osterby head

The Osterby Head, late Iron Age to Roman period, on display in the Archaeological Museum, Gottorf Castle, Schleswig

Discovered by peat cutters in 1948, the head was originally found wrapped in a deerskin cape. Despite a thorough search the rest of the body has never come to light. Skeletal evidence suggests that this individual was male and around 50-60 years old. The skull shows evidence of a potentially fatal blunt force injury to the left temple as well as cut marks to the second cervical vertebra from beheading.

The distinctive hairstyle known as the Suebian knot is described by Tacitus in his Germania as typical for free men of the Suebi tribe. This style also appears in Roman artwork and on another bog body found several metres away.

Suebian knot tutorial taken from the museum display at Gottorf Caslte.