Talk:Tollund Man

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I'm not sure if I'm disagreeing with the author of this article or the people who conducted the autopsy and discovered no meat in his stomach, but I don't agree that the man was a vegetarian simply because he had not eaten meat for his last, or even his last several, meals. He may have not had meat for reasons completely unrelated to choice: he may have been imprisoned and eaten only what his captors chose not to eat themselves, or there may not have been any meat available that he wished to eat near the end of his life. And yes, I am a vegetarian so no, I'm not just being contentious for political reasons, though I am being contentious. ;-) --KQ

No, you're right, I clearly stepped over the mark. Will edit. --drj


This is appropos of nothing whatsoever, but I just wanted to say that it was cool to see this article, because I've been to the museum in Silkeborg, and I've seen the Tollund man, and it was really cool to look at and this article reminds me of what a great vacation I had in Denmark that year. :)

Yes, it is quite amazing isn't it? Did you get to the viking museum at Roskilde while you were there? It's a fascinating place as well. sjc

Cause of death[edit]

How do we know he was hanged?

The Tollund man was hanged, as an act of sacrifice! If it's an update then there's conclusive new evidence for this statement not found in the above article. What is it? How do we know he was hanged?

I have seen enough reliable supportive evidence to convince me that he was hanged. The ritual food which he had consumed is supportive; there are remarkable similarities with Elling Woman; there are rope marks on the neck; this is moreover an uncontroversial subject. Pretty much the entirety of the archaeological world is happy with it being a hanging and a ritual one at that, and to get any form of consensus there is an achievement in its own right, which kind of marks this line of enquiry as a dead letter. Anyone know whether water is wet, by the way? user:sjc
PS I forgot to mention, when discovered there was a noose around his neck. user:sjc
Much of that was in the article already; I was just moving the complaint off the article page itself. :-) --KQ
I surmised as much. It was addressed to the original inquirer rather than yourself KQ. user:sjc

I would not dispute that the man was hung. But my initial speculation, having linked here while researching ergot, was that he very likely may have been displaying many of the symptoms of ergotism (ie psychotic episodes, hallucinations, increased libido, etc). Such manifestations could easily induce panic in small towns and villages of the time. Ergotism was prone to striking such places in plague-like waves (based on intermittent infection of local food crops), but it's correlation to food was centuries from being understood at the time. It would not be a stretch to theorize that some small communities might resort to the 'removal' of infected individuals in an effort to curb such seemingly infectious outbreaks.... I find this absolutely fascinating and am compelled to know if there was, subsequently, a thorough excavation of the particular bog in which this body was found? K10wnsta (talk) 21:54, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

Unreferenced contents[edit]

I believe that the wikipedia contents have been taken from the book "The Bog People" by P.V. Glob without accrediting him. I don't know the legal blarb about putting information from books on the internet, I'm sure it's ok to quote, but I think the author of the work should be given credit for his words. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:58, 28 October 2004 (UTC)

Done. I created a Source section with his book. RhinoMind (talk) 22:48, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

Discussion moved from article[edit]

I removed this discussion from the article itself: Saintswithin 19:50, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

?? the two statements above appear to be mutually exclusive

I don't think so, for what I understood is that all seeds come from the same place but from either different times of harvest or simply a mixture of natural and cultivated ones. Am I right?
yes, conquer —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:41, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

The novel[edit]

The statement: The story of this discovery is likely to have been the basis of a thriller novel by US author Erin Hart titled "Haunted Ground" is not very accurate. From the information given it could taken from just about any discovery of a bogbody. They were almost all found in connection with peatdigging and they all have remarkably wellpreserved facefeatures (although adimttedly the Tollund mans face features are probably the best preserved), and they all have red hair on account of the chemical reactions in the bog. I suggest that if there is a consensus for having this kind of irrelevant information, at least it should be moved to the article Bog body. --Saddhiyama (talk) 10:28, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

Last meal[edit]

These two points seem remarkably contradictory:

  • ...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.K10wnsta (talk) 21:54, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

(hmmm, it seems this may have been mentioned a couple lines up, but I'm not sure if it was addressing the exact same issue...)K10wnsta (talk) 21:54, 6 November 2008 (UTC)

A year and a half later, this has yet to be addressed.
If there is no response within a week, I will remove both until such time as one can be verified. Of course a reasonable explanation behind why both are valid would be welcome; though it seems unlikely. A F K When Needed 23:02, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
I own the most recent official Danish work on the Tollund Man, "Tollundmanden" by Christian Fischer from 2007 (in Danish). Here follows my own translation of the section in question dealing with his final meal.(p. 44-45. I apologise for any grammatical mistakes):
"The examination by Hans Helbæk [a botanist who examined his stomach contents] as well as a minor supplementary examination carried out in 2003 showed, that that the final meal that the Tollund man had digested, had to be a gruel or porridge, presumably boiled in bog water, as fresh sphagnum cuspidatum leaves had "slipped" into the meal. The main content of the gruel consisted of barley, hordeum vulgare as well as Hordeum vulgare convar vulgare [nøgen og dækket byg], and flax seeds has added fatty oils to the meal. To this day flax is prescribed in cases of indigestion. If this is taken for a longer period of time this medical ability of the plant ceases to function. Oats was added as well. All these plants have been cultivated. Added to the seeds of these plants was grinded seeds from various weeds, some in an amount that tells us that they were deliberately gathered, while others have to be considered to have been randomly mixed in during the harvest of the iron age field, where weeds had plenty of opportunity to grow. Those weeds which was eagerly gathered was polygonaceae [pileurt], chenopodium album [hvidmelet gåsefod], spergula [spergel], sædodder [I haven't been able to find an English translation of this plant] and viola arvensis [agerstedmoderblomst], perhaps as well as galeopsis tetrahit [almindelig hanekro]. Amongst the more random species were echinochloa crus-galli [hanespore], rumex crispus [kruset skræppe], rumex acetosella [rødknæ], stellaria media [almindelig fuglegræs], thlàspi arvense [agerpengeurt], capsella bursa-pastoris [hyrdetaske], cheiranthus cheiri [gyldenlak], brassica campestris [agerkål] and plantago [vejbred]. To which extent these various species has been applied as "filling" or as "flavouring", is of course uncertain today."
As can be seen the amount of plants that went into this meal is quite extensive, and apparently both unusual as well as quite ordinary seeds was found. So in a way both sentences are correct, but of course they have to be reworded somewhat. Unsurprisingly all the latin plant names have ancient Danish equivalents which I have indicated in the brackets. Hope this helps. --Saddhiyama (talk) 23:47, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
sædodder is sæd-dodder which is Camelina sativa. At være eller ikke være (talk) 00:16, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes this is correct. Here are two credible sources:
RhinoMind (talk) 22:37, 11 March 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for such a detailed response, Saddhiyama :)
Personally I think we should just remove both points. A F K When Needed 20:53, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
Hi. First you thank Saddhiyama for his detailed explanation, and then you opt for removing the two points? Can you explain how this makes any sense? RhinoMind (talk) 22:39, 11 March 2014 (UTC)

14C - Dating[edit]

Hi! Please check the dates of the 14C dating as there is a much more reliable source available: J. van der Plicht, W.A.B. van der Sanen, A.T. Aerts, H.J. Streurman (2004): Dating bog bodies by means of 14C-AMS. In: Journal of Archaeological Science 31:471-491 --Bullenwächter (talk) 06:37, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Thanks, I hadn't noticed the previous source, but as it has "Harry Potter" in the headline it could not have been very serious, and when I tried the link the article no longer appeared on the Daily Telegraph site. I have exchanged it with the source you provided, but next time feel free to do this yourself. --Saddhiyama (talk) 08:57, 16 October 2009 (UTC)
Hi, I'll try to do it, Thanks --Bullenwächter (talk) 19:11, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Date of discovery[edit]

The date of discover has been several times edited to the wrong date of May 8, 1950. Actually according to the archaeological literature Tollund Man has been found on Sathurday May 6, 1950 and the police were informed on Tuesday May 8, 1950 as it is also written on the site I guess the wrong date has been set because the content of web site has not been read carefully. --Bullenwächter (talk) 13:06, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Thanks. I checked Christian Fischers recent book on the Tollund Man, and while he doesn't mention the exact date of discovery he does show a reproduction of a local contemporary newspaper article describing the find. The article itself is dated 8th of May but it says that the find had occurred "the preceding Saturday". So I agree that May 8 is not the correct date of discovery and May 6 is most likely the correct one. --Saddhiyama (talk) 20:57, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Tollund Man/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

'''''''it was ok'''''''

Last edited at 10:48, 3 May 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 08:56, 30 April 2016 (UTC)