Remains of Viking warrior uncovered on building site

 

The remains of a Viking warrior have been uncovered on a building site in central Dublin.

The body, which was buried in a shallow grave with a shield on its chest and a knife at its left side, was found during an archaeological investigation of a site at South Great Georges Street.

Discoveries of individual Viking burials in Dublin are relatively rare.

The latest brings the total number to seven, five of which were found during the nineteenth century, and not archaeologically excavated or recorded.

The sixth was uncovered last year at Ship Street Great, near the site of the latest find.

Archaeological consultant Ms Margaret Gowen, whose company has been excavating the Georges Street site in advance of a planned development by Dunnes Stores, said the grave had been disturbed "in antiquity" and the remains were incomplete.

It is thought the skeleton was originally accompanied by a sword on its right hand side, but this and its legs had been removed by earlier activity on the site.

The Ship Street skeleton was also incomplete, but the two finds in the same area support a theory that the "great pool" - Dubh Linn - which underlies the gardens at the rear of Dublin Castle and gave the city its name, was the focus of early settlement before the creation of the Viking town further north.

The warrior's remains have now been removed for detailed examination in a laboratory.