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And according to Julius Caesar (writing c. 15 March, 44 B. C. E.) De Bello Gallico 6.16): All the people of Gaul are completely devoted to religion, and for this reason those who are greatly affected by diseases and in the dangers of battle either sacrifice human victims or vow to do so using the Druids as administrators to these sacrifices, since it is judged that unless for a man's life a man's life is given back, the will of the immortal gods cannot be placated. In public affairs they have instituted the same kind of sacrifice. Others have effigies of great size interwoven with twigs, the limbs of which are filled up with living people which are set on fire from below, and the people are deprived of life surrounded by flames. It is judged that the punishment of those who participated in theft or brigandage or other crimes are more pleasing to the immortal gods; but when the supplies of this kind fail, they even go so low as to inflict punishment on the innocent (trans. Anne Lea, in Koch and Carey 1995. 22).
A force was next set over the conquered, and their groves, devoted to inhuman superstitions, were destroyed. They deemed it indeed a duty to cover their altars with the blood of captives and to consult their deities through human entrails.'
Due to mechanized peat-cutting in modern times bodies are now frequently identified in segmented parts, such as the feet, the head or part of the trunk. This was the case with the Lindow Man, a bog body discovered in an Essex bog in 1988. There are records of 89 bog bodies found in Ireland since the early 19th century, 25 of which are from Northern Ireland. The majority are from the 17th century with a small number of prehistoric bodies. While the number of 17th century bodies found in blanket and raised bogs is comparable, all the prehistoric bodies have been found in raised bogs. The absence of any discoveries in fen peat is not surprising, as there is usually only a very shallow layer of peat in fens.
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Old Croghan man shows signs of cruel torture before he was beheaded. “He was stabbed, his nipples were sliced and he had holes cut in his upper arms through which a rope was threaded in order to restrain him,” Mulhall says. He was also cut in half across the torso. “There was definitely an attempt to use several different methods to traumatize and torture the men,” Mulhall adds.
I have the assent of that learned body, the Royal Society, for in September 1747, I sent the hand and sandal above mentioned to that learned body with the same account (or to the same purpose I have here given),and when they returned it, I was honoured with their thanks by letter, and their opinion was that "they must have laid there many hundred years ; for the sandals were worn in England about the conquest, yet they could not find they was of the make or shape of this above mentioned, but concluded it must be much ancienter than that period." I buried the remains of this lady in Amcots chapel yard, I showed the hand and sandal to my worthy friend Thomas Whichcot, of Harpswell, esq. knight of the shire for the county of Lincoln in parliament, who was pleased to put the sandal on before I sent them to the Royal Society.
At Thorne, in these moors, about ten years ago, as one William Biddy, of Thorne, was digging turf, he found the entire body of a man with his teeth firm in his head ; the hair of his head firm and fast on, and of a yellowish colour, either naturally so or dyed by the water of this moor. His skin like a piece of tanned leather. He took the body up entire, after having laid there some hundred years. N.B.-I had this account from the man himself.
I also think: proper to mention that the servants of Mr. George Healey, of Burringham, on the east side Trent, and near this Levil, was digging tip firewood in a large moor belonging to Burringham, and at the bottom of a fir tree root they found (as though laid together) a British spear, a British axe, and two short swords or dirks, all of brass, which Mr. Healey made a present off, and which I now have by me.
Originally posted by MCoG1980
reply to post by Kandinsky
Nice thread I found a website that gave an 18th Century account of bog bodies, thought you might find it interesting:
'Mr. James Empson, of Gowle, was digging turf in this great Waste, and one of them cut a man's arm off by the shoulder, which he carried home to his master, who took the bone out and stuffed it, and made a, present of it to Dr. Johnson,"
Originally posted by Rune Spider
reply to post by Kandinsky
It's still creepy to look at those bodies, due to how well preserved many of them are. Even the Egyptian mummies are less intact by comparison, some of them look like they are almost freshly dead, no wonder the police were called.
Bodies in the Bog and the Archaeological Imagination by Karin Sanders: review
Karin Sanders (now an academic at the University of California, Berkeley) was also a fan of Glob’s book. But hers is a decidedly post-modern account, one which seeks to show how the bog bodies took their place in our culture, out of theirs, 'estranged from us even as they mirror us’. She deftly teases out the paradoxes: born of neither land nor water but something in between, the bodies are an uncanny link between the pagan beliefs that prompted their deaths and our own supposedly rational world. And as Sanders shows, these muddy time travellers had the power to reflect our own prejudices.
In 1937, Himmler cited Tacitus’ hypothesis that the victims were 'cowards, shirkers, and sodomites [whose] deeds of shame should be buried out of man’s sight’. Their fate fitted Nazi ideology as 'urnings’ whose 'abnormal lives’ had been correctly 'terminated’. Yet in 1952, a Danish newspaper saw them as Aryan archetypes: 'The slightly Mongoloid imprint on the face need not originate from birth, but might well be caused by a violent injury to the head.’
Originally posted by Kandinsky
reply to post by kiwifoot
Cheers Kiwi, I'm glad you liked it Did you notice the date it was posted?
I found the whole subject just fascinating. Images and graphic accounts going back to the Romans. The foundations of paganism and modern versions of the druids can all be traced back to these poor souls frozen in time. No other ancient bodies are as well preserved as the peat bodies.
Ironically, the thread tanked and submerged like the people in the peat bogs. C'est la vie
We may never know definitively whether any individual was a priest or a criminal, honored or punished, executed or sacrificed. “But bog bodies are not just archaeological finds,” says University of Copenhagen scholar and bog body expert Niels Lynnerup. “They are extraordinarily intact human remains, and deserve to be treated as such.” The people on the next pages may appear gruesome, even horrifying. But they all have stories—some innocent and some macabre—written in their uncannily preserved remains.
Is there anything ever found with the bodies in the was of offerings etc? or are other items found anywhere else in the peat bogs? I find these bog bodies really very interesting but they dont seem to know too much about them even though their state of preservation is so remarkable...
Originally posted by Kandinsky
They've discovered all sorts of stuff but it's not always easy to associate the objects with the bodies. Stinking kegs of bog butter and weapons have been recovered in large numbers. The world's oldest brain too.