Uprooted Tree Revealed a 1000-Year-Old Skeleton

Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services via Facebook
Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services via Facebook

When a violent storm knocked over a 215-year-old beech tree outside Collooney, Ireland, it revealed a grisly secret: a nearly 1000-year-old skeleton. Locals discovered the upper half of the remains tangled in the roots of the fallen tree, with the lower portion still embedded in the dirt.

The National Monuments Service commissioned Sligo-Leitrim Archaeological Services (SLAS) to excavate the skeleton. A preliminary analysis indicated that the bones had belonged to a young man between 17 and 25 years of age who had sustained several injuries, which may have been inflicted by a sword or knife. Radiocarbon dating showed the remains to be between 815 and 985 years old.

At this point, it’s unknown whether the victim’s violent death was the result of battle or a private conflict. The archaeologists at SLAS will continue to investigate the excavation site and the remains for clues behind their mysterious origin.

[h/t: io9]

26 Fascinating Facts About Fossils

Mental Floss via YouTube
Mental Floss via YouTube

If you’ve never visited the Big Bone Room, you’re in luck. Check out our visit to New York City's American Museum of Natural History for a rundown on fossils, which provide invaluable insight into our understanding of history and its once-living occupants.

In this edition of "The List Show," editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy explains the ins and outs of excavation, fossil follies (extinct giants were a big miss), and the terrorizing prospect of a 3-foot-tall parrot.

For more episodes like this one, be sure to subscribe here!

2000-Year-Old Roman Tweezers and Metal Ear Swab Discovered in UK

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The ancient Romans took hygiene seriously. They pioneered indoor plumbing, deodorant, and the practice of bathing daily. A recent discovery made at a bridge construction site in the UK reinforces just how committed to cleanliness the Roman civilization was. As Geek.com reports, workers unearthed an ear cleaner and a pair of tweezers thought to date back 2000 years to the Roman Empire.

The artifacts were dug up by the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation at the location of the new Springhead Bridge in Ebbsfleet Garden City, a development in Kent. One small tool appears to be designed for pinching and plucking small items just like modern-day tweezers. The other object is thought to have been built for cleaning ears—but instead of cotton, the "swab" is made entirely of metal. They're thought to date back thousands of years, but scientific analysis will need to be done to determine the exact age.

Grooming items weren't the only artifacts uncovered at the site. Workers also found a piece of timber believed to have been meant for an ancient structure. The Ebbsfleet River, where the new bridge is being built, was once a shipping hub and a Roman settlement called Vagniacis. Historical finds are so common in the area that the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation employs full-time archaeologists.

The personal hygiene tools have been removed from the archaeological site by experts who will study them to learn more about their origins. The fate of the artifacts is unclear, but the construction company behind the discovery hopes they can remain in the same city where they were found.

[h/t Geek.com]