British Museum Lindow Man, London

A special exhibition of the Lindow Man in the Roman Britain galleries.

A special exhibition of the Lindow Man in the Roman Britain galleries.

The body of a man discovered in August 1984 when workmen were cutting peat at Lindow Moss bog in north west England. It was carefully transported to the British Museum and thoroughly examined by a team of scientists. Their research has allowed us to learn more about this person - his health, his appearance and how he might have died - than any other prehistoric person found in Britain. Click on "Find Out More" for the whole story. The conditions in the peat bog meant that the man's skin, hair and many of his internal organs are well preserved. Radiocarbon dating shows that he died between AD 20 and 90. He was about 25 years of age, around 168 cm tall and weighed 60-65 kg. He had probably done very little hard, manual work, because his finger nails were well manicured. His beard and moustache had been cut by a pair of shears. There is no evidence that he was unwell when he died, but he was suffering from parasitic worms. His last meal probably included unleavened bread made from wheat and barley, cooked over a fire on which heather had been burnt. The man met a horrific death. He was struck on the top of his head twice with a heavy object, perhaps a narrow bladed axe. He also received a vicious blow in the back - perhaps from someone's knee - which broke one of his ribs. He had a thin cord tied around his neck which may have been used to strangle him and break his neck. By now he was dead, but then his throat was cut. Finally, he was placed face down in a pool in the bog. This elaborate sequence of events suggests that his death may have been ritual killing. Some people have argued that he was the victim of a human sacrifice possibly carried out by Druids.

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Exhibition fact file

What's Inside

The body of a man discovered in August 1984 when workmen were cutting peat at Lindow Moss bog in north west England. Click on "Find Out More" for the whole story.

Museum

British Museum Lindow Man, London

Date

1996

Designer

British Museum Design Department

UNIQUE FEATURES

A special enclosure for the Lindow Man. Complex humidity control and fibre optic lighting.

PHOTO CREDIT

Reproduction of photographs by kind permission of the Trustees of The British Museum.

Cases Used

Custom solutions