Discovery and examinations
Later known as Elling Woman, the body was discovered by a local farmer, Jens Zakariasson, who at first believed that the remains were of a drowned animal. The body was wrapped in a sheepskin cape with a leather cloak tied around the woman's legs. The face of the woman was poorly preserved, and there were no traces of organs inside of the body. Elling Woman is believed to have been hanged, like the Tollund Man. The estimated year of death was dated to approximately 280 BCE, also around the time of the Tollund Man; however, it is not possible to confirm whether or not both she and he were killed at exactly the same time. It also might have been impossible to tell the gender of the body, if the hair had not been preserved. In 1978, the body was reexamined with radiographs, from which the sex was inferred to be female and the original age-at-death estimate was accurate. This body is often identified by its 90-centimeter braid, which was tied into an elaborate knot. Elling Woman is believed to have been a human sacrifice.
Demineralization, which often occurs with bog bodies, was found to be the initial cause of what was first understood as apparent osteoporosis in the remains. Elling Woman was mistakenly described as a man in P.V. Glob's book, The Bog People.
- Archaeological Institute of America: Violence in the Bogs. Archaeology.org. Retrieved on 15 September 2011.
- Vandkilde, Helle (2003), "Tollund Man", in Bogucki, Crabtree, Ancient Europe 8000 B.C. – A.D. 1000: Encyclopedia of the Barbarian World 1, London: Charles Scribner's Sons, p. 27
- Gill-Robinson, Heather (2005). The Iron Age Bog Bodies of the Archäologische Landesmuseum Schloss Gottorf. p. 63.
- Silkeborg Museum (2004). "Elling Woman". Denmark. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- Glob, Peter V. The Bog People: Iron-Age Man Preserved, Trans. Rupert Bruce-Mitford. Ithaca, New York: Faber and Faber Limited, 1969. Print.