Graveyard reveals medical secrets of medieval Ireland

The history of medieval medicine in Ireland got a major boost with the discovery of a previously unknown medieval church and graveyard in Ballyhanna, County Donegal. Among the surprises was evidence of successful brain surgery performed around the year 800.

The burial ground was used by residents primarily from the 7th-9th centuries CE. Experts studying the remains of over 1300 individuals were thrilled at the chance to look at the health and medical practices of residents of medieval Ireland. The findings by the team of archaeologists and scientists from Sligo Institute of Technology and Queen’s University Belfast were presented recently as part of Science Week Ireland.