Gorm the Old was the first to call himself king of Denmark. He was also the first to use the name ‘Denmark’ for the country he reigned over for decades until his death in 958.
Scientists used a CT-scan of the bones, which have since been reburied under the church in Jelling, to reconstruct them with a 3D printer.
3D scans allowed them to adjust for the pressure damage that occurred after burial, says Marie Louise Jørkov, a postdoc in the Section of Forensic Pathology at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. For example, the skull had been flattened after being buried for so many years.
“Then you can print the bones one to one in 3D, which makes it possible to display the bones. We can then re-analyse the skeleton and study the bones to look for any signs of disease, which can’t be seen at the surface,” says Jørkov.
The reconstructed bones revealed a rather odd lump on the back of Gorm’s head.
He had a very pronounced growth on his neck just where it meets the back of the head. It looks like a bird’s beak and it’s really pronounced ~Jørkov
Photo: Anthropology Laboratory / Chiara Villa