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Physical characteristics
 ⁃ locationMecklenburg-Vorpommern
 ⁃ location
 ⁃ coordinates
53°53′57″N 13°1′57″E / 53.89917°N 13.03250°E / 53.89917; 13.03250Coordinates: 53°53′57″N 13°1′57″E / 53.89917°N 13.03250°E / 53.89917; 13.03250
Length95.81 km (59.53 mi)
Basin size1,799 km (1,118 mi)
Basin features
ProgressionPeeneBaltic Sea

The Tollense (German pronunciation: [tɔˈlɛnzə], from Slavic dolenica "lowland, (flat) valley"[1]) is a river in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in northeastern Germany, right tributary of the Peene. The river starts as the outflow of the eponymous Lake Tollense (Tollensesee) in Neubrandenburg. The Tollense is 68 km long and empties into the river Peene in Demmin. The rivers are part of the Mecklenburg Lake Plateau, with one of the largest areas of fens and about a thousand lakes, left over from the Ice Age.

Tollense battle site[edit]

Human remains from the Bronze Age have been found in the Tollense valley (Tollensetal) since 1997 and excavated since 2007.[2] Thousands of bone fragments belonging to a very large number of persons have since been discovered along with further corroborating evidence of battle; current estimates indicate that perhaps 4,000 warriors took part in a battle on the site circa 1250 BCE. These findings were possible due to the preservation of the former fen ground and the fact that the Tollense has never really changed its course. Since the population density then was about 5 people per square kilometer, this would have been the most significant battle in Bronze Age period Germany yet to be discovered. Moreover, the Tollense valley is so far the largest excavated battle site of this age anywhere in the world.[3] Further investigation of the site took place in the years 2010 to 2015. The vast scale of the battle indicates there were organized battles occurring in Bronze Age northern Europe with trained warriors and workers providing food to the warriors, which allowed the warriors to train full-time.[4] No written records say anything about this battle. But there was a prolonged crisis further south, with the Sea Peoples attacking Egypt in 1200 and 1150 BC. The destruction of first Troy VI and then Troy VIIa occurred in this time period, though Troy VI is believed to have been destroyed by an earthquake.[citation needed]

Tollense river and its tributaries (in blue)


  1. ^ Schlemmer, K. (1906). Geographische Namen. Erklärung der wichtigsten im Schulgebrauche vorkommenden geographischen Namen (in German). Leipzig: Rengersche Buchhandlung Gebhardt & Wilisch. p. 88.
  2. ^ Massacre at the Tollense, Spiegel Online (German)
  3. ^ Neil Bowdler (22 May 2011). "Early Bronze Age battle site found on German river bank". BBC News. Retrieved 22 May 2011.
  4. ^ "Brutal Bronze Age battle discovery changes understanding of history Interview with Chris Wolf". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2017-02-17.