Een menselijk skelet uit de Aschbroeken bij Weerdinge (Drenthe): reconstructie van een misverstand


  • W.A.B. van der Sanden
  • C. Haverkort
  • J. Pasveer


In 1992 a human skeleton turned up in the stores of the Biologisch-Archaeologisch Instituut. This skeleton, now in the Drents Museum in Assen, is fairly complete. Unfortunately the skull is no longer present. A note indicates that this skeleton was found in the bog near Weerdinge, municipality of Emmen, province of Drenthe. In this article it is argued that this skeleton can only be the so-called skeleton of Aschbroeken, discovered in 1931. This means that the skeleton that was published several years ago as the Aschbroeken skeleton must belong to the bogbody of Zweeloo, discovered in 1951 (van der Sanden, 1990: pp. 89-90 and 115-117).

The real Aschbroeken skeleton is that of an adult male, who died at an age of 35-45. His stature is estimated at 170.8±2.99 cm. Aschbroeken Man had several growth arrests during his childhood and adolescence. He broke his rightupper arm. The fracture healed, but not perfectly. His lumbar vertebrae show the beginning of lipping. The 14C date (OxA-3917; 2940±75 BP) indicates that he was deposited in the Bourtanger Moor at the end of the Middle Bronze Age or the beginning of the Late Bronze Age.

The article concludes with a summary of the information now available about the Zweeloo bog body, the bog corpse that now has its skeleton again, i.e. the former Aschbroeken skeleton. Zweeloo Woman died in the Roman period and was deposited in a small bog in late summer or early autumn.