Experts in Reconstructing Human Food from 2,400 Years Ago, Here’s the Menu


KOMPAS.com – Researchers have reconstructed the last meal of a man who lived about 2,400 years ago.

The man nicknamed the “Tollund Man” was thought to have been around 40 years old when he died in what is now Denmark.

It is possible that he was the one who was sacrificed in a ritual. Not only Tollund Man, dozens of other Iron Age Europeans also suffered the same fate.

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Interestingly, the peat swamp where he was buried made his body well-preserved with incredible detail so that researchers were able to conduct studies on him.

Quotes New Scientist, Wednesday (21/7/2021), one of the things that caught the attention of researchers was the last food Tollund Man ate before he died.

Nina Helt Nielsen from the Silkeborg Museum in Denmark and her colleagues began research to find out.

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The results of the study revealed that the large intestine of the man still left part of the digested dinner.

Researchers found that Tollund Man consumed a pulp made from about 85 percent barley, 5 percent flax, and 9 percent seeds from a plant called pale persicaria.

The crust of the food showed that the porridge was slightly charred and cooked in a clay pot.

Tollund Man also ate fatty bony fish, such as eel. He may also have accidentally eaten the parasite by eating poorly cooked meat and drinking unclean water long before his death.

Not only that, the researchers also explained that in the contents of the stomach there was also protein and intestinal worm eggs derived from whip worms (Trichuris), tape worm (Taenia), and stomach worms (Ascaris).

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Even so, according to researchers, Tollund Man’s last meal was a common menu eaten at that time.

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Researchers then preserved about 1,350 kilocalories of the Tollund Man’s food.

“We have preserved it in such detail that we can almost reproduce the recipe,” Nielsen said.

The findings were published in the journal Antiquity.

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