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Archaeologists in Spain Seek Grave of 16th-Century Irish Hero

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Hugh O Donnell StatueVALLADOLID, SPAIN—The Irish Times reports that a team of researchers led by archaeologist Óscar Burón have uncovered human remains at what may be the burial place of Red Hugh O’Donnell, an Irish nobleman who led a rebellion against the government in Ireland and died in Spain in 1602, after attempting to persuade Spanish king Philip III to send additional troops to Ireland to continue the fight against the English. Historical accounts record that O’Donnell’s body was carried to the king’s palace in Valladolid and then buried in the so-called Chapel of Marvels at a Franciscan convent, where Christopher Columbus was first buried after his death in 1506. O’Donnell’s grave was lost when the convent was demolished in 1836. Burón said the researchers should be able to identify O’Donnell’s remains because he lost his big toes to frostbite in 1591 while hiding in the mountains after escaping from prison in Dublin. To read about another discovery from Spain, go to "Artifact."

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