In 1978 experts in finger-prints with the National Police Forces examined one of the Tollund Man's fingers and his feet, which had been kept in formalin in order to prevent them from rotting away.
The pattern on the finger was well-preserved and thus belongs among the oldest in the world. The pattern is still very easy to see. The assistant commissioner, who did the examination of the finger and feet, pointed out that the design of the Tollund Man's finger-print is quite similar to the ones found on the people of today.
The report by Assistant Commissioner H.P. Andersson states among other things:
"...The photograph of the right thumb shows a typical pattern with curved lines. This pattern is often seen in prints taken today, and the fact that it is found on the right thumb is also the case with more than two percent of the prints we have registered in the Danish police's database of finger-prints."
The assistant commissioner was able to tell that the epidermis was gone. This is probably due to the Tollund Man's long stay in the bog water - the water must have caused it to decompose.
When people made earthenware vessels in prehistoric times, they sometimes left their finger-prints in the wet clay, thus making it possible for us to detect them in the finished earthenware vessels. But aside from these finger-prints the Tollund Man's thumb has given us one of the oldest finger-prints in the world.