Monday, 3 September 2007

'Queen Gunhild'

Earlier this summer, Danish news reported, that 103.000 Danish kroner (approximately 20.000 dollars) have been allocated to preserve the bog body of a woman found in 1835 in Haraldskær bog near Vejle in Jutland, Denmark. The body which is popularly known as Queen Gunhild, because she was initially identified as this legendary Norwegian queen, will on this occasion be moved from the church in Vejle, Skt. Nicolai Kirke, where she has been on display since 1835, to a new museum building.

She is about 2.500 years old, as she has been dated to go back to about 490 BC, and I mention her here, because her body was found fastened to the ground by several twigs. There have been a few theories on how this was done, including that of a kind of impalement by a stake, but medical examinations has shown that she was only fastened around the knees and the arms. Of course, there is no conclusive evidence of why she was firmly fastened to the ground, but one explanation could be fear of the dead.

The illustration above, taken from a book published in 1929, suggests that something like a stake was used. However appealing this notion would be to the historian of vampires and Magia Posthuma, as mentioned above, forensic evidence has ruled out this possibility in the case of the Haraldskær woman.

English Wikipedia has an entry on the bog body from Haraldskær: Haraldskær Woman.

The illustration is from J. S. Møller: Fester og Højtider i gamle Dage I Fødsel - Bryllup - Død (P. Haase & søn, 1929).

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...