The field of archeology is one of mischance, happenstance, and rarity. The physical evidence that remains preserved through time is as weird and unchartable as weather – patterns may be seen and observed, but no peat bog or silicate desert guarantees artifacts. Somehow, despite this rarity, we still manage to stumble upon new delights, new preserved wonders, that shape and change the way we think about the past.
One such change was begun by treasure seekers in Germany. While they were hunting for antiques of recent wars, they discovered things far more ancient – the remains of a battle between tribal Germans and Roman soldiers. For whatever reason, these artifacts have remained mostly intact for hundreds of years. In addition, they show a Rome still vibrant enough to field soldiers 200 years after Christ’s death. While the period of 100-200 AD was a good time for Rome when peace extended as well as borders, it has long been thought that Roman activity in Germany was not high. many Germanic tribes were part of raids against the Romans, but the scale of this pitched battle is unexpected and may lead historians to reevaluate.
I for one am ready to go gallivanting off into the German woods and see if I can’t stumble on an ancient axe or even a Scorpio.