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 another look at the poorly-preserved bodies
(important identifying features are missing from both--including heads and
genitalia) almost 100 years later revealed that they were
What scientists have 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 from this technique, but it was part of the culture of some
early peoples of Europe, according to
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 two