Dead Men Tell Tales: Bogs, Bog Bodies and Bog Queens
- Online talk
Tollund Man By Chocho8, Wikimedia Commons
Dead Men Tell Tales: Bogs, Bog Bodies, and Bog Queens
A Folklore Society online talk by Sophia Kingshill
Tuesday 24 January 2023 at 18:00 GMT
Peat bogs have a remarkable power of preservation.Bodies dating from the Iron Age, dug up from bogs in Denmark, Germany, Ireland and the UK, have been mistaken for recent murder victims: they hold information on how they died, what they ate, and why they were killed. Interpretations of that data tell us about our own preoccupations with exclusion and punishment, social relationship, power and gender. Theories about the ‘bog goddess’ or ‘bog queen’ indicate the gendering of landscape, while language and folklore relating to the bogs themselves shows how the natural world is made to serve political or economic ends.
Sophia Kingshill is co-author of The Lore of Scotland (2009) and The Fabled Coast (2012), and author of Mermaids (2015; paperback 2022). She is Hon. Secretary of The Folklore Society.
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