Burial Customs in Early Iron Age


Illustration Niels Bach

Our knowledge about the burial customs at the time of Tollund Man, shows us that all dead were cremated. Full bodies were never buried. Tollund Man, Elling Woman and the other bog bodies from that period were therefore not buried in a normal manner. It is thus an impossibility that these could be regular graves with extraordinary good conditions for preservation.

How bodies are preserved in the bogs

In every culture, that uses cremation of the dead, cremation itself has a distinct meaning, whether it is regarded as a cleansing, release of the soul from the body, or something else entirely. It is therefore certain that the placement of un-burned bodies in the bog has had a special meaning.