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Body discovery: archaeological sensation instead of a case for the murder squad

Body discovery: archaeological sensation instead of a case for the murder squad
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Image: MARIUS BECKER (DPA)

A body found in Northern Ireland, which initially brought the police to the scene, has turned out to be an archaeological sensation. Police in Northern Ireland said on Thursday that remains discovered in peat in the town of Bellaghy in Northern Ireland in October 2023 could be up to 2,500 years old.

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“After an initial investigation, we could not be sure whether the remains were old or the result of a more recent death,” Detective Inspector Nikki Deehan said, according to the statement. Therefore, the body was excavated with full forensic precautions to secure DNA for potential criminal investigations. But that turned out not to be necessary: ​​the boy, aged between 13 and 17, died around 500 BC, as radiocarbon dating showed. Unlike other bog bodies, the skeleton is well preserved and parts of the skin, nails and possibly a kidney are also present. Nothing was initially known about the cause of death.

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