grauballe

The Grauballe Man- In 1952, explorers where walking in Grauballe, Denmark when they stumbled across a peat bog which they thought had an animal trapped inside. Upon closer inspection, they discovered that the bog was in fact the final resting place of a perfectly preserved adult man. 

Researchers have determined that the man is from 3 BC, during the Iron Age. Due to the nature of the find, it has been described as one of Denmark’s most spectacular discoveries in it’s prehistory.

His was not the only bog body to be found in the peat bogs of Denmark. The Tollund Man and the Elling Woman were found in the same area, which leads to an interesting possibility: Is this an example of a traditional sacrifice at the time? It is commonly thought that these killings, including that of Grauballe Man, were ritual killings, possibly an important rite in Iron Age Germanic paganism.

An older scarecrow I built based on the phenomena of Bog People:

A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog. Such bodies, sometimes known as bog people, are both geographically and chronologically widespread, having been dated to between 8000 BCE and the Second World War.  The unifying factor of the bog bodies is that they have been found in peat and are partially preserved; however, the actual levels of preservation vary widely from perfectly preserved to mere skeletons.

Unlike most ancient human remains, bog bodies have retained their skin and internal organs due to the unusual conditions of the surrounding area. These conditions include highly acidic water, low temperature, and a lack of oxygen, and combine to preserve but severely tan their skin. While the skin is well-preserved, the bones are generally not, due to the acid in the peat having dissolved the calcium phosphate of bone.

The oldest known bog body is the skeleton of Koelbjerg Man from Denmark, who has been dated to 8000 BCE, during the Mesolithic period.  The oldest fleshed bog body is that of Cashel Man, who dates to 2000 BCE during the Bronze Age.  The overwhelming majority of bog bodies – including examples such as Tollund Man, Grauballe Man and Lindow Man – date to the Iron Age and have been found in northwest European lands, particularly Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the British Isles. Such Iron Age bog bodies typically illustrate a number of similarities, such as violent deaths and a lack of clothing, leading archaeologists to believe that they were killed and deposited in the bogs as a part of a widespread cultural tradition of human sacrifice or the execution of criminals.  The newest bog bodies are those of soldiers killed in the Russian wetlands during the Second World War.

The Grauballe Man is an extremely well preserved human body which was discovered in a peat bog in Denmark, 1952. Believed to date back to the 3rd century BC, a more thorough analysis revealed that the deceased had apparently died due to a deep neck laceration. The individual, which was found to be a man aged around 30 years old at the time of death, may well be an existing example of either an act of human sacrifice or murder as the ear-to-ear wound on his throat ruled out the potentiality of suicide. Due to the remarkable extent of preservation, fingerprints were able to be taken before he was put on display at the Moesgaard Museum. The body can still be seen there today.