The Roman-Germanic battle that became 'fake news'
It was a surprising upset when Germanic tribes fought the Romans and won in 9 AD. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest has spurned numerous myths - and experts are now poised to confirm its exact location.
The 1st-century Roman-Germanic clash
Numerous artefacts have been uncovered at Kalkriese at what is suspected to be the site of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest (9 AD). One of the most spectular is an iron mask from a Roman cavalryman's helmet, pictured in a large-scale model that's exhibited in the Kalkriese Museum at the presumed site of the battle.
Detailed restoration work
The original Roman cavalryman's mask reveals signs of plunder - the silver foil was roughly torn off it. Here, the mask, the most iconic discovery at Kalkriese, is being restored.
Roman javelins and arrow heads
This summer, experts are launching a new excavation of the site at Kalkriese to determine whether it was indeed the location of the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, which saw Germanic tribes conquer Roman troops in a surprising upset. Pictured are tips of Roman "pilum" javelins and arrow heads found at the battleground some 15 kilometers north of Osnabrück in northwestern Germany.
Archaeologists at work
At the presumed battlefield in Kalkriese, excavations have been taking place for some 30 years. A fresh dig is due to start on September 4, and experts are hoping to shed light on the course the battle took.
Archaeologists keep finding fresh evidence suggesting that Kalkriese is indeed the site of the famous Battle of the Teutoburg Forest - but it's not yet 100 percent conclusive.
Casualties of war
Archaeologist Axel Thiele is pictured recovering the skeleton of a mule, an animal that was commonly used in the Roman army. Some 18,000 Roman troops participated in the Battle of Teutoburg Forest.
Hundreds of coins have been discovered at Kalkriese. Small piles of them were a telling sign of impending doom - meaning that soldiers were attempting to hide their treasures before it was too late. This coin shows the countermark of Varus, the governor of Germania. So far, none of the coins found were minted after AD 9. That’s a sign that it could be the site of the famous battle.
Wall's history now questioned
The earthen wall in the picture is part of a 400-meter stretch uncovered at Kalkriese that has been restored to give visitors a sense of what it used looked like. New archaeological findings suggest the wall may have been part of a Roman camp rather than a Germanic, one as previously thought. The current excavation should determine more about its history.
Every two years, there is a gentle re-enactment of the battle at Kalkriese as part of a festival to show Roman and Germanic life 2,000 years ago. These days, it’s easier to find Roman re-enactors than Germanic ones.
A gigantic monument to Arminius, the leader of the German tribes who later became known and idealized as Hermann, was completed in 1875 near Detmold. It testifies to the power of the cult surrounding him as Germany’s supposed liberator. The sword, donated by the Krupp company, measures seven meters.