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Fine Art Photography Gallery by Iacopo Iacopini

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The Tollund Man – The most famous bog body

Photographer: Iacopo I.
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The tollund man

The tollund man

In my mind mummies have been related with the warm and dry Egyptian desert, the golden sand, the wrappings and maybe some recently viewed horror film. For these reasons knowing about a mummy discovered in Denmark more than 4000 km far from valley of the kings is a bit confusing. On the road back to home from a trip to Norway it has been natural to pass through the Silkeborg museum to visit the extraordinary Tollund man.

Tollund is a small village not too far from the Silkeborg city. It was May the 6th 1950, the weather was cold and Viggo and Emil Højgaard were cutting peat for their stove in the Bjældskovdal peat bog to heat their house. At a certain time they discovered a body thinking they are in front of a murder victim. After calling the police and some scientist it was clear that the man was not recently killed but  probably has been lived about 2000 years before.

The Tollund man is a so called bog body, this is not alone, some other discoveries have been made during the years around the world but this is special thanks to it very good preservation. The 2m layer of sphagnum bogs with its acids and absence of oxygen left the skin, hairs and face expression as they were at the moment of the death.  Due to the acidity of the sediments the skeleton of the man have been completely dissolved but the scientist were able to analyze the death cause due to hanging probably in honor of a fertility ritual and the last supper by vegetables and seed.

The age of the man have been estimated at about forty years, it was naked with a leather hat and a rope around the neck. The hair have been cut recently and it was shaved the day before his death. Today it possible to look at the hairs incredibly preserved. The skin of the boby has been turned black because of the bog but the expression of the face and the wrinkles are clearly visible.


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