Thursday, January 19, 2006

Hair-gelled Celt may be proof of ancient Irish trade

The hair-gelled head of an ancient Celt, dubbed the Iron Age Beckham because of his slicked-back look, has been reconstructed by Scots scientists.

Examinations of the Clonycavan man, found fully preserved in a peat bog in Ireland, revealed he used a gel made from a mixture of plant oil and pine resin, believed to be from south-west France or Spain, on his hair.

The discovery has been held up as the first evidence of the trade of luxury goods between Ireland and Southern Europe 2,500 years ago.

Archaeologists suggest the gel may have been applied in an attempt to increase the man's diminutive stature - he was only 5ft 2in tall.