The Girl van Yde’s corpse was discovered in May 1897, after having lain in the Drenthe peat for nearly 2,000 years.
Yde 1897 – The dredge bracket penetrated the peat with such force that one of the workers remarked, “May the devil have his way with the person who dug that hole.” A black cranium with reddish hair suddenly appeared on top of the peat layer. The two employees believed the curse had taken effect and fled.
In 1902, J.G.C. Joostling, a legal scholar, discovered the “girl from Yde.” On May 12, 1897, she was discovered by two peat diggers during their dredging operation. The girl had long, luxuriant hair and was quite petite. It has remained famous because it is one of the Netherlands’ best-preserved peat wetland bodies. In fact, peat is one of the most effective preservatives for the human body.
The Germans viewed the peat bogs as a magical site, a portal to another world. It is well known that the Germanic gods required human sacrifices, and the peat bog was an ideal location for this. Before her demise, half of her cranium was shaved, indicating a ritual sacrifice.
As interest in the origin of the girl van Yde and the cause of her death increased throughout the 20th century, the body was reexamined using pathological disciplines, scanning equipment, papillary examination, and C14 dating. It was discovered that she lived from 54 BC to 128 AD. Initially, it was believed to be a few centuries old.
Her neck was strangled by a band that was wound three times around it. In addition, a hole measuring 4.5 centimeters is visible on her clavicle as a consequence of a knife wound. Due to a reconstitution of her visage, we now know what the girl looked like, and we can still see her reddish loveliness through the shriveled, blackened mass of humans in the Drents museum, the former Provincial Museum of Assen.