Topmenu - include
The Tollund Man - A Face from Prehistoric Denmark Danish Version Home
A body Appears The Naked Body Examinations Time of Tollund Man Other Bog Bodies Videos and Books Background
A Body Appears

The Finders of the Body

Transporting the Body

The Bog

Death

The Last Meal


 Video
Gods and sacrifices in the bog

Video Gods and sacrifices in the bog
From "People of the Iron Age"
1.26 minutes - Broadband.
© Lejre Experimental Centre

 More video snippets
for different Internet connections. See also technical assistance for the videos.



 Home A Body Appears Death Was he Hanged?

Was the Tollund Man Hanged?

Click for extra large picture
Was the Tollund Man hanged - or strangled with a rope? Extra large picture. More illustrations.
© Niels Bach
The Tollund Man with the rope around his neck
The Tollund Man with the rope
around his neck. Big picture
The Tollund Man was examined as if he was the victim of a murder. The examination took place at Bispebjerg Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark shortly after he was discovered.

The forensic examiners's report states among other things that "the robe, judging by the way it was placed around the body's neck, was most likely not used for strangulation, and because of that it is of less importance that the cervical vertebras were undamaged since that sometimes happens when a person is hanged".

X-rays had revealed that the Tollund Man's cervical vertebras were not broken but despite of that the forensic examiner was certain that the man had been hanged. Later examinations done by other doctors proved that he was right.

New examinations reveal among other things that his tongue had become distended - a characteristic often seen in a hanged person.

At the time of the Tollund Man there were various burial customs in Denmark, but the one thing they had in common was that cremation was part of them all - except for the small group of people who were sacrificed. They were placed in the bogs without being cremated. That is also why it's most likely that the Tollundmanden was sacrificed to the gods.

The Tollund Mans rope - reconstructed
The Tollund Mans rope reconstructed.
Big picture
The entire village probably witnessed the hanging of the Tollund Man. Maybe people even came from the surrounding villages. A human sacrifice was probably something that might be of importance to everybody from near and far. Were the gods going to accept the sacrifice? Were they going to let the people live in harmony with nature and each other in the years to come? Would they be friendly disposed towards them, when they used the gods' sacred bog?

After the hanging the Tollund Man was cut down from the tree and carried to the bog. In the peat bog an excavation had already been emptied of water. The grave was located right next to a pathway paved with planks which cut across the bog. Tollund Man was carefully and respectfully placed in the grave because now he belonged to the gods. His eyes and his mouth were closed as if he were asleep. Within a short period of time the water rose in the grave and it soon covered him. The gods had accepted their sacrifice.



Click for extra large picture
The Tollund Man was carefully and respectfully placed in the grave. Extra large picture.
More illustrations. © Niels Bach

  More Info
What did people believe in in the iron age?
When somebody died in the village...

Examinations of the Tollund Man
Shortly after it was discovered the body was excavated and examined closely at the National Museum of Denmark located in Copenhagen...

The Naked Body
When the Tollund Man was placed in the bog he was completely naked except for...

My story about the Tollund Man
The following is one man's version of how the Tollund Man's died...


The Tollund Man when he was just discovered
The Tollund Man when he was just discovered. Big picture

The Tollund Man when he was just discovered

The Tollund Man when he was just discovered. Big picture

X-ray of the Tollund Man

X-ray of the Tollund Man.
Big picture


About the Website | Sitemap | Visit the Tollund Man | Contact Us

© 2004 Silkeborg Public Library, Silkeborg Museum and Amtscentret for Undervisning, Aarhus Amt. Editor of the Website