Archaeology Magazine

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1,300-Year-Old Monastic Site Discovered in Ireland

Thursday, August 29, 2013

imageCOUNTY DONEGAL, IRELAND—A monastic enclosure dating to the early seventh century has been uncovered at Drunholm, where tradition claims Christian St. Ernan, nephew of St. Columba, was buried ca. A.D. 640. The site is known for its historic church, which is still in use. Members of the church had hoped to extend their graveyard, but a survey quickly revealed the monastery. “I can’t overstate the national importance of this. It is very exciting,” said archaeologist Mick Drumm. The monks would have lived in circular-stone huts resembling bee hives. Evidence of iron working has also been uncovered, along with the butchered bones and animals and pottery from different periods.