I recently read an article about an archaeological discovery in Germany. It turns out that one of those things I learned in my days as a Classics & Ancient Mediterranean Studies student could very well be wrong. One of the things we were taught is that the Germanic tribes did not form large armies until kind of late. However, this find shows one battle around 3200 years ago and it could have contained two large groups (large is a relative term here). The traditional belief was that these peoples were probably somewhat peaceful and if they did fight it was small clans fighting each other, nothing you could describe as a battle.
Anyways, you may be asking why I would care about something like this. Aside from loving archaeology in general, this actually relates to something I did study. One of the papers I wrote was about identifying the Sea Peoples by the weapons they were using on the walls of Medinet Habu in Egypt. During my research I discovered a good bit about swords. I remember reading about a sword that was buried in the tomb of a Germanic warrior found in Greece. The archaeologists assumed the guy was a mercenary prince trying to win fortune for his tribe (or something to that effect). Also, one of the things that is a major unknown in regards to the Sea People is why they fled from their region. There are probably a multitude of factors and invaders coming from the north has always been one (although the Scythians or other nomads being the more likely culprits).
This find is almost in that time period. If the Germanic tribes were organized enough to form armies, even if somewhat small, could they have helped contribute to the fleeing of the coastal peoples? Is that loan burial that I mentioned above a mercenary prince or maybe he was part of an invading force? Just something to think about.
If you are so fascinated by this topic and want to read my paper I wrote back in the Fall of 2003 for my CAMS 440W class, then click here. Be warned, my writing has not improved since then. And I did not include any pictures of scary barbarians in the final paper.