Bog Bodies @ Mummy Tombs




Four Bog Bodies (Schleswig, Germany)


Damendorf Man

Damendorf Man died about 300 B.C. and was discovered thousands of years later in the Eckernförde district of Germany. Unlike some bog bodies, he was flattened by the weight of the peat. Only his skin, nails, and hair (as well as his leather belt and shoes) were preserved. 

As P. V. Glob wrote in The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved, "The rest of him has completely disappeared as if by magic. A split nearly an inch long in the region of the heart may indicate how he was killed."

Damendorf Man has a flattened and dessicated body



Dätgen Man

In 1959, the beaten, stabbed and decapitated body of a 30-year-old man was found staked down in a bog near Dätgen, Germany (between Hamburg and Kiel).  His head was found about ten feet from the body.

Because his head and body had been separated and because some of his injuries seem to have been caused after death, some researchers thought that Dätgen Man might not be a sacrificial victim (as is often the case with other bog bodies) but a person who others feared might become wiedergänger (or zombie) after death. To make certain that the body never walked the face of the Earth again, the assailants took steps to incapacitate the corpse. 




Osterby Man

On May 28, 1948, two peat cutters working two feet below the surface on Kohlmoor, a bog near Osterby, Germany, came across something quite unexpected: a head wrapped in a cape made of roedeer skin. Realizing the importance of their find, they searched for the rest of the body. But they uncovered nothing else.

Researchers at the Landesmuseum in Schleswig examined the head and determined that it belonged to a man between 50 and 60 years old. Not only had his head been lopped off at the neck, but the head itself had been struck by a sharp instrument.

But the most impressive part of the Osterby Man was his hair. Eleven inches long on top (though quick short at the neck), one section of hair was twisted and woven into a figure-8 knot--without the use of a fastener. This style is known as the "Swabian knot." Originally, his hair would have been blond (with some gray), but the bog water turned his hair into a stunning shade of red.

A more recent analysis of the skull (referenced in the February 16, 2007 Spiegel.de) revealed that the jaw bone did not belong to the skull.



Rendswühren Man

Discovered in 1871 in a fen near Kiel (Germany), Rendswühren Man died when he was 40-50 years old. Here is how P.V. Glob in The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserveddescribed the find: 

"[the] exceptionally well-preserved man lay an an angle in the bog, face downwards. He was naked, except for the left leg, on which lay a piece of leather, with the pelt facing inwards, bound with leather thongs in a sort of cross-gartering. Clothing, however, consisting of a large rectangular woolen cloth and a cape made of pieces of skin sewn together, covered the man's head, which had a triangular hole in the forehead as though from a powerful blow.



Where to see them

The Landesmuseum (Schleswig, Germany) displays these four bog bodies, as well as the Windeby I.