Archaeological evidence for the Iron Age practice of embalming your enemies' severed heads with resin and displaying them

Irish folklore and ancient literature is full of that.

The Hellboy story “The Corpse” is basically a direct adaptation of an Irish folktale with Hellboy subbed in for the traditional hero.

Features a talking dead body, and attempts to find it an appropriate burial place.

Talking corpses, spirits of the dead all over that shit. And the severed heads are the only seemingly ritual use of dead bodies we’ve found.

Plus Halloween original an Irish (or Gaelic really) holiday with all it’s returning spirits of the dead.

The whole of it seems to indicate that the dead were a regular, real presence in the Celtic world. Both in terms of physical remains, and as spirits.

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I don’t know where Jacobs adapted this from, but some very helpful unbodied heads here:

That’s very British. Heads and wells and strange old men.

From what I remember Jacobs was a collector of folktales. There’s usually a bit of tweaking (sometimes significant) in retelling the tales. But its less adaptation than recording oral tales. So you’ll never really know what changes were made unless others collected other versions from nearby. Or like the Grimms Jacobs kept records of the unvarnished stories as told, and where/from whom he collected them.

He seems to have been an Anthropologist so I’d imagine that’s around somewhere. But the morality play aspect of a lot of these things is often what’s been added around that time. The earlier versions of a lot of your famous fairy tells are a lot stranger, and lot more ambiguous

As is Welsh folklore. The Mabinogion tells of Bran the Blessed, whose severed head continues to speak for many years.

(Fun fact for Game of Thrones fans: Bran means “crow” in Welsh.)


What did the Celt warrior say to the Roman soldier before he decapitated him?





Is this a first? :stuck_out_tongue:

There are LOTS of things I don’t know!

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It’s worth remembering that the Romans were an invading force and the only source of info on the ancient Celts.They painted their neighbors as baby killers to justify themselves so I have no doubt they did the same with the Celts.

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