Thursday, September 26, 2013

Ancient areolae

I learned something in the follow-up article about the oldest bog body yet discovered. Cashel Man (CT SCAN ABOVE), discovered in 2011 in County Laois, is now being studied at the National Museum of Ireland. Here is the sentence that intrigued me: "Because Cashel Man's chest was destroyed by the milling machine that uncovered him, the researchers are unable to examine the state of his nipples." Other bog bodies in Ireland been found with deep cuts beneath each nipple, an indication that they were sacrificed royalty. Keeper of Irish Antiquities Eamonn Kelly explains, "In the Irish tradition they could no longer serve as king if their bodies were mutilated in this way. This is a decommissioning of the king in this life and the next." The king may have been violently removed from power because he was unable to protect the animals and people of his land from disease or disaster. Even though Cashel Man was found on a border between territories and within sight of the hill where he would have been crowned, his nipples are no longer available to confirm his status during his life 500 years before Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun (c. 1341-c. 1323).

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