Bogged Down
Pathways Volume 4 Cover: photo depicts stone path with gate


Bog bodies
Soft tissue preservation
Radiocarbon dating
Isotopic analysis
Medical imaging
Tollund Man

How to Cite

Woytowich, S. (2023). Bogged Down: A Case Study of Tollund Man Using Bioarchaeological Techniques. Pathways, 4(1), 56–62.


This paper explores the bioarchaeological methods employed to investigate bog bodies, which are human remains preserved in peat bogs. The distinctive preservation conditions of bogs have facilitated the remarkable survival of soft tissues, hair, and even textiles, dating back thousands of years. Commencing with a concise historical overview of bog bodies and the associated cultural beliefs, this section elucidates how bogs foster preservation. Bioarchaeological techniques for studying of bog bodies encompass note-taking, photography, radiocarbon dating, isotopic analysis, and medical imaging. Subsequent application of these methods to the case study of Tollund Man, a renowned bog body unearthed in the 1950s, allows researchers to reconstruct Tollund Man’s dietary habits, lifestyle, and cause of death, thereby providing fresh insights into the lives of individuals during the Iron Age. The study of bog bodies grants a unique glimpse into the past, and the evolving bioarchaeological methods utilized in their analysis continue to enhance our comprehension of human history.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Shyla Woytowich