A SKULL whose discovery sparked a murder hunt will go on display nearly 2,000 years after being sacrificed.

When the skull was found in 1958 by a peat moss worker, police combed mossland and wild rumours involving skeletons, murder and a horde of gold flew round Astley village,ner Tyldesley, but the murder hunt was abandoned when doctors discovered the skull was very old.

In 1987 scientists and historians re-examined the skull and discovered it was actually about 2,000 years old and had been remarkably preserved in the peatbog on Worsley Moss.

Now a facial reconstruction of the Iron Age skull is underway at Manchester University and Manchester Museum bosses plan to showcase "Worsley Man" -- known locally as 'Pete Bog' -- in an exhibition later this year.

Dr John Prag, keeper of Archeology at Manchester Museum, said: "The reason we are doing this is, first of all, it gives us a chance to reconstruct what he looked like and to study him, and secondly, the general public will be able to see what one of their ancestor's looked like.

"It's not being done in a disrespectful way, but in a thoughtful way. It shows what we can learn from human remains."

Dr Prag believes "Pete Bog" bears all the hallmarks of a Celtic sacrificial death.

He appears to have undergone a "triple sacrifice," as his skull was bludgeoned, his throat cut, and then garrotted before being decapitated -- the garrotte is still present.

To reconstruct "Pete Bog's" face, CT scans have been taken at Christie's Hospital. Every millimetre of the skull has been x-rayed and a computer programme will later help re-construct the face.

A radiocarbon date places 'Pete' at around 100-200 AD.

He was found on August 18, 1958, by John Connelly as he was walling peat blocks in an isolated spot just inside the Worsley bundary, about two miles from Astley Green village.

The remains were kept in a perspex box at the Museum of the Pathology Department of the Manchester Medical School until 1987 when a multi-disciplinary team was assembled to review the 1958 findings.