The Tollense (German pronunciation: [tɔˈlɛnzə]) is a river in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in northeastern Germany, right tributary of the Peene. The river starts as the outflow of the lake Tollensesee in Neubrandenburg. The Tollense is 68 km long and empties into the river Peene in Demmin.
Presumed Tollense battle site
According to reports in the German media, human remains from the Bronze Age have been found in the region named "Tollensetal" (Tollense valley) since 1997. Many showed signs of serious injury and violent death. Starting in 2008, archaeological study of the site narrowed-down to an area of two square kilometers. Hundreds of bone fragments belonging to more than 90 persons, as well as wooden weaponry and flint arrowheads, have been discovered. These findings were possible due to the preservation of the former swamp ground and the fact that the Tollense has never really changed its course. It is now estimated that about 200 people died in a battle-like scenario in the valley about 1250 BC. Since the population density then was about 5 people per square kilometer, this would have been the most significant battle in bronze period Germany yet to be discovered. Plans for a further investigation of the site have been made for the years 2010 to 2015.
The Tollense Valley site may be the earliest known major Bronze Age battle site, with a date of around 1200 BC. Fractured skulls unearthed at the site suggest face-to-face combat, possibly between warring tribes. Most of the remains appear to be from young men and some of the injuries seem to have occurred immediately before death. The bodies do not appear to have been buried in a normal ceremony and instead were dumped in the river. Horse bones were also found at the site and a fractured thigh bone suggests a fall from a horse.
- Massacre at the Tollense, Spiegel Online (German)
- Neil Bowdler (22 May 2011). "Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank". BBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
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