Week 4 – CSI Neolithic Era

I find it very difficult for anyone to for sure say what happened to both the Ice Man and the Bog bodies. There will always be too much speculation and there could always be the wild card theory that is unlikely, but could be true. That being said, most of the theories surrounding the deaths are pretty sound and contrast from each other greatly.

It seems that the Bog Bodies did not appear where that had by accident, unlike the suggested murder with the Ice Man, it is why they were placed there that is up for grabs. I personally agree with many of the theories that suggest human sacrifice or some sort of ritual is the cause for the bodies to appear. The murder idea, if the two incidents were similar, sits weird with me because it would suggest that many people would be dropping their murdered bodies in the same place and someone would have taken notice. A new theory that I thought was interesting was the idea that the people that were killed were prisoners of war (http://www.ffzg.unizg.hr/arheo/ska/tekstovi/ritual_victims.pdf). The idea of holding prisoners shows a lot about the societies that were created in this era. There was obviously a belief of personal gain, due to the fact that war could have been happening between “clans.”  They knew what types of people where important, young, wealthy people according to some theories, and almost killed two birds with one stone with the ritual sacrifice and killing war prisoners.

The prisoner of war theory can also be upheld in the Ice Man, connecting the two incidences. New discoveries have show that, supporting the current ambush idea, that the Ice Man took a blow to the head before he died (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/11/otzi-iceman-head-blow-death-mummy-brain-tissue_n_3418652.html). By showing that he was attacked and it was not an accidental death, the belief that the civilizations had aggressive and violent interactions holds firmer. If societies were able to distinguish who was friend and who was foe, they could also theoretically realize what there was to gain from people. By combining the theories surrounding the deaths, it opens another avenue into the minds of these early Homo sapiens and can help us further uncover and strengthen our theories on why these people died.