Category Archives: EUROPE

Hundreds of gold coins dating to Rome’s Imperial era found in Italy

In mint condition! Millions of pounds-worth of pristine 5th-century gold coins are found buried in a pot under an Italian theatre.

It was an amphora, not a pot, but archaeologists found a literal jackpot in a dig in northern Italy last week. No word on if there was a rainbow. Hundreds of gold coins dating from Rome’s late Imperial era, the 4th or 5th century, were found at a dig in Como, Italy, according to the Italian Ministry of Culture.

Hundreds of gold coins dating to the 4th or 5th centuries were found in an archaeological dig in Como, Italy.

The ministry shared photos of the shiny coins, which were spilling out of an amphora — a Roman jar with two handles — buried in the dirt.

Inside was an estimated 300 gold coins from the late Roman Imperial era, which took place in the 5th century, just before the empire’s untimely demise. Despite their age, the coins are in miraculous condition, with all the images and engravings easily visible.

“We do not yet know in detail the historical and cultural significance of the find,” said Alberto Bonisoli, the culture minister of Italy’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (Ministero per I Beni e le Attività Culturali) in a press release.

“But that area is proving to be a real treasure for our archaeology. A discovery that fills me with pride”.

A priceless stash of fifth-century gold coins has been found buried in a pot under an Italian theatre
Archaeologists digging on the former site of the Cressoni Theatre in Como were stunned to discover them

The urn and its stash of gold were taken to a government restoration laboratory in Milan, where they will be thoroughly examined. This might take a while, however, as the coins were found tightly packed into little stacks so that they can only be removed one at a time with careful precision.

So far, historians have successfully separated 27 coins, all of which are from the 5th century. This makes this treasure particularly intriguing, as, during this time, there was very little currency flow in the Roman economic system.

The coins feature engravings that suggest they were minted during the reigns of five different emperors: Honorius, Valentinian III, Leon I, Antonio, and Libio Severo.

The Italian media has predicted that the coins, none of which reach beyond 474 AD, could be worth millions of euros. And that doesn’t even take into account everything that was found in the urn, or the urn itself.

Keeping the coins company was a bar of gold, and at the bottom of the urn, archaeologists predict even more precious objects might be found.

According to The History Blog, “no such hoard has even been unearthed in northern Italy before”.

The archaeological site may seem like an odd place to stash such valuable items, but whoever placed them there likely “buried it in such a way that in case of danger they could go and retrieve it.” That’s according to Maria Grazia Facchinetti, an expert in rare coins. Beyond the location, the way that the coins were hidden has given historians like Facchinetti a few hints about the owner’s identity.

“They were stacked in rolls similar to those seen in the bank today,” she says.

“All of this makes us think that the owner is not a private subject, rather it could be a public bank or deposit”.

Facchinetti’s theory is bolstered by the fact that the theatre is just a few steps away from the city’s forum – a place where merchants, banks, and temples often did business.

Although the ancient Roman neighborhood was also known for its wealth, so a miserly and paranoid private owner is not out of the question. Layer analysis will now be used to determine if the coins were all deposited in the same era or if they were placed in the urn over a period of time.

The Cressoni Theatre, where the coins were found, is not far from the ancient city of Novum Comum, home to many other important Roman artifacts. The historic theatre was opened in 1807 but was converted into a cinema that closed in 1997.

Today, the plan is to demolish the old building and replace it with luxury residences. The recent discovery, however, has stalled all future work at the site until further excavations can be made.

Mt. Vesuvius Eruption Exploded Skulls And Vaporized Bodies, Roman Archaeologists Find

Mt. Vesuvius Eruption Exploded Skulls And Vaporized Bodies, Roman Archaeologists Find

More than two million people visit Pompeii every year and hundreds of thousands visit the ruins of Herculaneum,  the second city buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in August 79 AD.

It was not much longer than 24 hours for the volcanic eruption. Thousands of people have died, as many exactly know no one.

Certainly, in Pompeii only about 1000 bodies have been found and in Herculaneum only 300 bodies. But Pompeii had more than twenty thousand men, Herculaneum about 4000. Where are the others? Well, many could have fled.

There are reports of survivors. Others may have died on the run. There are excavations only in Pompeii and Herculaneum, not in the surrounding area.

Whoever made it out of the city, but was killed by a stone from the volcano, for example, has probably not been found until today. The layers with the material from the eruption are 5 to 25 meters deep.

Corpses in Pompeii

Since the 1870s, during the Excavations Pompeii, when a cavity was found, a plaster cast was made.

The bodies were filled with ashes during the volcanic eruption. Later the bodies rotted. What remained was a hollow space. If you filled it with plaster, you got an exact 3D image of the former man. There are also such plaster figures of animals that lived in Pompeii.

In Pompeii, visitors can see such plaster people. They are surprisingly accurate, even in detail. You can see the position of the body at death. We even thought we could see fear and pain in some faces.

The plaster cast method also has disadvantages. Possible remains such as bones of ancient people can no longer be examined.

Nevertheless, many plaster casts have been carefully examined by scientists. For example, it was found that in ancient times almost all people had very good teeth, no tooth decay, or the like. This is probably due to the nutrition, there were hardly any sweets except honey at that time.

Corpses in Herculaneum

In Herculaneum, however, many skeletons were discovered. Several hundred people found refuge in stable, small buildings in the lower part of the city on the former shore of the sea. Here they died of hot ashes, toxic gases, and heat.

Some of the skeletons are still there as they were found. Visitors to Herculaneum see many remains of people in each of the small buildings. One mother even had a baby in her arms.

These bodies have been examined in recent years using state-of-the-art methods. DNA analysis and other methods have provided many new insights.

It was surprising that almost all corpses were well nourished. Almost everyone ate fish and meat. A young woman was probably a vegetarian, even that existed in antiquity.

At present, there are some projects which investigate the human, antique excrement from the sewage of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Here, too, there are some new things, for example concerning the nutrition of the people of that time.

For many visitors of Pompeii, the plaster casts of the people are a highlight during the visit of the excavation. In the Excavation Herculaneum, the skeletons in the lower area are certainly a highlight.

Eighteenth-Century Mass Grave Unearthed in Romania

Eighteenth-Century Mass Grave Unearthed in Romania

A mass grave from the eighteenth century was discovered in West Romania by the team of researchers from the West University of Timişoara according to a Romania-Insider report.

The grave holds the remains of six adults and one child who are thought to have died during a plague outbreak between 1737 and 1740.

It was discovered in the area of the city’s Oituz street, on a site open for the building of a school campus.

In the tomb, the archaeologists found the remains of six adults and one child, who was carrying a cross similar to the Lorraine one and a pendant showing Blessed Delphina and Saint Elzear, saints of the Franciscan Order.

The remains could be of colonists who came from the region of Lorraine, the archaeologists believe, taking the clue from the cross and the pendant found. The high number of people interred in the grave points to the epidemic. 

“We believe they died during the worst epidemic, which remained for a long while in the collective memory and forever in the written one, namely the plague that swept Timişoara between 1737 and 1740,” archaeologist Andrei Stavilă explained in a Facebook post.

This is not the first time the inhabitants of Timisoara experience the bad consequences of an epidemic. Typhus or plague are plague that frequently deviated on the city, both during the Ottoman rule (1552-1716), but also later during the Habsburg (1716-1860). The collective tomb investigated on the archaeological site in the area of Oituz Street area documenting such an unfortunate episode of the city’s history.

Several are elements that suggest this fact. First of all, a large number of deceased in the same grave, six adults and one child. On the other hand, the double cross and the pendant, found at the child’s neck, come to complete the story of the archaeological complex.

The cross resembles, in shape, to Lorraine, with multiple analogies and uses throughout the time in sunset Europe.

More interesting is, however, the pendant that illustrates, on the avers and reverse, saints of the Tertiary Franciscan Order: Saint Delphina and Saint Elzear. This is the only Franciscan couple canonized or formally beatified, they are patrons of newlyweds, poor and lepers.

The pendant that illustrates them is important for our discovery. This is because the tomb cannot date before 1694, which is known to be that of Delphina’s beatification, and the information that the two are owners of lepers is important for our hypothesis.

But they surprise our flint balls found among the earthly remains of adults. Could they have been shot? For sure but why? What was the child’s fault? Did the seven form a family? What was the context of their disappearance?

At this point, gathering the data, we appreciate that the tomb may belong to some settlers, even from the region of Lorena. We believe that their deaths occurred in the context of the worst epidemic for a long time left in collective memory and forever in scripts, namely the plague that haunted Timișoara between 1737-1740.

Under these circumstances, lead may have them ended suffering or were punished for failing to comply with the rules imposed by the authorities during the epidemic time

Cat’s paw print found in Roman tile at Lincoln dig

Cat’s paw print found in Roman tile at Lincoln dig

Archaeologists have discovered what could be the world’s oldest cat paw print. The imprint of four feline toes was found on a tile which dates back almost 2,000 years.

It is believed the marks were caused when the tile was left out to dry by a Roman potter and a curious cat stepped on it.

The extraordinary historical artifact was uncovered during an archaeological dig ahead of the construction of the £99 million ($130 million) Lincoln Eastern Bypass.

Archaeologists have discovered what could be the world’s oldest cat paw print embedded on a tile (pictured) which dates back almost 2,000 years. Experts are clearing the area to make way for the construction of a new road near Lincoln

The project has also uncovered tiles with imprints of a dog’s paw and a deer’s hoof.

Ruben Lopez, site manager for Network Archaeology, the company carrying out the work, said: ‘Many of us have pets and animals nowadays so you can see nothing has changed. You identify with finds like this.

‘It is exciting, this site here is one in a thousand.’ 

A team of 60 archaeologists working at the site has discovered large quantities of tiles – evidence that points to a complex of buildings being built around 100 AD.

It is believed that the tile, which was used in the complex, had just been moulded and was being left to dry before firing when the cat walked across it.

Diggers have been working at the site to ensure that any remains affected by the new road are recorded and protected.

As well as finds from the Roman era, experts have found artifacts dating back 12,000 years at the site between the River Witham and Washingborough Road, Lincoln.

They include a Bronze Age logboat, Mesolithic and Neolithic flint tools, Iron Age roundhouses and burials, and high-status Roman buildings.

The team has also uncovered part of a Bronze Age barrow cemetery, a medieval monastic grange, and post-medieval farm buildings.

Chris Taylor, company director, and senior project manager at Network Archaeology, said: ‘The evidence we’ve seen so far suggests that small communities were already living in this area around 12,000 years ago and that it has been a favoured spot for human activity ever since.

Diggers have been working at the site (pictured) to ensure that any remains affected by the new road are recorded and protected. As well as finds from the Roman era, experts have found artifacts dating back 12,000 years at the site

‘Potentially, the site could yield some very important discoveries.

‘We’ve found signs of a high-status Roman building and, more interestingly, a possible Roman vineyard, which is rare north of the Home Counties.

‘Another surprising discovery has been an as-yet-undated cemetery, including at least 18 human burials, possibly belonging to a monastic order.

The site of the dig, between the River Witham and Washingborough Road in Lincoln, is along the route of a new bypass which is going to be built

‘We’ve also found what could be the remains of a 12th-century tower, which may have served as a beacon to warn of approaching threats or as a fort around the time of The Battle of Lincoln in 1141.

‘There’s a lot more work to be done before we have the full picture, but what has been unearthed so far suggests it will be well worth the effort.’ 

The work is expected to be completed later this year and will be followed by investigations at other sites further along the route.

2 Decades of archaeological research have shed light on an Anglo Saxon community that lived in England 1400 years ago

2 Decades of archaeological research have shed light on an Anglo Saxon community that lived in England 1400 years ago

Almost a decade of excavations in the sand dunes below Bamburgh Castle revealed dozens of Anglo-Saxon burials, whose occupants are now documented in an innovative ‘digital ossuary’. This man was buried c.AD 555-670, and although he is interred in a crouched position, he is thought to have been part of Bamburgh’s fledgling Christian community that flourished in the 7th and 8th centuries. In the ‘ossuary’, he is listed under the codeword ‘Fifel’.

During the winter of 1816-1817 extreme storms swept away tons of sand and formed the vast dune fields surrounding the castle until today, on the beach below the Castle Bamburgh.

This was not the only surprising side-effect of the dramatic weather: in exposing the earlier land surface, the storm had also laid bare a number of graves tucked into a depression called ‘Bowl Hole’.

Who were these individuals laid to rest beside the North Sea? In the 19th century, Victorian romantics interpreted the skeletons as the remains of Viking raiders – indeed, on the first edition of the Ordnance Survey map for the area (1860), the site is labeled ‘Old Danish Burying Ground’. This attribution was more wishful thinking than historical fact, however, as the area around Bamburgh remained in Anglian hands even as Norse invaders annexed the southern part of Northumbria and conquered York. Instead, modern archaeological science would hold the key to unlocking the identities of the Bowl Hole burials.

Today Bamburgh’s 11th-century castle is surrounded by high sand dunes – but this dune system is only two centuries old, created by the same violent storms as uncovered the first clue to the Bowl Hole cemetery’s existence.

In 1998-2007, the cemetery was excavated by the Bamburgh Research Project (BRP), who wanted to assess whether the graves in their ever-shifting sandy setting were at risk of erosion. This long-running project confirmed that Bowl Hole was no Norse burial ground, but was one of the most northerly Anglo-Saxon cemeteries yet found, used for generations across the 7th and 8th centuries. Some 99 skeletons were excavated, together with the disarticulated bones of several more individuals – together representing the remains of at least 110 men and women, adolescents, children, and infants, offering a complete cross-section of the community who had once lived on this part of the coast.

Interestingly, there was considerable variation in how these people had been laid to rest: some were stretched supine on their backs with their heads to the west, reminiscent of the Christian tradition, while others harked back to much earlier practices, lying in a crouched position on their side, or being placed face-down. What do these varied customs mean? While some of the graves appear to reference pagan practices, the skeletons are nonetheless thought to represent some of the area’s earliest Christian inhabitants, interred at a time when burial traditions were still fairly fluid. Nor does the presence of (albeit scarce) grave goods – simple domestic items like knives, buckles, and bone and copper-alloy pins, as well as bone combs, perforated shells, and a few glass beads – rule out Christian beliefs, which in the early Anglo-Saxon period did not proscribe furnished burials.

The Anglo-Saxon cemetery was excavated between 1998 and 2007 by the Bamburgh Research Project; the remains of over 100 men, women, and children were recovered.

The 7th century was a time of momentous religious change in Northumbria when the exiled king Oswald returned to Bamburgh following his victory at the AD 633/634 Battle of Heavenfield and worked to promote Christianity in the region throughout his eight-year reign. To this end, he invited the Irish bishop Aidan to join his court and aid in converting his people. Oswald granted Aidan the nearby island of Lindisfarne as a monastic base and (according to the chronicler Bede) acted as his interpreter as the monk preached, having learned Irish in exile.

The people buried at Bowl Hole would have witnessed what is known as Northumbria’s ‘Golden Age’, a period of remarkable cultural flowering between the mid-7th and mid-8th centuries. But who were they?

Elite Individuals?

Even before analysis of the skeletons (by experts at the BRP and Durham University) began, it was clear that, as a population, the Bowl Hole individuals were unusually tall and robust, with few signs of malnourishment and relatively little evidence for disease (though some had suffered poorer health in early life), suggesting that these were high-status individuals who had enjoyed a privileged life.

But while their bodies largely spoke of good health, their teeth were terrible. Cavities, plaque, and abscesses were common, even in young people, suggesting that many of these individuals would have suffered from persistent toothache and foul-smelling breath. This decay probably stemmed from the community’s rich diet (something also hinted at by evidence of gout recorded in some of the skeletons’ toe bones) and excessive consumption of sugars, perhaps through drinking quantities of wine or meat.

It has been suggested that these apparently privileged individuals may have been associated with the royal court at Bamburgh: the Anglian fortress occupied the rocky promontory where the 11th-century castle now stands – a mass of dolerite where digging graves would have been near-impossible.

The softer sands of Bowl Hole, though, just 300m away, would have been a much more practical location for a cemetery. Indeed, ground-truthing and probing suggest that the burial ground may be much larger than the excavated area, with perhaps hundreds more graves lying beneath the dunes. Given the depth of sand covering them, though, and the fact that the dunes are today protected as part of a Special Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest, further excavations are extremely unlikely.

If the Bowl Hole individuals had lived at the fortress, evidence from previous archaeological work at the castle also testifies to a lavish lifestyle: analysis of animal bones suggests that the community’s diet was dominated by beef and that they were not making much use of the easily available local marine resources – further hints of prosperity.

Isotope Insights

In the two decades following their excavation, the Bamburgh skeletons have undergone extensive scientific study, illuminating the lives of the individuals they represent. Perhaps the most surprising discovery, however – the result of isotope analysis (studying chemical signatures preserved in the bones and teeth that can be linked to specific geologies) – was how diverse the population was. Of these individuals, less than 10% came from the immediate Bamburgh area. The others had grown up mainly in the wider British Isles, particularly on the west coast of Scotland and in Ireland, but others bore witness to much longer journeys from continental Europe and even further afield.

A case in point was a man in his 60s who had been laid to rest in a crouched position c.AD 559-677. At 5ft 10in (177cm) tall, he was above average height for the period, and had been in generally good health and well-nourished at the time of his death, at least as far as his bones can attest (though he had suffered the tooth decay seen in so many of the skeletons, including evidence that he had lost some teeth during his lifetime, as well as a well-healed fractured rib and some fusion of the joints in his spine). Isotope analysis suggests that this man had spent the early years of his life far from Northumbria, across the North Sea in Scandinavia. In AD 793, Scandinavian newcomers had arrived off the coast of Bamburgh in the first documented Viking raid on Lindisfarne. What had drawn this man – as well as at least four other Scandinavian men, women, and children identified among the cemetery population – to settle in Britain as much as two centuries earlier?

Labelled ‘Cwalu’ on the project database, this man was in his 60s when he died c.AD 559-677. Isotope analysis suggests that he grew up not in Northumbria, but in Scandinavia.

An equally tall but rather younger man, aged 23-25, is thought to have spent his childhood in Spain or Italy, and before his death c.536-647, he would have cut an imposing figure with his robustly muscular build. His muscle attachments had been particularly pronounced, leaving clear marks on his bones, suggesting that he was a strong individual who had led a physically active life – the project team suggests he may have been a metalworker.

Although there are no skeletal clues to what caused his early death, we can tell that this man did not enjoy perfect health in life. The root of one of his lower molars had become infected, which would have caused serious toothache, while his right big toe showed signs of damage consistent with gout. It would have been swollen and felt hot and very tender, making it difficult to walk or to have anything touch it during an attack.

Ambitious journeys like these were also reflected by the remains of the very young, particularly children who had both their milk and adult teeth. Milk teeth are formed in utero, meaning that isotope analysis can determine where their mother was living at the time that they were conceived, while adult teeth provide information on where they spent their early years. One such child, aged 9-10 at the time of their death, tells a story of their mother living somewhere far to the south of Bamburgh in a hot climate – possibly southern Spain or even North Africa.

She did not remain there for long, however, travelling with her child to a cooler but still warm climate, perhaps the Mediterranean region or the south of France, where they spent their early years. Yet, in their short life, the child had evidently travelled at least once more, crossing the Channel to end their days at Bamburgh. They were not alone: the teeth of another child, 8-9 years old, preserve the journey of their Mediterranean mother, who had raised her child in France before moving them to western Scotland or Ireland and finally travelling to Northumbria.

Borgring: 1000-year-old Viking fortress uncovered in Denmark

Borgring: 1000-year-old Viking fortress uncovered in Denmark

In Borgring, Denmark, archaeologists have uncovered a nearly circular Danish ring fortress, dating from 975-980.

It is believed that the fortress was built during the reign of Harald Bluetooth – the Danish king, who also was credited with the country’s first unification.

In Denmark the Borgring Fortress was first discovered since 1953, and experts believe that there are many more to be identified around the country.

Archaeologists have discovered a Danish ring fortress in Borgring, Denmark, that dates back to AD 975-980 (ringed in red)

Researchers from Aarhus University discovered the fort using LiDAR technology, which revealed the tell-tale geometric outline of a ring fortress.

They then worked with experts from the University of York to use geophysics and radiocarbon dating of excavated timbers from a gateway to confirm the remarkable early medieval find.

Dr Helen Goodchild, who led the study, said: ‘After the LiDAR discovery, I was brought in to try and confirm that the site was indeed a ring fortress.

‘We’d had success at another Trelleborg site – Aggersborg – in the north of Jutland using fluxgate gradiometry, and so we hoped to get similar results here.

‘After trudging a distance of a marathon in grid formation collecting the data, I was delighted to see that the ramparts and even what looked to be some of the large structural timbers were showing in the results.’

The excavations confirmed the outline of the fortress, as mapped by the gradiometer survey.  The front of the rampart (mound) was marked by a continuous line of postholes from a vertical cladding of sturdy, approximately 0.4–0.45 meter-wide timbers, forming a perfect circle with an outer diameter of 144 meters. 

Archaeologists uncovered the fifth known Viking Age ring fortress in Denmark, which would have looked similar to this Swedish fortress reconstruction.

A few traces of timber constructions were also discovered by the researchers.  At the outer face of the rampart, the team discovered the remains of an 70mm-thick charred plank, set about 0.4 metres into the soil and leaning at a slight angle. 

At the opposite end of the section they found thin, horizontal traces of six planks, laid side by side along the inner face of the rampart, covering an area of around 0.9 metres. 

Trelleborg-type fortresses were constructed in AD 975–980 by the famed Viking king Harald Bluetooth.

The fortresses represent a huge investment of resources and manpower and are considered to demonstrate Harald’s immense powers of organization and control, as well as a strategic vision to defend his Danish kingdom.

Reconstruction of a Viking ring fortress.

Ring fortresses are circular, and can measure up to 250 metres in diameter. They are thought to have been made in an attempt to build a defensive network similar to that introduced by the Anglo Saxons, who created fortified centres at semi-regular (approximately 30km) intervals from the ninth century AD.

The researchers now hope to use LiDAR technology to analyze other areas around Denmark and believe that there are more of these ring fortresses awaiting discovery. 

Ring fortresses are circular and can measure up to 250 meters in diameter. They are thought to have been made in an attempt to build a defensive network similar to that introduced by the Anglo Saxons. Pictured is a ring fortress discovered on the Danish island of Zealand
The remains of the ring fortress were discovered in Borgring, which is just south of Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen

In their paper, published in Antiquity, the researchers wrote: ‘The site offers the first chance in many years to investigate one of the most distinctive monument types of the Viking Age.

‘Such investigations may provide the most exciting new lines of evidence, and sustain a revised view of the Viking Age Trelleborg-type fortresses. 

‘Rather than static architectural and military monuments, we should instead see them as dynamic moments in the high-stakes power games of the early Middle Ages.’

Clare man discovers cliff fort near his home while flying a drone in Ireland

Clare man discovers cliff fort near his home while flying a drone in Ireland

A respected software maker and drone operator have discovered an unexplained cliff near his home in Co Clare.

During the present lockdown Matthiew Kelly, a satellite, communication, and electronics specialist, worked a drone near Crag, Lahinch when he made his archeological discovery.

Kelly, however, has a history in this area having previously uncovered ancient forts in Dundalk in 2018.

His latest find had not been previously recorded in the National Monuments Service (NMS) database but has since been officially added.

Matthew Kelly explained: “I found the fort while flying my drone around the small cliffs at Lahinch during a lockdown.

I have been filming forts and stone circles for years so I knew what it was when I found it. I emailed the National Monuments Service who checked it out and added it to their database which means it is now recorded and protected.”

If this discovery is making you want to have a go at flying your own drone in the hopes of making an archaeological finding like this, then you can have a look at drdrone for some really great options.

Kelly isn’t however claiming all the credit for his latest discovery.

“The artist Jim Fitzpatrick inspired me to get into Irish mythology years ago so I asked him to name the fort. He suggested ‘Cliodna of the Waves’ so we will call it ‘Dun Cliodna’ (Cliodna’s fort).

Clíodhna is the goddess of love and beauty and is said to have three brightly colored birds who eat apples from an otherworldly tree and whose sweet song heals the sick,” Mr. Kelly said.

Matthew worked with artist Jim Fitzpatrick on a video about Newgrange and some of that footage was used on RTÉ’s Nationwide.

“I got into drones a few years ago when they first came out in 2014, my first footage was used on RTÉ’s programming Weather-Beaten in 2014 about the big storm.

I was lucky to work on a small project with Jim Fitzpatrick in 2016 and he encouraged me to visit the ancient sites of Ireland to see if anything new could be discovered with the drone,” Matthew added.

The discovery is now classed as a ‘cliff-edge fort’ in the townland of Crag and is “scheduled for inclusion in the next revision of the RMP (Record of Monuments and Places). “I also want to thank Anthony Murphy for helping me get the find reported to the NMS,” Mr. Kelly added.

The confirmation from the NMS states that the fort is: “Situated on a steep cliff-edge c. 450m S of Lahinch beach backing onto a NE-SW cliff. A sub-circular enclosure reported to the National Monuments Service by Matthew Kelly.”

During the hot summer of 2018, Matthew discovered a group of 5000-year-old forts in Dundalk.

Among the other sites reported over that summer were a prehistoric barrow cemetery found in Redcow near Dundalk, Co Louth by Mr. Kelly who was trying to locate a site once described as Ireland’s Stonehenge. His footage also included two ring-fort enclosures in the townlands of Glebe and Lisdoo.

The NMS estimates the range of monuments recorded across all sites date from 2200 BC to 1000 AD.

The newly discovered ring-fort near Lahinch has been named Dún Clíodna

Kelly is also an award-winning app developer and created a drone search and rescue (SAR) app called DroneSAR now being used by a range of SAR groups.

DroneSAR provides software that enables commercially available drones to maintain autonomous search patterns based on waypoint missions or user-defined search ‘boxes’, reducing risk to search personnel, improving situational awareness, and increasing the chance of finding people in distress, all at a fraction of the cost of a SAR helicopter.

France digs up bones from 6,000-year-old ‘massacre’

France digs up bones from 6,000-year-old ‘massacre’

A shattered skull discovered among fractured and fossilized skeletons at the site of an archaeological dig in Alsace, north-eastern France.

Archaeologists had discovered the remains of victims from a 6,000-year-old massacre in Alsace in eastern France that was likely carried out by “furious ritualized warriors”.

The bones of the 6,000- year-old genocide in Alsace, in north-eastern France have been found by archeologists.

According to a team from the National Institute for Preventive Archeological Research (Inrap), the bodies of 10 people have been found in one of 300 ancient silos, used to store grain and other food.

The Neolithic group appeared to have had violent deaths, with multiple injuries to their legs, hands and skulls.

The way in which the bodies were piled on top of each other suggested they had been killed together and dumped in the silo.

The fossilised skeletons of two men with numerous fractured bones.

“They were very brutally executed and received violent blows, almost certainly from a stone axe,” said Philippe Lefranc, an Infrap specialist on the period.

The skeletons of five adults and an adolescent were found as well as four arms from different individuals.

The arms were probably war trophies, like those found at a nearby burial site of Bergheim in 2012, said Lefranc.

The mutilations indicated a society of “furious, ritualised warriors”, he said, while the silos were stored within a defence wall that pointed towards “a troubled time, a period of insecurity”.

Researchers examine human remains at the massacre site.

It is hoped genetic testing on the bones will reveal more information about the killings, but Lefranc said one theory was that a local tribe had clashed with a group arriving from the area around modern-day Paris.

“It appears that a warrior raid by people from the Parisian basin went wrong for the assailants, and the Alsatians of the era massacred them,” he said.

However, in the long run, it was the “Parisians” who had the last laugh.

The local tribe appears to have been supplanted by the newcomers at about 4,200 BC, as demonstrated by new funeral rites, pottery, and hamlets.