Bog body studies have focused on rich individual biographies, largely neglecting broader spatial and temporal trends. Here, the authors present the first large-scale overview of well-dated human remains from northern European mires, based on a database of 266 sites and more than 1000 bog mummies, bog skeletons and disarticulated/partial skeletal remains. Analysis demonstrates fluctuating depositions of human remains between the Early Neolithic and early modern times, significant and shifting spatial clustering, and variation in site characteristics (e.g. preservation, use frequency, cause of death). The results emphasise previously unrecognised activity phases and highlight issues with categorising motives, especially around ritual violence.