How exactly she died has been debated. First it was believed that the poor woman received a violent cut to the right upper arm and died as a result of blood loss. Later examinations have not confirmed this theory and it is also possible that the injury occurred much later, perhaps during peat-digging in the bog. While the woman was alive she broke her right leg, but this break healed again before she died.
Like most of the bog bodies found in Denmark the woman from Huldremose was fully clothed. She wore a skirt of wool, a scarf and two skin cape.
Bog body of the Huldremose woman. Image credit: Sven Rosborn
Her skirt was tied at the waist with a thin leather strap inserted into a woven waistband. The scarf was wrapped around the woman’s neck and fastened under her left arm with a pin made from a bird bone. The cape had been used a great deal and had 22 patches sewn on. The long period in the water of the bog has turned the clothes brown. Color analysis has shown that originally the skirt was blue and the scarf was a red color.
She also had a ring on her finger, amulets in one of her skin capes and two amber beads around her neck. The fact that her possessions were not stolen by the killers also suggests the Huldremose woman was a sacrificed, but one cannot dismiss the possibility the woman was punished for some crime.
During the Iron Age bogs were an extremely important resource for people. Turfs were dug there, which both were used as building material and fuel. Some bogs contained iron ore, which was a raw material that, after processing, could be made into iron. The bogs therefore had a great significance in daily life.
To the Iron Age people, bogs and water regions were considered gateways to another world where gods resided. Making sacrifices to the gods was common and sacrificing a human being was the greatest gift gods could receive.