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The Discovery Of Lindow Man Essay

1867 words - 7 pages

Lindow ManDiscovery of Lindow Man:On May 13, 1983, Andy Mould, a commercial peat worker was loading peat onto a shredder at Lindow Moss, a large and ancient bog in Lindow, England. He pulled out of one block of peat what he thought was an old deflated football. However, after hosing it off, Andy realised that he found a skull with one eyeball still intact. It was later determined to have belonged to a woman over 1750 years ago. The find was small, and considered fairly insignificant.Just over one year later at the same peat Bog, Andy Mould was again inspecting large lumps of peat for any stones or pieces of wood. He grabbed at what he thought was an old log and threw it to his co-worker. However, as the 'wood' hit the ground, the peat around it crumbled and exposed a human foot. Local authorities extracted the rest of the body, and it was so well preserved that police believed they had found the remains of a woman who was reported missing 20 years earlier. However, this time Andy Mould's discovery was more significant than he could ever have imagined, for Lindow Moss had revealed 2000 year old secret of Lindow Man, and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his death.Preservation of the Body:At the Time of Death:Lindow Man's body did not decay whilst in the peat bog for three main reasons:1. The water in the Lindow Moss peat bog was anaerobic, (free of oxygen) so bacteria was unable to grow and decompose the body2. The bog was highly acidic (around pH4.) This preserved Lindow Man's features, as well as his hair, fingernails and skin almost perfectly.3. The freezing cold temperature of Lindow Moss meant that his body was refrigerated and decay was stopped.These factors enabled Lindow Man to be preserved in near perfect condition, allowing archaeologists to catch a glimpse of the death rituals of an ancient Celtic civilisation.After The Discovery:Police believed the corpse to be only 20 years old, so it was transported to a local hospital and stored in a refrigerated box kept at 4°C, the standard morgue temperature. However archaeologist Rick Turner concluded that the body must be fairly old as it was buried under 2.5 m of peat, so the remains were taken to London's British Museum for an autopsy.The autopsy revealed the body to be over 2000 years old, and great anxiety pursued the conclusions of the report. The scientist's needed to find a method of preserving the body immediately, to prevent decay. Lindow Man's last moment's had been captured in time over two millennia ago by Lindow Moss, and he contained too great a wealth of information to be at risk of decay for too long. The archaeological team and scientists concluded that the best way to preserve the corpse would be through freeze-drying it, a process that involves removing moisture from organic materials. The water is turned to ice, then converted to vapor and then carefully removed. Freeze-drying is also useful for preserving remains as it limits the...

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