posted on Apr, 18 2011 @ 02:42 PM
A uniquely preserved brain
and skull has been discovered
during building work at the University of York in England. They'd been preserved within an ancient bog...
Copyright: York Archaeology Trust
The peaty bogs of Northern Europe have preserved the remains of victims of violent deaths from the Iron Age and beyond. Many of the remains capture
the condition of the victims in the minutes or hours after their, typically painful, final moments.
Two males from an Irish bog
Another hanged man
What makes this poor soul stand out from the crowd is a well-preserved brain within the skull. Despite being around 2500 years old, it represents a
'scene of crime.' The man was hanged and then decapitated. The decapitated head was buried, or ritually given in tribute, in the bog.
fractures and marks on the bones suggest the man, who was aged between 26 and 45, died most probably from hanging, after which he was carefully
decapitated and his head was then buried on its own.
Until the discovery and analysis, this man's life followed a path that left no tracks in history.
With advances in science, and the human urge to know more about our past, it's probable that more people know about him now than ever did whilst he
Lead researcher, Dr Sonia O Connor says:
Scientists trace violent death of Iron Age man
“This is the most thorough investigation ever undertaken of a brain found in a buried skeleton and has allowed us to begin to really understand
why brain can survive thousands of years after all the other soft tissues have decayed.”
After DNA analysis, the origins of the man appear to have been either Eastern Mediterranean or from Tuscany (Northern France). Carbon dating suggests
he lived between 637-480BC.
During the period, there was a culture, or sub-culture, of ritual sacrifices across Northern Europe. We'll never know how extensive these practices
were and can only speculate from the evidence.