The bog exhibits
the Schloß Gottorf
worth a visit. Not only will you find a number of bog bodies,
but the dramatic head of Osterby
Man as well.
a closer look at three of the exhibits:
Damendorf Man died about 300
B.C. and was discovered thousands of years later in the Eckernförde
district of Germany. Unlike some other 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 Glob wrote, "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."
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 described the
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.
well preserved human body naturally aroused much interest and before
being dispatched to Kiel it was exhibited on a farm cart in a nearby
barn. During this period visitors helped themselves lavishly to
souvenirs both from the body itself and from the clothing. The dead man
became the first bog man to be photographed--being stood up on the tips
of his toes for the purpose. Preservation of the body was carried out by
smoking, for other methods of conservation were not then
However, the star of Landesmuseum's
collection of bog bodies is Windeby I.
Discovered in a small German bog in
1952, the Windeby find consisted of two bodies. The better preserved proved to be a
teenager (originally thought to be female, but DNA tests have revealed
that it is male) who was killed some 2,000
years earlier and buried in the bog. P. V. Glob (who believed that Windeby
I was female) in his classic work The
Bog People described her this way:
"She lay on her back, her
head twisted to one side, the left arm outstretched.
Between it and her hip was a large block of stone. The right arm was bent
in against the chest, as if defensively, while the legs were lightly drawn
up, the left over the right. The head with its delicate face and the hands
were the best preserved; the chest had completely disintegrated, and the
ribs were visible. The lower abdomen had also gone. The hair. reddish from
of the bog acids but originally light blond, was of an exceptional
fineness but had been shaved off with a
razor on the left side of her
head. Here it was less than a tenth of an inch long. On the right side of
the head, in contrast, it was cut to a length of an inch and three
quarters to two inches. The skin, where present, was well preserved. The
bones, though much calcified, still retained their shape."
one knows if Windeby I was killed (some scientists believe that she may
have died of natural causes), but it is clear that someone wanted to keep
her at the bottom of the bog: the body was kept at the bottom of the bog with
birch branches and rocks. Clearly, the people who buried Windeby I never wanted to see him again.
The head was reconstructed to
determine what the person might have looked like when alive. A photo
of the reconstruction is on exhibit as well.