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The Bog Bodies of Europe

schwit1 writes: It’s a regular occurrence in Europe for dead bodies to be found in peat bogs. The bogs preserve the bodies, providing scientists a window into the past. However, many of the bodies exhibit one mysterious tendency: violent death. “Since the 18th century, the peat bogs of Northern Europe have yielded hundreds of human corpses dating from as far back as 8,000 B.C. Like Tollund Man, many of these so-called bog bodies are exquisitely preserved-their skin, intestines, internal organs, nails, hair, and even the contents of their stomachs and some of their clothes left in remarkable condition. Despite their great diversity-they comprise men and women, adults and children, kings and commoners-a surprising number seem to have been violently dispatched and deliberately placed in bogs, leading some experts to conclude that the bogs served as mass graves for offed outcasts and religious sacrifices. Tollund Man, for example, had evidently been hanged.” It’s a fascinating combination of history, archeology, and forensics.

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