Oct. 16 (UPI) -- Archaeologists have recovered 31 unique objects that they suspect belonged to a Bronze Age warrior killed on a battle site in northeast Germany.
The artifacts were recovered by a team of divers in the river that flows out of Lake Tollense, located near the ancient battlefield. Researchers have previously recovered thousands of bone fragments, belonging to at least 140 young and healthy adult males, at the Bronze Age dig site.
Earlier surveys revealed evidence of trauma, as well as healed lesions -- proof that the young men were likely accustomed to combat. Analysis of their most recent wounds suggests the warriors were felled by both close and long-range weapons.
Most recently, archaeologists found the personal belongings of one of the Bronze Age warriors. They detailed the objects, which date to the third century BC, in the journal Antiquity.
"The authors present a new assemblage of 31 objects from the site, including three bronze cylinders that may be the fastenings of an organic container," researchers wrote.
In addition to the decorated belt box, the dive team recovered three dress pins and arrow heads. Because the items were found so close together, researchers suspect they were grouped together in a container made of wood or cloth that has since rotted away.
According to the study's authors, the latest findings confirm that the Tollense Valley hosted a violent conflict during the older Nordic Bronze Age, between 2000 and 1200 BC.
"This is the first discovery of personal belongings on a battlefield and it provides insights into the equipment of a warrior," Thomas Terberger, a professor of prehistory at the University of Göttingen, said in a news release. "The fragmented bronze was probably used as a form of early currency. The discovery of a new set of artifacts also provides us with clues about the origins of the men who fought in this battle and there is increasing evidence that at least some of the warriors originated in southern Central Europe."