Archaeology Magazine

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Roman Chain Mail Discovered in Northern Germany

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

(Clemens Fiedler and Detlef Bach, Winterbach)

LOWER SAXONY, GERMANY—Several fragments of Roman chain mail have been unearthed at the Roman-Germanic site known as the Battle at the Harzhorn, discovered in 2008. The thousands of small iron links, dating to the early third century A.D., were found on the edge of the battlefield. They may represent a suit of chain mail that was removed from a wounded soldier and left behind, or perhaps was placed there by Germanic soldiers after the battle to mark the spot. It had been thought that the Roman military left Germania after the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D. Researchers from Freie Universität Berlin think that Roman legionaries planned to travel through the Harzhorn pass when they found it blocked by Germanic forces. “This is the first time an almost complete part of personal armor was found,” said archaeologist Michael Meyer.