|23 January 2005
Workmen find body in bog machine
Workmen at the Bord na Mona works in Mountdillon (Co Longford, Ireland) made a chilling discovery when they uncovered what is now known to be parts of a human skeleton in the body of a machine. The machine in question - a massive harvester - was brought in for a routine service and the grim discovery was made as a team of fitters were about to begin their work. Works manage immediately notified local Gardai and in turn a team of archaeologists were rushed down from Dublin.
A quick examination of the remains confirmed that they were human but at this stage the archaeologists could give no indication as to how long the body may have been in the bog of whether or not it died from natural causes. Two archaeologists took the remains back to Dublin and they will carry out an extensive examination of the remains. At this stage there is still no indication as to whether the remains are male or female.
It is more than probable that the remains have been in the body of the harvester since the semi-state company ended seasonal harvesting work towards the end of last year. It is not unusual for workmen to uncover skeletal remains in a bog but this is certainly the first in recent memory to be found in Co Longford. Bogs can be treacherous places and it is thought likely that bodies found in the peat were those of ancient travellers who slipped into bog pools and were trapped. Some ancient bodies discovered were supposedly clutching heather or sticks as if attempting to haul themselves out.
Coincidentally it is now ten years since the opening of the Corlea Interpretative Centre in Kenagh and that was the result of another chance discovery by Bord na Mona workers. The trackway was discovered by workmen close to Kenagh village and dates to the Iron Age at 148 BCE. It was composed of oak planks, measuring 2.5m each, which rested on parallel pairs of long runners at right angles to the direction of the track way. In places the oak planks were secured by sharpened pegs of birch driven through mortices at their ends. The track way extended for a distance of almost 1km across the bog.
Source: The Longford Leader (19 January 2005)
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