bog body finds are quite rare, so the
Weerdinge Men are special--in even more ways than that.
Found in the Bourtangermoor
in 1904 by peatcutter Hilbrand Gringhuis, the bodies were long thought
to be those of a man and woman. They were called the Weerdinge couple,
and they were even given names: Darby (for the man) and Joan.
But when scientists
examined the poorly-preserved bodies (important identifying features are
missing from both--including heads and genitalia) almost 100 years
later, they soon discovered that "Darby and Joan" were
actually both men.
found particularly interesting about the man on the right (arm crossed
over the abdomen) is the material on his chest: his intestines have
emerged from a stab wound to his chest.
a prisoner of war and that he was sacrificed so that his entrails could
be read to divine the future. It's
hard to understand what type of future could be read by using this
technique, but it was part of the culture of some early peoples of
Europe, according to Roman historians.
Scientists have wondered
about their relationship. Were they soldiers? Were they brothers or
father and son? You might think that DNA analysis would reveal all. But
the chemicals found in the bog destroy all traces of DNA in bog bodies
and make it impossible to determine any genetic relationship between the