Why Does This Ancient Corpse Have a Manicure?

Kane Khanh | Archeaology
November 20, 2023

In central Ireland, beneath the looming presence of Croghan Hill, lies a mystery shrouded in history. Known simply as the Old Croghan Man, his true name remains a riddle lost to time. Archaeologists named him after the very bog where he was found. This location hints at his significance, for Croghan Hill once served as the epicenter of an ancient Irish Kingdom.  A peculiar aspect of Croghan Man’s identity lies in his well-manicured fingernails. Unlike the toiling hands of laborers, his bore no scars or calluses. These immaculate hands suggest a life devoid of manual labor, signifying a high social status.

Further clues arise from an ornate armlet adorning his left arm, crafted from plated leather with copper alloy mounts. Such armlets were symbols of prestige, associated with solar worship, a practice deeply intertwined with the Iron Age. The metal clips on this armlet, resembling the sun, could indicate Croghan Man’s role as a religious leader, possibly a druid. Druids were an exclusive class, their knowledge and power veiled in secrecy. Chosen at a young age, they underwent extensive training, emerging as revered figures with connections to the divine and nature itself. Croghan Man, tall, strong, and high in status, might have been one of these enigmatic leaders.


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance… Read More