Lindow Man - A Bog Body Mystery At Manchester Museum

By Georgi Gyton | 21 April 2008
A photo of a decayed body in the ground.

Lindow Man. © the Trustees of the British Museum

Exhibition preview: Lindow Man: A Bog Body Mystery at The Manchester Museum until April 19 2009.

One of the British Museum’s most popular exhibits is on loan to Manchester Museum for the next year.

Lindow Man was discovered in 1984 on Lindow Moss in Cheshire. Since then scientists, archaeologists, historians, curators - and the public - have been eager to find out more about him.

A Bog Body Mystery looks at the story of Lindow Man through seven different inquisitive minds, including those of a forensic archaeologist, a peat digger, a curator and a druid priest.

Exploring a variety of perspectives, viewpoints and experiences, the exhibition doesn’t seek to answer the mystery but discuss its possibilities and explore what Lindow man means to us today.

A photo of a bronze shield.

Bronze Shield boss from the River Thames. © the Trustees of the British Museum

A number of different objects have been used to both illustrate and contextualise the story of Lindow Man, and they vary from the Wandsworth Shield Boss to Care Bears. The objects have been chosen to provide personal insights into what Lindow Man means to people - past and present.

“Perhaps we still need Lindow Man to teach us about the magic, the enchantment of the landscape, of ancestry, of our heritage and all the ways in which they connect so powerfully,” offered Emma Restall Orr, Druid Priest.

A photo of a reconstruction of a man's head. He has a beard

A reconstruction of the head of the Lindow Man © the Trustees of the British Museum

In the case of the Care Bear, Lindow Man brought back a feeling of 1980s nostalgia for Susan Chadwick, a former member of the Lindow Primary School choir, who used to explore Lindow Moss as a child.

"Lindow Moss was somewhere I'd been walking, playing but very familiar with all through childhood and suddenly they've made this discovery of a body," explained Susan.

"Lindow Man to me is just one big question that needs a lot of answers. I'd like to see him back here and get some more answers... this is our neighbour."

Lindow Man has been in the care of the British Museum since his discovery, and has previously been displayed at the Manchester Museum in 1987 and 1991.

“There are few moments in life when you can look into the face of someone who is 2,000 years old and ask questions about them,” said Bryan Sitch, Head of Humanities at Manchester University. “This exhibition offers a unique opportunity to do just that.”

This is an exhibition preview. If you've been to see the show, why not let us know what you think?

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