This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 13 August, 2020

Skeletal remains found in Swords could date back to Medieval plague

The remains were found in April but expert analysis was delayed due to Covid19 restrictions.

An aerial picture of the excavation.
An aerial picture of the excavation.
Image: Fingal County Council

SKELETAL REMAINS FOUND in Swords in north county Dublin could date back to a Medieval plague, experts have said.

The remains were found by walkers in River Valley Park in April and a subsequent inspection by the National Museum of Ireland confirmed the remains as being archaeological.

Covid-19 restrictions had prevented further excavation from taking place at the time but that examination has now been completed. 

The site where the remains were found is a recorded archaeological monument where archaeologists from the National Monuments Service excavated six skeletons in 1999.

Those skeletons were found to be Medieval in date and Fingal County Council says the burials were “deposited in an irregular fashion within a floodplain”.

The councils says it was therefore thought the site may reflect some form of communal, hasty burial of victims of plague or other trauma.

This latest skeletal finding was examined in June and osteoarchaeologist Maeve McCormick indicated that the skeleton was a juvenile probably of 10-12 years of age.

It was also determined that the skeleton was within the same cemetery excavated in 1999.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Radiocarbon dating of animal and human remains to get a precise timeline is currently underway.

Fingal County Council’s Heritage Officer Christine Baker says this analysis will “add to the story of this burial ground”. 

“We are also investigating the most appropriate means to suspend the erosion of the site and will continue to work with the National Monuments Service and the National Museum of Ireland to protect this archaeological monument,” she said.

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

Read next:


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a commentcancel