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Iron Age 'Bog Bodies' Unveiled
BBC ^ | 1-7-2006

Posted on 01/07/2006 3:02:22 PM PST by blam

Iron Age 'bog bodies' unveiled

Bog bodies have been found throughout north-west Europe

Archaeologists have unveiled two Iron Age "bog bodies" which were found in the Republic of Ireland. The bodies, which are both male and have been dated to more than 2,000 years ago, probably belong to the victims of a ritual sacrifice.

In common with other bog bodies, they show signs of having been tortured before their deaths.

Details of the finds are outlined in a BBC Timewatch documentary to be screened on 20 January.

"My belief is that these burials are offerings to the gods of fertility by kings to ensure a successful reign"

Ned Kelly, National Museum of Ireland

The first body dropped off a peat cutting machine in February 2003 in Clonycavan, near Dublin. The forearms, hands and lower abdomen are missing, believed to have been hacked off by the machine.

The second was found in May the same year in Croghan, just 25 miles (40km) from Clonycavan.

Old Croghan Man, as it has become known, was missing a head and lower limbs. It was discovered by workmen clearing a drainage ditch through a peat bog.

Tanned skin

Although the police were initially called in, an inspection by the state pathologist confirmed that this was an archaeological case.

Old Croghan man was beheaded and dismembered Both bodies were subsequently taken to the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

A team of experts from the UK and Ireland have been examining the bodies to learn how they lived and died.

Radiocarbon dating, for example, would show that both had died at similar times - around 2,300 years ago.

One of these experts is Don Brothwell, the York University archaeologist who led the scientific investigation of Lindow Man, the bog body found in Cheshire in 1984.

Hundreds of bodies have been recovered from peat wetlands across Northern Europe. The earliest accounts date back to the 18th Century. The unique chemistry of peat bogs essentially mummifies bodies.

Summer death

The peat-building Sphagnum moss embeds remains in cold, acid and oxygen-free conditions that immobilise bacteria.

"The way peat wetlands preserve bodies has been described as a process of 'slow-cooking' which tans them dark brown," Timewatch producer John Hayes-Fisher told the BBC News website.

Clonycavan man was a young male no more than 5ft 2in tall. Beneath his hair, which retains its unusual "raised" style, was a massive wound caused by heavy cutting object that smashed open his skull.

Chemical analysis of the hair showed that Clonycavan man's diet was rich in vegetables in the months leading up to his death, suggesting he died in summer.

It also revealed that he had been using a type of Iron Age hair gel; a vegetable plant oil mixed with a resin that had probably come from south-western France or Spain.

Dismembered body

Old Croghan man was also young - probably in his early to mid 20s - but much taller than his counterpart from 25 miles away. Scientists worked out from the length of his arms that he would have stood around 6ft 6in tall.

He had been horrifically tortured before death. His nipples had been cut and he had been stabbed in the ribs. A cut on his arm suggested he had tried to defend himself during the attack that ended his life.

The young man was later beheaded and dismembered. Hazel ropes were passed through his arms before he was buried in the bog.

Food remains in his stomach show that Old Croghan man had eaten milk and cereals before he died. But chemical analysis of his nails showed that he had more meat in his diet than Clonycavan man.

This suggests that he died in a colder season than Clonycavan man, when vegetables were more scarce. It may also explain why his remains are better preserved.

Hopeful offering

The researchers used digital technology to reconstruct the distorted face of Clonycavan man.

From his studies on these bog bodies and others, Ned Kelly, keeper of Irish antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, has developed a new theory which explains why so many remains are buried on important political or royal boundaries.

"My belief is that these burials are offerings to the gods of fertility by kings to ensure a successful reign," Mr Kelly told the BBC's Timewatch programme.

"Bodies are placed in the borders immediately surrounding royal land or on tribal boundaries to ensure a good yield of corn and milk throughout the reign of the king."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancientautopsies; bodies; bog; fartyshadesofgreen; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; ireland; ironage; unveiled

1 posted on 01/07/2006 3:02:23 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

2 posted on 01/07/2006 3:04:37 PM PST by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: blam
There is apparently no truth to the rumor that these bear an uncanny resemblance to :


3 posted on 01/07/2006 3:05:46 PM PST by sono (Every purple finger is a bullet in the chest of terrorism.)
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To: blam

Think we could get Kennedy, Kerry, Schumer, Murtha and Klinton to go to the bogs :))


4 posted on 01/07/2006 3:06:43 PM PST by Meadow Muffin
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To: blam

"My belief is that these burials are offerings to the gods of fertility by kings to ensure a successful reign"
>>>

Naaah. Dese guys knew too much, thassall. We hadda do 'em in. They mighta talked to da cops, ya see.


5 posted on 01/07/2006 3:07:26 PM PST by Appalled but Not Surprised
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To: SunkenCiv
GGG Ping.

The Mysterious Bog People

6 posted on 01/07/2006 3:07:36 PM PST by blam
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To: blam

Photos of more bog people here:

http://www.archaeology.org/online/features/bog/violence1.html

(Click on thumbnails to see larger pics.)


7 posted on 01/07/2006 3:08:56 PM PST by LibFreeOrDie (L'Chaim!)
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To: martin_fierro

Hence the term, "Boggles the mind".


8 posted on 01/07/2006 3:14:08 PM PST by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: blam

Why torture some poor schmuck you're sacrificing to the gods? Isn't it more likely these are trespassers, poachers, thieves, criminals, victims of feuds, wars, conflicts of various kinds, etc.? Just wondering about the ever pervasive explanation that seems to claim that almost every ancient corpse ever found was a person who was sacrificed to the gods... Surely, there were other causes of death back then, lol?


9 posted on 01/07/2006 3:21:28 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: blam

Since these aboriginal Irishmen might be ancestors of my tribe, I demand the remains be handed over to me for reburial in a secret location. Scientists may not take any pictures or study the remains. (Sarcasm for those familiar with U.S. law on Indian remains and artifacts.)


10 posted on 01/07/2006 3:21:35 PM PST by BigBobber
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To: LibWhacker

I agree. P.V. Glob's "The Bog People" has nice photos of some Iron Age carcasses in which the victim was strangled to death using (presumably) the rope still tied around the neck. Death by hanging?


11 posted on 01/07/2006 4:08:12 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this URL -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/pledge)
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To: LibWhacker

I had the same thoughts. It is always a sacrifice when they find these bodies, as if they really have a clue as to why they were killed. Maybe they were just murdered and the bog was a good place to dump the bodies and get away with it.


12 posted on 01/07/2006 4:13:14 PM PST by calex59
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To: blam

Dang, and I thought I was "bogged down" today.


13 posted on 01/07/2006 4:14:26 PM PST by msnimje (This space is currently undergoing maintenance.)
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To: sono

No, no, no. That's BOG man - not hog man.


14 posted on 01/07/2006 4:17:49 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (The problem with being a 'big tent' Party is that the clowns are seated with the paying customers.)
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To: martin_fierro

If my dog had a face like that, I'd shave his butt and make him walk backwards.


15 posted on 01/07/2006 4:38:11 PM PST by 2nd Bn, 11th Mar
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To: Appalled but Not Surprised

Whachew lookinat?


16 posted on 01/07/2006 4:52:24 PM PST by Thebaddog (K9 4ever)
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To: SunkenCiv; calex59

Don't want to come to the defense of pagan religions, but academia's definitely got it in for religion. Wants to blame every bad thing that ever happened on it. I think most of these murdered bog people were probably thieves and bandits, or the victims of thieves and bandits. In other words, the precursors of our modern socialists are to blame for almost every bad thing that ever happened!


17 posted on 01/07/2006 5:04:42 PM PST by LibWhacker
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To: blam

I just finished this about a modern murder being mistaken for a bog body.

18 posted on 01/07/2006 5:06:16 PM PST by razorback-bert
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To: LibWhacker
Wholeheartedly agree!

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19 posted on 01/07/2006 5:09:22 PM PST by SunkenCiv (FReep this URL -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/pledge)
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To: martin_fierro

OH! That was just wrong....


20 posted on 01/07/2006 5:26:44 PM PST by Cap'n Crunch
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To: LibFreeOrDie

This is my favorite, Tollund Man (rope still around his neck)

21 posted on 01/07/2006 5:34:02 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Great site, thanks!
22 posted on 01/07/2006 6:25:49 PM PST by Caipirabob (Democrats.. Socialists..Commies..Traitors...Who can tell the difference?)
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To: LibWhacker

Agree. I have never believed much in ritual sacrifice for fertility gods or other yokels...(Except maybe the Mesoamericans).


23 posted on 01/07/2006 6:31:52 PM PST by Prost1 (Sandy Berger can steal, Clinton can cheat, but Bush can't listen!)
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To: blam

24 posted on 01/08/2006 2:57:03 AM PST by Solamente
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To: blam
Old Croghan man was beheaded and dismembered Both bodies were subsequently taken to the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin.

I had no idea that the Museum was that old!

Here's another article on these gentlemen:

Ancient ‘bog men’ make fashion statement

One wore hair gel, the other ‘would have been a giant’ 2,300 years ago

... http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10789343/?GT1=7538

25 posted on 01/11/2006 6:49:26 PM PST by SuzyQue
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http://www.newscientist.com/channel/being-human/mg18925342.700

Iron-age torture victims unearthed
• 14 January 2006
• From New Scientist Print Edition

"He was built like Schwarzenegger, but he had the daintiest fingernails I've ever seen," says Rolly Read, conservation director of the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. He is describing Old Croghan Man, one of two immaculately preserved "bog bodies" unveiled this week, both named after the sites where they were discovered.

The partial remains of the two men, both killed around 2300 years ago, have been preserved by the peat in which they were buried. Both were rich. Old Croghan Man, found minus his head and legs, had nails that were polished and well manicured, says Read, who conserved the bodies for display. The second body, Cloneycavan Man, lacks its lower torso and legs, but has a generous mop of hair, slicked up using what appears to be an Iron Age hair gel made from vegetable oil and a French or Spanish pine resin that would have been affordable only to the wealthy.

The researchers think the men were political opponents of the king. They were horrifically tortured before ritual sacrifice and burial. The pattern of wounds on Old Croghan Man show he raised an arm to defend himself from being stabbed in the lung. Cloneycavan Man was repeatedly beaten around the head, smashing open his skull. The bodies will be shown on UK television in a BBC Timewatch documentary on 20 January.

From issue 2534 of New Scientist magazine, 14 January 2006, page 4


26 posted on 01/29/2006 9:52:18 PM PST by SunkenCiv (In the long run, there is only the short run.)
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 GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach
Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.


27 posted on 08/31/2011 6:32:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's never a bad time to FReep this link -- https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/)
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