In this article we will be taking a look at the mystery of the bog bodies, or the bog people, that have been discovered in various peatland areas of Northern Europe.
These mummified peat bodies have gone through various stages of natural preservation…but many of them seem to have met grim and violent ends…
The peatlands have provided these bodies with the perfect preservation system – most of the examples are still wearing the clothes they were buried in and are even carrying facial expressions.
The contents of their stomachs remain in tact and even the skin, nails, and body hair are still present.
There are currently just over a thousand documented bog body discoveries which have been made through companies draining sphagnum lands and extracting the peat moss.
The corpses have all been found in bog areas next to salt water – this means that peat moss collects the salt from the air and releases acid into the water. This acid then acts as a barrier against bacteria, meaning the the bodies do not decompose as they normally would.
The Huldremose Woman
The body known as the Huldremose Woman was discovered near the end of the 1800’s in Denmark. She is thought to have lived through some point in the Iron Age.
She was so well preserved that experts were able to record that she had eaten rye bread not long before she had died, she had recently broke her leg and lacerations on one of her feet were caused shortly before her death.
She was discovered wearing a wool cape, scarf, and skirt.
The Elling Woman was found in Denmark in 1938 and is thought to have died around 280 BCE. She was wrapped up in a cloak made out of sheepskin and leather.
Reports suggest that she suffered a little bit of a gruesome end – she had been hanged for the purposes of some type of ritual sacrifice.
Who Was The Tollund Man?
The Tollund Man is probably the most famous, yet disturbing, discovery linked to the Bog Bodies. His face has been preserved perfectly and he looks as though he fell asleep into death peacefully…
However this is not the case…
Recent radiographic images have revealed a distended tongue which indicates he died through strangulation. It is thought that he suffered the exact same ritual fate as the Elling Woman.
He was probably in his mid 30’s when he died and his stomach contents indicate that he ate barley, flaxseed, and knotgrass in the hours leading up to his death/murder.
He was found completely naked…except for the noose that had been crudely left wrapped around his neck.
The Mystery of The Bog Bodies
Similar bog bodies have been found scattered across various continents, but the corpses found in Northern Europe are by far the best preserved.
Whilst they give us wonderful insight into how people lived in that era…they also still hold a lot of secrets.
Why were these people murdered in this ritualistic way?
Were they common criminals who were ‘saved’ for these types of ceremonies?
Were they victims of tribal wars that dominated the area at the time?
Were they simply offerings of sacrifice to a demon/god that was thought to control agriculture in the area?
Please leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.