Elling Woman is the name given to a well-preserved bog body that was discovered in Denmark during the first half of the 20th century. By then, this type of remains had already been found in Denmark’s bogs for at least a century. For instance, one bog body, unearthed in 1835, was thought to have belonged to a legendary Viking queen from the 8th century AD by the name of Gundhilde. Subsequent research on bog bodies, however, have shown that this practice had existed at an earlier period of time. In the case of Elling Woman, for example, it was found that she had lived during the Iron Age of northwestern Europe.
Discovering the Elling Woman
Elling Woman was discovered in 1938, when a farmer by the name of Jens Zakariassen was in the process of digging peat. This occurred in a pit bog in Bjældskovdal, a bog area which lies to the west of the city of Silkeborg, in the central part of Denmark.
The Upper body of the Elling Woman. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
At least two other bog bodies have been found in this area, one having been discovered in 1927 (which was reburied when the peat bank collapsed over it), and another being the famous Tollund Man, which was discovered 12 years after Elling Woman was found, and separated from her by a distance of less than 100 meters (328 ft.).
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