Bodies from the Bog

Bodies from the Bog. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. Houghton Mifflin paperback edition, 2003.


Illustrated in color and black-and-white with 39 photographs, many of them rare. For ages 8 to adult. Published by Houghton Mifflin.

Visiting Bogs and Bog Bodies

Visiting Bogs

 

In some countries, you can actually tour a bog. Ireland is an especially good place to go for such a visit. At the Blackwater Bog near Shannonbridge, owned by the Bord na Móna, you can take a train ride through the bog. The visit lasts about an hour and includes a stop in the middle of the bog. There, you can see how peat is cut and even try to slice it yourself.

Of course, the Blackwater Bog is in the business of making money. It supplies milled peat to an electric company, which burns the peat (about a million tons of it each year) to produce electricity. Peat is cut by large machines, which means that humans aren't going to spot any bodies or objects (that may have been buried in the bog thousands of years ago) until they are chopped to pieces and traveling on a conveyor belt.

Another good place to learn about bogs is the Moor and Fen Museum (Moor- und Fehnmuseum) in Elisabethfehn, Germany. This special museum displays tools and machines that peat cutters have used. It also displays different types of peat, plants, and animals found in bogs. A large outdoor section provides a glimpse of an artificial bog and reconstructions of some bog trackways.

 

Visiting Bog Bodies

 

Here are a few museums that display bog bodies:

DENMARK

Copenhagen: The Nationalmuseet displays the Huldremose Woman and the Stidsholt head, both recovered in the bogs.

Moesgård: The Forhistorisk Museum (near Aarhus) displays many prehistoric artifacts recovered from the area, including a bog body called the Grauballe Man.

Odense: The Fyns Oldtid-Hollufgärd exhibits the Koelbjerg Woman, bog remains recovered in 1941.

Silkeborg: The Silkeborg Museum is famous for its outstanding exhibit of the Tollund Man, perhaps the most famous bog body in the world. Of all the bog bodies on display, this is one not to be missed.

Vejle: The St. Nicolai Church exhibits the bog remains of Haraldskær Woman, otherwise known as "Queen Gunhild."

 

GERMANY

Emden: The Ostfriesisches Landesmuseum displays the bog remains (primarily skeletal) and the knife sheath of Bernuthsfeld Man.

Hannover: The Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum 

Oldenburg: The Landesmuseum für Natur und Mensch

Schleswig: Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf

Stade: The Schwedenspeicher-Museum exhibits a bog body known as Obenaltendorf Man; his clothing and two silver ornaments found with the body, are also on display.

 

IRELAND

Dublin: The National Museum of Ireland displays one very dry bog body named the Gallagh Man.

 

THE NETHERLANDS 

Assen: The Drents Museum

Leiden: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

 

UNITED KINGDOM

London: The British Museum