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The Importance Of Bog Bodies For History

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In 2004, more scientific tests were done on Tollund Man at the Hospital at Aarhus. One of the tests done was an endoscope, which was done so that his well-preserved brain could be seen and examined. A CT scan of his neck and head was done; this revealed that Tollund Man had a fracture in his hyoid bone in his neck. An infrared camera examination of his neck was also conducted. The reason for doing this was to examine the back of his neck to confirm, if he was strangled or not. When doing this examination of the back of Tollund Man’s neck a v-shape was found that was left by a rope. This confirmed that he had been hung and not strangled. Currently, Tollund Man is at the Silkeborg Museum in Silkeborg, Denmark, where he is on display. Grauballe Man was a bog body that was found near Grauballe, Denmark on April 1952, three feet below the surface. Grauballe Man was found by a group of men who were working in the bog they were draining, when they uncovered a body. The group of men notified a local doctor of their find. When Grauballe Man was found his eyes were closed and his face was partially flattened on one side from the pressure and weight of the peat he was buried under. His skin was the color of the peat that he was surrounded by. His hair was red when he was found, but his real hair color would have been gray or fair. His bones had softened and were bendable.

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The excavation of Grauballe Man was led by Professor P. V. Glob who was an archaeologist at the Moesgaard Museum of Prehistory in Denmark. Professor P. V. Glob was contacted by a local doctor from the area Grauballe Man was found in. He examined the body and directed the workers who conducted the excavation. The first step in the excavation was to cut away the peat from one side of Grauballe Man, and then to sketch and photograph him. After he had been photographed a sheet that was made from corrugated metal was placed under the body to remove it from the bog. When Grauballe Man was transported from the site he was still encased in the a block of peat on one side. He was transported to the Museum of Prehistory, where the archaeologists then removed the rest of the peat. Before the first examination of Grauballe Man was done, a plaster cast was created, so he could be put back in the exact same position he was originally in. In the first examination her teeth were inspected, which revealed that he did when he was in his late 30s. Grauballe Man’s skin was also examined. The examination of his skin showed no signs of manual labor, and it was in such good shape that some of his fingers were able to have fingerprints taken from them. The examination also showed that he had a fractured skull, he had a broken arm, and that his throat was slit. A radiocarbon analysis was also conducted by using a small piece of Grauballe Man’s liver. The radiocarbon analysis showed that he had died between 360 B. C. and 55 B. C. A radiographic examination was conducted by Professor Carl Krebs and Doctor Erling Ratjen. This examination showed that he had incipient rheumatoid arthritis that had set in his spinal column near his chest.

The contents of Grauballe Man’s stomach were examined to reveal his last meal. His last contained over 60 different kinds of plants including: 13 species of grass, cereals, and bitter-tasting weeds that were all used in a soup. Some of the grains were contaminated by fungus, which leads scientists to believe that it might have acted as a drug that could had caused him to hallucinate or go into a coma. The toxins that were found in the fungus were alkaloid toxins, which are found in ergot. Grauballe Man’s last meal also consist of meat. His last meal was eaten in winter or early spring, which is determined by what was eaten in his last meal.

The cause of the Grauballe Man’s death was because he was sacrificed. Since he was sacrificed there is large probability that he was an important person in his society. He was most likely sacrificed as part of a ritual. He was probably sacrificed to the goddess of spring because of the time of year he died in. He bled to death because his throat was cut; it was cut from ear to ear by either a dagger, sword, or knife. The cut was a very controlled movement, and it almost removed his head completely. In 2001 and 2002, more scientific tests were done on Grauballe Man at the University Hospital in Aarhus. The purpose of these tests was to improve the preservation of Grauballe Man and to find out more about his life, death, and afterlife. One of the tests that were conducted was a microscopy and micro CT scan. These revealed that he suffered interruptions during his development as a child, which was due to poor nutrition. The scan also revealed that he had blown to his jaw while he was still alive. Another thing that was discovered when the microscopy was done was that Grauballe Man had a gritty diet. A MRI and an endoscopy was also conducted. These revealed that the fracture in his leg was pre-mortem and that the fracture in his skull was post-mortem. A microscopic analysis was done, and confirmed that Grauballe Man was over 30 years old when he died. A facial reconstruction of Grauballe Man was done by Caroline Wilkinson in 2002. The facial reconstruction was done at the University of Manchester. The details of the facial reconstruction were gotten from the pictures that were taken in 1952 when Grauballe Man was first discovered. The finished result of Grauballe Man’s facial reconstruction had lambent eyes, nasal clefts, delineated hair, and frown lines in between his eyebrows. Grauballe Man is now in a protective case that helps keep him preserved, and is on display at the Moesgaard Museum in Højbjerg, Denmark. Thousands of people come every year to see his preserved body. When discovering bog bodies there were a lot of surprises. Mainly, because a lot of bog bodies were found by peat cutters, working in the bogs, on accident. Some of the peat cutter thought that when they came across these bodies that they had discovered a murder victim. This was because of how fresh the bodies looked.

Bog bodies can tells us a lot about the past and what life was like in the time period that these bodies are from. The bog bodies can show us a lot about the religious beliefs and rituals of people during the Bronze and Iron Age. One thing that the bodies show us is that the people believed in human sacrifice, because a lot of bog bodies were sacrificed. If the bogs didn’t preserve the bodies as well, we would not know very much about their human sacrifices because we probably wouldn’t be able to tell that the bodies had been sacrificed. What bog bodies also tell us about the religious beliefs is what kind of gods they worshipped because the season of death can be found out. For example, Grauballe Man died in early spring, which leads archaeologist to believe he was sacrificed to the goddess of spring. Bog bodies also reveal how to people died because the bogs preserve flesh, skin, hair, and organs, but don’t preserve bones as well. Which can give us a lot more information than if people were just finding skeletons, because there is a lot less information that can be found out from a skeleton. There would also be less information about what was eaten in the Iron Age if skeletons were just found, because we wouldn’t be able to look at their stomach contents. Bog bodies can also help us find out other information about clothing, wealth, and religion of certain time periods. Some bog bodies were found with objects, and then the bodies can be dated using radiocarbon dating. This gives us information about the culture of people who lived in the area the bog body was found in during a very specific time period. The bog bodies can also reveal things about the appearance of people from their time period, based on how they look. For example, Tollund Man was clean shaved, which can give us an idea that many men were clean shaved during his time period.

Overall, bog bodies are very important, because they have helped reveal a lot of information about what life was like during the Bronze Age and Iron Age in Northern Europe.

15 July 2020

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