Displaying a bog body

When Grauballe Man was discovered, it was considered unethical to display a human body. Yet Professor Glob insisted that he would be preserved and displayed. Over the years Grauballe Man has been exhibited in various ways and in different locations.

The 50ies - The Prehistoric Museum

Since 1955, after his conservation, Grauballe Man was exhibited at the Prehistoric Museum in Aarhus. He was given a place of honour in the museum’s galleries, where he shared a room with a large assemblage of Iron Age weaponry from Illerup Ådal, which had been deposited here after a large battle. Later he gained the company of mummy ‘Petra’, a mummy found in Peru by adventurer Jørgen Bitsch.

The 70ies - Move to Moesgaard

In 1970 the museum moved to the manor house at at Moesgaard, south of Aarhus. It seems there were still some reservations about displaying a dead body, as he was placed in the corner of the gallery housing the Illerup Ådal weaponry, with the briefest of information. Yet visitors revered him, marvelling at this man from the past. When the 50th anniversary of his discovery was approaching in 2002, it was felt that the time was ripe for a new, up-to-date exhibition, with this unique discovery at its centre. Moreover, it was a good time to assess the state of preservation of Grauballe Man and secure him for posterity.

The early 2000s - Climate control

To display Grauballe Man in the best way, whilst also keeping in mind his future preservation, a new, light-weight and invisible mount to support him was made. A new exhibition case was also built especially for him. The climate within this case could be carefully regulated. Oxygen and moisture levels, as well as temperature were controlled so the breakdown of Grauballe Man’s soft tissues would be minimised. A UV-absorbent film was included in the glass to protect Grauballe Man from ultraviolet rays.  In his new case, Grauballe Man finally lay in a well-deserved place at the centre of the new permanent exhibition.


In 2014 Grauballe Man made his final move, to the newly built Moesgaard Museum located next to the old manor house. Here, he is currently displayed in climate controlled conditions within his own space in the Iron Age section of the permanent galleries. In ‘The current exhibition’ below you can find out more about Grauballe Man’s display.