Bog Bodies Tour

Explore the stories behind the 2000 year old bodies found in Irish bogs

At the Museum

Discover fascinating Iron Age finds from Irish bogs on this tour which  includes remarkably well preserved human remains, who are referred to as bog bodies. Students learn why these bodies may have been placed in bogs, who they may have been and even what their last meal was!

Also included are associated objects from bogs such as cauldrons, horse trappings, weapons, fur cloaks and prehistoric butter.

On a tour you can:

  • Learn how bogs can preserve clothing, butter and even human remains
  • Come ‘face to face’ with a 2,000 year old bog body!
  • Look at the evidence to discuss possible reasons for human sacrifice in the past
  • Compare the Iron Age rituals of Ireland, England and Denmark
  • Discover the Iron Age evidence for the Celt’s influence in Ireland
  • Examine the connection between ancient kingship rituals and the bog bodies
  • Hear about the techniques used to examine and preserve the bog bodies

Key Curriculum Strands

  • Life, society, work and culture in the past
  • Continuity and change over time
  • Early people and ancient societies

Maximum 15 per group. Duration: 40 mins

Tours should be booked at least two weeks in advance, via the Bookings Office

Want to explore on your own with your class?

To make the most of your visit, we recommend you set some tasks and plan activities for the students to complete.

This presentation may help your research:

The Conservation of Bog Bodies   (2.68 MB, Adobe PDF)

In The Classroom

Here are some suggested follow up activities

  • Using fabric or strips of leather or ribbon, create a plaited Iron Age armlet with Celtic decoration like the one found on the arm of Old Croghan Man from Co.Offaly. See this report for images:Analysis and Conservation of an Armring from  
  • Compare the preservative qualities of dry deserts with those of wet bogs using preserved human remains from ancient Egypt and Iron Age as case studies
  • Compare the formation of blanket bogs and raised bogs
  • Pretend you are a farmer in Iron Age Ireland. The weather has been bad and crops are not growing.  As a pagan you may have believed that the gods were angry and punishing your people. Write an account of a meeting between you and your neighbours as you decide how to please your gods once again.


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