From the murky depths


We’ve all heard that what goes up, comes back down, but I never heard that what goes down comes back up. It seems, however, that this is also the case.

It takes a long time for a tree to deteriorate and return to the earth as biological material from which new life can take root. Bogs have developed all over the world, besides Ireland, they were in Florida, Canada and other parts of Europe.

When medieval murderers tossed their victim’s bodies into the bog they surely expected that that the evidence was gone forever and clearly for the rest of their years, the secrets were safe. However, in modern times some of the folks from the bogs have been found, very well preserved by the bogs and forensic scientists have been busy trying to solve the mysteries surrounding them, who they were and how they died.

The Tolland Man from Denmark, a 2,400 year old corpse, is the best known of bog people. One of the articles on the Internet said that Tollund Man was hanged, then carefully placed in a sleeping position into the bog and the suggestion was that he may have been a sacrifice to the gods in thanksgiving for the peat from the bogs which was used to heat their homes. Nova has a documentary and there is quite a bit of information available on Wikipedia online as well.

The late poet, Seamus Heaney wrote a poem about this man and the poem can be heard read by the poet online. Mr. Heaney wrote other bog related poems which were also printed in his collection of work published between 1966 and 1987.

On an episode of Antique’s Road Show from the U.K., a farmer brought in an exquisite gold ring that surfaced on his property, which was thought to have fallen into the bog, a long time ago. The ring was important, the Road Show expert suggested, it may have been an engagement ring.  What a loss for a young couple back then and what a treasure to find all these years later.


One thought on “From the murky depths

  1. When we went to Cincinnati last year for a wedding, we had the opportunity to see an exhibition called Mummies. It was exactly that, those folks preserved in bogs and old castles… perfect conditions for mummification. It was an extraordinary show.

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