Sacred Bogs and Ritual Sacrifice

Stéphane Thibault >_

Bogs also served as foci for metalwork deposits. This practice was not restricted to Celtic people, and features for example in Germanic cult […]. The Gundestrup Cauldron, widely seen as the quintessential “ Celtic ” cult artefact, was in fact found in a bog in Himmerland, Denmark […]. Human remains are mainly known from Germanic contexts, but sometimes occur in Britain and Ireland. The Lindow bog body (Lindow Moss, Cheshire) is a recent example. Dating of the body is problematic […], but radiocarbon dates from the most recent analysis cluster around the first century AD […]. Lindow man suffered a threefold death (by axe blows, garrotting and cutting of the throat). Whether or not he was a victim of human sacrifice […], this triplication suggests a death with ritual links. Where datable, however, British bog bodies are mainly of bronze age or Roman date […], and their ritual associations unclear. The extent to which such deposits represent an iron age ritual phenomenon is thus uncertain.

Webster, Jane (1996 [1995]). « Sanctuaries and sacred places », dans Miranda J. Green (dir.), The Celtic World, ch. 24, Routledge, Londres et New York, p. 450.