About Mummy Tombs

Bodies from the Bog

Bodies from the Bog tells the story of the Grauballe Man and other bog bodies and bog objects discovered during the last four hundred years in the wetlands of northern Europe.

The book describes who the bog people were, how they lived, what they believed, and what the future holds for them hundreds and even thousands of years after their deaths. It also explains the mysterious nature of peat bogs that allows bodies to be preserved. 


The bog body known as Windeby I


Reviews and Honors

School Library Journal (*starred review):

"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 Best Children’s Books of 1998

Top 100 Children’s Books of 1998

1999 Notable Book for Children

Chapter 1. A Body from the Bog

Describes the discovery of Grauballe Man, a bog mummy in Denmark in 1952.

Chapter 2. A Bundle of Bog Bodies

Discusses a series of bog bodies found in Europe, including Porsmose Man (Denmark, 1946, a man who was killed by arrows most likely in a battle), Borremose Man (Denmark, 1946, a man who died a violent death), Osterby Head (Germany, 1948, a skull known for its Swabian-knot hairstyle), Tollund Man (Denmark, 1952, one of the most famous bog bodies), Zweeloo Woman (the Netherlands, 1951, a bog body with a rare condition), and Windeby (Germany, 1952, a body of a fourteen-year-old staked to the bottom a bog near Schleswig).

Chapter 3. The Life of a Bog

Discusses the biology and the preservation process of the bogs of northern Europe.

Chapter 4. Magic Cauldrons and More

Discusses the objects found in northern European bogs, including the Gundestrup Cauldron (Denmark, 1891, most likely used in sacrificial rituals), the Djebjerg Wagons (Denmark, 1880s, also likely used in rituals), the Caergwrle Bowl (Wales, 1820s, a boat-shaped decorated stone possibly used as an offering), and the Clonmacnoise Collar (Ireland, perhaps left in a bog as an offering.)

Chapter 5. The Puzzle of Bog Bodies

Discusses the challenges that scientists face in studying bog bodies and the discrepancies that occasionally discover. Included in this chapter are Lindow Man (England, 1983), Meenybradden Woman (Ireland, whose cloak has caused a controversy), Borremose Woman (Denmark, 1948), Dätgen Man (Germany, whose head was detached and buried near the body) and Yde Girl (the Netherlands, 1897).

Chapter 6. A Final Death

Discuses the future of bogs and bog bodies.


You can find more information about this book on on my author website.