The Life and Death of a Druid Prince
Story of an Archaeological Sensation
When a well-preserved body was discovered in a Cheshire peat marsh in 1984, police initially thought they were dealing with the victim of a recent crime. Their subsequent investigations, however, soon proved that the body belonged to a Celt, a sacrifice victim of 2000 years ago. Celtic archaeologist Dr Anne Ross and chemist Dr Don Robins, who began to investigate the matter further, relate the story of their discoveries in this book. The text tells how they were able to date precisely, to the day, the death of "Lindow Man", how he was killed and why he was killed on Lindow Moss. It explains who this Celt was and the significance of his death. The authors piece together a picture of life under the Roman occupation and trace the influence of the Celtic Druid religion on later British history and back into Bronze Age times. Other works by the same authors include "The Secret Language of Stone" by Dr Robins and "Pagan Celtic Britain" by Dr Ross.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
An archeologist (Ross) and a solid-state chemist (Robins) collaborate in a valiant effort to solve the mystery of Lindow Man. In 1984, an English peat-cutter in the Midlands unearthed parts of a male body that turned out to be nearly 2,000 years old. Archeologists rushed to study the well-preserved remains - the oldest human remains ever found in England, and officially known as Lindow Man. Authors Ross and Robins were among the scientists invited to collaborate on a book about the find for the British Museum. Reading each other's contributions, which helped reveal Lindow Man's identity as an aristocratic Celt ritually sacrificed around 50 A.D., they were sufficiently intrigued by a lingering sense that there was more to this stow to continue searching for the precise circumstances of his death. Analyzing the minute contents of Lindow Man's small intestine, Robins concluded that his presacrifical meal was of princely quality. Ross noted that the lack of battle scars indicated that Lindow Man was most likely a Druid priest. Other clues led the authors to believe he had come from Ireland shortly after Roman invaders had blocked off the Celtic trade route from England to Europe, that his arrival was a momentous event, and that his voluntary sacrifice in a hidden clearing near the Roman encampment was made as a last-ditch effort to persuade the Celtic gods not to allow the Romans to attack Ireland - the font of Celtic wealth and culture. If such is the case, Lindow Man was successful in his mission. Fattened on Celtic gold, the Romans stayed in England, while the Celts lived on in the Druid prince's story, preserved in half-forgotten English rituals and legends, and in the form of Lindow Man himself, whose discovery has sparked renewed scholarly interest in the Celts' misty past. An engrossing archeological tale, especially worthwhile for its window into the scientific-detection process. (Kirkus Reviews)