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The Tollund Man - A Face from Prehistoric Denmark Danish Version Home
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The Naked Body

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 Home The Naked Body Appearance The Body

The Body

The Tollund Man shortly after he was discovered
The Tollund Man shortly after he was
discovered with the more well-
preserved side facing upwards.
Big picture

Only the side of the body which had been turned upwards in the excavation of the peat bog showed signs of decomposition when he was discovered. On his right side, which had been turned downwards in the grave, the skin was well-preserved, whereas the body itself had shrunk, thus making folds in the skin.

The upper part of his body was bent slightly forward and most of the skin had been preserved. However, the left side of his chest and shoulder was somewhat decomposed since big areas of the skin were missing. The right side of the body was well-preserved, even if the skin was pierced by the bones of the shoulder and the lower ribs. Down his back was a long line of sharp cuts caused by the spades that dug into him when he was discovered in the bog. His hip socket had pierced the skin on his left side. The skin of the stomach was pleated. The genitals were well-preserved and that of a man.

The Tollund Man after his body has been restored
The Tollund Man after his body has
been restored. Big picture

The Tollund Man was not very big - hardly more than 162 cm - but it is possible that he might have shrunk quite a bit during his time in the bog. We don't know how much he might have shrunk but his feet are big as if they belonged to a bigger framed man.

The Tollund Man's body was not preserved. It dried out and, and his skin and muscles almost disappeared. Only the bones were left and they looked almost like they did when they were discovered in 1950.

In 1987 Silkeborg Museum decided to restore the body in order to have a better idea about what the Tollund Man looked like when he was discovered. By looking at photos taken in 1950 it was possible to take his correct measurements. The size of his bones and their location were used as the base for creating a new body. As a result it is almost impossible to tell the difference between the "real" body and the body which has now been attached to the Tollund Man's head.

 Related Stories
The head was almost shockingly well-preserved...

The head
The head was almost shockingly well-preserved...

Hair and beard
The Tollundman didn't have a special hairstyle...

The feet
The feet are big as if they belonged to a man...

The hands
His arms and hands were almost skeletonized...


Restoration of the body
Restoration of the body.
Big picture

Restoration of the body
Restoration of the body.
Big picture

Restoration of the body
Restoration of the body.
Big picture

Viggo and Grethe Højgaard take a new look at the Tollund Man
Viggo and Grethe Højgaard
take a new look at the Tollund Man after his body has been restored.
Big picture


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© 2004 Silkeborg Public Library, Silkeborg Museum and Amtscentret for Undervisning, Aarhus Amt. Editor of the Website