Talk:Bog body

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Bog people?[edit]

I'd like peoples' opinion as to whether Bog body or Bog people is a better name for this article. Presently there are articles at both names. Peregrine981 14:26, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)

My sense is that Bog body is preferable, with Bog people as a redirect. "Bog body" seems to be prevalent in the literature I've seen and is more descriptive and broad. "Bog people", to me, misleadingly suggests some kind of living tribe. A cursory Google search suggests that "Bog body" is prevalent in scientific contexts whereas "bog people" appears mostly in lay articles. --Pontifex 19:19, Dec 15, 2004 (UTC)
Allright, seems like a good idea. Bog body does seem a bit less misleading than bog people, which has a vaguely "B" movie sound to it, though it is a commonly used term in the popular media. I note that Britannica seems to list it under bog body. I will make bog people a redirect. Peregrine981 11:34, Dec 16, 2004 (UTC)


Barbara Shack 16:24, 17 February 2006 (UTC)The page for the photograpy of Tollund man says, "This image is copyrighted, and used with permission. The terms of the permission do not include third party use. It is not licensed under the GFDL." The Image greatly improves the article. I hope Wikipedians who understand copyright better than I do will agree to keep it. I don't know if it can stay.


We need some pictures please...what does a 500-year old person look like?

There's some on Danish wiki at da:Grauballemanden with gfdl licenses, if someone wants to upload them onto commons - MPF 00:57, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

sphagnum bogs[edit]

Peat bogs are not the same as sphagnum bogs. "Peat" is a general term and peat can be formed from sphagnum moss, other mosses, sedges or various other kinds of plant material alone or in combination. I'm not certain what kinds of bogs are predominant in Europe and the British Isles so I hope somebody will check this and make the appropriate corrections. MrDarwin 19:55, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Northern European bogs (north of about 53°N where summers are fairly cool) are overwhelmingly Sphagnum bogs, and this applies to all of the bogs that bodies have been found in, as they are the only bogs acidic enough to preserve the corpses. A body in less acidic fen peat (derived from sedges) would not persist. - MPF 00:49, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Number of bodies?[edit]

This article says more than a thousand, Haraldskaer Woman article says around 700 to date, which is correct? Khukri (talk . contribs) 20:28, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Koelberg Woman[edit]

| This site give her age as 8000 B.C. but the article says 5500 years old. I was wondering what the source for that was. Storeye 07:03, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

In the scientific literature there are several datings ranging from 9000 - 6000 B.C. probably by mis understandings. The Danish National Museum sets her age to 9000 years [1], writes 9000-6401 B.C. and mentiones a 14C-Dating to Maglemosian culture [2]. I am still loocking for the original publication of the 14C-dating results. --Bullenwächter (talk) 08:00, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Mentioned in Sagas?[edit]

I've read several norse sagas and a fair amount of viking poetry, but I've never come across anything that mentioned people getting killed, executed or otherwise dying in a bog. They did have laws against outlawry and such, so it's very possible that criminals were put to death, but for the life of me I can find no mention of any such events. Most subject material mentioned in the older sagas can be orally dated back to BC times, which is the time that it appears most "bog people" were killed, but again, there are no references in the sagas. Would anyone care to elaborate? - myrddin_wyllt, 1/2/09 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

I am unclear as to what you are questioning, because this article doesn't make any assertion about bog bodies in the Norse sagas. However, when writing the Haraldskær Woman article, I did include the following sentence: According to the Jomsvikinga Saga, Queen Gunnhild was drowned in a bog on the orders of the Danish king Harald Bluetooth.[1]. So there are some references to bog executions to be found in the sagas. CactusWriter | needles 21:21, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, a fair number of these bog bodies have been discovered in lands populated by Norse and other Germanic peoples, and they were apparently "put to death" during times that said people were there. I was just wondering of any of the sagas mentioned this sort of practice. - myrddin_wyllt 1/5/09
  1. ^ Ashley, Michael. The Mammoth Book of British Kings and Queens. Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1998. pg 443

I'm Trying To Help![edit]

I'm merging Stubs into this page!! --水の男の子 (talk) 22:16, 26 June 2009 (UTC)


I just heard Olly Steeds quote some line of bull about these people all having been Sacrificed To The Gods. I'm not an expert, but I think that "ritual" is a catch-all for unimaginative archaeologists; I have no doubt that one researching modern America would say (coming uncommonly close to the truth) that the gas chamber and the electric chair were also elaborate religious rituals. But it would be interesting to hear more about whether anything is known here. My bet would be that if you wanted to kill someone, you'd drop him in the bog, and these people are just murder victims... I wonder if there's any way anyone will ever know more than that. Wnt (talk) 03:38, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I don't think Steeds or other TV hosts qualify as a solid source for an anthropological debate -- and those types of programs will certainly use the most sensational explanations in order to boost ratings. This article does mention that the cause of death is ill-defined and debatable. That debate probably should be explained more here, so if you want to have it, please jump in -- otherwise I'll try to get to it in the next month or so. (This article is in need of a thorough cleaning). This 1998 paper from the Oxford Journal of Archaeology provides a good overview. CactusWriter | needles 19:38, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
That paper is interesting... it sure isn't easy to summarize for Wikipedia, though. Wnt (talk) 23:50, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

In Cornelius Tacitus' work, Germania, written in the 1st century CE, and contemporary with the practice of bogging, wrote that the Germans had to forms of capital punishment, the latter and worse of which was bogging. He even spoke of the German rationale as being to the effect so as to be removed from sight and forgotten. He also mentions that such legal punishments could only be carried out under the aegis of the priest-king, and so had certain sacral assocaitions.

The notion that any death that was bound up with or hedged off by sacral associations and/or practices is consequently a case of "sacrifice" is indeed bad archeology, and antiquated anthropology. And generally just bad thinking, when we have written testimony of why people were bogged, coming from the very age in which these people were bogged. No? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:24, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

Lead image[edit]

I think this article should probably have a lead image. In my opinion it doesn't particularly matter whose body is shown, but I went for one of Lindow Man as it's one of the better known bog bodies, the image shows the whole of the remains, and the article on Lindow Man himself is of good quality (it's a Featured Article; I thought if there's going to be a linked image in the lead it may as well be to an article of decent quality). As I worked on the Lindow Man article and don't want to seem biased, I am quite happy for someone to replace the image of Lindow Man with something else, although I do think a lead image of some sort is necessary. Nev1 (talk) 23:59, 23 July 2010 (UTC)

The addition of a lead photo is a good idea. And the thought of linking it to an FA article was appropriate. However, the Lindow Man photo isn't particularly good. It is difficult to distinguish the human features -- appearing mostly like a flat piece of leather on dirt. I suggest using a photo which better portrays and elucidates the mummification to the reader -- such as File:Tollundmannen.jpg, File:Grauballemannen1.jpg or one of the clearer full body photos at Commons:Bog Body such as File:Tollundmanden i Silkeborgmuseet.JPG. CactusWriter (talk) 22:28, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Admittedly, it's not the best image. A full body photo would be preferable, however the ones on commons either aren't great or the dimensions aren't ideal. For example I think File:Grauballemanden2.jpg is a very interesting picture and the remains are in good condition, but even at 300px wide I don't think it's detailed enough as the image isn't very tall. It's still in the article though. But both of the head shots you suggest are rather good, so I think either would make a good lead picture. Nev1 (talk) 22:40, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. We'll have to wait for a quality full-body shot. I find the Tollund Man head shot a slightly better image only because the dirt mound in the Grauballe Man image tends to draw focus away from the face. However, the Grauballe Man shows the coloration. Take your pick of the two head shots -- either will be fine. CactusWriter (talk) 22:58, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
Not an easy choice for the reasons you've given, but I've gone for Tollund Man. Nev1 (talk) 23:03, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
I've been wondering maybe we could change the lead image from the Tollund man to a head shot of the Grauballe man such as File:Grauballemannen1.jpg from the commons. I can understand about the Tollund man being the lead image because he is probably the most famous, but maybe we could use the Grauballe man's picture because it is in color and in better quality. This is just an idea. Thanks, --Parasect (Formerly Platyfishkeeper) 13:18, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
The image wasn't chosen because of fame, but rather clarity of the subject. As stated in the above discussion, I think the Tollund pic provides better focus of the topic and the Grauballe pic provides better illustration of the coloration. I am fine with either choice. CactusWriter (talk) 17:19, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

List of Bog bodies[edit]

I think a list of bog bodies would be very helpful to researchers like there is on the German Page. I would like this to be done, but I might not have enough time to do so. Thanks, --Parasect (Formerly Platyfishkeeper) 14:16, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

Given there are nearly known 2,000 bog bodies in Europe you couldn't fit a comprehensive list in this article. Therefore, the best you can do is include links to some of the most significant ones. At the moment, several are mentioned in the article and there's a section called Notable bog bodies, but I'm not sure how these have been selected. Nev1 (talk) 14:20, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Alright, thank you for the tips! --Parasect (Formerly Platyfishkeeper) 13:14, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I think there should be a short list of several bog bodies like on the German page, because I believe that that is helpful info. Let me know if I'm doing the wrong thing, but this is how I think it should be done. --Your's Truly,

Parasect (Discuss) 18:27, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

If you've got something in mind other than the current notable bog bodies section why not have a go? Seeing it in practice may get things moving. Unfortunately Wikipedia doesn't have a comprehensive (or even partial) list of bog bodies which would no doubt be useful to someone researching the subject. Nev1 (talk) 18:52, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
Alright I finished it. --Parasect (Discuss) 17:21, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

Two sections for "notable" bog bodies are unnecessary -- and somewhat oddly written here. The most notable finds, e.g. Tollund Man or Haraldskaer Woman, only have links because they have large expansive Wikipedia articles. (This is one of the reasons they can be definitively called notable -- there is enough written scholarship about them to create those large articles) On the other hand, the lesser notable or non-notable bog bodies have been stuck in this article because there has not been enough significant coverage to build separate articles. This results in the most notable bodies given little space here while less significant finds are treated expansively. That's backwards. And makes this article too cluttered and unfocused. The solution is to use this article as a generalized description of the topic while maintaining List of bog bodies as a comprehensive list of bog bodies. (Any bog body which has enough scholarship to build a description greater than its list entry, may require its own article.) Towards this end, I've have copied the descriptive text on the other bodies to the List and removed the entire "other bodies" section form this article. CactusWriter (talk) 23:02, 17 June 2011 (UTC)

Bare URLs[edit]

I tried to do my best to fix the bare urls with citations via Knight I hope this would help on this article. --GouramiWatcher (Gulp) 21:47, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Should the tag on the top of the article be removed? I am hesitant to do so because I'm not soure if that is what I'm supposed to do.--GouramiWatcher (Gulp) 19:04, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I removed the tag. Please notify me if this was wrong. --GouramiWatcher (Gulp) 23:53, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

National Geographic...[edit]

Gourami Watcher, I've left a query at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard. My concern is that without details of the original academic journal, authors etc., we lack a decent reliable archaeological source for the assertion. For example, regardless of whether it's true or not, who's actually claiming that the results were fabricated? Hchc2009 (talk) 22:13, 6 July 2012 (UTC)

Alright, I do see your point there. Keep me posted. --GouramiWatcher (Gulp) 23:52, 6 July 2012 (UTC)
And we now have the original source of the info, it was
If you're happy, I'll tweak the wording to refer to the original article, and keep the citation to Nat Geo in as well? Hchc2009 (talk) 05:05, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Date Consistency[edit]

Some instances in this page are in the BC/AD format, and others are BCE/CE. Per the WP:ERA guideline, neither is encouraged over the other, but a page should be consistent within itself. I'm recommending that we get a consensus, and have the page follow that consensus.

As to what that consensus is, I see no advantage one has over the other, so I'd recommend we go with the first convention placed. Thoughts? (talk) 19:20, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Restore title from Bog bodies of Northern Europe to Bog body[edit]

In my opinion the title Bog bodies of Northern Europe is a wrong description based on an old fashioned scientific of art mainly based on B.V. Glob's book Moosefolket dated to 1965 having a strong focus on danish bog finds. Actually real bog body finds are also known and confirmed from Bavaria, there are evidence for bog body finds from Austrian and other South German states but not clearly scientifically confirmed which are definitively not belonging to the region known as Northern Europe. Actually according to the article Northern Europe the affilliation of Germany and the Netherlands to Northern Europe is an old fashioned fact, but the majority of confirmed bog body finds are originating from the Netherlands, from Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony which are not belonging to the region actually defined as Northern Europe. According to the actual scientific state of knowledge bog bodies can be a world wide phenomen, where ever bogs are present and wherever copres were found preserved by the bogs chemistry they would be defined as bog bodies. For the articles title I would prefer to use the previous term Bog body. The specification "Bog bodies of Northern Europe" should be used when clearing the specific historical, cultural and possible spiritual backgrounds of the reasons why people were put into the wet bogs. --Bullenwächter (talk) 07:34, 30 November 2012 (UTC)

Any contrary comments? If not, I will move back the article to its original name --Bullenwächter (talk) 08:35, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
The move has my support. As the redirect will be need to be deleted I think an admin is required, would you like me to make the move? Nev1 (talk) 17:20, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Seems sensible to me. Hchc2009 (talk) 18:24, 22 February 2013 (UTC)
Bog bodies are found throughout the world; including in North America and Eastern Europe, in socio-cultural settings entirely distinct from those discussed in this article. For this reason the term "Bog bodies" – implying global coverage – is totally innapropriate, although I can appreciate that "Bog Bodies of Northern Europe" also has problems. How about "Bog bodies in Western Europe" ? Midnightblueowl (talk) 10:59, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Support, per WP:TITLE, returning the title (and the subsequently changed text in the introduction) to Bog body. The term is precise enough to define the scope of this article -- which allows its expansion with any general information about bog bodies, regardless of a geographic limitation. At this point, the only reason to create a longer title would be if it distinguished this article from other existing articles, such as "Bog Bodies of Southern Europe" or "Bog Bodies of North America", as well as a generalized "Bog Body" article. However, those specific titles don't exist. Until this article expands so much that it requires splitting it into more specific titles, it remains the generalized Bog Body article. The current overly specific title actually prevents expansion -- disallowing readers from adding any information outside the geographic scope. CactusWriter (talk) 16:59, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

I strongly support the restoration of the previous title as well, as bog bodies are also found in places like the USA. It appears to me that there is enough support to move the page back to Bog body, but nothing has been done about it for a few months. Best, --GouramiWatcher (Gulp) 17:43, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Yes check.svg Done Given the consensus of participants in this discussion for restoring the article title from Bog bodies of Northern Europe to Bog body, I have moved the article. I've also done a slight copy-edit on the text to remove the narrower scope. For the time being I've left a redirect at Bog bodies of Northern Europe until all the links to that title in other articles can be restored to direct links. CactusWriter (talk) 16:42, 26 April 2013 (UTC)