Udayavni Special

Preserved body from the Iron age still contains remains of undigested last meal


Team Udayavani, Jul 27, 2021, 10:07 AM IST

In 1950, a Tollund Man found in the bogs of Denmark made headlines for the condition in which the man was found. The people who found the body were certain that he was the victim of a recent murder.

It was found that the body in the bog was almost 2400 years old, after examination by archaeologists.

The 300 BCE Early Iron Age resident still had a rope tied around his neck, indicating the cause of his death.

Researchers examined the stomach of the man carefully and were able to find little about the elements consumed by the man due to lack of resources. Only well-preserved seeds and grains were identified.

Nina Nielsen, Head of research at Silkeborg Museum, Denmark, decided to re-examine the body of the Tollund Man.

She said to NBC News, “It has been 71 years since the body was found. We have much better ways of examining and analyzing the contents inside his stomach. We have improved techniques and better microscopes to do a deep study.”

After re-examination, it was revealed that the last meal that the Tollund Man has was cooked in a clay pot, and the meal included barley porridge and fish. The meal also included flax, gold-of-pleasure seeds, pale persicaria seeds, and 16 plant species’ remnants. It was also found that the man was suffering from a stomach infection before he died. It is because there were traces of parasites – tapeworms – found inside the man.

Researchers speculate that the man was sacrificed as the human sacrifice was common in the early iron age.

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