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The four horses of an Iron Age apocalypse : War-horses from the 3d century weapon sacrifice at Illerup Aadal (Denmark)

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The Illerup Aadal weapon sacrifice mirrors the material world of a Germanic army from c. AD 210. Apart from the personal equipment and the weaponry of more than400 warriors, it comprises four horses.The present paper gives the first conclusive analysis of the skeletal remains of these animals, involving osteological investigationand strontium isotope analysis. The results shed new light on the character of the sacrificial ceremonies which unfolded in the aftermath of Iron Age battles; on the nature of cavalry and its significance in Iron Age warfare; and on the much debated questionas to where the army of Illerup Aadal had originally come from.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAntiquity
Volume88
Issue339
Pages (from-to)191 - 204
Number of pages15
ISSN0003-598X
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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