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16 March 2012
Worsley Man: hospital scanner probes Iron Age bog death

Archaeologists have solved a 1900-year-old mystery using a medical CT scanner to image the head of an Iron Age murder victim. The preserved head of the second century CE Briton known as the Worsley Man was found in a peat bog in 1958. The scan shows he as bludgeoned over the head, garrotted and then beheaded.
     Experts had been divided over how he died, but the scan shows clear marks of the ligature that strangled him. The Worsley Man is thought to have lived around 100 CE, when Romans occupied much of Britain. His head has been kept at the Manchester Museum on Oxford Road since its discovery. Brian Stich, the museum's curator of archaeology, said: "This really was an extraordinary level of violence."
     The violent death shares chilling similarities with the famous Lindow Man, whose preserved body was found in a Cheshire peat bog in 1984. Tests suggest the Lindow man, who lived around 150 years earlier, had also been beaten, garrotted and had his throat slit. This has fuelled speculation that early Britons were able to practise sacrifice under the noses of their Roman occupiers, who had garrisons in Chester and Manchester.

Edited from BBC News (8 March 2012), Mail Online (9 March 2012)

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