Turf cutters uncovered the body of a 25- or 30-year-old woman in Ireland's Meenybradden Bog near Ardara, County Donegal on May 3,1978. She was buried about three feet below the surface and was wrapped in a wool cloak. She did not appear to have suffered a violent death and was buried without any other items around her. Only her feet had deteriorated; otherwise her body was the first well-preserved Irish bog body to be discovered in the Twentieth Century.
The Meenybradden Woman was sent to Dublin and placed in a freezer in the City Morgue where it remained for the next seven years. Unfortunately, the body was damaged during its extended deep freeze. Eventually, in July 1985, the body was shipped to the British Museum where it was conserved and examined scientifically.
Researchers concluded that she was deliberately buried, with some care, in the bog--an unusual location for a burial (bogs were not hallowed ground). However, scientists could not determine a cause of death.
Her cloak has caused a small controversy. Radiocarbon testing indicated the woman's body was some 500 years older than the cloak. Scientists wonder if this indicated a problem with the dating system, or if she was reburied in a cloak from a later time.
Where to see her
Meenybradden Woman is not currently on display.