is one of the most unforgettable
bog bodies I've ever encountered (ranking right up there with Denmark's
Tollund Man and England's Lindow Man). Discovered in the Netherlands'
Bourtangermoor, Yde Girl has been well-studied by the Dutch
archaeologist W.A.B. van der Sanden. These findings have revealed a
great deal of information about her, her life, and her death some 2000
strangled by a woollen waistband (or belt) which had been slip-knotted
and wrapped around her neck three times. Peatcutters using a scoop to
dredge peat from the bog in 1897 were so terrified to see her body that
they ran away. Her red hair caused them to think that they had come
face-to-face with the devil.
Her discovery and recovery
were handled poorly. Apparently
interested in science, the mayor made some notes. He also dredged
more parts of Yde Girl from the bog: one hand, one foot, and part of her
pelvis. He noted that hair from half of her head had been shaved off.
And he contacted the Drents Museum about the find.
But the villagers had other
ideas: they pulled her hair out and removed her teeth and most likely
some of her bones. Fortunately, the museum was interested in preserving
the girl (or what was left of her), including the cloak that was also
found with her.
A CT scan suggested that she
was 16 years old when she died (her wisdom teeth had neither formed
roots nor erupted). The scan also revealed that she had scoliosis or
curvature of the spine; she was a little more than 4.5 feet tall. Part
of her right foot appeared swollen, as if she placed most of her body
weight on that side. Scientists have speculated whether this abnormality
had any impact on the cause of her death. Carbon-14 dating suggests that
she died in the first century A.D.
scientists hired a medical artist to reconstruct her face. This gives us
an idea of what she looked like near the time of her death and brings
her back to life, so to speak.