Were Bog Bodies human sacrifices?

An article in the September 2007 edition of National Geographic puts forward some new theories to explain these enigmatic human remains. Of greatest interest is a suggested explanation by old blather friend Eamon (Ned) Kelly, the Keeper of Irish Antiquities at the National Museum of Ireland:

Another clue linked this new body, called Oldcroghan Man, to some 40 other Irish bog bodies including Clonycavan Man: All were buried on borders between ancient Irish kingdoms. Together with the costly ornaments, Kelly says, the locations suggest tales of royal sacrifice. In ancient times, he explains, Irish kings symbolically married the fertility goddess; famine meant the goddess had turned against the king and had to be mollified. Kelly believes the bog bodies represented the most splendid of offerings: high-ranking hostages taken to force rebellious lords into obedience, pretenders to the throne, or even the failed kings themselves. Each injury they suffered honored a different aspect of the goddess–fertility, sovereignty, and war. “It’s controlled violence,” Kelly says. “They are giving the goddess her due.”


Full NG article on Bog Bodies

NG Bog Body Photos
The National Museum of Ireland’s Archaeology section, based at Kildare St. in Dublin city centre, has an exhibition entitled ‘Kingship and Sacrifice’ which explores bog bodies, associated finds and the ever-thorny subject of ritual sacrifice. Admission is free and the exhibition is highly recommended. The exhibition also has an accompanying book by Kelly, which is available from the museum’s bookshop.
Kelly, Eamonn P. Kingship and Sacrifice: Iron Age Bog Bodies and Boundaries. National Museum of Ireland, 2006.
An Average Day at the National Museum of Ireland
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Damien DeBarra was born in the late 20th century and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. He now lives in London, England where he shares a house with four laptops, three bikes and a large collection of chairs.