For the last several decades there has been a growing increse in the archaeological research in Ireland. Much of this new research has been focused on the Gaelic western half of the country which had been mainly neglected in previous research. Researchers in Ireland are now making an attempt to understand what was happening in the Gaelic portion of the country during the medieval period. In the late 1990s, an excavation at Mainistir Chiaráin, a medieval monestary site on the island of Inis Mór, was undertaken in the hopes of shedding more light on this topic. Revealed in the excavation was an assemblage of disarticulated human remains, later understood to be a minimum of 12 people. A systematic study of this osteology was undertaken in the hopes of learning more about the lives of people living on Inis Mór. A date of the late 13th century CE was determined from a tooth by AMS dating. The bones were curated and assessed for age, sex, stature, health, work load and pathologies. Several unexpected findings came to light during the analysis, including a potential case of tuberculosis and another potential case of scurvy, as well as premolar and molar hypoplasia, mandibular torus, and shovel-shaped incisors. Speculation was made as to whether the nature of the assemblage was indiciative of the population as a whole, or if it was representitive of some sort of liminal burial of outsiders to the community. Future research is needed to answer this question.
University of Minnesota M.A. thesis. June 2010. Major: Anthropology. Advisors: Kieran McNulty, John Soderberg, and Kathleen Blue. 1 computer file (PDF);vii, 98 pages. ill., maps.
Lerwick, Danika Ceilidh.
Waking the Dead: The Human Remains from Mainistir Chiaráin, Inis Mór, Ireland..
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.