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The Yde Girl is the most famous bog body in the Netherlands. She was discovered in the peat in May of 1897 by two turf cutters from Drenthe who were working between the villages of Yde and Vries. They were so startled by what they had found, that they immediately fled. The news spread rapidly. The mayor of Vries decided to inform the Provincial museum in Assen. They soon determined that it was a unique find.
Further investigation showed that the body was largely intact. C14 dating, or carbon dating showed that the girl must have lived between 54 BCE and 128 CE, during the Iron Age. When she died she was sixteen years old and about 1.40 metres in height. The woollen band with slipknot around her neck shows that she was probably strangled. It is also very probable that she was stabbed in the neck with a knife. It appears that shortly before her death, one side of her head was shaved. Remains of a woollen cape were found next to her body.
Why the Yde Girl was killed remains a mystery. Because she was found next to a small mere, archaeologists suspect that she was killed deliberately and then ritually sacrificed. Around the start of the Common Era, but before too and for long after, meres and inaccessible bogs were considered places for ritual sacrifice or to access higher powers. The partial shaving of her head is also a possible indication that she was sacrificed. Another possibility is that the girl was shunned from her community because she walked with a limp. Examinations have shown that she had a defect to her spine. Physical defects have also been found in other bog bodies.
In the nineties, the Yde Girl was extensively examined in a hospital. Based on the results, the University of Manchester created a facial reconstruction. This reconstruction of a girl with blond hair, blue eyes, and a slightly brown skin received global attention. As a result, the Yde Girl isn't just the most famous bog body of the Netherlands, but she was also the first of many other facial reconstruction of our (pre)historic ancestors.
You can visit the Yde Girl in the Drents Museum. The site where the girl was found, south of the village of Yde, has been marked with a monument made of boulders.