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Die Zerstörungsspuren auf den eisenzeitlichen Waffen aus La Tène (Kt. Neuenburg, Schweiz): Kriegerische oder rituelle Zerstötungen?

Author(s): Guillaume Reich

Year: 2013

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Over the last few decades, hundreds of Celtic iron weapons have been discovered, a number of which show signs of violent damage as a result of hostilities and/or religious customs. In spite of the fact that these marks have been used as key elements for the interpretation of archaeological sites and the understanding of Iron Age warfare, no method was available until now for archaeologists to describe and study said marks systematically and to distinguish between voluntarily inflicted marks and those resulting of fighting. The collection of weapons from the eponymous site of La Tène preserved in the Laténium (Hauterive, Switzerland) was deemed ideal for such a study due to the excellent state of conservation of the weapons, close to that of their original condition, the size of this prestigious corpus and the fact that it is very well dated. The research is based on methods used in forensics and in experimental archaeology, while comparisons to other ancient cultures have also proven useful. The aim is to open up new perspectives on the interpretation site of La Tène and the martial techniques of the Middle Iron Age, as well as highlight the importance of the experiments carried out in this field. The purpose of the article is to explain the methodology developed for the analysis of the marks based on a few examples.

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Cite this Record

Die Zerstörungsspuren auf den eisenzeitlichen Waffen aus La Tène (Kt. Neuenburg, Schweiz): Kriegerische oder rituelle Zerstötungen?. Guillaume Reich. Experimentelle Archäologie in Europa Bilanz 2013. 12: 201-208. 2013 ( tDAR id: 424914)


Experimental Archaeology Warfare Weapon

Geographic Keywords

Temporal Keywords
Iron Age

Spatial Coverage

min long: 5.967; min lat: 45.838 ; max long: 10.471; max lat: 47.807 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 14035


Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America