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Pathologies of the Bog Bodies "Bodies of the Bogs"
[image] In 1942 two skeletons were found in a bog near Sorø on Sealand, Denmark. Both skulls show trepanations. This operation was possibly performed to remove a blood clot or a less tangible thing like a spirit. Near the middle of one skull (left) is a hole with a diameter of 0.63 inches. Next to the trepanation is an elongated depression that may have been caused by a blow from an ax, which may have been the reason for the trepanation. The oblique sides of the trepanation show signs of healing. What is thought to be a second trepanation zone is visible further back; the hole in the middle of this zone measures only 0.314 inches. The two humeri of the second skeleton (right) show deformation. The bone of the left arm, with a twisted shaft and an irregular surface where the head is normally situated, is shorter than that of the right arm. This could have resulted from a childhood trauma. Both men were deposited in the bog around 3500 B.C. (National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen) [image]
The skeleton of Gadevang Man was discovered in 1940, during peat cutting in a bog on Sealand in Denmark. The man was aged 35 to 50 when he died, sometime between 480 and 60 B.C. In the frontal and left parietal bone of his skull is an almost circular opening, a trepanation 1.2 inches in diameter. Gadevang Man survived this operation, as is clearly shown by the healed edges and the bone regeneration (see the small tongue invading the opening). (Antropologisk Laboratorium of Denmark, Copenhagen) [image]
[image] Yde girl suffered from a mild scoliosis, abnormal curvature of the spine. The tissue of her foot near her right big toe was found to be swollen while the toe next to it appeared to be calloused. This suggests that the weight of the right half of her body rested disproportionally heavily on these two toes. The girl probably had a somewhat irregular gait, moving with her right foot twisted slightly inwards. A CAT scan (see photo) shows the girl's wedge-shaped vertebrae and her upper jaw with an unerupted wisdom tooth. She died a violent death sometime between 170 B.C. and A.D 230. (Acädemic Hospital Groningen University)

© 1997 by the Archaeological Institute of America