Turf cutters uncovered the
body of a 25- or 30-year-old woman in
Ireland's Meenybradden Bog near Ardara, County Donegal on May 3,1978. She
was buried about three feet below the surface and was wrapped in a wool
cloak. She did not appear to have suffered a violent death and was
buried without any other items around her. Only her feet had
deteriorated; otherwise her body was the first well-preserved Irish bog
body to be discovered in the Twentieth Century.
The Meenybradden Woman was sent to Dublin
and placed in a freezer in the City Morgue where it remained for the
next seven years. Unfortunately, the body was damaged during its
extended deep freeze. Eventually, in July 1985, the body was shipped to
the British Museum where it was conserved and examined scientifically.
Researchers concluded that she was
deliberately buried, with some care, in the bog--an unusual location for
a burial (bogs were not hallowed ground). However, scientists
could not determine a cause of death.
Her cloak has caused a small
controversy. Radiocarbon testing indicated the woman's body was
some 500 years older than the cloak. Scientists wonder if this indicated
a problem with the dating system, or if she was reburied in a cloak from
a later time.