@timestamp field in a datastream


I'm currently examining the migration of an old ES cluster into an ILM managed https://www.elastic.co/guide/en/elasticsearch/reference/master/data-streams.html.

I do not fully understand the role of the required @timestamp field.
I understand that writes are being directed to the write index while reads are being directed to all backing index. If writes are going to the current write index anyway, why does ES cares about the @timestamp field at all?

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