Bog body found in Denmark

It is hoped that further analysis will reveal more information about the individual’s age and sex.

Archaeologists working in Egedal, Denmark, have uncovered a set of partial human remains that may represent an ancient bog sacrifice.

The excavations first uncovered a femur bone and a jawbone. Further investigation revealed more bones belonging to the same individual. Image: Lea Mohr Hansen, ROMU.

The discovery was made by a team from the museum group ROMU during excavations in advance of a construction project near Egedal Town Hall.

This area was the site of a peatland or marsh, but unlike some other ‘bog bodies’ this individual’s skin and hair has not been preserved; only a partial skeleton survives. The femur bone and jawbone came to the surface first, followed by most of the other leg bones and the pelvis.

These partial remains do not provide enough information to determine how the individual died and offer no direct evidence of sacrifice. However, the archaeologists feel confident suggesting that this may have been the case, as previous finds in the area suggest that ritual activity did take place here in the past.

Other discoveries include a Stone Age flint axe found 1m away from the skeletal remains and a concentration of animal bones and ceramics 10-15m away – both potentially indicating that ritual deposits were being made here – as well as a child’s skull found in the bog during peat digging in 1974.

It is hoped that further analysis will provide a date for the recently discovered skeleton, as well as revealing more information about the individual’s age and sex.

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