Sunday, December 8, 2013

Archaeology of the site of the 208 BC Battle of Baecula

The January 2014 issue of Archaeology has a fascinating article about the Roman-Carthaginian Battle of Baecula of 208 BC in Spain.  Two Spanish archaeologists found the site of the battle a few years ago through detective work and have over the course of several field sessions unearthed many artifacts relating to the battle. 

Their research has confirmed much of the strategy and tactics described by ancient historians Polybius and Livy.  The various spearheads, javelins, darts, good luck amulets and other items confirm the intensity and carnage of the battle.

More interesting still, the writings of Polybius and Livy have apparently not been measured against the archaeological record before.  The finds have confirmed much of what they described, including many small details. 

It is an article worth reading if you are interested in ancient archeology, Rome, Carthage, the Punic Wars or ancient warfare in general.

 Hasdrubal Barca, younger brother of Hannibal, and Carthaginian leader at the Batlle of Baecula

A paper written in 2009 on the find may be found here

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