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Tollund Man from the village of Tollund, Denmark. Circa 2,000bce
 
On May 6, 1950, Viggo and Emil Højgaard from the small village of Tollund were cutting mud to find peat for their stove in the Bjældskovdal peat bog, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) west of Silkeborg, Denmark. As they worked, one of their wives, who was there helping to load the peat on a carriage, noticed in the peat layer a corpse so fresh that they could only assume that they had discovered a recent murder victim, and after much deliberation among the workers, she notified the police in Silkeborg. The find was reported to the police on Tuesday May 8, 1950 and they were baffled by the body, and in an attempt to identify the time of death, they brought in archaeology professor P. V. Glob. Upon initial examination, Glob suggested that the body was over two thousand years old and most likely the victim of a sacrifice.
 
The Tollund Man lay 50 meters (160 ft) away from firm ground, buried under approximately 2 meters (6.6 ft) of peat, his body arranged in a fetal position. He wore a pointed skin cap made of sheepskin and wool, fastened securely under his chin by a hide thong. There was a smooth hide belt around his waist. Additionally, the corpse had a noose made of plaited animal hide drawn tight around the neck, and trailing down his back. Other than these, the body was naked. His hair was cropped so short as to be almost entirely hidden by his cap. There was short stubble (1mm length) on his chin and upper lip, suggesting that he had not shaved on the day of his death.
 
Source Wikipedia.

 

Archaeologist Ulla Mannering studying the skirt belonging to The Woman from Huldremose whose 2,000 year-old body was found in a marsh in Jutland in 1879
Photo: Colourbox

Writing in ScienceNordic on the 29 May, Sybille Hildebrandt reports that –

Clothes in the early Iron Age were not grey and dull, as previously assumed. They were colourful and patterned. This new discovery comes as a result of new analyses of 180 textile samples from 26 different bog finds, carried out by Ulla Mannering, a senior researcher and archaeologist at the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Textile Research at the National Museum. “The beginning of the Iron Age sparked a revolution in fashion in which clothes became coloured and patterned,” she says. The conventional theory has so far been that colourful textiles only emerged in the centuries after the birth of Christ. “But our analyses show – quite surprisingly – that colour and pattern came into fashion in the earliest part of the Iron Age. That’s 500 years earlier than previously thought.”

The colours changed people’s world view

The new analyses also show that the bodies, buried in an ancient sacrificial bog, from which the textiles were taken are older than previously thought. Most of them date back to the centuries leading up to Christ’s birth, which makes them more than 2,000 years old.

Full article here.

 

 

1898 photograph of Nederfrederiksmose Man. Source Wikimedia Commons

An in situ photograph of the bog body Nederfrederiksmose Man, also known as Frederiksdal Man and Kragelund Man. The body was found on 25 May 1898 in Fattiggårdens mose near the village Kragelund, north west of Silkeborg, Denmark and dates from 1099ce. This image was taken during the 1898 excavation and is the earliest known photograph of a bog body.

 

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