Laois ‘bog body’ said to be world’s oldest
4,000-year-old remains were discovered on Bord na Móna land in Co Laois in 2011
The mummified remains of a body found in a Laois bog two years ago have been found to date back to 2,000BC, making it the oldest “bog body” discovered anywhere in the world.
The 4,000-year-old remains, which predate the famed Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun by nearly 700 years, are those of a young adult male.
He is believed to have met a violent death in some sort of ritual sacrifice.
The body was unearthed in the Cúl na Móna bog in Cashel in 2011 by a Bord na Móna worker operating a milling machine.
Initially, experts thought it dated from the Iron Age period (500BC-400AD), placing it on a par with similar finds in other Irish bogs.
However, radiocarbon tests on the body; the peat on which the body was lying; and a wooden stake found with the body, date the body to the early Bronze Age, around 2,000BC.
The discovery promises to open a new chapter in the archaeological record of Bronze Age burial in Ireland.