A New Life for an Old Body

Around 390 BC a group of people was gathered in a small bog, standing around an old peat cutting in which they had just laid to rest a gift to the gods, a man whose life had been offered in return for the gods’ favour.


From the bog to the museum

More than 2000 years later, in 1952, a crowd was gathered around that same peat cutting, staring down at the body and face of this same man, whose long sleep in the bog did not seem to have changed him much. His skin, hair, nails and even his facial features were all wonderfully well preserved

This, as well as Professor Glob’s interpretation of this man as a human sacrifice to an Iron Age fertility goddess, made Grauballe Man an instant celebrity. The media reported profusely on this unique find and thousands of people came to see him when he was temporarily displayed at the Prehistoric Museum in Aarhus. Scientists were no less keen to investigate the body and an intensive programme of investigations was launched before Grauballe Man was eventually conserved so he could be displayed to the public.

Below you can find out more about Grauballe Man’s journey from the bog to the museum. You can read about how he was displayed and conserved and what the various investigations back then have revealed about the life, death and time of this Iron Age man.