Monday, January 09, 2006


Mind-bog-gling discovery made

Kept in great condiiton Some of you may have heard about this story already but for those of you who haven't, there was an interesting discovery made in Ireland recently.

Archaeologists unveiled two Iron Age "bog bodies" which were found about 25 miles apart in 2003 in peat bogs not far from Dublin.

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.

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

Interestingly, Clonycavan man 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. He was about 5ft 2in and according to Ned Kelly, not the Australian hero but rather head of antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland, "The shorter man appeared to attempt to give himself greater stature by a rather curious headdress which was a bit like a Mohican-style with the hair gel, which was a resin imported from France."

As for Old Croghan Man, scientists worked out from the length of his arms that he would have stood around 6ft 6in tall! Damn, if only Irish guys were as tall today. We'd be great at basketball.

Unfortunately for Old Croghan Man, he had been horrifically tortured before his 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.

The beheaded and dismembered remains
he suffered a grisly death

Details of the finds are outlined in a BBC Timewatch documentary to be screened on 20 January and Mr Kelly 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," he told the 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."

Very interesting stuff and the programme looks like one to watch out for.

These fascinating findings tell us something else though in my opinion and that is that historical findings like these are of vital importance and provide us with valuable knowledge about our past that enriches everyone around the world.

With that being the case, these findings should send a clear message to the Irish people that important historical and cultural sites need to be protected and that the proposed motorway which is set to pass through the Tara-Skryne Valley needs to be opposed at all costs.

Visit the
Tara SOS campaign for more info.

At the end of the day if peat bogs can preserve our history, what's stopping us?


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