Tuesday 24 September 2013

Cashel Man Has Had The Weight Of The World On His Shoulders, Quite Literally, For 4,000 Years.

"Compressed by the peat that has preserved his remains, he looks like a squashed, dark leather holdall. Apart, that is, from one forlorn arm that stretches out and upward and tells us something of the deliberate and extremely violent death that he suffered 500 years before Tutankhamen was born. As part of that decommissioning, their nipples are mutilated" Eamonn Kelly National Museum of Ireland Cashel Man is now being studied at the National Museum of Ireland's research base in Collins Barracks, Dublin. He was discovered in 2011 by a bog worker in Cashel bog in County Laois.

Scientists say that there were significant clues to the social status of three bog bodies found in Ireland since the start of this century Clonycavan Man (L) was said to be wearing a type of expensive, imported hair gel Old Croghan Man (C) had finely manicured nails Cashel Man (R) was found very close to the inauguration site for the kings of Laois

"The bog is an amazing place," says Isabella Mulhall, who co-ordinates the bog bodies research project at the museum. "It is basically an anaerobic environment and the oxygen that bacteria feed off is not present, and therefore decomposition does not occur." The process of preservation though is complicated, involving several factors including Sphagnum moss, which helps extract calcium from the bones of buried bodies. Another critical element is acidity. "The pH levels vary in bogs and in some cases you may not get the bog mummy; you may get a bog skeleton," says Isabella Mulhall.

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