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Encyclopedia > Newgrange

Newgrange, which is located at 53°41′39.4″N, 6°28′36.6″W, is one of the passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath, and the most famous of all Irish prehistoric sites. A passage tomb near the town of Sligo in Ireland A Passage grave (sometimes hyphenated) or Passage tomb is a tomb, usually dating to the Neolithic, where the burial chamber is reached along a distinct, and usually low, passage. ... Aerial view of valley Brú na Bóinne (English: Palace on the Boyne) is an internationally important complex of Neolithic chamber tombs, standing stones, henges and other prehistoric enclosures located in a wide meander of the River Boyne in Ireland. ... Statistics Province: Leinster County Town: Navan Code: MH Area: 2,342 km² Population (2006) 162,621 Website: www. ... Prehistory (Greek words προ = before and ιστορία = history) is the period of human history prior to the advent of writing (which marks the beginning of recorded history). ...

Contents

History

Newgrange, Co. Meath, Ireland
Newgrange, Co. Meath, Ireland

Originally built between c.3300-2900BC according to Carbon 14 dates (Grogan 1991), it is more than 500 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, and predates Stonehenge trilithons by about 1,000 years (although the earliest stages of Stonehenge are roughly contemporary with Newgrange). It lay lost for over 4,000 years due to mound slippage, until the late 17th century, when men looking for building stone uncovered it, and described it as a cave. Newgrange, Ireland. ... Newgrange, Ireland. ... Radiocarbon dating is the use of the naturally occurring isotope of carbon-14 in radiometric dating to determine the age of organic materials, up to ca. ... The Great Pyramid is the oldest and the largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now Cairo, Egypt in Africa ( ). The oldest and only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is believed to have been constructed over a 20 year period... For other meanings of Stonehenge, see: Stonehenge (disambiguation) Stonehenge is a Neolithic and Bronze Age megalithic monument located near Amesbury in the English county of Wiltshire, about 8 miles (13 km) north of Salisbury. ... A trilithon (or trilith) is a structure consisting of two large vertical stones supporting a third stone set horizontally across the top. ... (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ... Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico A cave is a natural underground void large enough for a human to enter. ...


Newgrange was excavated and much restored between 1962 and 1975, under the supervision of Prof Michael J O'Kelly, Dept. of Archaeology, University College, Cork (O'Kelly 1986). It consists of a vast man-made stone and turf mound retained within a circle of 97 large kerbstones topped by a high inward-leaning wall of white quartz and granite. Most of the stones were sourced locally (within a radius of 20km or so) but the quartz and granite stones of the facade must have been sourced further afield, most probably in Wicklow and Dundalk bay respectively. University College Cork - National University of Ireland, Cork - or more commonly University College Cork (UCC) - is a constituent university of the National University of Ireland located in Cork City. ... Quartz is one of the most common minerals in the Earths continental crust. ... Quarrying granite for the Mormon Temple, Utah Territory. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 52. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 54. ...


As part of the restoration process the white quartzite stones and cobbles were fixed into a near vertical steel reinforced concrete wall surrounding the entrance of the mound. This restoration is controversial among the archaeological community. Critics of the wall point out that the technology did not exist when the mound was created to fix a retaining wall at this angle. Another theory is that the white quartzite stones formed a plaza on the ground at the entrance.


Within the mound, a long passage, only going in one third of the length of the mound, leads to a cruciform (cross-shaped) chamber. The passage itself is over 60 feet (18m) long. The burial chamber has a corbelled roof which rises steeply upwards to a height of nearly 20 feet (6m). A tribute to its builders, the roof has remained essentially intact and waterproof for over 5,000 years.

Image:Newgrange solstice.jpg
Sunlight shining through the roofbox and into the passage of newgrange during the winter solstice

Newgrange appears to have been used as a tomb. The recesses in the cruciform chamber hold large stone basins into which were placed the cremated remains of those being laid to rest. During excavation, the remains of only five individuals were found. It is speculated that the sun formed an important part of the religious beliefs of the New Stone Age people who built it. Formerly the mound was encircled by an outer ring of immense standing stones, of which there are twelve of a possible thirty seven remaining. However, it seems that the stone circle which encircled Newgrange is not contemporary with the monument itself but was placed there some 1,000 years later in the Bronze Age. A tomb is a small building (or vault) for the remains of the dead, with walls, a roof, and (if it is to be used for more than one corpse) a door. ... Cremation is the practice of disposing of a corpse by burning. ... The Neolithic, (Greek neos=new, lithos=stone, or New Stone Age) is traditionally the last part of the stone age. ...


Solstice Event

Every year, at the time of the winter solstice, the sun shines directly along this passage into the chamber for about 17 minutes as it rises. The alignment with the sun is too precise to have occurred by chance.The sun however, does not enter the passage at Newgrange through the main entrance, but rather through a specially contrived opening, known as a roofbox, which lies directly above the entrance. Although solar alignments are not uncommon among passage graves, Newgrange is essentially the only one said to contain the additional roofbox feature. The solar alignment at Newgrange is also still very precise compared to similar phenomena at other passage graves such as Dowth or Maes Howe in the Orkney islands off the coast of Scotland. See also:Technical Facts Concerning The Observation of The Winter Solstice At Newgrange. Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of the northern hemisphere winter solstice Illumination of Earth by Sun on the day of the southern hemisphere winter solstice In astronomy, the winter solstice is the moment when the earth is at a point in its orbit where one hemisphere is... Roofbox above Pasage Entrance A roofbox is a specially contrived opening above a doorway, usually built for some astronomical significant event. ... Dowth (Irish: Dubhadh) is a Neolithic passage tomb which stands in the Boyne Valley, Co Meath, Ireland. ... Maes Howe is a Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave situated on Mainland Orkney (off northern Scotland). ... Technical Facts Concerning The Observation of The Winter Solstice At Newgrange The passage way built into the ancient mound at Newgrange, Ireland, is well known for the fact that it is aligned so that sunlight lights the back end of the passage only at sunrise on the winter solstice. ...


Art

Entrance stone with megalithic art
Entrance stone with megalithic art

Spiral and lozenge motifs engraved on the magnificent entrance slab, "one of the most famous stones in the entire repertory of megalithic art" include a triple spiral motif, found only at Newgrange and repeated along the passage and again inside the chamber, are reminiscent of the triskelion motif of the Isle of Man, of ancient Sicily and of several passage tombs on the island of Anglesey in North Wales. There are further examples of megalithic art on many other kerbstones at Newgrange (notably Kerbstone 52 and 67). However the majority of the megalithic art in the Bru na Boinne complex is located at Newgrange's sister tomb of Knowth. Image File history File links The entrance slab to Newgrange tomb, Ireland File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links The entrance slab to Newgrange tomb, Ireland File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... A lozenge (â—Š) is a form of rhombus. ... A modern form of the triple spiral symbol Version with three thick single spirals. ... The armoured triskelion on the flag of the Isle of Man Triskelion (or triskele, from Greek τρισκελης three-legged) is a symbol consisting of three bent human legs, or, more generally, three interlocked spirals, or any similar symbol with three protrusions exhibiting a symmetry of the cyclic group C3. ... Sicily (Sicilia in Italian and Sicilian) is an autonomous region of Italy and the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, with an area of 25,708 km² (9,926 sq. ... Anglesey (Welsh: , pronounced (IPA)), is an island and county at the northwestern extremity of Wales. ... Approximate extent of North Wales North Wales (known in some archaic texts as Northgalis) is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales, bordered to the south by Mid Wales. ...


Near Newgrange are many other passage tombs, the largest being Knowth, and another significant tomb; Dowth. These tombs are all contemporary with Newgrange and together they and their 37 smaller satellite tombs form the Brú na Bóinne complex. Aerial view of valley Brú na Bóinne (English: Palace on the Boyne) is an internationally important complex of Neolithic chamber tombs, standing stones, henges and other prehistoric enclosures located in a wide meander of the River Boyne in Ireland. ...

View from front
View from front

Download high resolution version (1096x205, 39 KB)Picture I took myself of Newgrange Mound in Ireland. ... Download high resolution version (1096x205, 39 KB)Picture I took myself of Newgrange Mound in Ireland. ...

Mesolithic and Beaker Period

In the Mesolithic period Newgrange continued as a focus of ceremonial activity. New monuments added to the site included a timber circle to the south-east of the main mound and a smaller timber circle to the west. The eastern timber circle consisted of five concentric rows of pits. The outer row contained wooden posts. The next row of pits had clay linings and had been used to burn animal remains. The three inner rows of pits were dug to accept the animal remains. Within the circle were post and stake holes associatd with Beaker Pottery and flint flakes. The western timber circle consisted of two concentric rows of parallel postholes and pits defining a circle 20m in diameter. A concentric mound of clay was constructed around the southern and western sides of the mound and covered a structure consisting of two parallel lines of post and ditches that had been partly burnt. A free-standing circle of large stones was constructed encircling the mound. Near the entrance 17 hearths were used to set fires. These structures at Newgrange are generally contemporary with a number of Henges known from the Boyne Valley at Newgrange Site A, Newgrange Site O, Dowth Henge and Monknewtown Henge. The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the Middle Stone Age[1]) was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. ... In archaeology, a timber circle is a circular arrangement of wooden posts. ... Illustration of a Beaker A beaker is a type of laboratory glassware which consists of a cylindrical cup with a notch on the top to allow for the pouring of liquids. ... A flint nodule from the Onondaga limestone layer, Buffalo, New York. ... In archaeology a posthole is a cut feature used to hold a surface timber or stone. ... In common historic and modern usage, a hearth (Her-earth) is a brick- or stone-lined fireplace or oven used for cooking and/or heating. ... A henge is a roughly circular or oval-shaped flat area over 20m in diameter which is enclosed and delimited by a boundary earthwork that usually comprises a ditch with an external bank. ... Dowth (Irish: Dubhadh) is a Neolithic passage tomb which stands in the Boyne Valley, Co Meath, Ireland. ...


Newgrange in Irish Mythology

According to Irish mythology Newgrange was one of the sidhe or fairy-mounds where the Tuatha Dé Danann lived. It was built by the Dagda, but his son Aengus later tricked him out of it. It is named for the goddess Boann, the mother of Aengus, who is also credited with the creation of the River Boyne. According to some versions of the story, the hero Cúchulainn was born there. However, most of the mythical cycles associated with Newgrange date from the Celtic era of Irish history and mythology. The monument was already in existence for well over 2,000 years before the Celtic era. The mythology of pre-Christian Ireland did not entirely survive the conversion to Christianity, but much of it was preserved, shorn of its religious meanings, in medieval Irish literature, which represents the most extensive and best preserved of all the branches of Celtic mythology. ... In Irish mythology, the sídhe (pronounced shee) are a supernatural race, quite distinct from humankind. ... “Áes dána” redirects here. ... The Dagda is an important god of Irish mythology. ... In Irish mythology, Aengus (Áengus, Óengus, Angus, Aonghus, Anghus) aka Aengus Óg (Aengus the Young), Mac ind Óg (son of the young), Maccan or Mac Óg (young son) was a member of the Tuatha Dé Danann and probably a god of love, youth and poetic inspiration. ... Statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture A goddess is a female deity, in contrast with a male deity known as a god. Many cultures have goddesses. ... In Irish mythology, Boann or Boand (white cow) was the goddess of the River Boyne. ... Boyne-Valley from Passage tomb The River Boyne (Irish: ) is a river in Leinster, Ireland, the course of which is about 112 kilometres (70 miles) long. ... Young Cúchulainn, 1912 illustration by Stephen Reid. ... This article is about the European people. ... Ireland is an island in the north-western Europe. ...


Órla Fallon, a vocalist in the irish singing group, Celtic Woman, sings about the wonder of Newgrange and the mysteries it holds. Orla Fallon is a soloist with the musical group Celtic Woman. ... Celtic Woman is a musical ensemble comprised of five Irish and one New Zealand female artists: vocalists Chloë Agnew, Órla Fallon, Lisa Kelly, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha and Hayley Westenra, and violinist Máiréad Nesbitt. ...


Access to Newgrange

Access to Newgrange is by guided tour only. Tours begin at the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre in Donore, Co. Meath. Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre The Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre is the starting point for all visits to the monuments of Newgrange and Knowth. ... Meath (An Mhí in Irish) is a county in the Republic of Ireland, the county is often informally called The Royal County. ...


Newgrange in Fiction

In Demon Thief by Darren Shan, one of the characters said that Newgrange had been built by the 'old creatures,' a magical race who lived on Earth before humans and protected it from the Demonata. << Lord Loss | Slawter >> Demon Thief is a book in Darren Shans Demonata series. ... This article is about the author. ...


In Ireland by Frank Delaney, the wandering Storyteller tells the story of the construction of Newgrange, the purpose being to commemorate the ancestors and be remembered for all of time.


References

  • Grogan, E. 1991. “Prehistoric and Early Historic Cultural Change at Brugh na Bóinne.” in Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 91C, pp126-132
  • O’Kelly, M.J. 1982. Newgrange. Archaeology Art and Legend. London: Thames and Hudson

  Results from FactBites:
 
Newgrange - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (464 words)
Newgrange, located at 53°41′39.4″N, 6°28′36.6″W, is one of the passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath, is the most famous of all Irish prehistoric sites.
Near Newgrange are many other passage tombs, the largest being Knowth and Dowth.
According to Irish mythology Newgrange was one of the sidhe or fairy-mounds where the Tuatha Dé Danann lived.
101 Facts About Newgrange - General Information (396 words)
Newgrange is one of the best examples in Ireland and in Western Europe, of a type of monument known to archaeologists as a passage-grave or passage-tomb.
Newgrange was built in a time when there was only stone, not metal, used as an everyday material for tools and weapons.
The area around Newgrange was once part of the lands owned and farmed by the monks of Mellifont Abbey, and would have been known as a "grange".
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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