Dead interesting - Bog Bodies in Scotland

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The Bostadh Archaeology Group, are hosting a talk by Trevor Cowie, Department of Archaeology, National Museums Scotland on ‘bog bodies from Scotland and Beyond’ on Tuesday 27th September, 7.30pm at The Bridge Centre, Bayhead Stornoway

Trevor Cowie said: “This paper will set ‘Arnish Man’ - the remains of an early 18th century murder victim found on Arnish Moor in 1964 – against the wider background of discoveries of human remains from bogs in north-western Europe in general and Scotland in particular. Over the course of several centuries, human remains have been unearthed in the course of peat-cutting across much of north-west Europe, especially in Denmark, the Netherlands, northern Germany, Ireland and Britain.

They range from skeletons or body parts to more or less complete bodies – and, as well-known discoveries like ‘Tollund Man’ or ‘Lindow Man’ have shown, well-preserved prehistoric ‘bog bodies’ can grip the imagination of the public. The human remains range widely in date too, with dated examples known from prehistoric times until recent centuries. Interpretations of the circumstances which lay behind their burial in peat bogs also vary greatly, with explanations ranging from ritual killing in the case of some prehistoric burials to foul play as in the case of the discovery at Arnish. Not for the squeamish!”

The talk is part of the Scottish Archaeology Month, SAM Lecture Series, co-ordinated by Archaeology Scotland, which pairs top experts from National Museums Scotland to give talks to archaeology and local history societies all over the country.