The Bronze Age battlefield in the Tollense Valley – conflict archaeology and Holocene landscape reconstruction
Archaeological discoveries in the Tollense Valley represent remains of a Bronze Age battle of ca. 1300–1250 BCE, documenting a violent group conflict hitherto unimagined for this period of time in Europe, changing the perception of the Bronze Age. Geoscientific, geoarchaeological and palaeobotanical investigations have reconstructed a tree- and shrubless mire characterised by sedges, reed and semiaquatic conditions with a shallow but wide river Tollense for the Bronze Age. The exact river course cannot be reconstructed, but the distribution of fluvial deposits traces only a narrow corridor, in which the Tollense meandered close to the current riverbed. The initial formation of the valley mire dates to the transition from the Weichselian Late Glacial to the early Holocene.