Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Thinking About Bog Bodies

Thinking about Bog Bodies is something which I do from time to time.

You know, those characters like Lindow Man that are dug up by people excavating or cutting peat. Peat marshes being an acid, anaerobic environment these bodies can be amazingly well-preserved - skin and all - even the sadly demised's last meal. Which was always some kind of porrige. Clearly Iron Age mothers didn't warn their sons enough - "if you keep eating that muck you'll end up beautifully preserved in peat, with your head bashed in and a garotte round your throat."

Oh yes, traditional Celtic worship in all its glory. No bhodrans, tabors, tin whistles or dancing around with your arms by your sides. No "brother Sun" and 'sister Moon" and "great-uncle squally showers". Nope - a bash over the head, a knee in the spine, a spot of light garotting, throat cut and thrown into an acrid, dark pool as an appeasement to the Wicked Witch of Winter. A dreadful end. Although, after 2,000 years of peat's tanning effects, a lovely finish.

6 comments :

  1. There's a joke here about tanning effects and the "bronze" age, but let's not roast that old chestnut ;)

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    1. I suppose if there were peat bogs in Essex they could have saved that whole peat-ageing process?

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  2. I thought the archeologists couldn't decide if it was carrying out worship or justice that resulted in all those bog bodies.

    I suppose 'accident' is a really improbable explanation.

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    1. Stove-in head, broken back, slashed throat... yep, even Accident Lawyers for U would hesitate to press a claim.

      A combination of worship and justice was the recipe for the Wicker Man's victims - they'd burn the criminals, thus cheering up the gods and dishing out justice.

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  3. "A combination of worship and justice was the recipe for the Wicker Man's victims - they'd burn the criminals, thus cheering up the gods and dishing out justice."

    Plus, everyone got something cooked and warm to eat for later.

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    1. We always put jacket potatoes in ours.

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