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In 1950, The Well-Preserved Remains Of An Ancient Scandinavian Man Now Known As The “Tollund Man” Were Discovered In A Peat Bog

Alexandra - stock.adobe.com - illustrative purposes only

In 1950, two brothers found the remains of an ancient Scandinavian man while digging in a peat bog in Denmark. The body was so well-preserved that they thought it was a victim of a recent murder, prompting them to notify the authorities immediately.

But soon, it became clear that the corpse was from an entirely different time period altogether.

Due to the highly acidic water in the peat bog, the man was naturally mummified and preserved. The cold saltwater from Scandinavia’s North Sea contributed to the bog’s high acidity levels.

The salt helps peat moss grow, and when the moss rots, it releases acid. The acid prevents the growth of bacteria, which would cause human bodies to decompose.

In addition, the man’s remarkable preservation can also be chalked up to the fact that his body was placed in the bog during the winter when the cold temperatures of the water acted as a sort of refrigerator.

The mummified corpse has been referred to as the Tollund Man. Over the years, carbon dating determined that the Tollund Man’s remains date back sometime between 405 B.C. and 380 B.C., during the early Iron Age, which makes him more than 2,000 years old. He was about 40 years old when he died by hanging, possibly in a human ritual sacrifice.

Experts believe that the ritual sacrifice theory holds more credibility than the idea that he may have been executed for being a criminal. This is because, back then, criminals were cremated.

The Tollund Man was found with a braided leather noose still wrapped around his neck. He also wore a pointed cap made of wool and sheepskin and was curled up in the fetal position.

His facial features and internal organs were in excellent condition, so scientists were even able to take his fingerprints and conduct an analysis of his stomach. The study showed that he had consumed his last meal 12 to 24 hours before his death.

Alexandra – stock.adobe.com – illustrative purposes only

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