Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: "Frankenstein" Bog Mummies

  1. #1
    Funding Member
    "Friend of Germanics"
    Skadi Funding Member

    Oski's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Last Online
    Thursday, August 15th, 2019 @ 03:11 AM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    American
    Ancestry
    England & Norway
    Subrace
    Faelid + Nordid
    Y-DNA
    R-M405
    mtDNA
    U5a1a1
    Country
    United States United States
    State
    California California
    Gender
    Family
    Single parent
    Occupation
    Property management
    Politics
    Germanic Preservation
    Religion
    Heathen
    Posts
    1,679
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    2
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    8
    Thanked in
    6 Posts

    "Frankenstein" Bog Mummies



    "Frankenstein" Bog Mummies Discovered in Scotland
    Two ancient bodies made from six people, new study reveals.

    Rachel Kaufman

    for National Geographic News

    July 6, 2012

    In a "eureka" moment worthy of Dr. Frankenstein, scientists have discovered that two 3,000-year-old Scottish "bog bodies" are actually made from the remains of six people.

    According to new isotopic dating and DNA experiments, the mummies—a male and a female—were assembled from various body parts, although the purpose of the gruesome composites is likely lost to history.

    The mummies were discovered more than a decade ago below the remnants of 11th-century houses at Cladh Hallan, a prehistoric village on the island of South Uist (map), off the coast of Scotland.

    The bodies had been buried in the fetal position 300 to 600 years after death. (See bog body pictures.)

    Based on the condition and structures of the skeletons, scientists had previously determined that the bodies had been placed in a peat bog just long enough to preserve them and then removed. The skeletons were then reburied hundreds of years later.

    Terry Brown, a professor of biomedical archaeology at the University of Manchester, said there were clues that these bog bodies were more than they seemed.

    On the female skeleton, "the jaw didn't fit into the rest of the skull," he said. "So Mike [Parker Pearson, of Sheffield University] came and said, Could we try to work it out through DNA testing?"

    Brown sampled DNA from the female skeleton's jawbone, skull, arm, and leg. The results show that bones came from different people, none of whom even shared the same mother, he said.

    The female is made from body parts that date to around the same time period. But isotopic dating showed that the male mummy is made from people who died a few hundred years apart.

    Quick Dip in the Bog

    Another clue to the odd nature of the Cladh Hallan mummies is their unusually well-preserved bones.

    A peat bog is a high-acid, low-oxygen environment, which inhibits the bacteria that break down organics, said Gill Plunkett, a lecturer in paleoecology at Queen's University Belfast who was not involved in the current study.

    "The combined conditions are particularly good for the preservation of most organic materials," she said. (Also see "Medieval Christian Book Discovered in Ireland Bog.")

    "But on the other hand, the acidic conditions will attack calcium-based materials," so most known bog bodies have better preserved skin and soft tissue than bones.

    In the Cladh Hallan bodies, the bones are still articulated—attached to each other as they would be in life. This suggests that the buriers removed the bodies from the peat bog after preservation but before acid destroyed the bones.

    When the mummies were later reburied in soil, the soft tissue again began to break down.

    The researchers aren't sure why the villagers went through this unusual process, or why they built composite mummies in the first place.

    A cynical theory, study author Brown said, assumes that the Bronze Age people of Cladh Hallan were just eminently practical: "Maybe the head dropped off and they got another head to stick on."

    Another possibility is that the merging was deliberate, to create a symbolic ancestor that literally embodied traits from multiple lineages.

    Brown cites the example of the Chinchorro mummies discovered in the Chilean Andes, where embalmers reinforced or reconstructed bodies with sticks, grass, animal hair, or even sea lion skin. (Also see "Prehistoric Mummies Poisoned.")

    "It seems the person is not so important, but the image is. So it's not a single identity, but it's representing something."

    More Combo Mummies Out There?

    According to Brown, there may be other composite bodies waiting to be discovered.

    Often when scientists study the DNA of very ancient remains, they sample only one part of a body to prevent needless damage to the skeleton.

    Additional composite bodies, if they exist, are likely to come from such long-ago time periods.

    "I think you'd have to go back to a time when the rituals were more bizarre," Brown said. "You'd have to go back to the mists of unrecorded time."

    The new paper about the composite female mummy appears in the August issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.


    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...ummies20120709
    __________________________________
    Paternal Haplogroup: R1b1b2a1a1*
    Maternal Haplogroup: U5a1a1
    Ancestry Painting: Europe 100%
    Global Similarity: Northern Europeans

  2. #2
    Senior Member TSPagan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 @ 11:29 AM
    Status
    Available
    Ethnicity
    Irish/Norwegian/Swedish
    Ancestry
    Norwegian, Swedish, Irish
    Subrace
    Nordid
    Country
    Vinland Vinland
    State
    Virginia Virginia
    Gender
    Age
    40
    Family
    Single adult
    Politics
    semi-mystical concepts of nature
    Religion
    primal Nordic darkness
    Posts
    37
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    0
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    0
    Thanked in
    0 Posts
    this is so cool, it satisfies my morbid interest and scholarly endeavors.
    May my failures be my own, may my victories be for my folk

  3. #3
    Senior Member Neophyte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Last Online
    Tuesday, October 29th, 2019 @ 11:11 PM
    Ethnicity
    Scandinavian
    Subrace
    Nordic + some Atlantid
    Country
    Sweden Sweden
    Gender
    Age
    46
    Family
    Single adult
    Politics
    Blut und Boden
    Posts
    1,935
    Thanks Thanks Given 
    50
    Thanks Thanks Received 
    43
    Thanked in
    28 Posts
    In the shamanic tradition visions of being dismembered and then reassembled is said to be an integral part of the shamanic initiation (see e.g. Eliade's Shamanism). I would like to speculate in that these composite mummies are somehow connected to that tradition. If so it is interesting that the mummies are gender specific as the shamanic tradition puts some emphasis on androgyny.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 6
    Last Post: Saturday, June 16th, 2018, 01:02 PM
  2. Replies: 0
    Last Post: Wednesday, October 28th, 2009, 11:56 PM
  3. "Ireland Worker Finds Ancient Psalms in Bog"
    By symmakhos in forum Catholicism
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: Sunday, July 30th, 2006, 03:07 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •