Lindow Manchester

A Visitor to the Lindow Man Exhibition

Mr Will Charlton, a Trustee of the LSW Museum, visited the Lindow Man exhibition as part of a fact finding tour last December. He writes:

‘My next impression from a first reading of the text on some of the walls was that the information and conclusions of each of the 7 persons were presented as of equal value: a Druid’s on a par with the Professor who had been brought in to supervise the investigation, with those of the men who had found the body etc. And that the exhibition itself was, as I had inferred from the web-site, focused on Lindow Man: I found no reference to finds of other humans buried in peat/bogs. My confusion became anger: leaving aside subjectivity and knowledge and the off-handed presentation of Lindow Man himself, the exhibitors seemed unware of the possibility of degrees of detached knowledge (and therefore utility)….I left dis-satisfied, very dis-satisfied.’

This was not the end of the matter. Mr Charlton goes on: –
‘Something, perhaps successful visits to other exhibitions, encouraged a return. I am glad that I did: I was
prepared to investigate the copious information that was available. Processing, synthesizing that information
then and since has lead to my main conclusion: education is more than information, it is ideology, what each
of us believe and how that is transmitted, taught, disputed.

‘…closer, serendipitous, reading of the information on Lindow Man made clear it was different to that advertised: there has been change since the 2 previous ’87 and ’91 exhibitions, in archeological techniques and therefore what can be inferred but also to attitudes to such remains: ie the mystery has changed. Which, for myself, was and is more than enough justification for this further exhibition. Couldn’t, shouldn’t it have been advertised along those lines?’

We have noticed a number of people revisit the exhibition after being disappointed initially. They come to appreciate it as they get to know it better.

I don’t have a problem with setting up any of our speakers on the same level as one another. After all they all talking about the same person, Lindow Man, and their different perspectives are stimulating each in their own way. They are on an equal footing. I don’t think we can claim that some sort of hierarchy should be observed in the commentaries. That seems to be going back to an old way of doing things.

The exhibition’s starting point is that science hasn’t been able to tell us what we really want to know. The trimmed hairs of Lindow Man’s moustache are fascinating in their way but where does that get us? We still can only speculate on the motives for killing him.


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