Kingship and Sacrifice: Bog Bodies at the National Museum
Kingship and Sacrifice
An exhibition of Iron Age bog bodies and related finds
Following the discoveries of Iron Age bog bodies at Oldcroghan, Co. Offaly and Clonycavan, Co. Meath in 2003, a team of international specialists worked with the Irish Antiquities Division and Conservation Department to examine these human remains. Kingship and Sacrifice gives an overview of the results of the analysis and, along with other bog bodies from Museum collections, offers an opportunity to literally come ‘face to face’ with the past.
The exhibition is based around the theory that human sacrifice and the deposition of the victims in bogs along tribal boundaries is related to sovereignty and kingship rituals during the Iron Age. Other related material displayed includes items of royal regalia, horse trappings, weapons, feasting utensils, boundary markers and votive deposits of butter known as bog butter.
Also included in the exhibition is a replica of a silver cauldron from a Danish bog. Known as the Gundestrup Cauldron, it shows images of Celtic deities as well as scenes of kingship and sovereignty ritual, including human sacrifice.