We’ve discussed preservation before with Egyptian mummies, however, the “bog bodies” are a unique but related case. Their preservation was completely unintentional and a unique occurrence. Located in various countries in Europe such as the UK, Denmark, Ireland, Germany etc, the bodies date back to the Iron Age 800 B.C. to 200 A.D. The bodies are amazingly well preserved due to the chemistry of the location they were found, bogs contain small amount of oxygen existing that inhibits the growth of bacteria. But also, there is a specific plant called sphagnum that upon dying releases polysaccharides that also block bacterial metabolisms and keep organic matter from decaying.


So, the Bog Bodies skin, clothes, etc are scarily preserved, but their bones however, do not follow the same pattern and have become shrunken with time. Regardless, an interesting amount of information has been able to be excavated with these bodies in regards to how they died and who they possibly were. Unfortunately all their deaths were extremely brutal, and the theories behind why are varied. Some of it is possibly due to the fact that they were “unwanted” and were brutally murdered and thrown into the bog. While one other possibility was that they were ritual sacrifices to the gods.

What is fascinating is that the bodies still exist, and in a sense immortal. Forensic scientists are able to discern bits and pieces of their story, how they died and that their trauma has lasted into the 21st century. It differs from mummies where these bodies didn’t choose to last this long, and it also disregards the idea that when we die we return to the earth. It’s a kind of preservation where the body still exists, bits of their history and past, but the person had no say in their outcome, why is it that those who were brutally murdered or killed remained in a bog for this long? 

It made me think of the allegiances immortality has, is it a neutral entity where it happens to some and not to others. Is it biased in any way? It’s that constant question of who gets to be “immortal”.







This wikipedia page lists bodies that have been found with a description: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_bog_bodies#How_to_use_this_list