Soldiers from the time of Christ preserved in peat bog
Bones of 200 slaughtered soldiers from the time of Christ are so well preserved in peat bog that their DNA can be studied
By Eddie Wrenn
PUBLISHED: 10:18 EST, 4 July 2012 | UPDATED: 11:29 EST, 4 July 2012
Danish archaeologists have re-opened a mass grave of scores of slaughtered Iron Age warriors to find new clues about their fate and the bloody practices of Germanic tribes on the edge of the Roman Empire.
Bones of around 200 soldiers have already been found preserved in a peat bog near the village of Alken on Denmark's Jutland peninsula.
Experts started digging again on Monday, saying they expected to find more bodies dating back 2,000 years to around the time of Christ.
Love this stuff. Would be absolutely honored to be a part of an archeological dig, not so much the bodies (which are ofcourse extremely interesting) but more so the artifacts. Coins, jars, weaponry, buildings etc.
I love history. Thanks Tack!!
Which reminds me, must find all episodes of Time Team online.
While I am sure the bodies themselves will add greatly to the understanding of the period, I question if there will be much DNA recovered even in the teeth. Peat bogs are typically extremely acidic, and even weak acid destroys not only the DNA but the bone mineral that protects the DNA, which is why most peat bog bodies look like black empty leather sacks. Occasionaly something odd happens such as a lot of snail shells being present which adds high levels of calcium and thus preserves the DNA and bone. This one may be a wait and see. Still a nice find by a-tack which I had not seen before. Thanks!