June 2024 This was the year I made the pilgrimage to Aarhus in Jutland to see Tollund Man and Grauballe Man, lying in their eternal slumber. Dug out of the peat bogs near Aarhus these perfectly preserved Iron Age bodies transported me back to a world of ritual and mystery.

In early spring 1950 Tollund Man had been brought out from the bog by two men who were cutting peat for their winter fuel. He lay as though asleep, on his side, arms and legs bent, eyes closed, lips pursed, a gentle expression on his face. A rope made of leather thongs, encircled his neck and coiled down his back. He had been hanged. Tollund Man now rests in the atmospheric ambience of Silkeborg Museum near Aarhus.

In spring 1952 Grauballe Man was discovered in a nearby bog, again by peat-cutters. He lay at an angle in the peat, more or less on his chest, head and upper body slightly raised, left leg extended and right arm and leg bent, a look of pain and terror on his face. His throat had been cut. The Iron Age Grauballe Man now rests in the magnificent museum on the outskirts of Aarhus.