Pete Marsh Forges Links with Museum; Iron Age Man Will Be Star Attraction

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson

ONE of the most fascinating figures from distant history will be the star of the Great North Museum's first major exhibition.

The pounds 26m venture, based on the Hancock Museum in Newcastle, opens on May 23.

And its summer exhibition, running from August 1 to November 27, will feature Iron Age Lindow Man, whose remarkably preserved body was found in a peat bog in Cheshire.

Lindow Man, who lived in the First Century AD was discovered in August 1984 when workmen were cutting peat at Lindow Moss bog.

Nicknamed Pete Marsh, he will come to Newcastle on loan from the British Museum.

Research by British Museum scientists has provided more information on Lindow Man - his health, appearance and how he might have died - than on any other prehistoric person who lived in Britain.

The conditions in the peat bog meant that the man's skin, hair and many of his internal organs are well preserved. Radiocarbon dating shows that he died between AD 20 and 90.

He was about 25 years of age, around 168cm tall and weighed 60-65 kg. He had probably done very little hard, manual work, because his finger nails were well manicured.

His beard and moustache had been cut by a pair of shears. There is no evidence that he was unwell when he died, but he was suffering from parasitic worms. His last meal probably included unleavened bread made from wheat and barley, cooked over a fire on which heather had been burnt.

The man met a horrific death. He was struck on the top of his head twice with a heavy object, perhaps a narrow bladed axe.

He also received a vicious blow in the back - perhaps from someone's knee - which broke one of his ribs. He had a thin cord tied around his neck which may have been used to strangle him and break his neck.

By now he was dead, but then his throat was cut. …