Clonycavan Man
Human Mummy
Clonycavan reconstruction
Biographical Information
Name(s) Clonycavan Man
Age 24-40 years of age
Sex Male
Status elite
Height 5' 2"
Culture Irish
Date(s) 392-201 BCE
Site Clonycavan, County Meath, Ireland
Current Location
Location National Museum of Ireland
Catalog #

His rich diet, imported hair gel, and death near a hill used for kingly initiation led historians to theorize that he was a king who was ritually sacrificed after a bad harvest between 392 BCE and 201 BCE. Clonycavan Man was also fairly young at the time of his death, believed to be in his early twenties. Such sacrifices were performed due to the fact that the current king of a certain region was responsible for poor harvests or other attributes, and a sacrifice such as this would please the goddess of fertility. [2] A hill that was allegedly used for kingship ceremonies was near the bog where Clonycavan Man was found, indicating that it may have been where he had been initiated as a king.He was 5foot 2inches tall, with a squashed nose, crooked teeth, and gelled hair.


Found in a peat bog in central Ireland along with another body.
Also referred to as "bog men" because the wetlands in which they were found provide a cold, acidic, oxygen-free condition that prevents decay and mummify human flesh. The remains, which have been dated to 2,300 years old, consisted of a head, neck, arms, torso, and upper abdomen; it is likely that the peat harvesting machine was responsible for severing his lower body.


His diet was rich in vegetables and proteins, which indicates that he may have been killed during the warmer summer months of the year. One of the most distinguishing characteristics was his hair which was long, and styled in an what has been described as an ancient Mohawk, and also wore a goatee and a mustache. Scientists discovered an ancient form of hair gel in his hair, made of plant oil and pine resin, made from materials found in France and Spain. This indicated that he was wealthy during his lifetime.


He was murdered by a blow to the head with a sharp weapon (probably an axe) and also hit in the chest and disemboweled. His death is thought to be a ritual sacrifice.

Only the upper part of his body including his head, neck, arms, torso and abdomen remain intact. His remains were severed in half by a peat-cutting machine working at the site before his discovery.


Clonycavan Man is also known for his unique hairstyle and use of an ancient hair gel made of plant oil and pine resin that was found near the body.


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