BY: EMMA HOFFMAN
Welcome, welcome, welcome, to the spooOOOOoooOoookiest day of the year! There have been some spooktacular Halloween-themed articles on Musings, and I highly suggest you check them out (if you haven't already) after reading this article. Today, I want to talk about one of my favourite real life horror stories: bog bodies. I first became interested in bog bodies during my undergrad while studying Irish poet Seamus Heaney's series of poems: "The Bog People"; in a survey course on the history of English literature. My inexplicable fascination with this subject only grew from there. For those who are unfamiliar with bog bodies, I am giving advanced warning that this post might give you nightmares.
As you ghoulish readers know from my previous post, I went to Ireland this past summer and while I was there, I encountered the aforementioned Bog Body at the National Museum of Ireland. For those unfamiliar with the term, Bog Bodies are human bodies dating back to the Bronze Age and Iron Age, whose remains have been preserved in bogs for thousands of years. Unlike your average dead body that was buried in the ground, their body parts failed to decompose due to the chemical composition of the bog in which they were buried, speculatively as part of a human sacrifice ritual. The bodies I saw on display at the National Museum of Ireland were unintentionally excavated in 2003 by companies trying to sift peat out of rural Irish bogs. Imagine going about your day as a peat sifter and finding—within your daily quota of boggy soil—the hand depicted below:
|The perfectly preserved fingernails of "Oldcroghan Man". Source.|
|"Clonycavan Man". He is terrifying. Source.|
|The face of "Tollund Man". Source.|
See you lovely readers next Museum Monday and feel free to post in the comments below with your own spine-tingling museum experiences. Happy Halloween!