According to a study published in the Open Access Journal on February 14, 2024, Wittrupman was born along the Scandinavian coast before moving to Denmark, where he was later sacrificed. Plus one By Anders Fischer of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden and colleagues.

Wittrupman is the nickname for a Stone Age skeleton recovered from a peat bog in northwestern Denmark, dated to between 3300-3100 BC. The fragmented nature of the remains, including a fractured skull, indicates that he was killed in a ritual sacrifice, a common practice in the region at the time. After a DNA study found Vitrop Man’s genetic signature distinct from contemporary, local skeletons, Fisher and colleagues were able to reconstruct the life history of this Stone Age individual with unprecedented resolution. A motion to consolidate evidence was granted.

Strontium, carbon and oxygen isotopes from Wittrupmann’s tooth enamel indicate a childhood spent on the coast of the Scandinavian peninsula. Confirming this, genetic analysis found a close connection between the Wittrupman and the Mesolithic people from Norway and Sweden. Additional isotope and protein analyzes of teeth and bones indicate a dietary shift from a coastal diet (marine mammals and fish) in early life to a farm diet (including sheep or goat) in later life, a shift that continued later in life. It happened in the teenage years.

These findings suggest that Wittrupman spent his early years in a northern foraging society before transitioning to a farming society in Denmark. It is not clear why this individual moved, although the authors believe that he may have been a trader or a prisoner who assimilated into local society. Mysteries remain about Vitrop Man, but this detailed understanding of his geographic and dietary life history provides new insights into the interactions between Mesolithic and Neolithic societies in Europe.

The authors added: “To our knowledge, this is the first time that research has been able to map the life history of a northern European in such great detail and over such a long span of time.”