Affective Artefacts: Melanie Giles (Manchester) on Bog Bodies

by | Jun 1, 2023 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

Affective Artefacts proudly presents

Professor Melanie Giles (Manchester), Enchanted Garments: The Clothing of the Barrock Bog Body

Samuel Alexander Building, A112

Tue, 6 Jun 2023, 16:00–17:30

Please register here.

In this session on the affective power of artefacts, Professor Giles will present a re-evaluation of the late seventeenth-century clothing from a body found preserved in a bog near Barrock (Caithness). Mel will discuss what they can tell us about the life – and death – of a young man in this upland landscape and explore how the curious power of the bog gave them new importance and even supernatural power, in the eyes of those who unearthed them. Using an object itinerary approach, Mel will examine the contrastive history of these human remains and the associated shoes, pocket contents and clothing, to think critically about the relative value of these threads; from craft insight to forensic evidence to the particular aura of fragile substances whose preservation appears to defy time.


Professor Melanie Giles also generously offers a collections-based handling workshop at Manchester Museum

Affective Artefacts: making exchanges – ritual deposition in the Iron Age and early Roman period 

Wednesday. 7 June, 11.30-1pm

Manchester Museum

Please note that registration is required to attend this event. Please send an email to to register for this event.

Following on from the lecture on ‘Enchanted Garments’ this handling workshop will showcase Manchester Museum collections which speak of the power and meaning of bogs and wetland contexts in the late Iron Age and early Roman era of northern Britain. We will meet some of its fascinating inhabitants through the natural history collections, and then have a chance to explore and discuss a series of archaeological finds which speak to the exchanges and offerings people made in wet places – bogs, springs and rivers – using the Bigbury hoard material (from Sussex) and a unique golden torc from Cliviger, Burnley. The workshop will suggest these objects were offered up as part of ritual practices concerned with fertility, farming, craft skill, violence and power which define this period: one of major socio-political change as the Roman Conquest moved from south to north.  


Image credits: Caithness landscape, looking towards Halkirk from Beinn Freiceadain. Wikimedia commons.