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 years ago.
She was 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. Her
body was badly damaged by peatcutters' tools; she was not all in
one piece. When the peatcutters returned later that same day,
they hid her under stacks of peat on the surface of the bog. She
stayed there for nine days until the local mayor found her.
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.
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.
Girl's face has been reconstructed by a medical artist.