Authored by: Laureen Buckley

The Routledge Handbook of Archaeological Human Remains and Legislation

Print publication date:  March  2011
Online publication date:  March  2011

Print ISBN: 9780415588577
eBook ISBN: 9780203838716
Adobe ISBN: 9781136879562


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Anthropological studies in Ireland have a relatively short history. Prior to 1985 only two studies of large groups of skeletal human remains had been carried out. These studies – Howells's (1941) analysis of 200 Early Christian and Mediaeval burials from Gallen Priory, Co. Offaly, and McLoughlin's (1938) study of 372 Early Christian burials from Castleknock, Co. Dublin, concentrated mainly on metrical analysis and morphological traits of the skull. There are detailed skull and long bone measurements presented, along with various skeletal indices. The Castle-knock report in particular deals with groups of individual bones rather than individual skeletons. The report on Gallen Priory places a lot of emphasis on skull types, although data for dental pathology is also given. A large part of the discussion of the reports concentrates on the racial origins of the population. Palaeopathology was barely mentioned, but age and sex ratio of the populations were provided.

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