About Mission 2: Bog Body
The Bog Body mission introduces five science-based activities through the investigation of a peat bog and the preserved body found there.
Am y gors (About the bog)
In this activity the learner accesses information about the geography, geology, chemistry and biology of an acidic peat bog in order to gather the clues that they think are most relevant to the preservation of organic matter. It presents cross disciplinary opportunities in that it not only allows for focus on the unique peat land ecosystem but also the huge impact humans have had on this environment historically and to the present day. The interaction is simple and intuitive to maintain the focus on active immersion and learning.
Am y corff (About the body)
About the body is an investigation into the body which has been found preserved in a bog. It encourages the learner to look closely at all of the details to extract clues which could give them answers as to who this person was: examining pictures of the body for clues about the person's life and death, looking at the teeth to determine how old they were and when they died and measuring their limbs to find out how tall they were.
About the body presents cross curricular opportunities, looking at evidence of how the person lived and who they were biologically and placing this in a possible historical context.
Atal y pydredd (Stop the rot)
Stop the rot explores how various conditions can affect decomposition. The user must explore how different levels of water, pH, oxygen and temperature can affect the rate at which a body decomposes. The aim is to find the conditions in which a body can be preserved, and conclude how long the body found in the bog could have been there.
Profion metel (Metal tests)
Some metal objects have been found with the body in the Cors Las peat bog. Finding out when they were made could reveal how old the body is. Metal objects known to be from the Iron Age were found some years back in another bog close to where the body was found. Test both sets of objects in acid solutions to reveal their composition and compare the results.
This activity provides cross curricular opportunities including looking at the history of metal extraction and why metal composition can provide such important information for archaeologists.
Y dail a'r paill (Leaves and pollen)
Leaves and Pollen is a plant classification and identification activity. Using two simple tools the learner is able to find out which plants have been found in the bog. The activity provides an opportunity to introduce peat lands as an invaluable historical record. Preserved matter in peat provides a record of climate, weather patterns, vegetation patterns and much more over time. This activity also provides cross curricular opportunities to look at the roles of plants historically. In this instance, the identity of the plants will become a clue in solving the mystery as to the origins of the body found in the bog.