The Skeletons in my Cupboard by Catryn Power. Lecture 101. for TRASNA NA TIRE

Posted on December 27, 2020


see also

Lecture 73: 10,000 teeth later: what have I learned ? by Catryn Power for Trasna na Tire


During the COVID19 pandemic a group of history enthusiasts decided they wanted to continue attending their favourite History lectures while observing best practice social distancing.  And so Trasna na Tíre was born… Every evening Trasna na Tíre brings you a wonderful lecture delivered by Irish historians and enthusiasts, all in the comfort of your own home! We record our lectures and they will be available for you to view at any time through our site!

Lecture 101: The Skeletons in my Cupboard by Catryn Power

Following a degree in Archaeology and postgraduate work in Dental Anthropology, Catryn trained in further skeletal studies abroad, in the Smithsonian, in Washington, in Brest, and in England. She was one of a small unit set up in University College Cork to carry out post excavation analysis of human and animal bones in the 1980’s. Catryn taught probably the first physical anthropology courses for archaeologists in Ireland and she called it Palaeodemography, which was a unique course worldwide. Having taught this course for eighteen years she used the skeletal remains which she worked on to teach the archaeology students. They learned excavation of skeletons, forensic anthropology, epidemiology, palaeopathology, etc. When she moved roles to became Cork County Archaeologist, she continued to examine skeletal and cremated remains in her free time. There were a couple of experts in Ireland examining human remains from archaeological sites in the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Many Universities worldwide teach those very popular subjects now. Catryn having examined a few thousand skeletons from all periods from the Island of Ireland. Has at this stage published about sixty reports/papers, many on human remains. She has also carried out forensic examinations for the Gardaí and cremations are another expertise which she has studied. She has examined well known sites such as Neolithic Knowth and Fourknocks, Early Medieval Downpatrick’s Cathedral Hill, the Vikings and Anglo-Norman remains from Wood Quay and Waterford, and the medieval Dominican Priory at Crosses Green from Cork City (to name but a few). Catryn has determined cause of death for some of these individuals, also familial relationships, diseases such as infections and degenerative diseases as well as injuries etc.

Lecture 73: 10,000 teeth later: what have I learned ? by Catryn Power for Trasna na Tire

Lecture 73: 10,000 teeth later: what have I learned ? by Catryn Power

Lecture 73: 10,000 teeth later: what have I learned ? by Catryn Power Trasna na Tire

Catryn Power is an archaeologist who runs a great blog on this site:

In the course of her career Catryn has examined over 10,000 teeth and many jaw bones and she has gleaned much information on our ancestors as a result. In this lecture she shares many of the insights gleaned from her investigations.