The bodies in the bogs

A Blast From The Past

Bog pool beneath Errigal Mountain, County Donegal, Ireland. Photo by Gareth McCormack. Bog pool beneath Errigal Mountain, County Donegal, Ireland. Photo by Gareth McCormack, reproduced with permission – clicking the image takes you to Gareth’s site and more evocative landscape photography.

In an ancient bog at the foot of a fairy-haunted hill, peat-cutting work lays bare the body of a giant. Carbon dating suggests that the man died at the height of the Iron Age, around 275 B.C.; forensic examination shows that he died hard, stabbed through a lung and then decapitated with an axe. After killing him, his executioners chopped his body in half at the diaphragm, and at some point, perhaps while he was still alive, they also inflicted two pairs of unusual wounds on him. Deep cuts almost severed both his nipples, and his arms were vigorously pierced so that twisted lengths of hazel withy could be threaded through from side to side, presumably to pinion him. After that, his mutilated torso was sunk in a pool where, over the years, bog moss grew up to…

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