Blog Post 4 – Ice and Bogs

Both the Iceman and the bodies found in bogs show signs of a violent demise; this interests scientists historians alike for obvious reasons. Is there a connection to the fact that most ancient bodies that are recovered show a cause of death related to outside factors? Does it simply show a correlation between between our past and violence, a time when there was no society to deal with rights and wrongs, no moral code? Take the Iceman; after an autopsy, a wound identified on his left shoulder revealed his ultimate and very unnatural death. In addition to the arrow that killed him, the body showed other signs of violent struggle including a wound to the hand, multiple bruises and finally a skull fracture that would have caused major trauma to the brain (http://www.iceman.it/en/oetzi-the-iceman). The bog bodies are also quite interesting in this sense – all of them show particularly violent ends. From severed limbs and lacerations to strangulation to disembowelment, it looks as though these bodies were the product of execution.

I look at these links to our past and gain any and all insight I can. Without a doubt our past as a race was brutal; the law of the jungle ruled the land. Power was the language and with it what could be gained through force. There was no overarching authority to keep us in check. You could keep what you stole.  As a species were we just more animalistic back then, spilling blood of our fellow human without remorse? I think not. Not that we’re not animalistic, just that we’re not particularly any less so today. Society has just progressed to the point of order. I don’t believe we’re any less capable of atrocities – look around you, it still happens. But also I see a type of crude society with crude morals forming even back then. These bog bodies could have been, and most likely are criminals or those with perceived social imperfections (http://archive.archaeology.org/online/features/bog/). So, even then we were forming order in the natural chaos as is possible through sentience – in order to protect ourselves from one another, that we can grow and build.