WWW.SHROUDEATER.COM - The Skeletons of Lusk - IRELAND
"Prone, stoned, and losing the head: Deviant burials in early medieval Ireland in the 5th to 12th centuries"
in: Trowel, Vol.XIII, Dublin, 2012
"Excavations at Church Road and the early monastic foundation at lusk, Co.Dublin"
in: C. Baker: "Axes, Warriors and Windmills - recent archaeological discoveries in Fingal"
Fingal County Council, 2009
I first read about this case in Maura Farrell's interesting article about deviant burial, where she mentions that:
"A burial in Church Road, Lusk, Co. Dublin contained two decapitated males with an iron spearhead protruding from the upper torso of one of the individuals."
It immediately reminded me of the spearhead in the Harwell case which you can find listed under the UK. So I checked out Aidan O'Connell's report to see if there was any further information. Let us see what he had to say:
"Both individuals had been affected by multiple blade injuries around the time of death and that they had been beheaded prior to burial, was indicated by sharp force injuries to the upper neck vertebrae and mandible (Linda Fibiger, pers. comm.). An iron spearhead was found protruding from the upper torso of one of these individuals."
The Lusk burial has been dated to somewhere between 410–570. So we will put it on file like "around 500", which should be close enough for our purposes.
The village of Lusk can be found North of Dublin, Between Ballyboughal and Rush.
Now I think that the beheadings could easily be explained away. But two decapitated people with the spearhead on top of that makes it plausible that people were afraid that the dead men would return from the grave.
Check out the articles mentioned above and see what else you can dig up about this case.
© 2014 by Rob Brautigam - NL - Last changed November 2014