2500 year old bog man proves vanity is timeless
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2500 year old bog man proves vanity is timeless

Found fully preserved in a peat bog outside Dublin in 2003, the Clonycavan man continues to shed new light on an ancient civilization. The 5ft 2in man that detectives originally thought was an IRA victim from the 1970s is known as “the Iron Age Beckham” because of his slicked-back hairstyle. New research has proven that the Clonycavan man achieved that look with the help of an unlikely product- ancient imported hair gel.

Archaeologists from the University of York, England analyzed the substance, and found it was made of vegetable plant oil and resin. Further study revealed the resin came from pine trees found in Spain and southwest France. This discovery has been hailed as the first proof of a trade in luxury good between Ireland and Southern Europe some 2,500 years ago.

Buried alone, and discovered by a farmer cutting peat, the mummified Clonycavan man is believed to be an aristocrat. He was killed by a series of violent blows to the back of the head, evidence to archaeologists that he may have been part of a ritual sacrifice. The Clonycavan man lived sometime between 392 and 201 BC. Since discovery, his body has been preserved in a lab in wet peat, and only exposed for short periods of time for testing. Scientists are very careful with the Clonycavan man; of the 350 so-called “bog bodies” that have been unearthed in Northern Europe, few have had such well-preserved fleshed remains.

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