A Medieval skeleton, found among tree roots, has sparked a compelling murder mystery. Archaeologists in Ireland made the grisly discovery in May. However, it took several months to determine how long the victim was buried, and the cause of death.
As reported by Fox News, the Medieval skeleton was discovered when a 215-year-old tree was uprooted during a storm. Officials with Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services were called to the scene to excavate and examine the remains — which were entangled in the massive roots.
— DiscoveryID (@DiscoveryID) September 15, 2015
An extensive analysis revealed the victim was a young man between the ages of 17 and 20. The scientists also used the radiocarbon dating process to determine the victim was killed between 1030 and 1200.
The Irish Times reports the Medieval skeleton was around 5’10”, which is exceptionally tall for the 11th and 12th centuries. The scientists also noted the young man suffered with “mild joint disease,” which may have been caused by performing “physical labor from a young age.”
Although the specific cause of death is unknown, Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services Director Marion Dowd confirmed the victim was “killed violently.” According to Dowd, the young man suffered “stab wounds in the upper chest.” He also suffered at least one defensive stab wound to the left hand.
It is unclear whether the victim was killed during a personal dispute or a larger battle. However, Dowd believes the victim was given a Christian burial and was buried intact.
— Fast Facts (@777Mediaprod) September 15, 2015
As reported by CBS News, the Medieval skeleton was likely “damaged by tree-root activity.” As the tree is just over 200 years old, the grave was nearly 700 years old when it was planted.
Historical records suggest a graveyard was located “somewhere in the wider vicinity” during the 19th century. However, with the exception of the young man’s skeleton, no other remains were discovered at the site.
As the analysis is not yet complete, Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services currently has possession of the Medieval skeleton. When the archaeologists conclude their investigation, the remains will be turned over to the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin.
Although the researchers discovered many clues about the Medieval skeleton found among the tree roots, numerous questions remain.
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