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Saturday 18 November 2017

Skeleton of an 'Irish Viking king' found, say experts

Undated handout photo issued by Historic Scotland of Fiona Hyslop
Undated handout photo issued by Historic Scotland of Fiona Hyslop
Archaeologists believe they may have found the skeleton of an Irish Viking king

A SKELETON discovered on an archaeological dig in Scotland may be that of an Irish Viking king, experts believe.

Archaeologists suggest they may have found the remains of Olaf Guthfrithsson, who was the King of Dublin and Northumbria from 934 to 941, or a member of his entourage.

The remains, which were excavated by AOC Archaeology Group at Auldhame in East Lothian in 2005, are those of a young adult male who was buried with a number of items indicating his high rank. These include a belt similar to others from Viking Age Ireland.

Experts said this artefact signalled the body was that of a man who may have spent time in the household of the kings of the Ui Imar dynasty, which dominated both sides of the Irish Sea from about 917 until at least the middle of the 10th century.

The hypothesis – which will be published next year by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland – was revealed as Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Culture Secretary, yesterday visited Newgrange, Co Meath, to highlight archaeological links between Scotland and Ireland.

She said: "It's tantalising that there has been the suggestion that this might be the body of a 10th century Irish Viking king."

Irish Independent

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