Ernest Thompson Seton's Animal heroes PDF

By Ernest Thompson Seton

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This team excavated a huge block, nearly a ton of peat, so that the body could be safely moved. No heavy equipment could be brought into the soupy bog. The huge block of peat had to be lifted by hand and placed on a horse-drawn cart. It was such difficult work that one team member collapsed during the excavation with a fatal heart attack. V. ”21 Did You Know? Most bog people met violent deaths, such as strangulation or stabbing. Many experts think that they were ritually killed as sacrifices to spirits believed to be living in the bogs.

36 And yet that is exactly what these Buddhist monks did. They mummified themselves on purpose. These monks lived between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries. They belonged to the Shingon sect, a small group that combined classical elements of Buddhism with many other belief systems, including mountain worship, shamanism, Taoism, and magic. An important part of their religion was a belief in selfdenial as a way to train the mind to ignore the physical world. In an extreme example of this self-denial, some monks of the Shingon order mummified themselves.

For one thing, it contained an unusually large number of different kinds of seeds and grains. Some grew wild and some were cultivated, and not all would have been easily available. Because of this variety, some think that Tollund Man’s last meal was a special one prepared just for him. This would bolster the theory that he was sacrificed. Speaking of Tollund Man and another mummy, Grauballe Man, Howard Reid comments, “The gruel they ate . . ”22 Furthermore, the barley in Tollund Man’s last meal contained ergot, a kind of fungus that can cause hallucinations when Mummies from the Bogs 33 Did You Know?

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Animal heroes by Ernest Thompson Seton

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