British Museum announces year long loan of Lindow Man to Manchester

Lindow Man, the mid-first century AD bog body seen by millions of visitors to the British Museum every year, will travel on long-term loan to The Manchester Museum in 2008. He will go on public display in a special exhibition Lindow Man: A Bog Body Mystery from 19 April 2008 – 19 April 2009.

The loan was proposed by the British Museum to The Manchester Museum as part of its Partnership UK scheme. The scheme reflects an ongoing commitment to enabling as many people as possible throughout the UK to see important parts of the national collection. This will be the third time Lindow Man has been on display in the region since his discovery at Lindow Moss, Cheshire in 1984.

Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum commented: ‘It is a major undertaking to transport Lindow Man to Manchester for obvious conservation reasons but I am delighted that people in the North West of England will once again have the opportunity to meet this everyman of pre-historic Britain at The Manchester Museum”.

Lindow Man: A Bog Body Mystery will explore the different stories relating to Lindow Man, and look at what he means to us today. Seven people with particular connections to him have been interviewed for this exhibition. Their personal experiences provide a unique insight into the impact that he has had on their lives, and those of many others.

As the best preserved bog body to be found in Britain, Lindow Man is a find of great European and international significance. The preservation of his remains by British Museum scientists and the collaboration of experts from across the UK to study who he was and why he died, has considerably added to our knowledge of the period and Iron Age ritual activities. He continues to be the subject of new research and study. At the British Museum he can be understood within the wider cultural context of Britain and Europe at the time he lived, as part of the Museum’s interpretation of civilisations around the world. His arrival at The Manchester Museum will again provide visitors there with the opportunity to understand him within the local context, where his presence will have different and complementary resonances.

For further information please contact:

Hannah Boulton at the British Museum +44 (0)20 7323 8522/hboulton@britishmuseum.org 
Ros Helliwell at the Manchester Museum +44 (0)161 306 1583/Ros.Helliwell@manchester.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

  • Lindow Man was previously on loan to the Manchester Museum from April – December 1987 and then again between 25 March and 21 September 1991.
  • Partnership UK is the strategic framework for the British Museum’s programme of engagement with audiences throughout the country. More about Partnership UK
  • When his well-preserved body was unearthed in August 1984 at Lindow Moss near Wilmslow, Cheshire, Lindow Man as he became known, caused a media sensation. It was one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of the 1980’s. He was the best preserved bog body to be discovered in Britain. Conserved for nearly two thousand years by the acidic, anaerobic conditions of Lindow Moss it was possible to make out his facial features, a distinctive furrowed brow with close-cropped hair and beard. For the first time it was possible to see the face of a person from Britain’s prehistoric past. Like other well preserved bog bodies found in Ireland, Denmark, Netherlands and Northern Germany, the remains of Lindow Man offered many opportunities for scientific discovery. When he died he was around 25 years old. He was approximately 5ft 6 inches tall, well-built and in good general health, although he did suffer from intestinal parasites. His last meal was a piece of unleavened bread. Radiocarbon dating revealed that Lindow Man died sometime in the 1st century AD, a period of great social upheaval in Britain due to the influence of Rome. He suffered a horrific death. Two blows to his skull rendered him unconscious. A sinew found at his neck was probably used as a garrotte and a there was a deep slit in his throat. His body was left face down in a pool in Lindow Moss where it remained until its discovery nearly 2,000 years later.
  • For more information on Lindow Man visit the Explore section of the website
  • For more information about The Manchester Museum go to www.manchester.ac.uk/museum