This week our research was focused on the detailed analysis of the other bog bodies of Ireland.
In the case of the Cashel man, his stomach had completely decomposed, therefore, analysis on this could not be carried out. (The Body in the Bog: The Murder of Ancient Irish Kings, 2013) Old Croghan man’s last meal included milk and cereals, typical of a person of poor status. However, analysis of his nails revealed that his diet over the past 4 months was rich with meat. From this it can be inferred that Croghan man was a man of high status due to his rich protein diet, but as a ritual before his murder he is inclined to eat like a ‘man of poor status’. (Colm, 2014) Croghan man also had circular cuts around his nipples. This may have been a part of the ritual killer, however this is uncertain. As Cashel man’s chest was damaged by the milling machine, this could not be corroborated.
Gut analysis on Clonycavan man could not be carried out, however Palaeodietery analysis of a hair strand showed high levels of hydrogen, which would indicate a plant based diet around the time of death. (Archaeology, 2010) Chemical analysis showed a resin that had been mixed with a lipid on the root ends of Clonycavan man’s hair. This may have been used as a hair gel in order to keep his hair in place. The resin can be traced to a tree call Pinus Pinaster, which usually grows in northern spain or suth-west france. (ArchaeologyUK, 2010) Clonycavan man also had an extensive cut across his abdomen. This suggests he could’ve been disemboweled.
Both men were dated to the height of the Celtic Iron Age. This was a time where ritual killings of young men, specifically kings, were carried out. (Kelly, 2012)
Next week we will look into the hypothesis of ritual killings related to kingship and sovereignty.
Archaeologyuk.org, (2010). Feature: British Archaeology 110, January / February 2010. [online] Available at: http://www.archaeologyuk.org/ba/ba110/feat4.shtml [Accessed 27 Dec. 2015].
Colm, (2014). Irish bog bodies, some recent discoveries | Irish Archaeology. [online] Irisharchaeology.ie. Available at: http://irisharchaeology.ie/2011/08/irish-bog-bodies-recent-discoveries/ [Accessed 25 Dec. 2015].
Kelly, N. (2012). The bog body from Cashel Bog, Co. Laois.. [online] Academia.edu. Available at: https://www.academia.edu/3209378/The_bog_body_from_Cashel_Bog_Co._Laois [Accessed 29 Dec. 2015].
The Body in the Bog: The Murder of Ancient Irish Kings. (2013). Ireland: BBC.