Bog Bodies Exhibit

Venue: National Museum of Ireland-Archaeology & History, Kildare Street, Dublin 2  Website: http://www.museum.ie/en/intro/archaeology-and-ethnography-museum.aspx Price: FREE  Date: Ongoing Time: 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday; 2pm-5pm Sunday; Closed Mondays (including bank holidays)


Kingship & Sacrifice, an exhibition of bog bodies and related finds, currently on at the National Museum of Ireland – Archeology: Kingship & Sacrifice features two Iron Age bodies, Old Croghan Man and Clonycavan Man, dating back 2,300 years which have been preserved in bogs until their discovery in 2003. The first body dropped off a peat cutting machine in Clonycavan, Co. Meath and the second body was discovered by workmen clearing a drainage ditch through a peat bog at Oldcroghan, Co. Offaly. A team of international specialists worked with Irish Antiquities and the Conservation Department of the National Museum to examine these human remains using CTI and MRI scans to examine the remains and discover how the men died. Now a major exhibition gives an overview of the results of the analysis, along with other bog bodies from the collection of the National Museum, offers an opportunity to literally come ‘face to face’ with the past. The analysis revealed that Clonycavan Man’s diet was rich in vegetables while Old Croghan Man’s had more meat and the Iron Age hair gel which Clonycavan Man wore in his hair is a vegetable plant oil mixed with a resin which probably came from France or Spain. The exhibition also highlights a theory based on the proliferation of bog bodies discovered along ancient tribal boundaries and royal land, linking them with sovereignty and kingship sacrificial rituals during the Iron Age. The theory proposes that the bodies were sacrificed to the gods of fertility to ensure a good harvest at the inauguration of a new reign. Research also indicates that other related material is connected with inauguration rituals of kings and that these rituals can be traced back to the Bronze Age. Kingship & Sacrifice also features a range of ancient artefacts including kingly regalia, horse trappings, weapons, feasting utensils, textiles and boundary markers to offer a glimpse into this fascinating period of our history.


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