the great druid sacrifice

The historical documentary series continues with this examination of Britain’s ancient Druids, as new archaeological discoveries suggest that they engaged in barbaric killings, ritual sacrifice and even cannibalism. The programme also explores the Druids’ revered status amongst ancient Celts, and tells the story of their bloody last stand against Rome’s conquering legions.

Contrary to their popular depiction as gentle, nature-loving mystics, the Druids of ancient Britain wielded a great deal of power. Dating back as far as 1500 BC, they acted as priests, judges, doctors, diviners, sages and scholars, and were considered amongst the wisest and most respected members of Celtic society. But was there a more sinister side to the Druids’ activities?

In 54 BC, fresh from conquering Gaul, Julius Caesar landed on the Kentish coast at the head of his battle-hardened legions. In his first dispatches back to Rome, he wrote of an island dominated by powerful shamanic priests who led their people in gruesome spectacles of human sacrifice. Caesar described one particular ritual in which the Druids herded prisoners into wicker cages shaped like giant men, before burning them alive.

Now, startling new archaeological finds suggest that Caesar’s far-fetched claims may have been based in truth. Extraordinary remains uncovered on ancient battlefields, in limestone caves and deep in Britain’s peat bogs reveal a vivid and chilling new picture of the Druids and the world of the ancient Celts. The discovery of a mass grave in northern France containing hundreds of neatly stacked headless bodies suggests that the Druids carried out ritual sacrifice. More remarkable than this, however, is the discovery of 150 bodies in a cave near Bristol, where archaeologists found signs of ritualistic cannibalism. Even Lindow Man, the most stunningly preserved British bog body, may have been the victim of a brutal Druidic ceremonial killing.

In February 2008, archaeologists unearthed an ancient grave in an Essex gravel pit containing the remains of a cloaked and jewelled body surrounded by a variety of precious objects. Among them were dozens of iron and copper surgical instruments, strange divining rods and a unique rectangular board game set with 26 carefully placed glass counters. Thought to be the only Druid burial site ever found, this grave is in stark contrast to those of the Druids’ supposed victims, and offers a unique insight into how they lived and why they killed.

The Great Druid Sacrifice: Revealed uncovers the truth about Britain’s Celtic Druids – and tells the dramatic story of their last days, from Caesar’s first incursion into Britain through to the Druids’ bloody last stand on the sacred Isle of Anglesey. The film reveals the Druids’ powerful hold over the Celtic Britons, and examines why the Roman conquerors were so determined to wipe them out as they became the centre of British resistance to the Roman onslaught.

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