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
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.