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Tollund Man’s Last Meal Re-Examined

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Tollund Man MealSILKEBORG, DENMARK—NBC News reports that Nina Nielsen of Silkeborg Museum and her colleagues have re-examined the intestinal contents of Tollund Man, whose 2,400-year-old, naturally preserved remains were recovered from a bog in central Denmark in the 1950s. Previous research has shown that Tolland Man was killed by hanging—a noose of braided animal hide remains around his neck. Yet his body was placed on one side with closed eyes and a faint smile, as if asleep. The new study found traces of a last meal of fish and a porridge made of barley, flax, and pale persicaria, which grows wild among barley crops. Nielsen said persicaria was usually removed from the barley harvest by Iron Age farmers during the threshing process, and she wonders if Tollund Man was fed threshing waste as part of a ritual before human sacrifice. Nielsen and her team members also detected bits of crust likely to have formed if the porridge had been overcooked in a clay pot. Parasites in his intestines include tapeworms likely acquired through a diet of undercooked meat and contaminated water, she added. To read about another bog find, go to "Denmark's Bog Dogs."

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