A total of six bodies were discovered, with ongoing post-excavation work expected to provide more clarity and accuracy as to the burial date of those revealed
Image: John Cronin & Associates)
Archaeologists have identified four skeletons at the site of an old pub in Cork, believed to be a mass burial pit, where they met a tragic end.
Last October, the former Nancy Spain pub on Barrack Street was taken over by Cork City Council and is in the process of being demolished – but builders found skeletal remains.
Further investigations have now led to the discovery of a total of six bodies.
Cork City Council said these latest discoveries provide a great insight into the city’s turbulent history and development across two distinct time periods.
Cork Beo reports that ongoing work after the excavation will provide greater clarity and accuracy as to the burial date of the individuals revealed.
John Cronin & Associates)
The discovery of skeletal remains under the pub’s floorboards last October by builders who had begun demolition to make way for apartments led to a post-mortem before being declared archaeological finds.
After the presence of the relevant authorities and discussions with the city’s coroner and state pathologist, all parties were satisfied that the remains uncovered were historical in nature.
The archaeological excavation of the area took place in October 2021 and was directed by David Murphy of John Cronin and Associates with the assistance of osteoarchaeologist Niamh Daly.
The excavation first uncovered the partially and severely fragmented skeletal remains of two individuals lying directly beneath a layer of rubble near the party wall at 49 Barrack Street.
As the excavations progressed, a shallow mass burial pit was uncovered with the fully intact and articulated skeletal remains of another four bodies near the initial discoveries, buried head to toe.
The project’s osteoarchaeologist Niamh Daly said the placement of the bodies in the burial pit showed they “were not treated with respect”.
She added: “It was apparent that all four individuals were buried in a manner that suggests the hands/wrists were bound behind the back and it is likely that the feet/ankles were also bound.”
Post excavation work is ongoing but Ms Daly’s laboratory analysis has revealed that all six individuals were male, with three of the four men aged between 18 and 25.
The estimated sex, age, and type of burial, as well as the position, indicate a military connection for the revealed remains.
The time of death indicated by radiocarbon dating was a turbulent and violent period in Irish history, with Munster and Cork at the center of several significant historical events.
Regarding the discovery, the head of the archaeological excavation, Mr Murphy, said: “The digging discovery at Barrack Street raises new questions about the extent of late 11th-early 12th century Hiberno-Scandinavian settlement in Cork.”
Ms Daly said the four bodies met a “violent and gruesome end” in the shallow graves due to the nature of the burial sites.
City Archaeologist Ciara Brett paid tribute to David Murphy for directing the on-site excavation, adding that the new discovery of a dig feature is “a most significant archaeological discovery for the City of Cork”.
“The radiocarbon dating results appear to indicate an association with the Hiberno-Scandinavian settlement that developed through archaeological surveys in the area of South Main Street and the south end of Barrack Street,” she concluded.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/bodies-six-murder-victims-hands-27214363 Bodies of six 'murder victims' with hands tied found in 'mass grave pit' under pub - World News