A young man who became known as “Bocksten Man” was struck three times in the head approximately 700 years ago. He was then thrown into a peat bog and impaled with three wooden poles to prevent his body from rising to the top. What led to this young man’s horrifying death, and why were his killers so determined to prevent the discovery of his body?
In the first half of the 20th century, the remains of Bocksten Man were found in a peat bog in Bocksten, Sweden. Bocksten Man was dated to the 14th century based on his clothing, which was remarkably well-preserved because to the bog’s standing water. In addition, Bocksten Man’s clothing also suggests that he was a person of high social standing.
The Discovery of Bocksten Man
Bocksten Man was discovered in 1936. When the bog body was found, it was in a prostrate position, and impaled in the chest by roofing material. The local police were contacted, and it was found that the body in the bog was not from a recent date. Therefore, it was taken to the Varberg Museum, where it could be studied. Studies conducted on Bocksten Man over the decades have revealed some interesting information about this young man.
Bocksten Man’s Attire
To begin with, the costume of the Bocksten Man is among the best examples of its sort that has survived from the European Middle Ages. A tunic or cote, a mantle or cloak, a hood, woolen hose, and leather shoes made up Bocksten Man’s outfit. He was wearing two knives and two leather belts as well. Replicas of Bocksten Man’s attire were created after his discovery. But it turned out that they weren’t totally accurate. Therefore, certain adjustments were made to the reconstructions between 1979 and 1981 after a second look at the clothing. Researchers were able to speculate on the potential motives for Bocksten Man’s murder because to his attire, which also revealed that he had been a member of the higher classes of Medieval society.
His Final Moments
By studying Bocksten Man’s body, it was revealed that he had been between 30 to 35 years old at the time of his death. His long hair, which was preserved by the conditions of the bog, provides additional support to the claim that he was a high-ranking individual in his society. Furthermore, it was found that there his skull had been damaged by three blows from a blunt weapon, perhaps a pole or a hammer. One of these is located on the body’s lower, another near the right ear, and the last further back on the head. It has been suggested that these injuries, especially the last, had caused Bocksten Man’s death. Alternatively, it has been speculated that Bocksten Man had died a natural death, and that the injuries to his head were received over the centuries following his death.
Two main theories have been put up as to why Bocksten Man was killed, assuming that he was a murder victim. The first is that Bocksten Man was murdered because he was recruiting soldiers. He may have been killed because of his work as a tax collector, according to another theory. It should be noted that Bocksten Man had a branch from a straw roof pushed into his breast. It has been suggested that this was done, maybe by the criminals, to prevent their victim from seeking retribution from the afterlife.
Using modern technology, the face of Bocksten Man was reconstructed about a decade ago. A replica of Bocksten Man’s skull was first made, and then, a model was made using computer tomography. The injured parts of the skull were reconstructed, and the face was widened slightly, as the original skull is believed to have been compressed as a result of being in the bog for centuries. The model of Bocksten Man is now displayed in the Halland Museum of Cultural History (which used to be known as the Varberg County Museum).