The sad fate of the Yde girl
In the Spring of 1897 the local newspaper De Provinciale Drentsche en Asser Courant announced: ‘Last Wednesday a complete human skeleton was found in a fen between Vries and Yde by workers belonging to Mr L. Popken of IJde. Hair as long as one and a half feet still covered the skull. The remains of clothes were also present. As objects decay very slowly in the peat, it can be assumed that the body has been in the peat for many dozens of years.’
Through dating her hair, the ‘many dozens of years’ was actually found to be between 50 BC and 50 AD. The Yde Girl owes her fame to the reconstruction of her face in 1994. You can visit her in the Drents Museum in Assen, where you can see and hear the fascinating story of her life and death.
How did the Yde Girl come to be in the fen in the countryside? Did it have anything to do with her physical disability? The girl seems to have suffered from a deformed back – scoliosis or curvature of the spine. Examinations proved that she was only sixteen when she was killed with the woollen band around her neck. She may also have had a knife wound in her throat. Archaeologists often suggest a connection between the Drenthe peat bodies and sacrificial offerings. Did the girl die in the fen so that her community could appease the gods? We will never know for sure…
Monument Broken Circle
Coördinates: 53°05’47.3″N 6°35’09.9″E