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Meenybradden Woman
Human Mummy
Meenybradden.jpg
Biographical Information
Name(s)
Age 25-30
Sex Female
Status
Height
Source
Culture Irish
Date(s) 1050-1410 CE
Site Meenybradden Bog
Current Location
Location Ireland
Catalog #

Turf cutters uncovered a woman's body in Ireland's Meenybradden Bog near Ardara, County Donegal on May 3, 1978. It was sent to Dublin and kept in a freezer at the City Morgue for seven years, damaging it. In July 1985, it was shipped to the British Museum, where it was conserved and examined.

Mummification

The body was preserved by the peat bog, where it was found buried three feet below the surface, wrapped in a woolen cloak, without any grave goods. Only its feet had deteriorated and otherwise it was the first well-preserved Irish bog body discovered in the twentieth century.

Studies

The woman was believed to be around 25–30 years old at her time of death. She died between 1050–1410 according to radiocarbon dating. The body does not show any signs of violence.

According to an Irish Central article, "Her cloak has been dated by textile typology to 16th–17th century, a carbon dating has not yet been performed on the garment." According to The Illustrated Archaeology of Ireland, the cloak was more typical of a later seventeenth century man, however, textile typology was used to date the cloak, not carbon dating. It’s possible that the cloak is contemporary to the body and was just atypical. Typology is classification according to characteristics; it’s not at all as exact as carbon dating.

Pathology

The Meenybradden woman did not appear to have died violently. Researchers concluded that she was deliberately buried in the bog. They were unable to determine a cause of death.


References

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