Senryu: Bronze Age Warriors Troiku

bronze age warriors troiku

ancient warriors
Tollense Valley, skulls abound
a river, a war

‘tween battle and peace
scholars thought all Bronze traders
not so, thousands died

like writing haiku
battle’s truth pressed into bones
unburied, tales told

senryu troiku by M. Nakazato LaFreniere

Tollense Valley Bronze Age Warriors

In 1996, R. Borgwardt found a Bronze Age flint arrowhead embedded in the shoulder joint of a humerous close to a wooden club in the Tollense Valley, Germany.  Murder in 1250 BC?

Nope.  A huge war on the banks of a river where more than a thousand fought as archaelogists continue to find a killing field of bones.  This field turn around previous assumptions that the Bronze Age was a peaceful time of trading and proved there was large-scale organized war.

As modern technology is used to analyze the bones,  study released August 2017 found the men who died were not locals but came from all over and were likely professional soldiers.  Scholars don’t know why the battle was fought although speculation is heavy.

Because the bones were well preserved and the ones who had fallen into the river were not looted, scholars found a treasure trove of information.  Not just the gold rings, but they could discern the cause of death.  A nick on the bone meant a stabbing: a fractured skull, a clubbing. Weapons were recovered: wooden clubs, bronze lances, knives and arrowheads.

Bronze finds from the Tollense Valley. Weapons labelled 1, 2 and 4 are spearheads. Number 3 is an arrowhead and 5 and 6 are pins. Number 7 is an adze, or cutting tool, a Bronze Age box is pictured at 8, a sickle is at 9 and the drawing of a fibula of Spindlersfeld type is at 10
Through September 18, 2018, an exhibition of the artifacts found is showing at the Gross Raden (Groß Raden) Archeological Open Air Museum (in the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern). If you can’t go there, DW has a slide show of some of the artifacts.

The troiku poetry challenge

 Carpe Diem Haiku Kai had a troiku challenge today.  You are given a choice of two haiku and must make 3 haiku each one starting with one line from the given haiku.  Today you had a choice between a Basho poem or Chèvrefeuille’s.  I chose Chèvrefeuille’s:

ancient warriors
between battle and peace
writing haiku
© Chèvrefeuille

I did take a couple liberties to drop or add a syllable to get the count to the traditional 5 for the first line.

Carpe Diem Weekend-meditation #5 Troiku
Carpe Diem Haiku Kai


What Europe’s most ancient battlefield reveals, by Klaus Krämer, Deutsche Welle, September 10, 2017

Slaughter at the bridge: Uncovering a colossal Bronze Age battle, by Andrew Curry, Science, Mar. 24, 2016

Battered skulls, shattered bones and arrows lodged in skeletons: Remains found in Germany point to the earliest, largest and most brutal Bronze Age battle ever seen, by Victoria Woollaston, Daily MailOnline, April 14, 2016

History of War: Ancient Bones From German Battlefield Suggest Soldiers Traveled Far Distances to Fight, by Kristin Hugo, Newsweek, October 24, 2017

Scientists Discover Clues to Identities of Mystery Warriors Lying on an Ancient Battlefield, by Theodoros Karasavvas, Ancient Origins, October 24, 2017

Europe’s Oldest Battlefield Yields Clues to Fighters’ Identities, by Megan Gannon, Live Science, October 23, 2017

Multi-isotope proveniencing of human remains from a Bronze Age battlefield in the Tollense Valley in northeast Germany, by T. Douglas Price, Robert Frei, Ute Brinker, Gundula Lidke, Thomas Terberger, Karin Margarita Frei, and Detlef Jantzen. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences, pp. 1-17, August 3, 2017.

A Bronze Age battlefield? Weapons and trauma in the Tollense Valley, north-eastern Germany, by Detlef Jantzen, Ute Brinker,Jorg Orschiedt, Jan Heinemeier, Jurgen Piek, Karlheinz Hauenstein, Joachim Kruger, Gundula Lidke, Harald Lubke, Reinhard Lampe, Sebastian Lorenz, Manuela Schult & Thomas Terberger. Antiquity 85 (2011), pp 417-433.