Why Did Ancient People Bury Butter in Bogs?

Peat bogs are favorite hunting grounds of archeologists because of the many odd surprises these marshy wetlands have revealed from time to time. These wetlands of decaying plant matter have remarkable preservation properties. Low in oxygen and high in tannic acid, bogs are perfect place to fall into and have your bodies stay intact for millenniums to come. Ritual sacrifices by drowning in peat bogs were common in northwestern Europe. We know this from the thousands of “bog bodies” that have been pulled out from bogs across Europe. A variety of Bronze-age artifacts and mediaeval manuscripts have also been recovered by peat-cutters—people who harvest the peat and use it as fuel for cooking, throughout the centuries. Another ubiquitous find are stashes of butter, carefully wrapped in wooden buckets and barrels and buried in peats for reasons that are not entirely clear.

bog butter barrel

Illustrations of a barrel used to store bog butter and a churn.


Source: amusingplanet.com

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