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'Graffiti' among treasure trove of Viking artefacts found on Dublin building site


Archaeologists working on the site of a new hotel in Dublin have unearthed stunning artefacts from the city’s late Viking and medieval periods.

'Graffiti' among treasure trove of Viking artefacts found on Dublin building site
Dean Street archaeological dig at the Coombe, Dublin [Credit: Kevin Weldon/Aisling Collins]
The finds at the site of the planned Hodson Bay Dublin Hotel, on Dean Street, in the Coombe, include the striking ‘graffiti’ image of a man riding a horse etched into a slate sometime around the 12th century.

'Graffiti' among treasure trove of Viking artefacts found on Dublin building site
Engravings found at the site dating from the 12th century [Credit: Kevin Weldon/Aisling Collins]
It was found in a wattle and post house dating from the same period, making the artifact hugely significant, according to experts. Also found at the site was an extremely rare copper alloy Viking key.

'Graffiti' among treasure trove of Viking artefacts found on Dublin building site
The slate with the etching of a horseman [Credit: Kevin Weldon/Aisling Collins]
Aisling Collins, an archaeologist working on the site, told the Irish Independent the dig resulted in a “once-in-a-lifetime find” of historical items.

'Graffiti' among treasure trove of Viking artefacts found on Dublin building site
A coin from the 13th or 14th Century found on the site [Credit: Kevin Weldon/Aisling Collins]
She explained there were three phases, with artefacts from the 17th to 19th century at the highest level of the soil, 13th to 14th century at the middle levels, and 10th to 12th at the lowest.

'Graffiti' among treasure trove of Viking artefacts found on Dublin building site
Circa 12th Century Viking style copper alloy key found at the Coombe site [Credit: Kevin Weldon/Aisling Collins]
The earliest artefacts are contemporaneous with the late Viking – also known as Hiberno-Norse – period settlement at Wood Quay discovered in the 1970s during the construction of the Dublin City Council offices there.

'Graffiti' among treasure trove of Viking artefacts found on Dublin building site
Wooden spoon excavated in the lower level [Credit: Kevin Weldon/Aisling Collins]
“Wood Quay would have been the city centre, but this was the suburbs,” Ms Collins said.

Four distinct Hiberno-Norse property plots were excavated, including post and wattle boundary fences. In total, the remains of nine structures from the period were discovered.

Source: Irish Independent [March 31, 2018]

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