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4 June 2003
Further digs planned for Irish midlands bog

As a follow-up to the discovery of a male torso of possible Iron Age origin found in early May near Daingean in Co Offaly (Republic of Ireland), further excavations for other human remains or evidence of settlement are planned for a 74-acre site identified by Department of Environment archaeologists. Current wet conditions preclude a full-scale excavation at the moment, but it is hoped that the bog will be sufficiently dry later in the summer to allow work to begin.
     In the meantime, the National Museum of Ireland is continuing in its efforts to determine the age of the torso. The clothes and arm bracelet indicate the man lived up to 2,000 years ago, but it will be sometime before the carbon dating test results will be available. It is hoped that tests will also determine the circumstances of how he died—whether at the scene or whether he was brought there for burial. Few human remains found in bogs over the years have been as complete or in such good condition as this body, where the skin and fingernails are still intact.
     Linda Shine of the museum’s Irish Antiquities Unit said, “The body is with the conservation unit at the moment. The priority is to make sure it’s not going to decompose.”
     A recent but brief search in the midlands bog by members of the Irish Wetlands Archaeological Unit for the missing head has turned up nothing.

Source: The Irish Examiner (26 May 2003)

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