Lindow Man: How did Pete Marsh die?


Lindow Man: How did Pete Marsh die?

This presentation is a standalone lesson on Lindow Man. It presents pupils with a range of evidence about the discovery of ‘Pete Marsh’ in a bog near Lindow. Pupils will draw conclusions about the most likely cause of his death. Using the evidence from a variety of experts they write an account of how he is most likely to have died.

Ideal as a baseline assessment; as an introduction to Historical Enquiry or; as an engaging and relevant cover lesson.


Lindow Man: How did Pete Marsh die?

Pete Marsh (Lindow Man) is the name given to a Bog Body found near Lindow. He is one of the best preserved of the bodies found in such circumstances in the United Kingdom. Dying at roughly the time of the Roman occupation of Britain, there is a great deal of physical and circumstantial evidence around his fate. With the remains showing a variety of injuries, pupils can assess which would have been the fatal blow. Science plays a part too, his body reveals toxins were present. Were these to blame? To add to the mystery, there is evidence of Druidic rituals that contain elements similar to those present at the site of Pete Marsh’s burial site and body. Was he sacrificed?

Lindow Man: How did Pete Marsh die?

With the body having been examined by leading experts in each of these fields there is plenty of reliable evidence for historians to access. However, they don’t agree. There is debate around aspects of the case and it is interpreted differently. This provides history teachers with an excellent opportunity. Pupils can use real evidence, on a real case to make substantiated judgements. They can’t really get it ‘wrong’ either. Not only will they find the Lindow Man story fascinating, they will be undertaking some pretty high level thinking and historical enquiry.

Teaching the Lindow Man story

The evidence of Pete Marsh is presented to your class via a presentation. It takes them through the different aspects bit by bit so as to not overwhelm them. The teaching input is very much based around asking pupils to back up their assertions. This can lead to a piece of writing that is structured and guided by the latter stages of the presentation.

Lindow Man is an ideal ‘What is History?’ type activity. It can be used to create a baseline assessment of pupils new to the school. Or it would be a relevant and useful cover lesson as it is highly focussed on historical skills.


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