Wednesday, 12 August 2009

National Museum of Ireland

(Image courtesy of BBC)
I also visited the National Museum of Ireland. They had a very interesting exhibit called "Kingship and Sacrifice". In Ireland they have bogs, which are like swamps but very dense. A person can fall into the bog, or many times be placed in the bog as part of a murder. The bog preserves everything including clothing and skin. The only difference is that it dies everything brown, and skin acquires a leathery texture. The exhibit had hats and shoes from the Middle Ages which looked brand new (only brown). Families take bricks of turf from the bog to be burned and made into fuel. Sometimes when people take bricks out of the bog discoveries of things buried in the bog take place. Some remains have been found from between 200 and 400 BC, and are in remarkably good condition. The man pictured above was believed to have been of a higher social station because his hair gel was from the South of France. The exhibit includes a number of references to human sacrifice. I found it to be very interesting, but also tragic. I worried a little about showing the proper amount of respect for the individuals' bodies. Sure, they had died thousands of years before, but they weren't like mummies, you could still see their facial expressions. They look very real and lifelike, and that made it feel complicated to view them in their position they were in when they died or were murdered.

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