|Knocknarea Mountain with Maeve's Cairn on Top|
Researchers discovered a total of 13 small bones and bone fragments in an almost inaccessible cave in November 2013. Three of the bones were from the child aged 4 to 6 years and 10 were from an adult aged 30 – 39 years. They included foot bones and fragments of skull. It was not possible to establish gender.
Archaeologists believe that the adult had been placed in the cave about 300 years before the child, who died about 5,200 years ago. The small number of bones and their small size suggest that the cave was an excarnation site. This process involved a corpse being placed in a cave and, after decomposition, the dry bones being transferred elsewhere. Fragments were sometimes accidentally left behind.