Windeby, which is an estate, is the location in which this mummy was found. In 1952, the owners of the estate decided to cut the peat (also called turf) and sell it for fuel. Before they noticed that a body had been buried, a leg and a hand were severed from the body from the peat-cutting machinery. The cutting of the peat was put on hold and the body was to be fully uncovered and studied. What they found was a body, back towards the peat, right arm bent as if in a defensive position. The chest was disintegrated but the ribs remained visible and intact.
The body had drowned in the first century A.D. and it was concluded that it was certainly not an accident. Since the the eyes were covered by a blindfold it seems as though the person was "blindly" led to the bog and forcefully drowned. There were no wounds found on the body and no explanation that would explain why the person was killed. Some think it could have been a sacrifice while others believe that it's possible the person had a disease that marked the person for an early death. Even though many theories have been proposed, there is no real conclusion as to why the body was drowned.
Since there was no way of identifying who the body belonged to, it was given the name, Windeby I. At first, the body was thought to be a fourteen-year old girl but after a reexamination over thirty years later, a professor from North Dakota State University concluded that the mummy was in fact, male. It was also suggested that the body had been held down twenty inches below the surface of the water by branches and a large rock.
From the studies that have taken place, no wounds or diseases were found on the body. The only evidence of trauma was that half of the person's head had been shaved of hair, but this could be because of the excavation as the owners had no clue what they would find buried deep in the peat bog.
Windeby I can be seen at The Landesmuseum in Schleswig, Germany along with four other bog bodies.
Photo of Windeby I:
Deem, J. (n.d.). Windeby I. Retrieved from