A True Feet of Excavation; Builders Renovating an Attic Discover Pair Dating Back 2,000 Years

Daily Mail (London), September 15, 2009 | Go to article overview
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A True Feet of Excavation; Builders Renovating an Attic Discover Pair Dating Back 2,000 Years


Byline: Yvonne Tarleton

IT'S not a place where archaeologists would usually think to dig.

So they were slightly bemused when two, 2,000-year-old human feet turned up in the attic of a 20th-century house.

One foot belonged to a child. The other, which has part of the lower leg attached, is thought to be that of a female adult.

The pair were found by builders during renovations on the home in Terenure, south Dublin, in December.

Gardai were informed and City Coroner Dr Brian Farrell ordered that the remains undergo a post-mortem examination.

But after testing, Dr Farrell concluded that the two mummified right feet had come from an adult and a child.

There were no signs of predeath cut marks or other injuries on either of the two ancient body parts.

The examination also found that the adult foot showed stretching and tearing of the muscle fibres. This suggested that it had been pulled off the body.

Meanwhile radiocarbon dating on the body parts show that the adult foot dates to AD52-230. The child's foot was from 60BCAD53, during the Iron Age. Dr Brian Farrell and Laureen Buckley, who conducted the report, said the case had been handed over to the National Museum of Ireland, where director Dr Patrick Wallace told of his determination to get to the bottom of the find.

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