Downpatrick dig: Medieval child's remains found in grave | Eurasia Diary -

18 July, Thursday

Downpatrick dig: Medieval child's remains found in grave

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The remains of a young child and a teenager are among 14 skeletons uncovered in an ancient burial ground within meters of St Patrick's grave.

The medieval skeletons were found beside Down Cathedral in Downpatrick, County Down, in August 2018.

Archaeologists first thought they had found the lost cemetery of 13th Century Benedictine monks.

But they have said the oldest skeleton is that of a five or six-year-old child who died almost 1,000 years ago.

The most recent skeleton is that of a young woman, believed to be a late adolescent, buried between 1317 and 1429.

Experts said she was suffering from severe tooth abscesses at the time of her death and believe she may have traveled to the on-site monastery in search of medicine or prayer.

A community dig was led by archaeologists from Queen's University in Belfast, working with volunteers to prepare the ground for the erection of a replica high cross.

Visitors from around the world flocked to the area as the dig unfolded.


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