Loenne said more than 600 artifacts, including spears, arrowheads, catapult bolts and dishes had been collected. It's estimated that the battle fought there could have involved up to 1,000 Roman fighters.

 

According to a theory put forward by Guenther Moosbauer, an expert at the University of Osnabrueck who studies Roman-German history, a Roman legion could have been seeking revenge after tribesman in 235 A.D. pushed Roman troops south of the Limes Germanicus, a ring of forts that separated the empire from unconquered land to the north and east.

 

"We will need to take a new look at the sources," Moosbauer told AP.
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2008, 11:00:55 am »







                                            GERMAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS HAIL NEW FIND


                                      Discovery of Roman Battlefield Poses Historical Riddle






By Andrew Curry
in Kalefeld,
Germany
DEC. 16, 2008

Archaeologists in Germany say they have found an ancient battlefield strewn with Roman weapons. The find is significant because it indicates that Romans were fighting battles in north Germany at a far later stage than previously assumed.

The wilds of Germany may not have been off-limits to Roman legions, archaeologists announced on Monday. At a press conference in the woods near the town of Kalefeld, about 100 kilometers south of Hanover, researchers announced the discovery of a battlefield strewn with hundreds of Roman artifacts dating from the 3rd century AD.

Finding evidence of Roman fighting forces so far north is surprising, the archaeologists say. Germany was once considered prime territory for Roman conquest. But in AD 9, thousands of Roman legions were slaughtered in a forest near modern-day Bremen.

"We thought that with the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the Romans gave up on this region and pulled back behind the limes," or frontier fortifications further south, says Henning Hassmann, the Lower Saxony Conservation Department's lead archaeologist.

But evidence found in woods outside the small town of Kalefeld may force historians to take a new look at the Roman presence in Germany. More than 600 artifacts, ranging from axe heads and wagon parts to coins and arrowheads, have been found on a forested hill called the Harzhorn. So far, the artifacts indicate that Roman soldiers fought a battle on top of the hill.

The site first came to light in the summer of 2000, when local metal detector hobbyists found some pieces of metal while looking for a medieval fort. The fragments languished for years, until the men finally decided to turn them in to Petra Loenne, the Northeim area archaeologist.



http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,596720,00.html
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2008, 11:05:31 am »



Archaeologists in Germany on Monday presented weapons discovered on a Roman-era battlefield in a forest in Northheim, northern Germany.
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2008, 11:08:34 am »



The weapons found include battle axes and arrow heads.
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2008, 11:10:55 am »

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« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2008, 07:31:06 pm »



Prospect technician Harald Nagel
searches in an archaeological
excavation area in
Kalefeld, Germany.

Joerg Sarbach
/ AP








                                                  Germany’s Rome resistance revealed






David Crossland,
Foreign Correspondent
December 22. 2008
BERLIN

// The battle raged in a dense pine forest on a hill in northern Germany 1,800 years ago, and there is little doubt that the disciplined, well-equipped Romans routed the Germanic warriors who ambushed them.

The site of the carnage, discovered by chance by an amateur treasure hunter, is so well preserved that archaeologists have been able to piece together the action, and they have likened it to the opening scene of the Ridley Scott movie Gladiator.

Archaeologists are hailing their discovery of the battlefield near the town of Kalefeld south of Hanover as a sensation because it may force a reassessment of Roman history in northern Europe. It shows the Romans were still sending armies deep into hostile Germania in the third century, far later than most historians had believed.

The discovery of wagon parts and of a wide variety of weapons, including arrows of the type used by Syrian or Persian archers who served in Roman armies, suggest the Roman force may have numbered up to 20,000, one historian with knowledge of the dig said. More conservative estimates put the force at 1,000 at least.

The Romans, heading from north to south across a ridge called Harzhorn Hill, unleashed a torrent of heavy iron bolts from catapult machines before mounting an infantry attack in tight formations that smashed through the line of what the Romans called “barbarians”.

“We found 300 catapult bolts buried in the ground in clusters, and most of them were facing in the same direction,” said Hans-Wilhelm Heine, the archaeologist at the Lower Saxony Conservation Department, which is in charge of the dig.
“That showed us the positions of the Germanic warriors and of the Romans. The projectiles were of the type fired by so-called ‘Scorpio’ torsion weapons that could be fired at a rate of four to six per minute,” Mr Heine said.

“They were accurate and had a high velocity, which meant they could penetrate several millimetres of metal. The psychological impact of such projectiles being fired so powerfully at a phalanx of shields must have been enormous when someone was wounded and started screaming.”

Once the rain of bolts and arrows had wreaked their havoc, the Romans mounted an infantry attack.

“On the path below the ridge, nails from Roman sandals were found lying in certain sections of the ground so that you can say that’s where large numbers of Roman foot soldiers must have been massed,” said Gunther Moosbauer, an archaeologist at the University of Osnabrück who is involved in the project.
“That’s why one assumes there was an infantry attack that ended the fight.”

The victorious Romans then headed south, back towards the safety of the Empire, which lay behind a fortified line known as the Limes that stretched across modern-day southern Germany from the Rhine to the Danube river.

Archaeologists have been scouring the 1.5 kilometre-wide area of towering pines with metal detectors since late August after a local man handed in lance tips, iron projectiles and an iron hipposandal – a form of horseshoe used by the Romans – he had found on the hill.

“No other ancient battlefield discovered by archaeologists to date has delivered such impressive, undisturbed traces of bitter fighting,” the Lower Saxony conservation department said in a statement.

It is the most important Roman-era battlefield to be found in Germany since the discovery farther west of the possible location of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, where Arminius, or “Herman the German”, wiped out three Roman legions, a force of 20,000 men, in 9AD.

That battle, which some historians describe as the birth of the German nation, marked the start of a seven-year war that halted Rome’s northern expansion and drove the Empire back down to the Rhine.
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« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2008, 07:39:59 pm »










Historians believe the battle on Harzhorn Hill took place about 200 years later because they found a well-worn coin from the time of Emperor Commodus – the villain in Gladiator – who ruled from 180 to 192. They also found a knife scabbard that could not have been made before the end of the second century.

“For the second and third centuries we had no evidence of Roman military presence in Germania,” Mr Moosbauer said. “There are some historical sources that referred to military campaigns but they weren’t taken very seriously.”
The Roman historian Herodian described how Emperor Maximinus Thrax fought a battle in Germania and won a big victory in a punitive campaign following raids by Germanic tribes into Roman territory in 233-234.

The same battle was described in the Augustan History, a late Roman collection of biographies of the emperors, but historians did not believe its claim that the battle took place 500 to 650 kilometres inside hostile Germania. They thought it was more likely to be 50 to 65 kilometres.

“We will now have to re-evaluate Herodian and the Augustan History and take a completely new look at Roman policy in Germania in the second and third centuries. That’s the sensational thing about the battlefield,” Mr Moosbauer said.

Among the 600 objects retrieved so far are wagon parts, a Roman engineer’s axe and a multitude of sandal nails. Wheel hubs, the remains of horse harnesses and tent pegs testify to the size of the Roman force.

Fragments of slave shackles were also found, along with three-winged arrow heads of the sort used by archers from Syria and Persia, and one spear tip found was attached to the remnants of a wooden shaft that initial tests suggest could be North African.

Archaeologists will start digging deeper next year to find out more about the battlefield, for example if there were any constructed fortifications.
“It’s unusual to find a battlefield containing so many weapons because they’re usually gathered up afterwards,” said Marcus Trier, vice director of the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne. “It was all valuable raw material.”

The plethora of weapons is one of the big mysteries of the Kalefeld site.
“Battlefields sometimes become sacrosanct because many people died there and it is declared out of bounds,” Mr Moosbauer said. “Alternatively, the arrows may have landed in thorn bushes and were never retrieved. We just don’t know the answer.”

There is virtually no doubt that the Romans won the fight because no breastplates or other personal equipment were found. The presence of such remnants on a field of battle usually betrays a defeated army.

No trace of the Germanic warriors has been found yet, but that may be because they fought with Roman weapons and their remains may have been removed after the fight.

Germany will be focusing on its Roman history next year when the country will mark the 2,000th anniversary of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, described as the “Big Bang of German History”, with an array of exhibitions, theatre performances and costumed re-enactments.

But Herman the German’s victory is not universally hailed in Germany because it deprived much of the country of Roman culture and comforts such as lavatories, steam baths and haute cuisine. Germania, said the archaeologist Dirk Husemann, was the “Eastern bloc of ancient times”.



dcrossland@thenational.ae
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« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2008, 08:48:32 pm »








Some of the artefacts found at a Roman battlefield are prestented to journalists in Kalefeld, northern Germany
on December 15, 2008.

Archaeologists have unearthed the flotsam of a battle fought in the heart of Germany between Roman legionnaires and Germanic tribes 200 years after Romans were believed to have retreated behind the Rhine.

(AFP/DDP/File
/Stefan Simonsen)
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« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2008, 08:51:25 pm »








An archaeologist uses a metal detector to search for more artefacts at a Roman battlefield near Kalefeld, northern Germany on December 15, 2008.

Archaeologists have unearthed the flotsam of a battle fought in the heart of Germany between Roman legionnaires and Germanic tribes 200 years after Romans were believed to have retreated behind the Rhine.

(AFP/DDP/File/
Stefan Simonsen)
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« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2008, 08:54:21 pm »








Tennis balls mark the place where artefacts including spears, arrowheads and axes were found at a Roman battlefield near Kalefeld, Germany, on December 15, 2008.

Archaeologists have unearthed the flotsam of a battle fought in the heart of Germany between Roman legionnaires and Germanic tribes 200 years after Romans were believed to have retreated behind the Rhine.

(AFF/DDP/File/
Stefan Simonsen)
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2008, 08:57:11 pm »








Archaeologist Petra Loenne(L) and Lower Saxony's Minister for Economy and Culture Lutz Stratmann present some of the artefacts found at a Roman battlefield in Kalefeld, Germany on December 15, 2008.

(AFP/DDP/File/
Stefan Simonsen)
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« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2009, 09:40:30 pm »









                                German battlefield yields Roman surprisesStory Highlights


                       Relics found from battle between Romans, Barbarians in third century





     
HANOVER,
Germany
(CNN)
Jan. 5, 2009

-- Archaeologists have found more than 600 relics from a huge battle between a Roman army and Barbarians in the third century, long after historians believed Rome had given up control of northern Germany.

 
Some of the artifacts are so well preserved that the scientists can already retrace some of the battle lines.

"We have to write our history books new, because what we thought was that the activities of the Romans ended at nine or 10 (years) after Christ," said Lutz Stratmann, science minister for the German state of Lower Saxony. "Now we know that it must be 200 or 250 after that."

For weeks, archeologist Petra Loenne and her team have been searching this area with metal detectors, pulling hundreds of ancient Roman weapons out of the ground. They paint a picture of a highly organized, technologically superior Roman army beset by Germanic tribes in a forest about 80 km (50 miles) south of the modern city of Hanover.

The hillside battlefield was discovered by relic-hunters illegally searching for souvenirs of more recent wars near the town of Kalefeld-Oldenrode. One of them brought some of the items he found to Loenne, who works for the local government.

The artifacts are so well preserved that the scientists can already retrace some of the battle lines.  Watch how the battlefield discovery could re-write history »

"We believe the Germans ambushed the Romans here, but the legions quickly fired back with catapults and archers -- and then it came to a massive man-on-man onslaught," Loenne said.

The items unearthed so far include an axe, still sharp after nearly 1,800 years; horseshoes; shovels; spearheads; and dozens of arrowheads for a Scorpio, a cross between a catapult and a crossbow -- the ancient equivalent of artillery.

"With a very high speed, on a very long distance -- about 300 meters -- you can hit targets precisely," said Henning Hassman, of Hanover's archeological institute.

Researchers say the evidence suggests the tribesmen lured the Romans into the forest to keep them from making full use of those long-range weapons and draw them into hand-to-hand combat, outside of the formations the imperial troops had mastered. However, they believe the Romans ultimately prevailed.


Other relics include coins depicting the late second-century Roman emperor Commodus, depicted in the Oscar-winning Hollywood epic "Gladiator" -- a film that opens with a scene of battle against a barbarian horde that scientists say appears to be largely accurate. And Loenne said her team may have only begun to scratch the surface of the forest.

"We hope we might find fortifications and if we are lucky, maybe even battlefield graveyards," she said.
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« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2009, 06:14:42 pm »










                                          German battlefield yields Roman surprises



                         Relics found from battle between Romans, Barbarians in third century

                  Historians had thought Rome had given up control of northern Germany by then

                  Battlefield found by relic-hunters illegally searching for souvenirs of recent wars






HANOVER,
Germany
(CNN)
Jan. 5, 2009

-- Archaeologists have found more than 600 relics from a huge battle between a Roman army and Barbarians in the third century, long after historians believed Rome had given up control of northern Germany.

 


Some of the artifacts are so well preserved that the scientists can already retrace some of the battle lines.


"We have to write our history books new, because what we thought was that the activities of the Romans ended at nine or 10 (years) after Christ," said Lutz Stratmann, science minister for the German state of Lower Saxony. "Now we know that it must be 200 or 250 after that."

For weeks, archeologist Petra Loenne and her team have been searching this area with metal detectors, pulling hundreds of ancient Roman weapons out of the ground. They paint a picture of a highly organized, technologically superior Roman army beset by Germanic tribes in a forest about 80 km (50 miles) south of the modern city of Hanover.
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« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2009, 06:27:28 pm »





                                               
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