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Doug Gardner




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PostPosted: Sun 21 May, 2006 9:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Arne Focke wrote:
You have to remember that the main part of Illerup, as well as the other bog sacrifices, is not from the migration period, but from the roman iron age. The germanic tribes of that time seldom wore armour in battle. Sometimes roman armour from a slain enemy was used (it may also have been traded). There are helmet pieces and pieces of chainmail from the sacrifice of Thorsberg. More chainmail was found in Vimose.
Earlier roman authors also describe that fighting habit.
With the start of the migration period these bog sacrifices come to an end.


Can anybody provide any insight into how the progression of deposits in the Illerup find illustrates the evolution of weapons, armor, and possibly tactics of the armies fighting in the region? Who was fighting who, and why? Just plunder, or was this also "politics?" As Sean mentioned, Ilkjær does have some reports in english, so we can read some of it. http://www.illerup.dk/documents/illerup_75.pdf. What about the economic development related to the manufacture and trade of these items? Again, Ilkjær suggests that similarities of items to those from many geographic regions suggests significant trade/travel. But was it contermporary? Were the people of this rigion, in this time, trading with Syria? Arne, you mention that armor is missing because the germanic tribes didn't wear it, as a rule, until the migration era. I assume that the lack of armor means that either they didn't defeat an invasion of people who did wear it (at least not here, or they only sacrificed the arms/armor of their own fallen?). According to Ilkjær (http://www.illerup.dk/documents/illerup_84.pdf) these were from the defeated armies, so that suggests to me that these battles didn't include Romans, at least (although Roman coins were found). It also suggests to me, as Elling already pointed out, that any armor was taken and not included in the bog sacrifice. I think it unlikely that NO invaders wore armor, given the size of the find and the diversity of artifacts within it (which suggests significant trade with people who did have armor). That leads me to think that either the rare piece of armor was either kept, or that it completely deteriorated. Or perhaps I'm wrong, and there is some other reason that actually prevented the invaders from wearing armor.

Also, Ilkjær concludes that these invaders were from Norway and Sweden. Do those of you who can read his untranslated work concur? It seems likely, but still a little tenuous. On the other hand, I have only had a chance to read a few short papers in english.

It seems to me that we haven't even scratched the surface of this find, yet! Although the translation offers are both generous and helpful, I don't really know enough about the language to even ask what to translate, or even to know for certain what the right questions would be.

Doug Gardner
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Mon 22 May, 2006 1:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Doug Gardner wrote:
[Can anybody provide any insight into how the progression of deposits in the Illerup find illustrates the evolution of weapons, armor, and possibly tactics of the armies fighting in the region?.


The evolution of weapons can be seen if you compare the weapons from all the bigger bog deposits which each other.
With the end of the marcomannic war (166-180 A.D.) the weapons change into forms more suitable for opposing roman legionaries. For example: Bows are more common after the war and there are finds of arrow heads made to pierce roman chainmail.

Doug Gardner wrote:
Who was fighting who, and why?


The archaeological community would also like to know the details. Wink

Doug Gardner wrote:
It also suggests to me, as Elling already pointed out, that any armor was taken and not included in the bog sacrifice.


Small Parts of armour (worn by early Germans, but with roman origin) were found in the bog sacrifice of Thorsberg. So it seems that armour was sacrificed but seldom worn. Of course nobody can be sure how much of the loot from the battlefield was really sacrificed.

Doug Gardner wrote:
Also, Ilkjær concludes that these invaders were from Norway and Sweden.


The main hints for the origin of the warriors is the form of their fire strikers, which were more common in scandinavia and very different from the continental form. Combs from the sacrifices are another hint. They weremade out of elk antlers, a material not used on the continent an apparently not traded.

Doug Gardner wrote:
It seems to me that we haven't even scratched the surface of this find, yet!


Don't worry, even archaeologists have just scrathced the surface of this topic. The bog deposits of that era helped to answer many questions about these armies, but they also started even more.


There is a great catalogue available about a recent exibition in Kopenhagen. There should be an english version of it, but i am not sure. So, i can just give you the german title, sorry.
"Sieg und Triumpf - Der Norden im Schatten des römischen Reiches (Kopenhagen 2003)."

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 22 May, 2006 2:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Catalogue of the 2003 exhibition of bog deposits at the National Museum of Kopenhagen is also printed in English:
"The Spoils of Victory" (The North in the Shadow of the Roman Empire)
ISBN 87-7602-006-1
It is a very good read, including articles who provide an interesting perspective on the finds.
A total of 435 pages with a rather good photographic catalogue of exhibited object.
The articles deal with the nature of the excavations and what archaology has concluded over the years. It also deals with military organization and warfare in iron age scandinavia and what effect the roman Empire had on the peoples outside its boundaries.
The exhibition was brilliant.
Anyone interested in the period should get a copy of the catalogue!
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Jeroen Zuiderwijk
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PostPosted: Mon 22 May, 2006 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
The Catalogue of the 2003 exhibition of bog deposits at the National Museum of Kopenhagen is also printed in English:
"The Spoils of Victory" (The North in the Shadow of the Roman Empire)
ISBN 87-7602-006-1
It is a very good read, including articles who provide an interesting perspective on the finds.
A total of 435 pages with a rather good photographic catalogue of exhibited object.
The articles deal with the nature of the excavations and what archaology has concluded over the years. It also deals with military organization and warfare in iron age scandinavia and what effect the roman Empire had on the peoples outside its boundaries.
The exhibition was brilliant.
Anyone interested in the period should get a copy of the catalogue!


Hi Peter!

Do you know any place where they sell it? I couldn't find any copies through the normal search routes.

N.b. for those interested, I've got photos of this exhibition online:
http://membres.lycos.fr/bronzeage/
(under "Sejrens Triumph")
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Doug Gardner




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PostPosted: Tue 23 May, 2006 2:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
The Catalogue of the 2003 exhibition of bog deposits at the National Museum of Kopenhagen is also printed in English:
"The Spoils of Victory" (The North in the Shadow of the Roman Empire)
ISBN 87-7602-006-1
It is a very good read, including articles who provide an interesting perspective on the finds.
A total of 435 pages...


Peter, Thanks much! I'm going to try to locate this. I think this is a fascinating topic.

Arne, thanks for the insights. I'm particularly interested in your observations comparing different bog deposits, and how the dates associated with those illustrate the evolution of the bow as a counter development to Romans mail. It is also neat how it seems to be the common, everyday items like firestrikers and combs that prove most useful determining where people were really from.

Doug Gardner
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 23 May, 2006 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This topic has been promoted into a Spotlight Topic.

Thank you to all who have added to this to make it more than simply a link elsewhere. There has been just enough added value here that making it a Spotlight seemed appropriate. It also happened to receive more Spotlight Nominations than I've seen on any other topic before.

Cheers

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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Wed 24 May, 2006 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Doug Gardner wrote:
[Arne, thanks for the insights. I'm particularly interested in your observations comparing different bog deposits, and how the dates associated with those illustrate the evolution of the bow as a counter development to Romans mail.


To put it very simply: Before the marcomannic war there were almost none. Only a few you might refer to as "hunting weapons".
After the marcomannic war there is a sudden increase in the amount of bows, and armour-piercing arrows appear for the first time.


Doug Gardner wrote:
It is also neat how it seems to be the common, everyday items like firestrikers and combs that prove most useful determining where people were really from.


That is almost a kind of rule in archaeology.


Nathan Robinson wrote:
It also happened to receive more Spotlight Nominations than I've seen on any other topic before.


Guess, we really can call them "the honored dead" then.
Wink

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Wed 24 May, 2006 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Peter!

Do you know any place where they sell it? I couldn't find any copies through the normal search routes.

N.b. for those interested, I've got photos of this exhibition online:
http://membres.lycos.fr/bronzeage/
(under "Sejrens Triumph")[/quote]


Hi Jeroen!

I got my copy at the museum.
I guess ordering it from the museum would be my first guess...
Perhaps it is out of print?
That would be too bad!
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Paul Mortimer




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PostPosted: Thu 25 May, 2006 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ABE has several copies in English or German:


http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/SearchResul...p;sortby=3


Paul
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Jeff Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 26 May, 2006 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WOW! Very interesting, I'd love to be in on that dig, what an experience... Thanks for sharing.
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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2009 1:49 am    Post subject: Illerup Adal         Reply with quote

The area continues to yield it's secrets http://www.cphpost.dk/component/content/46220.html?task=view

cheers
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2009 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Cultures shunning armour when it is available mostly belongs in fantasy literature...


I don't know. The berserk style of fighting seems to have been fairly popular in Germanic culture. Or so Ancient Germanic Warriors by Michael Speidel would have me believe. Individuals, at least, did apparently reject armor for the psychological effect.
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2009 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: Illerup Adal         Reply with quote

David Huggins wrote:
The area continues to yield it's secrets http://www.cphpost.dk/component/content/46220.html?task=view

cheers
Dave


Thanks, i didn't know there was a new dig going on. Can't wait for more details. Happy

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2009 8:58 am    Post subject: Illerup Adal         Reply with quote

Nor did I Arn, it was rude of me not to mention that this was brought to my attention my fellow Ulfhednar member Steve Pollington.

I too look forward to reading the reports, incidently and off topic there was a recent discovery during highway works in the south of England of skeletal remains showing severe trauma, believed to be up to 80 individual males aged between the late teens and twenty five, and provisionally dated to the late 8th/early 9th century.

cheers
Dave

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2009 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This summer I had the pleasure of making another visit to Moesgård Museum, and the Illerup exebitiob.
Here are some pictures, saddly taken with my mobile phone camera, which also ran out of power before I could take more than a few pictures...



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Officers shield

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Some more swords

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Spurs! quite early ones, obviously

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Battleaxes

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Spathae with images of Nike [ Download ]

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Addison C. de Lisle




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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2009 9:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, that's really cool!

Is there a catalog out yet for the initial weapons find?

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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The full catalogue of the Illerup find span 12 fantastic bands. The last two deal with swords. Ilkjaer makes a comparative analysis with spathae finds all over europe and outline a typology that is very detailed. It is safe to say the impression one might have had of the roman spatha is probably less stereotype after reading through this book. I for one was overwhelmed by the variety. Details on hilts and baldrics can be found in earlier bands.

The catalogues are published by Jutland Archaeolgical Society Publications.
Here is a link to the illerup site, where info on the books can be found. In Danish and German only.
The publication is in German, so for us not well versed in the language the material will offer a bit of chewing and tough digesting...

http://www.illerup.dk/deepweb.php?sub=81&language=0
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Tue 04 Aug, 2009 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What Peter said...

My response was too slow. Wink

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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Douglas S





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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Question: Would it be correct to term these people Scandinavian, for any reason other than the finds were in Denmark? Were they culturally a Scandinavian people?
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Arne Focke
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Aug, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those people who carried the weapons from Illerup A, came from Scandinavia.
The main indicator for this are the fire strikers from this find place. The majority of it are of scandinavian form and only a small minority of continental form.
So far for their origin.
Cuturally spoken they were from a germanic tribe at "war" with their southern neighbours, who also were of germanic origin.

So schön und inhaltsreich der Beruf eines Archäologen ist, so hart ist auch seine Arbeit, die keinen Achtstundentag kennt! (Wolfgang Kimmig in: Die Heuneburg an der oberen Donau, Stuttgart 1983)
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