East Lothian skeleton may be Irish Viking king

East Lothian skeleton may be Irish Viking king

HUMAN remains found at an archaeological dig in East Lothian may be those of a 10th Century Irish Viking who was king of Dublin and Northumbria.

The Irish-born King Olaf Guthfrithsson led raids on Auldhame and nearby Tyninghame, Christian settlements in East Lothian, shortly before his death in 941. He had recently arrived from Ireland where he had defeated his Norse rivals in Limerick.

Researchers have said that the age of the skeletal remains, the high-status burial site, the presence of a number of items indicating high rank, and the proximity of the burial to the site of the attack, indicate that the grave may be that of the young Irish king.

The BBC reports that the news has emerged as Scottish Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop visited the Neolithic monument of Brú na Bóinne in Co. Meath.

The tour of Newgrange is being used to highlight archaeological links between Scotland and Ireland.

Ms Hyslop said: "This is a fascinating discovery and it's tantalising that there has been the suggestion that this might be the body of a 10th Century Irish Viking king."

Dr Alex Woolf, a senior lecturer in the School of History at the University of St Andrews said of the findings, "Whilst there is no way to prove the identity of the young man buried at Auldhame, the date of the burial and the equipment make it very likely that this death was connected with Olaf's attack."