Segments in this Video

Ghosts of Murdered Kings Intro (02:35)


This segment orients viewers to the topic of the ancient cadavers found in Irish peat bogs with excerpts from the film. (Sponsors)

Ancient Victims (01:32)

A heavy equipment operator found a distorted human body in a peat bog. Bodies have been found in bogs scattered across northern Europe.

Tollund Man (01:14)

In 1950, peat cutters located the cadaver in a bog outside of Silkeborg; tests identify him as 2,300-years-old. Learn how he died.

Grauballe Man (01:45)

The cadaver was found 11 miles from Tollund Man and is over 2,300-years-old. Learn how he died. Other European bog bodies show signs of violence.

Cashel Man Examination (02:02)

Archaeologist Ned Kelly and his team have analyzed several bog bodies. Experts discuss Cashel Man's unusual position and his tissue.

Early Stage Information (01:50)

A state pathologist visits the location where Cashel Man was found. She examines the peat milling machine to identify 21st century damage to the body.

Cashel Man CT Scan (03:19)

Experts better understand the skeleton orientation. They identify two spinal ruptures and a broken right arm; bog trauma likely caused the vertebrae to split.

Violent Death? (01:13)

Experts find a long thin cut along Cashel Man's back. They discuss the possibility of a traumatic death.

"Barbari" (03:46)

Ancient Roman writings describe the Celtic lifestyle. Ancient myths and stories may hold clues to the Celts. Ned Kelly believes Old Croghan Man and Clonycavan Man were sacrifices.

Bog Deaths: 500 B.C. -200 A.D. (01:41)

Experts were stunned to learn that Cashel Man died 4,000 years ago; he is the world's oldest fleshed bog body.

Bogs (02:10)

Learn physical characteristics of a bog; bogs are archaeological records. An expert examines layers of peat.

Peat Core Sample (02:36)

An archaeologist explains the landscape 700 years before Cashel Man was deposited in the bog and the environment during his lifetime.

Bronze Age Archaeology (03:04)

Billy Mag Fhloinn demonstrates a smelting method to create an axe head. Experts describe Bronze Age society and agriculture.

Irish Climate History (03:31)

A peat excavation in Derryville provides clues to Iron Age weather patterns. Experts discuss the significance of testate amoebae and a cold climate shift in 850 B.C.

Derryville Ritual Paths? (03:13)

Archaeologists uncover a network of walkways; each track ends where the marsh was its wettest. Experts discuss votive offerings found in bogs.

Ritual Murder? (03:14)

Iron Age citizens did not typically bury their dead. Experts consider the implications of Celtic bog bodies and images of ritual killings on the Gundestrup Cauldron.

Overkill in Ireland? (02:22)

Ned Kelly provides details surrounding the deaths of Old Croghan Man and Clonycavan Man. Experts consider the significance of violence in sacrifice.

Bog Bodies: Social Status (02:10)

Experts try to identify Cashel Man's last meal. Hair samples and stomach contents reveal the social standings of Clonycavan Man and Old Croghan Man.

Bog Bodies: Hair Styles (02:39)

Clonycavan Man used imported tree resin and a hair tie to secure his hair. Osterby Man wore his hair in a Suebian knot. Experts believe Clonycavan was an upper-class Celt.

"Annals of the Four Masters" (02:26)

One account describes explicit violence used to kill the high king of Ireland. Another describes the symbolic wedding between the king and the land.

Kings Ritually Killed? (03:39)

Ned Kelly believes Old Croghan Man and Cashel Man were high status sacrificial victims; the location of both bog bodies is significant.

Credits: Ghosts of Murdered Kings (01:23)

Credits: Ghosts of Murdered Kings

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Ghosts of Murdered Kings

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A corpse found in a bog in the hills of Ireland's County Tipperary dates to the Bronze Age, more than 3,000 years ago. This film reveals a violent demise: the body covered in axe marks, the spine snapped and the arm broken in two places. NOVA follows archaeologists and forensic experts in their hunt for clues to the identity and the circumstances of this and other violent deaths of victims unearthed in bogs. A new theory suggests that they were ritually murdered kings, slain to assure the fertility of land and people.

Length: 54 minutes

Item#: BVL58706

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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