Life and death in medieval Gaelic Ireland
The skeletons from Ballyhanna, Co. Donegal
Catriona McKenzie & Eileen Murphy
In 2003, the skeletal remains of some 1,300 individuals – men, women and children – were uncovered from Ballyhanna, near Ballyshannon in Co. Donegal. Radiocarbon dating indicates that the cemetery was in use for a prolonged period of time from the 7th to the 17th century. The remains of all individuals were subject to a detailed osteological and palaeo-pathological analysis. This book contextualizes the results of the research, revealing a wealth of information concerning health, diet and lifestyle of the people buried at Ballyhanna. The analysis represents the first comprehensive study of a skeletal population from medieval Gaelic Ireland and provides detailed insights concerning the hitherto largely invisible lower class of Gaelic society.
Catriona McKenzie is a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, University of Exeter. Eileen Murphy is a Senior Lecturer in Archaeology in the School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen's University Belfast.