Yde Girl is one of the most unforgettable bog bodies (ranking right up there with Denmark's Tollund Man and England's Lindow Man). Discovered in the Netherlands' Bourtangermoor, Yde Girl has been well-studied by the Dutch archaeologist W.A.B. van der Sanden. These findings have revealed a great deal of information about her, her life, and her death some 2000 years ago.
She was strangled by a woollen waistband (or belt) which had been slip-knotted and wrapped around her neck three times. Peatcutters using a scoop to dredge peat from the bog in 1897 were so terrified to see her body that they ran away. Her red hair caused them to think that they had come face-to-face with the devil.
Her discovery and recovery were handled poorly. Apparently interested in science, the mayor made some notes. He also dredged more parts of Yde Girl from the bog: one hand, one foot, and part of her pelvis. He noted that hair from half of her head had been shaved off. And he contacted the Drents Museum about the find.
But the villagers had other ideas: they pulled her hair out and removed her teeth and most likely some of her bones. Fortunately, the museum was interested in preserving the girl (or what was left of her), including the cloak that was also found with her.
A CT scan suggested that she was 16 years old when she died (her wisdom teeth had neither formed roots nor erupted). The scan also revealed that she had scoliosis or curvature of the spine; she was a little more than 4.5 feet tall. Part of her right foot appeared swollen, as if she placed most of her body weight on that side. Scientists have speculated whether this abnormality had any impact on the cause of her death. Carbon-14 dating suggests that she died in the first century A.D.
Fortunately, scientists hired a medical artist to reconstruct her face. This gives us an idea of what she looked like near the time of her death and brings her back to life, so to speak.