I saw dead bodies this morning.
But they didn’t look much like bodies, and instead just a bundle of sticks neatly arranged.
Even though it was free, as are all of Ireland’s national museums, the National Ireland Museum of Archaeology would not allow photography inside because of the uncovered gold inside. Thus, this entry has no pictures to go along with it.
The bog bodies, as they were called, were preserved in – you guessed it – a bog. Across Europe, bodies were apparently hacked or stabbed, hanged or strangled. And when the individual was dead, they were tossed into a bog. The bog preserved the bodies, though, due to a low amount of bacteria and decomposing plants filtering into the water.
I missed out on the timeframe of when any of these bodies actually fell victim to the bog, though. Depending on which one of the four you looked at, red hair was still visible. One particular skull had a thick head of hair, which, according to the sign, was because he likely dealt with trade and had imported foreign hair gel. Another had a missing skull, while two had their lower halves ripped from them. Oldcroghan Man, as he was titled, had a very well preserved left hand that looked like it may have been gripping something. According to the sign posted on the outside, this meant that he was likely a man of higher social rank.
Mostly, they had what looked like a metallic finish. It was almost as if they had been painted the same color as some doorknobs I’ve seen. They also looked deflated, having drawn their final breath and exhaled everything in their system – air, blood, bones and all.
Even though another sign mentioned that both men and women were buried in bogs, the four-body exhibit only showed men. The also didn’t show the bodies openly, as they were hidden behind rounded walls so as not to see them if visitors didn’t want to. This left me confused. Yes, I get that they are dead bodies. But it’s not like they’re that well preserved. If you’ve seen a skeleton, you could handle a bog body. They just have some hair and a little flesh left, still.