A body found in a peat bog in northern Germany, first thought to be a murder victim, turned out to be a sensational archeological find: the 2,700 year old mummified corpse of a teenage girl.
The hand belonging to "The Girl of the Uchter Moor"
At first the police thought the body of a teenage girl they were alerted to was evidence in an unsolved murder case. But upon closer examination, it turned out the suspected victim of foul play found a peat bog in the town of Uchte, Lower Saxony, was actually slightly older than first thought, some 2,700 years older.
Many of the body's hundred-odd parts were first dug out of the moor in 2000. At the time, the police homicide unit was assigned to the case, but when they failed to solve it, the file was archived and the moor body forgotten.
Then in January of this year, a local worker discovered a shriveled hand in the bog while digging turf. The police were once again put on the case, but this time, they recognized that the body was an archeological find rather than a criminal one.
On Monday, scientists said radiocarbon dating showed the bog body belonged to a teenage girl -- her age is estimated between 16 and 20 -- who lived around 650 BC. The State Authority for Historic Preservation in Lower Saxony called the body "one of the most meaningful archeological finds of the past forty years."
A unique find
According to Henning Hassmann, the state archeologist of Lower Saxony, all the parts of the corpse appear to have been found except for one shoulder blade, though much of it was strewn about by modern digging equipment. Even the hair on the corpse's head was intact.
Peat diggers found this hand
Technological developments have made the discovery of intact bog bodies increasingly rare. Whereas people used to dig peat by hand, today huge machines make deep furrows in the dried out moors. Thus small, mummified body parts -- which are almost the same color as the peat -- remain undiscovered. A mummified body was last found in Lower Saxony 50 years ago.
Corpse on exhibit
Paleobiologist Andreas Bauerochse said the "Girl of the Moor" will be examined for clues to life 2,000 years ago. The find will keep scientists busy for a long time, he told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper in an interview. "Today we have a handful of questions. In a week it will probably be two handfuls," he said.
Starting this Thursday, the body will be on display for a short time in the State Museum, where the public will have a chance to see the body before scientists begin testing.
Economy Minister Axel Kicillof has flown into New York seeking to reach a deal with hedge fund creditors and avert an Argentine debt default. His arrival coincided with a last-minute cause for optimism in Buenos Aires.
For months, the EU looked on as Moscow destabilized Eastern Ukraine. But after the downing of MH17, Brussels had no choice but to impose economic sanctions against Russia, says DW's Bernd Riegert.
The UN's aviation body and industry officials have agreed on the need for better communication when plotting flight paths over sensitive regions. The Montreal emergency summit was prompted by the MH17 crash in Ukraine.