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Old 03-26-2010, 11:48 PM
 
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When you read of some of the incredibly high casualty counts associated with many of the larger battles in the BC era, how did they dispose of the dead after the battle?

Did one or both sides just bury all of them en masse or leave them on the battlefield?
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:11 AM
 
Location: Aloverton
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doc1 View Post
When you read of some of the incredibly high casualty counts associated with many of the larger battles in the BC era, how did they dispose of the dead after the battle?

Did one or both sides just bury all of them en masse or leave them on the battlefield?
Some of the death counts (as opposed to casualty counts; casualties represent WIA, MIA and KIA) are highly exaggerated because some of the army figures are surely highly exaggerated. That said, the winners might bury or repatriate their own dead, but they likely wouldn't bother burying the other side's a lot of the time. There was still some of that in the Civil War; when you look at the grotesque bloated corpse pics on Gettysburg a few days after the battle, nearly all of them are Confederate (despite usually erroneous captioning to the contrary) because most of the Union dead were buried by the time the media vultures showed up.

Another immense burial/cleanup problem in warfare through WWII was dead horses. It got so bad at Gettysburg, for example, that the military came up with a great solution to the problem of citizens combing the fields to pick up gear (considered government property). Anyone caught at it was sentenced to a certain number of hours burying dead, bloated, paunch-popping horse carcasses. Now that's what I call a deterrent.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:01 AM
 
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I wonder if they just piled them up and burned them with fire??

Look at the ''Battle of Watling Road'' in 60 A.D. between the Romans and the Iceni Celts close by Mancetter England as around 100,000 celts and romans died that day fighting and yet they have never found any of the bones from any of the dead of that famous battle.
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Old 03-27-2010, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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Originally Posted by 6 FOOT 3 View Post
I wonder if they just piled them up and burned them with fire??

Look at the ''Battle of Watling Road'' in 60 A.D. between the Romans and the Iceni Celts close by Mancetter England as around 100,000 celts and romans died that day fighting and yet they have never found any of the bones from any of the dead of that famous battle.
That's an interesting little fact. Because if not even so much as a charred bone was ever found, well, as A. Conan Doyle once observed (through the keen eyes of Sherlock Holmes), when every other possibility is eliminated, what remains must be the truth. No bones? Then it becomes hard to credit 100,000 deaths. In fact, it calls the entire battle into question--because in the course of a battle, there would have been some deaths.
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
it calls the entire battle into question--because in the course of a battle, there would have been some deaths.
You could be correct ??

However we do know for a fact several things and that is that you had the most powerful battle harden roman general who had crushed revolts in north africa early in his career and made the ''General of the West'' of the empire and for Nero to send his highest ranking general to an outpost province tells me that they knew they had serious problems on their hands with the celtic uprisings there.

Just before Boudica's revolt he was crushing druid revolts in Wales (Isla de Mona) when he recieved frantic messengers telling him of Boudica burning the provincial capital (Londinium) to the ground and with some 90,000 londoners dead and so he with his 2 1/2 legions headed down Watling Road to attack them and yet when he saw the size of the army that awaited him he retreated as that tells me he must have saw an overwhelming sized army as roman historian Tacitus stated the Celts had around 80,000 to 100,000 warriors to the romans 12,000 legionnaires.

Infact archaeologists have found ''Boudica's Ash'' that lies some 30 feet below parts of ancient london today that is definitely from when she burned london to the ground and so to do that she had to have an huge army.

So he retreated back up to Wales with Boudica's army in full pursuit after him and only after he found a perfect setting with thick dense forest to all 3 sides with just a narrow front opening he devised an awsome plan to have his heavily armored troops stand infront of that opening with their javelins and swords sticking out of an inpenetrable iron box formation as the celts couldn't attack from the sides or behind and so the romans easily slaughtered the lightly armored charging celts who basically were running straight into the steel sheilds and swords that awaited them.

But dang it's a mystery as to where all the 100,000 or so'ish bodies dissappeared too and i realize that the soil of 60 A.D. is some 30 feet or so below ground now but if they could find Boudica's Ash'' you'd think they could find at least some ancient bones from the battle scene ??

Sorry for rambling as i love ancient British history

Last edited by Six Foot Three; 03-27-2010 at 09:06 AM.. Reason: Spell Error - 6/3
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:02 AM
 
Location: EAST-SIDE INDIANAPOLIS
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This is a subject I find interesting, but here is another angle to look at it. Does anyone think its crazy that they still find planes, tanks, bones, guns and artifacts buried from world war 2 remains. I mean how long did it take, for europe to be rebuilt? I mean at least 50 million dead, who knows how many injured and mamed. Countless buildings half leveled. Tanks and planes strewn all about. What did they do with all this destruction?
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by doc1 View Post
When you read of some of the incredibly high casualty counts associated with many of the larger battles in the BC era, how did they dispose of the dead after the battle?

Did one or both sides just bury all of them en masse or leave them on the battlefield?
Worms and Buzzards have to eat too .
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Old 03-27-2010, 09:47 AM
 
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One possibility is that bone meal makes good fertilizer.
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Old 03-28-2010, 02:49 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
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It was not uncommon during ancient wars to, after the battle, call a truce observed by both sides, in order for the wounded and dead removed from the field and disposed of according to their respective customs.
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Old 03-28-2010, 03:51 PM
 
Location: On the Chesapeake
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The story is that before Gettysburg there were no vultures/buzzards around. They showed up after the battle (remember the temperatures were in the 90s during the battle) and have never left the area.
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