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Viking settlement found in Ireland

An 11th-century viking settlement has been found in Dublin, Ireland.

Clear signs of a late-11th century – ie Viking – house have been found at a site in the Smithfield area owned by the Office of Public Works (OPW). Excavation works, commissioned and funded by the OPW, have been under way at Hammond Lane, off Church Street, since last year.

Some 17th- and 18th-century artefacts have been found since then, while evidence of a “substantial Viking house” was uncovered there last week, said excavation director Colm Moriarty.

National Museum director Pat Wallace said the great significance of the find lay in the location of the house north of the Liffey.

The find would be of even greater importance if it could be demonstrated the house was part of a neighbourhood and not just stand-alone. “If it can be established that there was a Hiberno-Norse suburb north of the Liffey, that would be hugely significant,” said Dr Wallace.

Eleven archaeologists working onsite have dug down to reveal “latrines and ditches” as well as the holes in the ground into which hazel or silver-birch posts would have been thrust to make the “walls” of the house.

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