10 Ancient Bodies Preserved in the Bogs of Europe

Image: McLeod

Haraldskaer woman

Bog bodies are naturally preserved corpses found in Sphagnum bogs in Europe. The low temperatures, lack of oxygen and very high acidity combine to preserve their skin and internal organs rather as tanning does. Bones were often lost because the acid dissolved them. There are a number of famous bog bodies; we look at 10 of them here.

Image: Elgaard

10. The Yde Girl

Yde Girl, an iron age bog body excavated 1897 in Stijfveen near Yde, Netherlands. Now on display in Drents Museum Assen.

The Yde Girl was found in Yde, Netherlands in 1897. She had died at approximately age 16 between 54 BCE and 128 CE. Her body was dressed in a woolen cape and had a woolen band (made using a technique known as ‘sprang’) wrapped around her neck, which suggests either execution or sacrifice. She also had scoliosis – a crookedness of the spine – which might lean the hypothesis more towards sacrifice, as many disabled individuals have been found in bogs.