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Dean Street Viking Village Find

In what is now being called “The Coombe Excavation”, archaeologists in Dublin have found small Medieval settlement in Dean’s Street,  Dublin 8. The site, which is owned by the Hodson-Bay Hotel group (which plans to open a hotel there in 2019), contains a variety of domestic and industrial artifacts including:

4 Post and Wattle dwellings thought to date from 980-1170 AD (most likely 12th Century)

5 Post and Wattle “outhouses” thought to have been used to house animals

A variety of domestic and cultural items such as Leather shoes, a decorative pin, a key, a variety wooden spoons and pottery

And most significantly, a contemporary piece of slate with a graffiti style drawing of a man on a horse with birds above him.


Also found at the site were artifacts from later Medieval Ireland (13th-14th Century) Items found included:

Property plots with stone boundaries

Remains of a stone well

Refuse pits

A tanning pit, animal horns, and a lime pit

Weighing scales, King Edward coins

What appears to be imported medieval pottery.

Finally, they discovered housing foundations, industrial ovens, cellars, floor tiling thought to be Dutch, and cisterns for drinking water. These items are thought to be dated between the 17th and 19th Century.

Lead archaeologist Aisling Collins told RTE “You could go your whole career and not work on a site as extraordinary as this one”.

Going forward, the plan is to have all the items analyzed by leading specialists so as to be able to find out as much as possible about them. And the Hodson-Bay group plan to incorporate the archaeology into the hotel.

What we do know about the excavation however, is that it proves that the Coombe area has been resilient community over the centuries. Disease, war, natural disasters, invasions, poverty, have all caused tremendous damage to the island of Ireland, yet it seems that  small, close knit, and hard nosed generations of people decided to make that little area,lying slightly east of St.Patrick’s Cathedral,  their little area. A place worth living in, even in the most tumultuous of times.Because communities are not merely “planned”, they are forged in strength and willing cooperation. And that is the true definition of community, and it is a gift that continues to this very day.


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