He was a huge sensation

Archeologists still think that Grauballemanden, who was found in a bog in Grauballe near the city Silkeborg in Jutland / Denmark in 1952, was sacrificed to a pagan goddess named Nerthus.

1955_06_27 Information artikel om grauballemanden

One would think that Grauballemanden was a slave who could be spared, but that’s not the case. He probably was a kind of clerk who took part in arranging the ceremonies for the goddess. He seemed to have been well nourished, his hair was nicely cut and his hands and feed were well groomed.

Grauballemandens hånd  Grauballemandens right hand

Grauballemanden was naked though and the water in the bog had given his hair a red color, and that made people in and around Grauballe wonder if he in reality was a bog worker called red Kristian, who had disappeared one night after a visit to the local pub about a hundred years earlier.

All the Danish newspapers wrote about the findings and also papers in other countries, even one in Washington in the US had articles about the red haired man from the bog.

Grauballemanden_avisudklip002 Grauballemanden_1954_08_18 Løgstør Avis Grauballemanden_1952_04_28 Silkeborg Avis Grauballemanden_1952_04_28  Silkeborg Avis2

It soon became obvious that the Museum in Aarhus was not fitted for that many visitors, and so Grauballemanden and the rest of the exhibition was transferred to another, larger museum outside of town, and the old museum stood empty and was forgotten for many years until one day in the sixties, when rebelling students occupied the building and demanded that it had to be used for the good of all residents of Aarhus.

After some negotiations the city agreed. The students got what they wanted, and the museum was turned into a community building under the name “Huset” (The house), where all could come and do wood work or iron work or make their own shoes or sew clothes or dye fabric, paint croquis, print their own books or make their own plates, cups, pots and tea pots.

huset Huset in Aarhus. Grauballemanden was on lit de parade behind the ground floor window to the right

Many years later I came to work at Huset as an IT supervisor for a year, and I actually worked in the same room where Grauballemanden had been on lit de parade years earlier.

Moesgård museum  Moesgaard Museum, where Grauballemanden stayed for many years


To be continued


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