Archaeologists in Fermanagh discover 600-year-old murder mystery beneath controversial crannog
Drumclay Crannóg area will be cleared to make way for new Enniskillen link road despite massive 4,000 object find
When they began their dig they knew there was a possibility that they would find human remains the deeper they dug.
O’Keefe added, “At other crannogs that were excavated in the 1930s there were people’s heads lying about the bottom.”
He told the Irish Times that they also found skeletons wearing manacles and chains.
“It may have been an element of conquest, saying, ‘Right, this is mine now boys, we are going to consecrate it with the blood of your ancestors’.”
So far, a medieval board game, a gold ring, carved bowls, leather shoes, and finely-decorated metal dress pins have been found among the 4,000 objects archaeologists have discovered.
The clay-rich wetlands in the area had protected and preserved the site from oxygen, required for decomposition.
Despite the joy at the great find, O’Keefe says the long term preservation of the site as a tourist attraction is not practicable or economically-viable.
He said, “Whenever the lid has been kept on a site, it's intact, it's not decaying. Once you take the lid off and stir it around a little bit it starts to decay again,” he told the Daily Mail.
“If we were to stop today and try to freeze frame the site it wouldn't work. In order for it to work we would need to intervene with new protections on the ground which are massively expensive.”
Heavy plant diggers are expected to return to concrete over the site in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh, to make way for a new link road.