Sometimes (often!) discoveries are made quite by accident.
That’s what happened in Ireland recently, when a strong wind blew over a centuries old tree, revealing the bones of a young man who died nearly a thousand years earlier.
As an avid fan of the TV show Bones, and the student of one relevant Coursera course (Osteoarchaeology: The Truth in Our Bones), I know just enough about osteoarchaeology to know that it’s truly fascinating how much someone with actual knowledge and experience (which I’m under no delusion describes myself) can learn by looking at old bones. In this case, the bones revealed that they had once “belonged to a 17 to 20-year-old man who died of what appear to be knife wounds sometime between A.D. 1030 and 1200.” According to the article on the Archaeology magazine website, the archaeologist who was called to investigate, Marion Dowd, called the discovery “an unusual situation,” which seems like an understatement to a blogger like myself, but that may only be because I don’t consider finding ancient bones anywhere to be “a usual situation.”
I highly recommend reading the original article, which you can find here: http://archaeology.org/issues/202-1601/trenches/3946-trenches-ireland-medieval-skeleton-roots
A 215-year-old tree in Ireland blown over in a storm turned out to have a human skeleton tangled in its root system https://t.co/VhpaOty6tS pic.twitter.com/svYajt3H7U
— Archaeology Magazine (@archaeologymag) January 4, 2017