New method reveals the secrets of bog bodies

August 13, 2016
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Archaeologists from the University of Aarhus in Denmark have revealed that Iron Age Europeans had an interesting clothing. Such a conclusion scientists are drawn from the new analyzing method. The microbes of the mummified preserved in bogs, told scientists even how people were dressed.

The Danish archaeologists used a new method for an analysis of the best-preserved bog of the Iron Age Europeans. Thanks to the new approach, scientists could read the secrets of proteins in the fibres to determine exactly what type of animal they came from.

The lead researcher Luise Brandt from the University of Aarhus explained the advantages of their new technique, which can help archaeologists to differentiate between the materials found in bogs: goat or sheep wool, for example.

Brandt prepares a skin sample for protein analysis in the laboratory at the Center for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Brandt prepares a skin sample for protein analysis in the laboratory at the Center for GeoGenetics, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Many examples of Iron Age dresses and garments are shown at the Danish National Museum. Karin Frei sees great potential in the new method, which is able to identify the origin of an ancient material. Thus, the archaeologists will learn more about how the prehistoric societies produced clothing from animals.

That is a very interesting part of the history, clothes were typically an indicator of a person’s position in society, added Frei.

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