Bog body research needed, says Danish scholar

For centuries, scholars have debated the origins of bodies discovered mummified in murky swamps throughout northern Europe spurring calls for further investigation.

Theories over the years have ranged from Druid sacrifices to royal executions, but research seems no closer to the answer of why hundreds of people would have been cast into bogs from Ireland to Russia, leading to calls for more scientific study. "Unfortunately the focus has been almost exclusively on the most spectacular finds, the mummified bodies," says archaeologist Moten Ravn of Denmark's Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, writing in the current Acta Archaeologica journal. Rather than arguing from just one body, Ravn suggests a survey of all the bodies might offer better clues to how they ended up buried in bogs.