Archaeologists in Germany are rewriting history by proving that Europe's oldest battle in the German Tollense Valley was actually Europe’s oldest massacre. The Tollense battlefield is a Bronze Age archaeological site located in northern Germany at the edge of the Mecklenburg Lake District. Dated to around 3,250 years ago, Tollense has been known as the site of Europe's oldest battle since about 2007. But now archaeologists believe that the Tollense battle site wasn’t a traditional battlefield but the site of an ambush in which 1,400 merchants traveling through the region were massacred. And this means that the Tollense battle was actually Europe’s oldest massacre.
The Tollense Battle Becomes Europe’s Oldest Massacre
In 1996, a violently broken human arm bone was discovered at the site of the so-called Tollense battle in Germany, near today's border with Poland, and about 80 miles north of Berlin. An amateur archaeologist found the smashed body part protruding from the steep bank of the Tollense River river. A flint arrowhead was embedded in the bone.