A medieval burial ground has been discovered on farmland in North County Dublin by workers laying pipes for a high voltage underground power line.
Contractors working for the EirGrid company on the largest energy project in Ireland, came across the burial ground during excavation work in June.
Tests by scientists at Queens University in Belfast have dated the site back to the seventh century, from between 617 to 675 AD.
Archaeologists say the remains on the site are pre-Viking and from the conversion period of Christianity.
EirGrid director John Fitzgerald told the Irish Independent: “It is an interesting historical discovery for the project, local archaeologists and the local community.
“We are working with Fingal County Council and the National Monuments Service, and will provide more detailed information to the public about the archaeological site as soon as we know more.”
Archaeological work on the site, situated near the village of Rush, is expected to continue until the end of October as experts define the extent and content of the find.
The Independent reports that investigations are continuing into the use of the site for burial, the possible existence of other features which may be associated with it, or proof of activity which pre-date or post-date the era.
Fingal County Council Heritage officer Gerry Clabby said: “This discovery at Rush appears to be from the early Christian period.
“Every discovery from this period adds to our knowledge and understanding of what life was like over 1,400 years ago in Fingal.
“There have been a number of similar discoveries of previously unknown archaeological sites in Fingal in recent years.”