Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

CNHI/SE Iowa

April 2, 2013

Bones from time of Christ reveal a brutal history

(Continued)

The remains in the bog "are all young males," said Aarhus University archaeologist Mads Holst, leader of the excavation team from the university and Denmark's Skanderborg and Moesgard museums. "There is quite a lot of weapon damage on them, and none of the wounds were healed. Some were dead already when they were thrown into the lake, and we can see there were animals gnawing on the bones. One of the things we are investigating now is whether they all died of battle wounds, or were executed after the battle. We suspect both."

Holst said Danes have been digging peat and finding bones and artifacts at the Alken Bog, which is located in present-day Denmark, for at least a century. Peat is compressed plant material used as fuel in stoves and fireplaces. Because it is wet and oxygen-free, it provides ideal conditions for preserving human remains.

Archaeologists in the 1950s and early 1960s found a large concentration of human bones preserved below the water table, but Holst said scientists ignored the find at first because of the spectacular discovery nearby of an enormous deposit of Roman weapons. These dated to A.D. 200, but other artifacts at that site, known as Illerup, suggested that the weapons' owners were invaders from Scandinavia who carried Roman equipment. Illerup, Holst said, "tells you something about arms trafficking at the time."

The Alken bog dead, by contrast, were buried with typically German iron axes, spears and wooden clubs. They were Germans with German weapons.

Archaeologist Tina Thurston of the University at Buffalo, part of the State University of New York, described the European Iron Age at the time of the early Roman Empire as "a very cosmopolitan period," with "a lot of contact" between the Romans and the various German tribes. "A lot of these guys became mercenaries" for Rome, she added, and "it would come as no surprise" that some Germans warriors "would have Roman equipment."

Text Only
CNHI/SE Iowa
Features
AP Video
Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel David Perdue Wins Georgia GOP Senate Runoff 98-Year-Old Woman Left in Parked Truck Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Raw: MD Church Built in 1773 Ravaged by Fire Flight to Tel Aviv From US Diverted to Paris AP Review: Amazon Fire Adds Spark to Smartphones Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed
Facebook
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

Yes
No
     View Results