Archive for preservation
The peat bogs of Ireland hold many treasures and are a rich source of bog bodies. The properties of the peat preserves these ancient peoples – even the contents of their last meal.
In 2006 two bog bodies of men were found and displayed in Dublin. One, a giant of a man (6ft 6in) had manicured nails, he was called Oldcroghan (after the place he was found). The other, (Clonycavan man) measured only 5ft 2 in and had a piled up hair style (just like me – and about the same height too!). To hold this hairstyle together, he wore a kind of hair gel! And they women are vain!
Both men seem to have been part of elite, not manual labourers: both were murdered. the whole article about them, which makes interesting reading.
But it isn’t only men who are found in bogs. There is Meenybradden woman. She was found in 1978 in a peat bog. Her body was wrapped in a woollen cloak and does not appear to have met a grisly end. Her age is estimated to be between 25 and 30. She was at one time the best preserved body – until the body got damaged in the deep freeze! Unfortunately I can’t get a decent image of what is left of the woman.
Bog bodies are fascinating, they can tell us so much about ourselves and how we lived. A lot have been destroyed (unintentionally) by peat cutting machinery, but there must be lots lying silently, more just waiting to be discovered.
It looks like these bodies are still on display at the Dublin National Museum of Ireland
More bog bodies here
I put a bog body image in my last post (like you do…). I am fascinated with the preservation of bodies. I was lucky enough to see Lindow Man (or Pete Moss as he is affectionately called) in Manchester Museum not long after he was found and couldn’t get over how small he was!. I have been interested in bog bodies ever since reading Professor P V Glob’s books in the 1970s. I never knew such mummies even existed.
At first I was just curious and a little repulsed by them. But as I read more about them, I began become feel a kind of kinship with these men and women who inhabited a world alien to me now (who really knows if we have lived before, or if there is such a thing as collective consciousness?). I’d like to think so. The harsh existence these people faced: the Gods they worshipped – the very frailties of their lives. The clues are all there. Even the food they ate and what season they died in has been discovered through their autopsies.
Amongst my favorite bog bodies is the Tollund man. he is preserved and displayed in the Silkeborg Museum. How I would love to see him! The tranquil look on his ‘sleeping’ face belies the hideous leather garrote twisted into his neck. even his leather cap is a work of art, the tiny stitches still being visible from 400BC! the stubble on his chin, his beautiful fingerprints (which have been taken) are things of wonder. Even the pores of his skin are visible, though the rest of his body has disintegrated. The man was found in the foetal position, naked except for his hat and hide belt.It is the acid in the peat that preserves these bodies. Unfortunately some them have been lost or have been damaged by the peat cutter. It is indeed amazing how these silent sentinels offer up their secrets. It’s even more miraculous that we have the technology to understand our past!
More info HERE
Archaeology of bogs HERE
Irish Bog Bodies HERE
What a remarkable place! What a remarkable man, son of a Bricklayer (b. 1753) Sir John Soane, Architect turned out to be!
There are also drawings, prints, furniture, clocks and of course books … the list is endless! What a great time Soane must have had collecting them all. He was continually building on and altering his house in order to accommodate this collection. The place must have been in a perpetual flux, forever changing.
Soane wanted to preserve his collection to inform and educate students and amateurs. He negotiated an Act of Parliament in 1833 to preserve his house and collection to benefit others. This Act came into being when Soane died in 1837. The public were encouraged to ‘consult, inspect and benefit’ from these collections and they do.
Minimal changes have been made to the collections layout. Each Curator has tried to maintain Soane’s wishes regarding Soane’s arrangements.
Amongst the truly impressive is the giant sarcophagus of Seti 1 c. 1370BC
and one my Favourite Goddess incarnations: Diana of Ephesus Turkey.
I went to Ephesus in Turkey last year: an amazing place: like stepping back into biblical times.
An exhibition of the Adam Brothers drawings of the Grand Tour (Rome). These drawings are exquisite, showing meticulous draughtsmanship. The exhibition runs until 14 February 2009.
The paintings, including the ‘Soane’s Hogarth’s’ read like a National Gallery Guidebook. Turner, Canaletto, Reynolds, Fuseli, amongst many.
The actual atmosphere in the house is very tangent In some rooms, almost as if a past inhabitant has just left the room. Perhaps life goes on as before and Sir John flits about stroking and arranging his collection when the house has been cleared of visitors and shut up for the night. All those antique influences vibrating as one invisible breath, calling through time ‘Please Visit us!’