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The landscape setting of bog bodies: Interdisciplinary research into the site location of Yde Girl, The Netherlands

van Beek, R, Candel, JHJ, Quik, C, Bos, JAA, Gouw-Bouman, MTIJ, Makaske, B, Maas, GJ
TheHolocene 2019 v.29 no.7 pp. 1206-1222
archaeology, bogs, cultural landscape, geography, geomorphology, girls, interdisciplinary research, palynology, peatlands, villages, Netherlands
Past studies of archaeological bog finds, such as bog bodies, wooden trackways and a wide variety of other materials, are characterized by a strong focus on material culture. Their original environmental and cultural context has received far less attention. This paper centres on the original landscape setting of bog bodies. Interdisciplinary reconstructions of the physical and cultural landscape at the time of deposition can lead to significant new and more detailed insights into the context and meaning of this remarkable phenomenon. We aim to show the value of such interdisciplinary research by reconstructing the original physical and cultural landscape setting of the most iconic bog body of The Netherlands: Yde Girl. This approximately 16-year-old girl was killed about 2000 years ago and deposited in a bog south of the modern-day village of Yde (province of Drenthe). Our interdisciplinary research team used a combination of research methods from physical geography, geomorphology, palynology and archaeology to analyse both the site itself and its wider environment. This kind of integrated, detailed landscape research on bog bodies has hardly been done yet. We expect that our research design, methodology and results may also be applied in future research of other bog bodies. Furthermore, they may inspire research on other types of archaeological find categories from peatlands.