Bodies in the Bog: A Reading List

See the FAQ “What are Bog Bodies?”

Glob, P. V. The Bog People: Iron-age Man Preserved. Trans. Rupert Bruce-Mitford. New York: Barnes and Noble, 1967. This is a reprint of a book originally published in 1965. I aasume it was reprinted because it was fairly inexpensive and would sell well, given the recent interest in bog mummies since the Lindow discoveries in 1984. It’s not dreadful, it’s just a bit too speculative. The data Glob relies on for his conclusions is no longer accurate. I think you would do better with Stead or by reading the several recent magazine and journal articles.

Menon, Shanti. “The People of the Bog.” Discover. 18 no. 6 (August, 1997): 60-67; 87. This is a brief survey and discussion of the major Danish bog finds and the Lindow Moss finds. The information is fairly accurate, and the photos are excellent.

Ross, Anne and D. Robins. The Life and Death of a Druid Prince. London, 1989. Ross and Robins are much too speculative for my taste. Their book has been very popular but is not well-regarded in the scholarly community because of its imaginative and unsupported conclusions. R. C. Turner in Turner and Scaife, 1995 is particularly scathing. “Anne Ross and Don Robins select some facts, confuse others and pile supposition upon supposition to produce the story of Lovernios, an Irish druid, sacrificed on 1 May AD 60. . . . The book is presented as reputable archaeological interpretation but is no more than poorly written, historical fiction” (200).

Stead, I. M. J. B. Bourke and D. Brothwell eds. Lindow Man: The Body in the Bog. London: British Museum Publications, 1986. ISBN: 0801419980. This is a collections of the first set of reports by various experts who examined the bodies and worked on the excavation; it’s not as much fun to read, perhaps, as Anne Ross and D. Robins. The Life and Death of a Druid Prince though it is far less speculative. It has subsequently been replaced by Turner and Scaife, and much of the data regarding the age of the bodies has been revised. Ross is one of the contributors.

Turner, R. C. and R. G. Scaife. Bog Bodies: New Discoveries and New Perspectives. British Museum Press: London, 1995. ISBN: 0714123056. This is the second collection of reports by the various experts involved in the excavation and analysis of the Lindow Moss bodies. It is the most complete, and scholarly, of the several books I’ve read.

Wernick, Robert. “What Were the Druids like, and was Lindow Man One?” Smithsonian (March, 1988): 146-66. This is a reasonably easy to read overview of the Lindow II body and a basic discussion of the role of the druid in Irish society.

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