Weapon deposits in the Iron Age
"The enemy ... destroyed everything that had fallen into their hands in an outrageous and unprecedented ritual of curses; clothes torn and thrown away ... the mens breastplates chopped into pieces ... people were hanged from trees with a cable around their neck, so that nothing fell into the hands of niether victor nor the fallen, nothing exchange and no mercy. "
The historian Paul Orosius' (385-420 AD) described how the Germans sacrificed the captured booty, and this fits very well with what we know through archaeological studies today. 20 Danish bogs contained a large amount of weaponry from the Iron Age, which often shows traces of ritual destruction. The major findings belong especially to the 3rd-4th century AD. Several of the major weapon deposits may be peace offerings to the gods, thanking them for the victory. Less weapon deposits need not necessarily to be captured booty, but may just be ordinary sacrifices. The increasing amount of weapon deposits in the centuries AD shows that the warrior ideology and the military began to play an important role in society. Chiefs and princes competed increasingly on rural areas. This could trigger military conflicts, and it was vital for those in power to have a strong army.