In 1897, Dutch workers found the mummified body of the Yde Girl in a bog. She had been dead for 2,000 years. Many people think she was killed or sacrificed.
On May 12, 1897, two people who worked in a bog near the Dutch village of Yde thought they saw the devil. The men ran away when the deformed, blackened body with hair the color of fire came to the surface. She was kept safe for 2,000 years and is now known as the Yde Girl.
When the scared workers came back hours later, they used the peat they had been collecting to bury the body.
A rope around her neck with a loose knot and a cut near her collarbone showed that she had been killed. When the village mayor found her nine days later, she was missing a lot of hair and teeth. He found her foot, hand, and part of her pelvis in the mud. He picked up her body parts and gave them to the Drents Museum so they could do an investigation.
She was a 16-year-old girl who died between 54 B.C. and 128 A.D., but it took a century to find that out. The Yde Girl’s death is still a mystery, but experts have found that she had a severe case of scoliosis and stood at four feet and a half, which makes some people think she was killed in a ritual child sacrifice.
The Yde Girl’s History
The peat cutters who accidentally found the body of the Yde girl had no idea that their grisly find would become a part of history.
The body was given to the village and museum officials on May 21, 1897, but no one knew who she was. There was a tight noose wrapped around the neck three times. The face looked horrifying, and the severed limbs made it look like the person had died in a horrible way. She was missing half of her hair and all of her teeth.
Radiocarbon dating didn’t become possible until the 1940s, so there was no way to find out how old the Yde girl was. The victim’s long hair made it seem like she was a woman, but only a modern analysis of her skull would be able to confirm that. The mysterious body was put on display at Drents without being looked into any further.
But in 1992, Professor Richard Neave of Manchester University took CT scans of her head. These showed that she was a woman and that she was about 16 years old because she didn’t have any wisdom teeth. Scoliosis was found to be causing her spine to curve in a way that made it hard for her to move. Her right foot was unusually swollen, which pointed to a limp.
Radiocarbon dating showed that she died at the beginning of the Common Era. Since then, the tannic acid in the bog has kept her body in good condition. In 1994, when experts put her face back together, the Yde Girl became known all over the world. Dr. Roy van Beek of Wageningen University has made some guesses about why she might have been killed:
“Two ideas have been put forward. The first one says that it has to do with people who weren’t living by the usual rules. People who were found guilty of crimes or adultery might have been buried in bogs. The second, and more common, idea is that it has to do with making sacrifices to a higher power.
What caused her death
Using the landscape and topography as the basis for their 2019 study, Dr. Van Beek and his colleagues found that the death of the Yde girl was probably a small event that happened far away from the community.
Dr. Van Beek said, “We do know now that the landscape was a mosaic of pastures and Celtic field systems, as well as remnant forests on higher ground and low-lying fens.” “People lived on the ridges of the ground moraine, which were always dry. The girl might have come from a nearby village on the Yde ridge.
“Her body was left at a distance of about one kilometer in a small, shallow bog.”
Officials at the Drents Museum said that 19th-century villagers cut off her hair. However, recent research on a German bog body found that one side of the body was covered in hair and the other side was bald because only part of the body was exposed to oxygen. In the Middle Ages, it was common to cut off a woman’s hair if she was caught cheating.
The Yde Girl’s body was found in a bog by Dutch workers in 1897. She had died 2,000 years ago. A lot of people think she was killed or put on the altar.
In the end, you can still see what’s left of the Yde Girl at the Drents Museum in Assen, Holland.
- van der Sanden, Wijnand (1990). Mens en moeras: veenlijken in Nederland van de bronstijd tot en met de Romeinse tijd. Assen: Drents Museum. pp. 61 Fig 12. ISBN90-70884-31-3.
- Deem, James M. “Drents Museum in Assen, the Netherlands: The Yde Girl”. Archived from the original on 17 May 2014. Retrieved 16 May 2014.
- “BEST MUSEUM EXHIBIT: THE MYSTERIOUS BOG PEOPLE”. Pittsburgh City Paper. 7 December 2005. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 16 May