After a violent storm ripped through the Irish town of Collooney, locals were shocked to discover the remains of a 1,000-year-old skeleton hanging from the roots of a fallen tree.

The body, which belonged to a young man who appears to have died a violent death, was found beneath a 200-year-old beech tree. In a scene that must have been quite macabre, the upper part of the skeleton was found raised in the air within the tree’s root system, while the legs remained in the ground.

The leg bones of the Collooney skeleton still embedded in the ground (Credit: Thorsten Kahlert).

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Irish Archaeology reports:

Preliminary analysis has indicated that the remains consist of young man who was between 17 and 25 years old when he died. His bones contained several injuries which had been inflicted by a sharp blade, possibly a sword or knife. He had obviously suffered a violent death, but whether these wounds were related to an ancient battle or a personal dispute remains unknown. The body was subsequently buried in a shallow east-west oriented grave and radiocarbon analysis indicates that this occurred sometime between 1030 and 1200 AD.

Archaeologists working for Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services will continue to investigate the site in hopes of finding more clues.

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[ Irish Archaeology via The Irish Mirror ]


Email the author at george@io9.com and follow him at @dvorsky. Top image by Sligo-Leitrim Archeological Services/Marion Dowd.