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Other Bog Bodies

Elling Woman

Grauballe Man

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 On the Web
Internet The Tollund Man and Elling Woman
Article on the website for Silkeborg Museum

Internet Bodies of the Bogs
English website about bog bodies, including the Tollund Man

Internet Reluctant Time Travelers: The Bog Bodies of Europe
English website about bog bodies

Internet The Bog Page
English personal website about bog bodies

 More websites

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Other Bog Bodies

In the course of time many bog bodies have been discovered in northwest Europe, maybe even several thousand. Yes, right up until modern times people have died and afterwards been preserved by the acid in the bog. In Denmark more than a thousand bodies have been discovered. Some can be dated back to the Iron age, others are not quite that old. But most of them can be dated back to the time of the Tollund Man - the early Iron age.

The bog body from Moselund, 1892
The bog body from Moselund, 1892.
Big picture
It was not until the middle of the 19th century that the scientists understood that they might be dealing with bodies dating back to prehistoric times. In May 1892 in Moselund, not far from Silkeborg, a body was discovered which later turned out to be from the Viking age. The body was photographed, thus providing us with one of the earliest examples of a photo of an archaeological find.

Three times peat-digging in Bjældskovdal, where the Tollund Man was discovered, has brought relics from prehistoric times to the people of modern times. The first time it happened was in 1927 when a bog body was discovered. It was quickly covered again by collapsing peat soil and as a result of that the body was not examined.
The second time was in 1938 when the well-preserved body of Elling Woman was discovered, and finally the third time in 1950 when the most well-preserved of all bog bodies, the Tollund Man, was discovered.

Only 80 metres from the place where the Tollund Man was later discovered, the body of Elling Woman - an approximately 24-year-old woman - was discovered in 1938. She had been hanged exactly like the Tollund Man and placed in the bog dressed in a cloak of sheepskin. She had a blanket made of skin or a cloak made of cowhide wrapped around her hips and legs. Her hair was gathered in a pigtail which was 1 metre long and tied into a knot at the back of her neck.

Grauballe Man

Just like the Tollund Man - Elling Girl or Elling Woman, as we call her, has been dated by using the carbon-14 dating method. The results show that she died around 280 B.C. which is approximately at the same time as the Tollund Man. The uncertainty connected with the carbon-14 method forces us to conclude that they may or may not have known or heard about each other.

Other bog bodies have also undergone thorough examinations. That includes Grauballe Man who was discovered a little north of Silkeborg, Queen Gunhild who was discovered close to Vejle, and three bog bodies which were discovered in Borremose in Himmerland. They are all from around the same time as the Tollund Man. Their names are all like the Tollund Man's names they were given when they were discovered since their own names were unknown.

 Related Stories
Elling Woman

Elling Woman
The Tollund Man is not the only bog body that has been discovered in Bjældskovdal...

Grauballe Man
Two years after the Tollund Man had been discovered another body of a man appeared...

More bog bodies
In Borremose in Himmerland more bodies appeared...


Map showing where some of the most famous bog bodies in Denmark were discovered
Map showing where some of the most famous bog bodies in Denmark were discovered.
Big picture © Skalk



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