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Hannibal's Alps Crossing

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carthagemustbedestro View Drop Down
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    Posted: 15 Mar 2012 at 20:39
Why has no trace of the crossing been found? From the sources it may be that 10000 individuals and large numbers of pack animals died. So somewhere there must be skeletal remains. Granted wolves & bears may have recycled some, I feel traces should still be found. The secret may be to explore below the known passes. With global warming evidence may emerge from the snow as it is likely a high pass was used due to nothing having been seen. 
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fusong View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fusong Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2012 at 00:38
Are you sure? I am embarrassed to say I haven't thought much about any actual artifacts left in the region..
Every ideology has a kernel of truth and sea of whitewash.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Mar 2012 at 02:49
The biggest problem with skeletal remains is that thousands of years of rockslides would probably have buried them. These men and their animals would likely have passed through the narrow reaches of passes. Which means that anytime there is a rock slide on any of the surrounding mountains, those rocks would have deposited themselves on top of the skeletal remains.

Also we don't know precisely which route Hannibal and his army took, so we wouldn't know which passes to search for the remains.

Making such a search harder is the fact that useful military equipment would have been scavanged by the local Gauls once the main host had moved on.


Edited by Constantine XI - 16 Mar 2012 at 02:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote markdienekes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Apr 2012 at 15:36
It could also reveal massively inflated numbers for the invasion force. Perhaps the reason why he refused battle with the Romans at the Rhone was because his army was of similar size, and he didn't want to have injured men for the road ahead. It might have been too dangerous to take them on then and perhaps the figures of the size of his army coming out of the Alps is closer to the truth of what he left New Carthage with.

It stands to reason the Gauls would join with a commander who hadn't just wiped out 70% of his army. Hannibal needed to reach Italy with speed, with his best troops where he expected his army to be bulked up with the Gauls who had already said they'd join him, not be slowed down by troops of people he had only just recently conquered and little time to train them. He also needed to leave Spain south of the Ebro secure, where they'd have solid interior lines of supply (the only place they could realistically hold as the Romans had naval superiority and could establish a base camp from anywhere from Emporion to Marsielle)


Edited by markdienekes - 19 Apr 2012 at 15:37
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