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Category: History Other
Autor: anton 23 November 2010
Words: 1427 | Pages: 6
Ð’â€˜LINDOW MAN WAS A CELTIC SACRIFICE'
In 1983 the remains of an ancient Celtic body was found submerged in the peat of Lindow and was given the official name of Lindow man. This 2BC to 119 AD body provided information about the ancient Celtic religion and an insight into their world. The ancient Celtics or known as Gauls or galatains was the most feared barbarians of all during the Iron Age. Not much evidence had been found about this ancient culture but the body of Lindow man and further investigation brought about awareness of this ancient civilization. Lindow man was found to have been strangled, drowned, stabbed, received numerous blows to the head and suffering horrific wounds and injuries. This was an interesting case as no other bog body had had these same inflicting wounds. So was Lindow man a human sacrifice as many archaeologists have suggested? This question has been tossed and turned many times as new evidence has disproved many theories. This essay therefore provided information to what extent is the statement true Ð’â€˜Lindow man was a Celtic sacrifice'!
Through evidence, such as the Greek writings and the roman writing, this provides information about the ancient Celtic world. These authors such as Julius Caesar, Strabo and Diodorus all provided information about the Celts as the Celts did not read or write since they recorder their experiences and events through word of mouth and memory. However these writing can also be unreliable and biased as these the Greeks and Romans might have the information of the Celtic world wrong. Never the less these writers such as Julius Caesar told about Ð’â€˜the overseeing bloody rituals' conducted by the druids. The druids were commonly written about as they were a powerful member of their tribe. These writings also reveal that the Celts lived in tribes, wore gold and love to fight and drink a lot of wine. Other writing reveal that the Celts were the most feared of all barbarians at that time.
Druids were the Celtic priest in the Iron Age and were very powerful members of their tribe who were greatly respected. They were separate from the warriors and were classified as wise men, judges, prophets and keepers of the collective memories of their tribe. Littler is known however about the druids as their traditions were passed down by word of mouth, they had no traditional writings, no major temples and were not usually for public appearance. Their job in the tribe was to pass down traditional knowledge and perform priestly functions such as rituals and sacrifices but they were also the enforcers of the law and education. They were known for their barbaric and horrid rituals of human sacrifices in lakes and other holy areas, much like Lindow man was. According the Julius Caesar Ð’â€˜the centre of Celtic beliefs was the passing of souls from one body to another.' This therefore might indicate that Lindow man wasn't murder but was simply a form of a human sacrifice.
Archaeological evidence found from bogs, lakes and rivers offer information about the Celtics religious belief. Through objects made or iron and other durable material that has survived for all this time has also provided information about the Celts. This included a pair of Brass plaques that was found in1963. These pairs of plaques were decorated with human faces which in archaeologist believed were greatly respected by the Celts (as evidence in writing which stated they would cut off their enemies' heads and even their ancestors to worship the skulls). This also connects with roman commentators historians who discovered a lot about the Celts religion. Romans speck of human sacrifice from the Celtics and claim that the Celts Ð’â€˜revered human heads as the head to them was a symbol of great spiritual power. also other objects that link their religious beliefs to the Celts was a Snowdon bowl which was more than likely a sacrifice to their god or goddess as this was valuable and a precious treasure to them.
The Celts main feature of their religious belief lies in the remains left behind as a sacrifice to their gods. Through sacrificing it was believed that giving their gods valuable processions would please their gods. Such possessions that were sacrificed included humans, animals, treasures, weapons and anything that was important from them or that they needed from their gods. (For example of they wanted their crops to grow they would offer a plough to other gods.) As the Celts were closely tied with the natural world they would worship their god by placing their sacrifices in sacred places such as lakes, rivers, cliffs, bushes and Boggs. Lindow man was found in a bog
Their festivals consisted of 3 main sacred festivals every year. The festival that Lindow man was thought to be involved in was known as the Beltain which was held on may 1 every year. A victim was selected for sacrifice to their gods to encourage the summer's crops to grow successfully. This festival incorporated a bon-fire which was lit up on top of a hill and in this bon-fired would contain an oatmeal cake called Bannock. This was baked and a small portion was charred. The person who chooses this charred piece would be the human sacrifice, which was apparently Lindow man. Lindow mans last meal from evidence found within his stomach was a small piece of charred Bannock.
The Celts has three gods that they worshipped, Taranis, Esus and Teutates. Taranis, the god of thunder, Esus the god of the underworld and Teutates the god of the tribe and each required specific sacrifices. These gods all require human sacrifices from their people to please them. Taranis requires prisoner of war to be burnt alive in a giant wicker cages whilst Esus was offered victim who were either hung from sacred trees or stabbed to death or even both. Teutates required sacrifices into a water embrace in the sacred wells and pools. In the case if Lindow man it was believed he was a human sacrifice to all three gods. Lindow man had been sacrifices to Taranis as Taranis usually require some form of weapon (which was evident by the three blows in his head) he was hung as a sacrifice to Esus, (as evidence of the noose around his neck) stabbed and drained of all his blood (as evident in the short but deep slit in his neck) and finally sacrificed by submerging him in the waters of the Boggs as a sacrifice for Teutates. Thus through evidence found on the body it is clear that Lindow man was a human sacrifice to the Celtics gods.
Archaeologist Anne Ross believes that Lindow man was an important person, maybe a druid who had been a sacrifice to the gods. This is due to the evidence found on Lindow mans body. Even though he was naked when found, Lindow mans fingernails were extremely well-manicured and kept and this suggested that he could not have been a warrior or a labour. However Don Brothwell who had studied Lindow man says that this might not actually have been true as no other bog men who have had fingernails to compare them with therefore this might not actually have been true. His hair and beard appeared to be trimmed about 2-3 days before his death which is rare as no other male bog body has been found with such a thing. Scissors had been found in England but were rare. This evidence point to the fact that Lindow man was of important and would have been human sacrifice for something big and important.
Therefore it has been concluded that Lindow man was a human sacrifice due to the overwhelming evidence found. This include that he was found in a bog which is a sacred place for offering to their gods, they worshipped three gods in which it was believed he was sacrificed to, his last meal was burnt bannock which expressed he was a human sacrifice and that he was an important man. Therefore the statement studied Ð’â€˜Lindow man was a Celtic sacrifice' to an extent is true as a result of the evidence and information found. Even though many theories are associated with Lindow man either being a human sacrifice or a victim of murder over welling evidence does point to the fact that he was a human sacrifice.