Finds from Alken Enge Provide New Perspective on ‘Barbaric’ Germanic Tribes

A study published by PNAS that the size of barbarian armies in Iron Age Europe were much bigger than previously thought and that in this region the main warfare was ‘barbarian on barbarian’. In particular, the find questions the received wisdom on the nature of warfare and sophistication of local societies at this time.

…A study published by PNAS that the size of barbarian armies in Iron Age Europe were much bigger than previously thought and that in this region the main warfare was ‘barbarian on barbarian’. In particular, the find questions the received wisdom on the nature of warfare and sophistication of local societies at this time.

…The find in Jutland had been carbon dated to the early years of the 1 st century AD. This was an important period in Germanic lands as the Roman expansion was at its farthest extent in Northern Europe. The legions of Augustus at that time occupied large areas of present-day Germany according to the literary sources and archaeological funds. Despite this, the remains from the battlefield are almost certainly not from a battle between local tribes and Roman invaders, as the latter never reached Southern Scandinavia.

…The finds from the unknown and unrecorded battle have implications for our understanding of the nature of Germanic society. If local groups had the capability to mobilize large forces of men and to provision them, this suggests that they had a higher level of organization than previously believed. Based on the number of dead from the site it seems that local societies could field large armies, indicating that they were more sophisticated, politically and militarily. This would show that the Roman sources that portrayed the Germans as wild and uncivilized are not entirely correct and that the local society was much more advanced than previously estimated.

…What the find tells us is that ‘barbarian’ on ‘barbarian’ warfare continued even as the Romans expanded and that local society was probably war-like. It also offers evidence that the barbarians might have been less barbaric than previously portrayed and that they were both larger and more complex than is traditionally held.

Finds from Alken Enge Provide New Perspective on ‘Barbaric’ Germanic Tribes | Ancient Origins

Curious as to why it is assumed this was done by the voctors and not by dead’s own community. The space of time in between the deaths and the burials seems like it could equally plausibly suggest a waiting until a “safe time” to recover and pay tribute those lost.

…It never ceases to amaze me that so-called experts are always so surprised to learn that our ancestors were also beings who existed within the parameters of a society. Where exactly do these people think present-day human picked up these sorts of habitual organization techniques from????

…And wouldn’t common sense dictate a little skepticism towards the Roman’s views of their enemies/vanquished societies?

PR might not have been a corporate industry in the Iron Age but the impulse to create a narrative which justifies oppressing and destroying other societies is as old as time. Egyptians for instance made a habit of rewriting the history of rules who came before them in order to add a sheen of gravitas, justice, and rightful omnipotence to current rulers is very well documented for instance…

Wouldn’t it have been in the Roman conquerers own interests to portray the cultures they sought to destroy as less civilized than their own?

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