He may have been among the first victims of climate change, sacrificed because of changing weather patterns 4,000 years ago. Cashel man, so named because of his discovery in a bog in Cashel, Co Laois in 2011, is the oldest bog body in the world and one of about 300 found in North West Europe.
A one-metre depth of peat can yield 1,000 years of history and analysis of fossilised amoebas by wetlands archaeologist Dr Ben Geary of UCC reveals a shift to a wetter, colder environment during the Bronze/Iron Age, where rainfall increased and weather cooled. For pre-historic tribes it was a disaster, destroying the harvest and leaving the community facing starvation.
Their solution, according to the theory is to kill the king, appease the gods and hope for a better harvest – an early response to climate change.
Irish Times, 28 Nov 2013