January 19, 2006

The fate of the well-groomed Irish bog men

Murdered "Bog Men" Found With Hair Gel, Manicured Nails (excerpts)

A team lead by researchers at the National Museum of Ireland studied the two bodies. The scientists say the fingerprint whorls of Oldcroghan man are as clear as any living person's.

"He had very well manicured nails, and his fingertips and hands were indicative of somebody who didn't carry out any manual labor. So we presume he came from the upper echelons of society," said Isabella Mulhall, the museum's Bog Bodies Project coordinator.


Had the two bog men met, Oldcroghan man [DP: 198cm] would have towered over Clonycavan man, who measured just 5 feet, 2 inches (157 centimeters) tall.

Perhaps to compensate for his short stature, Clonycavan man coiffed up his hair using an early hair gel.

"Naturally enough, he wanted to make himself look grander," Mulhall said. "It's a bit like someone wearing platform shoes."


While both bog men appeared to be aristocratic dandies of their day, they still met horrible deaths.

Oldcroghan man shows signs of cruel torture before he was beheaded.

"He was stabbed, his nipples were sliced, and he had holes cut in his upper arms through which a rope was threaded in order to restrain him," Mulhall said. He was also cut in half across the torso.

Meanwhile, Clonycavan man suffered three axe blows to the head, plus one to his chest and was also disemboweled.

"There was definitely an attempt to use several different methods to traumatize and torture the men," Mulhall added.

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