Finally there is some decent coverage of the third century battlefield on the Harzhorn at Kalefeld in English. I have been blogging about it on and off since it was discovered in late 2008 (most recently here) but it has been a perpetual source of frustration that all of the coverage has been in German.
It is one of the major Roman military discoveries of the past decade. There have been at least two documentaries about the discovery on German television and it has been a cover story of German National Geographic, but the English press has remained silent. Anyway, dpa had a lengthy article yesterday:
New finds at a well-preserved ancient battlefield in the north of Germany are not only rewriting geo-political history, but also revealing some of the secrets of Rome's military success.
Until only two years ago, northern Germany was believed to have been a no-go area for Roman troops after three legions were wiped out by German tribesmen in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in AD 9.
The revelation that two centuries later a Roman force mounted a punitive raid deep inside the tribal areas in AD 235 has changed all that, suggesting that a soldier-emperor, Maximinus Thrax, seriously attempted to subjugate the north of Germany.
The debris from the battle is scattered over a wooded hill, the Harzhorn.
An archeological dig there this summer turned up 1,800 artefacts. A single spot on the hill had been pounded by torsion catapults, one of the most advanced weapons in the Roman arsenal, and 70 bolts from these armour-piercing weapons were still lying in the ground.
The catapults, mounted on wagons, had a range of up to 200 metres, said Michael Moosbauer, an archaeology professor at the Harzhorn site. The iron points weighed 200 grams apiece.
The Romans' supremacy was also partly based on the varied skills in their multi-ethnic army. Among the auxiliaries they employed on the Harzhorn were Moroccan javelin men and Middle Eastern archers.
Full article here.