Bog Man of Cashel 'Was a Sacrificed King'

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), November 24, 2013 | Go to article overview

Bog Man of Cashel 'Was a Sacrificed King'


Byline: Warren Swords

THE DISCOVERY of the 'Cashel Man' bog body has led researchers to believe that bog bodies are those of kings who were sacrificed to appease gods.

A new documentary sheds light on the body found in an Irish bog in 2011, with a research team suggesting that the phenomenon of ritual sacrifice may have begun in Ireland and then spread to other areas in Europe including Britain and Scandinavia.

Following a forensic investigation lasting two years, the team, led by National Museum of Ireland keeper of antiquities Ned Kelly and State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy, arrived at the astonishing new theory on the bog bodies.

The team's research on the 4,000-year-old 'Cashel Man' is the subject of a BBC documentary which follows the investigation of the body and asks if the king was ritually killed in response to the changing climate in Ireland at the time.

Speaking to the Irish Mail on Sunday, Mr Kelly said all the evidence gathered so far suggests that Cashel Man was a king.

'The Cashel bog body has demonstrated that the ritual of human sacrifice and deposition in bogs in Ireland extends back to the beginning of the Bronze Age and that it is something that took place over a period of about 2,500 years.

'All of the prehistoric dated bog bodies are those of young adult males between the ages of 25 and 40, or thereabouts. The evidence suggests to me that these men are high-born, that in fact they are the kings of territories who have been ritually killed because of perceived failures in their kingship. …

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