The deaths of sacrificed victims of this time ranged from being hung or hit in the back of the head. Some of the victims had their throat slit, while others were found with the noose still wrapped around their neck. However, what causes one to believe that Fissured Fred was sacrificed is that he was located in a ‘special’ place, where people were known to make offerings to the afterworld. In this article, we will explore other examples of human sacrifice during ancient times.
Ancient Rome and Human Sacrifice
When word hit the ears of Julius Caesar and other Romans about human sacrifice rituals associated with the Celts, they were disgusted. They learned that humans were struck in the back with a sword and then fortune telling could be told by the way the body spasmed. According to Diodorus Siculus, the Gauls also took the life of a man by stabbing them above the midriff so that as he struggled towards death, the way their limbs moved and their blood poured out , foretelling of the future could take place.
While the Romans looked down upon the Celts for their practices, they still engaged in a different sort of human sacrifice”¦in the form of their gladiator games. They considered it an entertaining sport to feed people to lions. To make matters worse, thousands of Celts that were conquered in Gaul became victims of these ‘games’ in Rome. The Romans were also known for cutting off the hands and feet of their victims and leaving them to die a slow death. Because the Romans did not condone the human sacrifice practices of the Celts, they truly believed they had a right to treat the Celts in the manner that they did.
Ironically, while the Romans chastised the Celts and Germans for their human sacrifices, they completely ignored the fact that the British Isles had a habit of sacrificing humans to please the gods of the island. Thanks to the discovery of bog bodies in Britain, we now know this. In Lindow Moss in Cheshire, three bog body remains were found. When dated, they were linked to the start of the Roman period.
One of the best examples of the preserved bodies showed a man that had been hit on the head so forcefully, that chips of his skull were found in his brain. He was also hit so hard that he suffered a cracked molar. Additionally, his throat had been slit and it seemed that a slip-knot was found around his neck. Upon examining the contents of his stomach, pieces of burnt bread and mistletoe pollen (sacred to the Celts and Britons) were found. His body was nearly naked with the exception of an armband made out of fox fur.
Interestingly, many of the bog bodies found throughout northern Europe show a range of physical deformities, ranging from spinal defects, short limbs, and extra digits. It is believed that such people were chosen for human sacrifice because they had been ‘touched by the gods’.