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Osterby Man
Schleswig, Germany

 

 

 

     Background information about the mummy

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. 

 

     Where to see him

The Landesmuseum (Schleswig, Germany) displays the skull of Osterby Man (his skin has long since deteriorated; only the Swabian knot remains) and four other bog bodies: Windeby I, Damendorf Man, Dätgen Man, and Rendswühren Man.

 

 

 

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