3The Bog BodiesOver the past few centuries, remains of many hundreds of people - men, women, and children - have come to light during peat cutting activities in north-western Europe, especially in Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, northern Germany, and Denmark.The peat has acted as a remarkable preservative, and there have been about 700 bodies pulled from these bogs dated between 8000 BC and AD 200.
4The Bog BodiesThey range in date from 8000 B.C. to the early medieval period.We do not know exactly how many bog bodies have been found--many have disappeared since their discovery.
7PreservationThe Peat Bogs of Northern Europe typically contain little or no oxygen in their water.This inhibits the chemical processes of decay to take place.The peat (decomposing vegetable matter) found in bogs contains chemicals such as annin that help preserve a human body.
8DiscoveriesWhen bog bodies have been discovered, it is often thought that they are modern victims of murder because of their state of preservation.Scientific investigation determines that they are sometimes thousands of years old.We do not know exactly how many bog bodies have been found--many have disappeared since their discovery.Some famous Bog Bodies include:Grauballe Man, Tollund Man, Windeby Girl, Lindow Man, Yde Girl, Red Franz, Old Croghan Man, Elling Woman
9Why did they die in the peat? No one knows how these people ended up in the bogs - it seems that most of the bodies are not the remains of unlucky people who simply fell in.According to classical authors, the Roman Iron Age people of northern Europe offered human sacrifices and executed people as punishment for crimes.
18Borremose Man, Denamark. This bog body dates from 700 BC.
19Violence in the BogsMany of those found in the bogs died violent deaths.Because of many of them show signs of having been killed in a similar manner, many archaeologists believe that this may indicate they were the victims of ritualistic human sacrifice.
20In 1904 two bodies were found in the southern part of the Bourtanger Moor in the Netherlands. Because one of them lays on the outstretched arm of the other, who is obviously male, it was long believed that the second body was that of a woman. We now know that this body is also male. Both men died between 160 B.C. and 220 A.D. The intestines of one body (right) protrude from a stab wound in his left chest. How the other man died is unknown.
21In 1879 the body of an adult woman was found in a bog near Jutland in Denmark. The body, known as Huldremose Woman, was very well preserved. The woman met her violent end sometime between 160 B.C. and 340 A.D. Her arms and legs showed signs of repeated hacking, and the diggers who found her body noted that her right arm was detached from the rest of her body. That arm was evidently cut off before she was deposited in the peat.
22Elling Woman was found in 1938 in the Bjeldskovdal bog, west of Silkeborg, Denmark, only about 200 feet from where Tollund Man (see below) came to light 12 years later. Elling Woman was wrapped in one sheepskin cape, and another covered her legs and feet. She wore a woven belt around her waist. Elling Woman was hanged with a leather thong, which left a V-shaped furrow that is clearly visible in her neck. The leather belt that was used to hang her still survives. It has a sliding knot, making it suitable for execution purposes. This happened in the pre-Roman Iron Age, between 350 and 100 B.C.
23In 1859 the severed head of a female was found in in Jutland, Denmark In 1859 the severed head of a female was found in in Jutland, Denmark. She was decapitated by a blow between the third and fourth vertebrae. Her hair was tied in a knot to which a woven band was fastened. The head has never been scientifically dated, and remains of the rest of the body were never found.
24Grauballe Man came to light in 1852 in a small bog known as Nebelgård Mose, Jutland in Denmark. The naked body of this adult male had been placed in an old turf cutting. He died a violent death. His throat was cut, and he received severe blows on his head and left leg. This happened between 170 B.C. and A.D. 80.
25Found in a bog in Germany in 1900, the young man was quickly named “Red Franz” for the color of his hair, beard, and eyebrows - an effect of acids in the peat. After he was moved to a local museum, scientists examined Franz and discovered evidence of a deep gash in his throat, still visible in the remaining soft tissue of the back of his neck and shoulders.
26Research and Presentation task In pairs, choose one of the following bog bodies:Grauballe Man, Tollund Man, Windeby I, Red Franz, Lindow Man, Elling Woman, Borremose Man, Rendswuhren Man, Yde Girl, Clonycavan Man, Old Crohan Man, Galagh ManPresent a PowerPoint / keynote presentation to the class about your chosen bog bodyYour presentation must include – location, discovery, age of body, objects found with the body, how the person died / injuries, theory on the persons death, images, what the body reveals about iron age Europe.