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Describes the discovery of bog bodies in northern Europe and the evidence which their remains reveal about themselves and the civilizations in which they lived....
Describes the discovery of bog bodies in northern Europe and the evidence which their remains reveal about themselves and the civilizations in which they lived.
"For budding archaeologists, or any child interested in exploring scientific mysteries, James Deem's straightforward text and superior choice of photographs (many of them taken at the sites where naturally mummified bog bodies have been found) unfold a compelling story of Iron Age Man." Parent's Choice (R)
"Deem's carefully researched photo-essay examines the newest information on these remarkable finds and pieces it with other known facts to present as clear a picture of [Iron Age] people as possible under the circumstances. Some are obviously sacrificial victims; others may be guilty of some crime or act punishable by death. The bodies themselves, in various stages of preservation and decay, whisper down the ages in half-heard, almost indecipherable voices, hinting at religious beliefs and justice codes unknown to us. A chapter on the bogs themselves gives readers a clear understanding of this unusual preservation process, and the whole is lavished with crisp full-color photos (and sepia-toned historical ones). Obviously the high 'ick' factor here will attract cursory attention, but [this book] should motivate some intense and extremely interesting research." School Library Journal, Starred
"Deem begins with the discovery of a man buried in a peat bog near Grauballe, Denmark; originally thought to be an accident victim of the last century, he turned out to be a sacrifice victim from 2,000 years ago. Deem goes on, in an exceptionally well-organized and riveting text, to describe other early peoples of Europe and how they were preserved in bogs. He also clearly explains the make-up of the bogs and their preservation qualities. Most striking here, however, are the color and black-and-white photographs that appear on every page.There are excellent photos of artifacts and scientific procedure, but it is the pictures of the mummies themselves that mesmerize. Startling in their clarity, it is impossible not to look at these pictures and wonder about the people shown in them." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
From Chapter 1: "On the last Saturday of April 1952, near the village of Grauballe, Denmark, a group of men were digging in a raised bog they had partially drained. They dug past the upper layer of peat moss into a rich layer of compact dark-brown peat perfect for fuel, their shovels slicing brick-sized chunks. They stacked the peat on the surface. When it had dried, it would be burned for heat in a fireplace or furnace.
"That afternoon, though, the men made an unexpected discovery. About three feet below the surface their shovels struck the head of a dead man. His eyes were closed, his face partially flattened by the weight of the peat. His skin was as brown as the earth that surrounded him. The peat cutters quickly reported their find to a local doctor who wondered if it might not be a bog body, that is, a type of natural mummy: the preserved body of a person who was buried in the bog perhaps thousands of years ago. A number of such bodies had been found in Denmark, so the doctor called an archaeologist at the Moesglrd Museum of Prehistory in nearby Aarhus.
"The next morning Professor P. V. Glob arrived at the site and examined the body of what has come to be called the Grauballe Man...."