The Danish Bog Body: Was It a Sacrifice or an Execution? A Closer Look. vannguyen

The Grauballe Man lived during the late 3rd century BC on the Jutland Peninsula in Denmark. His body was discovered in 1952 in a peat bog near to the village of Grauballe. He was around 30 years old, 5 ft 9 in tall, and entirely naked when he died.

The Grauballe Man had dark hair, altered by the bog to a reddish colour, and stubble on his chin. His hands were smooth and did not show evidence of hard labour such as farming. His teeth and jaws indicated that he had suffered periods of starvation, or poor health during his early childhood. He also suffered arthritis in his spine.

His last meal, eaten right before his death, consisted of porridge or gruel made from corn, seeds from over 60 different herbs, and grasses, with traces of the poisonous fungi, ergot. The ergot in his system would have induced painful symptoms, such as convulsions and a burning sensation in the mouth, hands, and feet; it may also have induced hallucinations or even a coma.

The Grauballe Man was killed by having his neck cut open, ear to ear, severing his trachea and esophagus, in either a public execution, or as a human sacrifice connected to Iron Age Germanic paganism.

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