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The Bog People: Iron Age Man Preserved [Paperback]

By P. V. Glob, Elizabeth Wayland Barber (Introduction by) & Paul T. Barber (Introduction by)
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Item Number 426370  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.25" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.9 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 2004
Publisher   NYRB Classics
ISBN  1590170903  
EAN  9781590170908  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
One spring morning two men cutting peat in a Danish bog uncovered a well-preserved body of a man with a noose around his neck. Thinking they had stumbled upon a murder victim, they reported their discovery to the police, who were baffled until they consulted the famous archaeologist P.V. Glob. Glob identified the body as that of a two-thousand-year-old man, ritually murdered and thrown in the bog as a sacrifice to the goddess of fertility.

Written in the guise of a scientific detective story, this classic of archaeological history--a best-seller when it was published in England but out of print for many years--is a thoroughly engrossing and still reliable account of the religion, culture, and daily life of the European Iron Age.
Includes 76 black-and-white photographs.

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More About P. V. Glob, Elizabeth Wayland Barber & Paul T. Barber

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! P.V. Glob (1911-1985) was the Director General of Museums and Antiquities for the State of Denmark and Director of the National Museum in Copenhagen. Although his professional interest took him from Greenland to the Arabian Gulf, his most sustained study was of his native country. In addition to The Bog People, Glob published numerous anthropological works including Denmark: An Archaeological History from the Stone Age to the Vikings and Mound People: Danish Bronze-Age Man Preserved.

Elizabeth Wayland Barber received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1968. Her research and publications focus on various aspects of anthropology and language. She teaches archaeology and linguistics at Occidental College.

Paul T. Barber received his Ph.D. from Yale University in 1968. He is a research associate at the Fowler Museum of Cultural History at the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > History > Ancient > General   [1927  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > History > Europe > Denmark   [1226  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > History > World > General   [101287  similar products]
4Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Anthropology > General   [1778  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Peat--a great preservative!  Feb 10, 2008
They are called the Bog People--these remains found in peat bogs in Denmark in the early 1950's. P.V. Glob gives us this story as a direct request of schoolgirls in England in the early 1960's. Asking for more information, the girls wrote: "We would like to know where he (the Tollund man) is now because we want to visit him when we are older." After sending some print-outs, Glob received yet another letter: "We like hearing about these people because it is amazing how well they have kept." THE BOG PEOPLE is his response to these curious girls.

If you are thinking circus at this point, you have captured that trait of man fascinated in the really weird things of life. When I taught "Beowulf the Epic," I included stories and photos from this book and displayed them through use of an opaque machine. Some students were so mesmerized they would leave their seats to examine the photos up close.

What the reader/viewer finds in these photos is an extremely bizarre preservation of these mummies with such detail, one can see eyelids, fingernails, blood vessels, hair, skin pores, and, yes, finger prints. Even the stomach contents of Tollund Man (shown on the cover) are preserved and include clover, rye, buttercup, yarrow, nightshade--it is believed to be a sort of vegetarian soup.

A noose was also found around Tollund Man's neck. Historians believe he was part of a ritual killing for sacrificial purposes. There are other remains, now in museums, that depict other details of life a thousand and more years ago. What preserved these people for so long--unbeknowst to the preservers-- was the peat, whose properties in water prevent normal decay. (The other way is intentional mummification, of course, the method practiced by the Egyptians.)

All in all, this book provides fascinating clues to the way of the life of man in prehistoric northern Europe. Plus, you get to gawk in the privacy of your own home.

A reminder of life in the past.  Sep 22, 2006
This is a rather unusual book and well worth reading. Most of the time we read about remains being found in caves,tombs or graves under stone monuments,etc. In this case, there is a real departure in that they are found in wet bogs.
Although, at the time these bodies were placed in the bogs,it was probably not known that the acidic properties wound result in their unbelievable preservation.
These bodies were most likely "buried" in the period of 200 B.C until
200 A.D. This period was during the early Bronze Age and in the northern
and western part of Europe. Civilization was not near as well developed here as in southern Europe when Rome was at its height of development.
The author describes a few of the remains and tries to show who these people were and why they were interred in bogs.This occurred over a wide area and at many locations.
There seems to be two main reasons why remains were placed in these bogs.
Some were obviously murdered,sacrificed,hung or otherwise executed because of crimes,need of a victim for sacrifice, or because they were thought to be possessed,or otherwise evil. Many were staked to the ground to prevent them or their spirits from returning. Others were placed there because of their high ranking in the society.This was determined because those remains showed no evidence of wounds,mutilation or ropes around their necks or limbs.They were also accompanied with artifacts and or treasures.
This book would probably not be considered a great or highly learned Archaeological effort. Be that as it may,it is a very interesting read and an insight into life at the time through a very different window.
The author has included a large number of excellent photos;though it's a shame they are not in color.
It is also of note, that it was first published in 1969 and is still in print.
"The dead and the sleeping, how they resemble one another"  May 12, 2005
A beautiful slim volume which should be on everyone's bookshelf. It is a disturbing and yet strangely moving book. However the text is woefully out of date and has a lot of misinformation on the Celts and their relationship with the trading systems of the North. It also lacks the modern theories of how and why these individuals were sacrificed. I highly recommend this book just as long as you don't use it as your only source of information on the Celts.
Glimpse into Iron Age life and ritual  Mar 29, 2000
P. V. Glob's BOG PEOPLE is a concise and illuminating study of several exquisitly preserved bodies of Iron Age inhabitant discovered northern Denmark by peat diggers in the early 1950s.

Glob, who was on the scene soon after the bodies were discovered, describes the remarkable condition of the bodies, then proceeds to explore the circumstances of their deaths. Glob's exposition gives us a look into the practice of ritual sacrifice in Iron Age northern Europe. Enhancing his discussion with studies of their last meals, the manner of death, the clothes and jewelry they wore as well as other bog artifacts, Glob introduces us to a brutal world where ritual sacrifice played a critical role in the spiritual life of Iron Age residents of modern day Denmark.

The photographs and x-rays of the bodies are stunning. In particular, the haunting photos of the serene, delicately preserved Tolland man cast this study in an earthy yet unearthly light.


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