|"Asgårdsreien", by Peter Nicolai Arbo, 1872.|
Most interesting is what Meller interprets to be Unetice barracks at Dermsdorf in Sömmerda District. The longhouse is unusually long and could be a kind of communal squad bay for the 98 axes and two daggers deposited at its door. In some ways, a class distinction between weapons of modern 'officers' and 'enlisted', common to Western Europe could be interpreted in this way. Strangely the number is about the size of a Roman centuria and similar descended units. He speculates that within sight of the Leubingen burial mound, other barracks may have been seen in the landscape.
Next, he discusses the division of arms in other hoards and suggests the percentages are indicative of a military unit structure; axes, halberds, daggers and (the likely ceremonial) double-axes. A good illustration of this social division of arms in an infantry unit can be seen in the homecoming video of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards. Keep in mind though, that this 'European' social division of arms within a unit is different from a Combined Arms Concept, although that may be further developed in the future as well.
After the pipe band passes, you'll see officers equipped with service pistols and holding their ceremonial swords and following by basic riflemen. (see below)
Meller continues by mathematically breaking down other hoards and envisions a rank structure not unlike those of historical Europe. I think he makes an interesting and very powerful argument.
There are now several important papers queued up by influential archaeologists regarding the magnitude and organization of warfare in the Early Bronze Age. Horn and Christiansen have a paper that may already be out regarding Bronze Age warfare. Christian Horn has a very comprehensive paper on type-use of halbards as well that I hope to get to at a later date.
"Armies in the Early Bronze Age? An alternative interpretation of Únětice Culture axe hoards" Harald Meller, Antiquity, Volume 91, Issue 360.December 2017 , pp. 1529-1545
"The Early Bronze Age Únětice Culture in central Germany was a highly stratified society with a ruling class of ‘princes’, as evidenced by the famous burials at Leubingen and Helmsdorf, and the newly excavated burial mound Bornhöck near Dieskau. To investigate the notion of Únětice military organisation, this article presents a new interpretation of the numerous weapons hoards recovered from the region. Hoard deposition and composition from central Germany strongly suggests a shift from a Late Neolithic culture of ‘warrior heroes’ to the creation of organised standing armies of professional soldiers under the control of ruling elites."