Bog Bodies Uncovered

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We all carry our history under our skin. Where we've been, what we've done, how we lived. But for thousands of years that history, which our ancestors took to the grave, remained secret. Now, thanks to the giant leaps science has made in recent years, we can read those messages from the past. Over the past two centuries, peat cutters in the bogs of Northern Europe have periodically unearthed the remains of prehistoric men. women and children so well preserved that they are often mistaken for victims of modern crime. In many cases their skin, hair, nails and marks of injury survive, betraying the violence that surrounded their deaths. Who were these people and why were they killed? Archaeologists, armed with the lastest analytical techniques, are investigating these cold cases to reveal much about our distant past. Forensic science allows us to deduce the age, physical condition, status, cause and time of death of these ancient victims, helping to answer the fundamental questions that they pose: were these people executed, simply murdered, or victims of human sacrifice? Who selected them? Who delivered the killing blow, and why? The number of known bog bodies is growing. Lindow Man, found in a peat bog at Lindow Moss near Manchester in 1984, has been joined by newer finds from Ireland such as Oldcroghan Man from Co. Offaly and Clonycavan Man from Co. Meath that are on display at the National Musuem of Ireland - Archaeology, Kildare St, Dublin. Drawing on the latest evidence and research, Miranda Aldhouse-Green covers these and many other examples, exploring theories and suggesting histories for their lives that make sense of their deaths. A very readable text with many illustrations and photographs.