(PCM) In 1983, the preserved head and other tissue fragments of a woman were discovered in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Cheshire, England. The partially preserved body was discovered by commercial peat cutters Andy Mould and Stephen Dooley. They first noticed an unusual item on the conveyor belt, which was similar in shape and size to a football. They took the object from the conveyor to examine it more closely. After they removed the adhesive remains of peat, they realized the object in question was an incomplete preserved human head with attached remnants of soft tissue, brain, eye, optic nerve, and hair.
The men took their discovery to the authorities, who then launched a murder investigation. For over two decades, a local 57-year-old man Peter Reyn-Bardt, had been under suspicion of murdering his estranged wife, Malika de Fernandez, and of disposing of her body. Believing the remains to be his former wife, Peter Reyn-Bardt confessed to murdering her in 1960. When testing later found the head was from 250 AD, Reyn-Bardt tried to revoke his confession but was still convicted of her murder, despite the fact that no traces of Malika’s body were ever discovered.
Here’s where things get even more strange, and really make us question these peat bogs, as just one year later, in 1984, the partially preserved body of a man, now known as the Lindow Man, Lindow II, or (jokingly) Pete Marsh was discovered just one year later in the very same Lindow Moss peat bog.
According to Wikipedia, the find, described as “one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 1980s”, caused a media sensation. It helped invigorate study of British bog bodies, which had previously been neglected in comparison to those found in the rest of Europe.
At the time of death, Lindow Man was a healthy male in his mid-20s, and he may have been someone of high status, as his body shows little evidence of heavy or rough work. There has been debate over the reason for Lindow Man’s death, for the nature of his demise was violent, perhaps ritualistic; after a last meal of charred bread, Lindow Man was strangled, hit on the head, and his throat cut. Dating the body has proven problematic, but it is thought that Lindow Man was deposited into Lindow Moss, face down, some time between 2 BC and 119 AD, in either the Iron Age or Romano-British period.
After the discovery of Lindow Man, there were no further archaeological excavations at Lindow Moss until 1987. A large piece of skin was found by workmen on the elevator on in 1987. On this occasion, the police left the investigation to the archaeologists. Over 70 pieces were found, constituting Lindow III. Although the bone was not as well preserved as that of Lindow Man, the other tissues survived in better condition. The final discovery was that of Lindow IV in 1988. Part of a left leg and buttocks were found on the elevator, from a site just 50 feet west of where Lindow Man was found. Nearly three months later a right thigh was discovered in the peat on the bucket of a digger. The proximity of the discovery sites, coupled with the fact that the remains were shown to come from an adult male, means that Lindow IV is probably part of Lindow Man.
If these discoveries tell us anything, it would probably be a safe bet to stay out of Lindow Moss and far, far away from any peat bogs!