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Archaeologists discover historic remains of two people during community dig in Waterford

The remains, found in Gallows Hill in Dungarvan, are believed to date from the 17th Century.

Remains found at Gallows Hill in Dungarvan, Wateford
Remains found at Gallows Hill in Dungarvan, Wateford
Image: John Foley/Waterford County Museum

ARCHAEOLOGISTS WORKING ON a community dig in Dungarvan, Co Waterford have discovered the remains of at least two people.

Volunteers discovered the remains during a dig at Gallows Hill in Dungarvan as part of an excavation that took place during Heritage Week.

It’s been suggested that the fragmentary skeletal remains could belong to individuals who died during the 17th century.

However, the mound is believed to have been an Anglo-Norman ‘motte and bailey’, built in the 12th Century as the Normans sought to establish themselves in Munster. 

It’s therefore thought that the remains could also belong to someone who was executed or displayed on the motte, which may have given the site the name Gallows Hill.

Dungarvan dig Archaeologists on site at Gallows Hill Source: John Foley/Waterford County Museum

The excavation was conducted as part of a long-term project, and the community, along with Waterford County Museum, have carried out historical research and geophysical surveys of the area.

This year’s excavation focused on the summit of the motte, and that’s where the team made their remarkable discoveries.

A team of specialists will now examine the excavated remains to understand the stories behind the people they belong to.

It follows a similar discovery nearby in 1997, when two damaged skulls were recovered from the round tower at Dungarvan Castle, where they had been displayed on poles, possibly during the 1798 Rebellion.

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