Elling Woman
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) Elling Woman
Age Appx. 25 years
Sex Female
Status Unknown
Height Unknown
Culture pre-Roman Iron Age (350-100BCE)
Date(s) Born appx. 305BCE

Died appx. 280BCE

Discovered 1938

Site Bjeldskovdal Bog, Silkeborg, Denmark
Current Location
Location Silkeborg Museum
Catalog # none

The Elling Woman mummy is a pre-Roman Iron Age mummy that was discovered in 1938 in the Bjeldskovdal Bog near Silkeborg, Denmark. She is notable both for her proximity to another bog body, The Tollund Man, and her elaborate hairstyle [3] at the time of her death.


Very few specific details are known about the Elling Woman's life. She lived in Denmark during the pre-Roman Iron Age (350-100BCE) [1], and likely lived in a small, rural village. The reason for her death is unknown, but could be due to many things, including sacrifice, murder, or triage. She was hung with a leather belt that left an indent on her chest that is still visible today. In 1938, her remains were discovered by a local farmer digging peat [2]


After her hanging, the Elling Woman was placed into the peat bog as a means of burial. Covered and insulated by the swamp, she was preserved for over two thousand years. However, the preservation was not uniform - while the back side of her body was kept in good condition, the front side was degraded enough that it was impossible to tell the sex of the mummy at first. [2]


In 1976, the Elling Woman was subjected to Carbon-14 and X-ray tests. This helped reveal her age at the time of death. Additionally, closer examination of the body allowed experts to notice a furrow on her chest. This suggested that she had been hung, and had not died of natural causes. [citation needed].


The Elling Woman's cause of death was by hanging. No other contributing factors to her death have been discovered.

Additional InfoEdit

It is interesting to note the Elling Woman's clothes and hairstyle when she died, as this gives insight to the time period she lived in. Her clothes, such as her cloak and leather belt [1], confirm that these articles of clothing were very commonplace to that era and region. In addition, her hairstyle was a braided pigtail which was knotted at the neck, which may hold cultural significance. It extended down almost a metre. [2]

An artist's representation of what the Elling Woman's hair would have looked like.

External LinksEdit


[1] (1997). Violence in the Bogs. Retrieved from

[2] (2004). Elling Woman. Retrieved from

[3] (30 June 2013). Tollund Man, Elling Woman and the Iron Age. Retrieved from

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