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Examinations of the Tollund Man

Endoscopic examination
Endoscopic examination. Big picture
Since his discovery in 1950 the Tollund Man has undergone continuous and thorough examinations using the latest methods.

Shortly after the discovery the Tollund Man was excavated and examined at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen. The examination was done with the same kind of care and accuracy as if he had been the victim of a murder. The criminal investigation department as well as forensic examiners and other experts were involved in the examination.

Over the years the old gentleman has undergone a number of examinations: Autopsy and X-ray examination done by the forensic examiners at Bispebjerg Hospital, finger-print examination done by the police, several carbon-14 datings and last but not least a CT-scanning at Aarhus district general hospital. More than 16,000 X-rays were taken of the Tollund Man using the latest techniques in CT-scanning, and 15 scientists are currently studying the latest examinations.

The Tollund Man has been digitalized
The Tollund Man has been digitalized
Big picture
Together these examinations provide us with fantastic insight into the Tollund Man's life and death, as well as how life was for his contemporaries more than 2,000 years ago.

However, it hasn't been possible to do any DNA-analyses of the Tollund Man because there are thought to be no more molecules left in the cellular tissue. However, we can't rule out that some time in the future it will be possible to complete DNA-analyses of the Tollund Man.

Since the Tollund Man's body wasn't preserved, the unpreserved bones and the dried-out soft parts will provide the scientists (for example doctors, biologists and archaeologists) with the oppportunity to carry out new examinations of the Tollund Man in the future. It will probably be possible to examine his blood type, his genes and other things in the coming years.

Only our imagination will set the limits to what future examinations will be able to tell us about the Tollund Man and his fate.

 Related Stories
Excavation at the National Museum

Excavation at the National Museum
After the box containing the Tollund Man had been opened carefully...

Autopsy and X-rays
A forensic examiner examined him as if he was the victim of a murder...

Carbon-14 dating
A small sample the size of a thumbnail was taken from the Tollund Man's body...

The finger-prints were well-preserved and are among the oldest in the world...

Examination of the stomach contents
The alimentarry canal, that means the stomach and intestines, was removed...

Latest research: CT-scanning
The latest technology can reveal secrets and provide us with new information...

Preservation of the Tollund Man
When the Tollund Man was discovered in 1950, the Danish scientists had never before been faced with the task of preserving a bog body...

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