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Sunday, January 24, 2010

Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination by Karin Sanders: review

From the Telegraph:

Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination
By Karin Sanders
CHICAGO UP, £26, 317pp

In 1969, PV Glob, a distinguished professor of archeology in Denmark, published a remarkable book. The Bog People was written in response to a request from a group of schoolgirls at an English convent. These young ladies had become excited about photographs of the mysterious discovery, in a Danish bog, of a almost perfectly preserved body dating back to the Iron Age and known as the Tollund Man, from the area in which he was found.

He lay in the ancient peat, entirely naked except for a thin leather cap and a lanyard around his neck. As Glob described in his charming, plainly written book, Tollund Man joined Grauballe Man and Windeby Girl (who turned out to be Windeby Boy), disinterred from the Jutland fens; a mute, macabre gathering looking like crumpled, leathery marionettes.

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