The face you’re looking at above belongs to Tollund Man who would be ~300 years older than Jesus, if Jesus ever existed that is. Although, amazingly enough it looks like it could belong to someone who died within the last week…
Tollund Man lived in the 4th century BC Denmark, during the Rre-Roman Iron Age. His body was found in a peat bog in the 1950s and funnily enough was first assumed to be a recent murder victim due to the incredibly preservation of his body. You can see the rough stubble on his chin for God’s sake… Just amazing!
Underneath the body was a thin layer of moss. Scientists know that this moss was formed in Danish peat bogs in the early Iron Age, therefore, the body was suspected to have been placed in the bog more than 2,000 years ago during the early Iron Age. Subsequent C14 radiocarbon dating of Tollund Man indicated that he died in approximately 375-210 BC. The acid in the peat, along with the lack of oxygen underneath the surface, had preserved the soft tissues of his body.
Examinations and X-rays showed that the man’s head was undamaged, and his heart, lungs and liver were well preserved. Although not elderly, Tollund Man must have been over 20 years old because his wisdom teeth had grown in. The Silkeborg Museum estimated his age as approximately 40 years and height at 1.61 m (5 ft 3 in), relatively short stature even for the time period. It is likely that the body had shrunk in the bog.
On the initial autopsy report in 1950, doctors concluded that Tollund Man died by hanging rather than strangulation. The rope left visible furrows in the skin beneath his chin and at the sides of his neck. There was no mark, however, at the back of the neck where the knot of the noose would have been located. After a re-examination in 2002, forensic scientists found further evidence to support these initial findings. Although the cervical vertebrae were undamaged (as they often are in hanging victims), radiography showed that the tongue was distended—an indication of death by hanging.
The stomach and intestines were examined and tests carried out on their contents. The scientists discovered that the man’s last meal had been a kind of porridge made from vegetables and seeds, both cultivated and wild: Barley, linseed, gold of pleasure (Camelina sativa),knotweed, bristlegrass, and chamomile.
There were no traces of meat in the man’s digestive system, and from the stage of digestion it was apparent that the man had lived for 12 to 24 hours after this last meal. In other words, he may not have eaten for up to a day before his death. Although similar vegetable soups were not unusual for people of this time, two interesting things were noted:
- The soup contained many different kinds of wild and cultivated seeds. Because these seeds were not readily available, it is likely that some of them were gathered deliberately for a special occasion.
- The soup was made from seeds only available near the spring where he was found.