Celtic Bog Bodies at the National Museum of Ireland

1 Oct

Last Friday, I had the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Ireland with members of my Irish Life and Culture class. The museum had a vast collection of archeological items that helped paint a picture of Ireland’s history. Of particular note were the several bodies that had been preserved in bogs throughout Ireland. These Celtic Bog bodies were an eerie reminder of the people that inhabited this land long before my time. The peat bogs where these bodies were found provided an environment that allowed for the preservation of the corpses. As a result, the bodies still possess hair and human flesh, which gives them a “still-alive” appearance. This phenomenon is especially fascinating due to the fact that the bodies are from roughly 200 B.C. 

 While still having all the identifiable features of a living human being, due to the preservative features of the bog, these corpses certainly differ in some obvious ways. They have a blackish color that accompanies their shriveled up appearance. No one would ever mistake these artifacts for recently deceased beings, but they certainly do not look thousands of years old either. Furthermore, most of the corpses on display died a violent death as part of a ritual of human sacrifice. The story that these deceased bodies tell shines some light on the long and rich history of Ireland.

I learned a great deal about the history of Ireland during my trip to the National Museum. Ireland’s vast history of many different peoples fascinates me. Moreover, the opportunity to see the bodies of people that walked the earth thousands of years ago struck me as surreal. I look forward to exploring this country and learning more about past history and traditions. My Irish ancestral past only furthers my desire to discover more about the land that my great grandparents called home. 


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