About 3200 years ago, two armies clashed at a river crossing near the Baltic Sea.
The confrontation can't be found in any history books -- the written word didn't become common in these parts for another 2000 years -- but this was no skirmish between local clans.
Thousands of warriors came together in a brutal struggle, perhaps fought on a single day, using weapons crafted from wood, flint, and bronze, a metal that was then the height of military technology.
"If our hypothesis is correct that all of the finds belong to the same event, we're dealing with a conflict of a scale hitherto completely unknown north of the Alps," says dig co-director Thomas Terberger, an archaeologist at the Lower Saxony State Service for Cultural Heritage in Hannover.
"There's nothing to compare it to."
It may even be the earliest direct evidence -- with weapons and warriors together -- of a battle this size anywhere in the ancient world.