Posted by: aediculaantinoi | August 26, 2013

Apologies for my absence: Here, have a bog body…

As you’ll have noted, the activity here in the good ol’ Aedicula Antinoi has been slim to none since the Festival of the Red Lotus. I wish I could say I’ve been drowning in red lotus petals since then, but that’s only partially true…I’ve been drowning in a variety of other things, but none of them result in deification. There were family visits and reunions and such for the entire weekend, Friday to Monday (in fact, the main family members in question are headed to the airport right now), so there has not been time for even responding to e-mails, much less writing blog posts. However, given that there have also not been any holy days or other such occasions in the meantime, it’s not a huge loss for anything other than the very lonely hit counter on this blog, which isn’t even that lonely amidst all of this.

I’m into the last week of summer quarter at present, though, so things might not get “back to normal” (for whatever value thereof) until next week, and there’s a lot of work, both collegiate and non-, whihc must be done meanwhile. Off to it…

But, before I head over to some of that, have a look at this article on a 4,000 year old bog body from Co. Laois in Ireland, not far from Cashel. I have to say, I’m not that impressed with the interpretations of the find thus far:

The experts believe he was killed in a ritual sacrifice. This kind of sacrifice was known to take place in later eras but not in the Early Bronze Age, 2000 BC.

Kelly wrote, “All the indications are that the human remains from Cashel Bog tell of the fate of a young king who, through folly or misadventure, was deemed to have failed to appease the goddess on whose benevolence his people depended, and who paid the ultimate price.”

Okay…I can accept that there was a ritual killing involved here (as there was with many bog bodies), but that’s not the same as “ritual sacrifice.” There’s any number of reasons to ritually off a person, not all of which are human sacrifice; and, if this individual was indeed a king, then some sort of ritualized (often threefold) death was what removed his kingship from him. But, what is there to indicate he was a king at all? He could have just been an unfortunate victim of banditry while going from place-to-place one day, and he was hacked in the back and left to seep into the bog. While the interpretation of the archaeologists is creative in this case, there were not written records upon which one could depend for such theories, nor are there any indications that this individual would have been a king or anything of the sort. So, academic over-stepping and over-interpretation of finds based on an inadequate understanding of polytheism and cultural custom might be more the reasons for this interpretation’s advancing than actual evidence of any kind. Feh…

Think about that for a few days while I gather myself for a more in-depth and topical discussion in the next few days…and, perhaps, a few other minor posts of interest otherwise in the meanwhile.


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