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The Derrymaquirk Woman
Human Mummy
Biographical Information
Name(s) The Derrymaquirk Woman
Age 25
Sex Female
Status unknown
Height unknown
Source
Culture unknown
Date(s) lived - approx. during 750-200 BCE
Site unknown
Current Location
Location Derrymaquirk, Roscommon, Ireland
Catalog #

Derrymaquirk woman is a bog body mummy of a young woman that was discovered beside a lake in the town of Derrymaquirk, Ireland in 1959. It is estimated that the age of the Derrymaquirk woman was around 25, otherwise very little is known about the Derrymaquirk woman, including her life or cause of death. However, due to the related religious burial tradition of burying the remains with deer antlers, it is suggested that the Derrymaquirk woman lived in the time around 750-200 BCE during the Iron Age and did not die as a sacrifice.

Mummification

The skeleton of the Derrymaquirk mummy was discovered lying on her back naturally preserved in a bog grave beside a lake along with the skeletal remnants of a young child and various animals, pieces of wood and deer antlers. At the time of discovery, a stone was found placed on top of her stomach, possibly for the purpose of keeping the Derrymaquirk woman anchored into the peat bog grave, and a piece of wood was had been placed under her head as a pillow.

Due to the nature in which the Derryquirk woman was found (in a made grave, and alongside the form of a religious offering of deer antler during that period), it is most likely that the Derrymaquirk woman had underwent a formal burial, rather than a sacrificial offering which was unlikely for young women during the given time period.

Additional

  • Despite the environment in which the skeletal mummy of the Derrymaquirk woman was found indicating a formal burial, other theories have proposed that the skull of the young child discovered within the same grave may have been the child of the Derrymaquirk woman and both were executed on some premises.
  • The mummy, formal burial state, environment of discovery, and indications of cause of death (not a sacrifice) of the Derrymaquirk woman also closely resembles the Derrycashel woman (another mummy discovered in County Roscommon)

References

Ballinloughane Blogger. (2014, March 6). The Derrymaquirk Bog Bodies [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://letterfromballinloughane.blogspot.ca/2014/03/the-derrymaquirk-bog-bodies.html

Cruachan Ai Heritage Centre. (2014, February 8). Adventures in Roscommon Bogs [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://cruachanai.blogspot.ca/2014/02/adventuresin-roscommon-bogs-therehave.html

Gorilla Themes. (n.d.). Archaeology – Lough Gara’s Crannogs [Blog post]. Retrieved from: http://www.loughgaralakesandlegends.ie/lough-gara/archaeology-crannogs-at-lough-gara

Williams, H. (Eds). (2003). Archaeologies of Remembrance: Death and Memory in Past Societies. New York: Springer Science and Business Media. Retrieved from: https://books.google.ca/books?id=SmZ3BQAAQBAJ&pg=PT123&lpg=PT123&dq=the+derrymaquirk+woman&source=bl&ots=0_oZGcwXbp&sig=z88e7hlyIoY6wPfyDMTq_95ZXEo&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=the%20derrymaquirk%20woman&f=false

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