Bog bodies – speak from beyond the grave

Lindow Man or Pete Moss

I put a bog body image in my last post (like you do…).  I am fascinated with the preservation of bodies.  I was lucky enough to see Lindow Man (or Pete Moss as he is affectionately called) in Manchester Museum not long after he was found and couldn’t get over how small he was!.  I have been interested in bog bodies ever since reading Professor P V Glob’s books in the 1970s.  I never knew such mummies even existed.

Tollund man

At first I was just curious and a little repulsed by them.  But as I read more about them, I began become feel a kind of kinship with  these men and women who inhabited a world alien to me now (who really knows if we have lived before, or if there is such a thing as collective consciousness?).   I’d like to think so. The harsh existence these people faced: the Gods they worshipped – the very frailties of their lives.  The clues are all there.  Even the food they ate and what season they died in has been discovered  through their autopsies.

The Tollund man does not sleep easy

Amongst my favorite bog bodies is the Tollund man.  he is preserved and displayed in the Silkeborg Museum.  How I would love to see him!  The tranquil look on his ‘sleeping’ face belies the hideous leather garrote  twisted into his  neck.  even his leather cap is a work of art, the tiny stitches still being visible from 400BC!  the stubble on his chin, his beautiful fingerprints (which have been taken) are things of wonder.  Even the pores of his skin are visible, though the rest of his body has disintegrated.  The man was found in the foetal position, naked except for his hat and hide belt.It is the acid in the peat that preserves these bodies.  Unfortunately some them have been lost or have been damaged by the peat cutter.  It is indeed amazing how these silent sentinels offer up their secrets.  It’s even more miraculous that we have the technology to understand our past!

More info HERE

Archaeology of bogs HERE 

Irish Bog Bodies HERE

Tollund man image from here and here


16 Responses to “Bog bodies – speak from beyond the grave”

  1. thats just unbelievable

    • The amazing qualities of peat eh. Someone should invent a face cream made of it – bet it would sell!

      • A face cream was sold years ago on HSN that was made with the peat moss. They would always tell the story of the Lindow Man when the product was on the air. I use to purchase the cream– made my skin soft! Eventually, HSN stopped selling it. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the name of the face cream!

        • Owen – that’s a shame! Give us a shout if you remember it 🙂 if it works on Lindow Man (who I’ve actually seen when he was at Manchester Museum) then I’ll give it a go!

  2. Ech–the more I look, the more fascinating I find them. They look like bronze sculptures rather than mummies

    • Hi Thanks for visiting! Just looked on your blog – I will probably go the Chris Offili exhibition later this year. I’ve seen some of his work ages ago and I quite like it. I am going to start a contemporaru artists category on here soon.

  3. Have you read Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd? I’ve just started to and so this reminds me of it.

  4. Hi Julie! No I haven’t read it, but I googled it and it looks very interesting indeed! Let me know what you think when you’ve finished it please. Thanks for visiting!

  5. […] Another of my posts about bog bodies HERE […]

  6. […] have other posts about bodies found in bogs here and […]

  7. Wow, Lynda, so glad to have found your wonderful blog. So glad you posted a note over at mine this morning (Joey Ramone, Frida rag dolls).
    I, too, am fascinated by traces of lives that came before ours, reincarnation or cellular memory. It’s a thrill to see the beautiful remnants and imagine those people going through their daily routines.
    Ah, Shakespeare, Sonnet 59:
    If there be nothing new, but that which is
    Hath been before, how are our brains beguiled,
    Which, labouring for invention, bear amiss
    The second burden of a former child.
    O, that record could with a backward look,
    Even of five hundred courses of the sun,
    Show me your image in some antique book,
    Since mind at first in character was done!
    That I might see what the old world could say
    To this composed wonder of your frame;
    Whether we are mended, or whe’er better they,
    Or whether revolution be the same.
    O, sure I am, the wits of former days
    To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

  8. Hi Darcy! Cellular memory – what a lovely phrase! And Shakespeare too – it doesn’t get any better lol! Thanks for visiting – very much appreciated indeed – I’ll be over to yours too!

  9. […] gone tomorrow.  Not everything is made to last forever – apart from us (check out those bog people)  but I […]

  10. Wow, I came across an article on the Bog People. I can not wait to learn more.

  11. Hello,

    I am writing a blog piece on wetlands and wondering it would be possible to use the Tollund man photo found on your blog. If so, who should I credit?

    Thank you.



    • Hi Sam, I did this post ages ago, and have since learned that you have to credit photos 🙂 However I have rectified this by looking back at where I think I got these images from and have now linked back to them. The links will take you to those sites. Hope this helps 🙂

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