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As new peat replaces the old peat, the older material underneath rots and releases humic acid, also known as bog acid.

The bog acids, with p H levels similar to vinegar, conserve the human bodies in the same way as fruit is preserved by pickling.

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A bog body is a human cadaver that has been naturally mummified in a peat bog.

Such bodies, sometimes known as bog people, are both geographically and chronologically widespread, having been dated to between 8000 BCE and the Second World War.

These Pre-Roman Iron Age peoples lived in sedentary communities, who had built villages, and whose society was hierarchical.

They were agriculturalists, raising animals in captivity as well as growing crops.

The oldest known bog body is the skeleton of Koelbjerg Man from Denmark, who has been dated to 8000 BCE, during the Mesolithic period.

The overwhelming majority of bog bodies – including examples such as Tollund Man, Grauballe Man and Lindow Man – date to the Iron Age and have been found in northwest European lands, particularly Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the British Isles.

When such specimens are exposed to the normal atmosphere, they may begin to decompose rapidly.

As a result, many specimens have been effectively destroyed.

Researchers discovered that conservation also required that they place the body in the bog during the winter or early spring when the water temperature is cold—i.e., less than 4 °C (40 °F).

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