Today I couldn’t get around writing a discussion post as I wanted to. Nevertheless, I’ve been wanting to share with you my road trip to Brú na Bóinne, a Neolithic archaeological complex in Co. Meath, Ireland. (I did it to celebrate my birthday last week). So, that’s what I’m going to write about. I think that if I hadn’t chosen publishing as a career, I would have definitely studied archaeology, anthropology or special education. So, I was really excited about this trip and I managed to took some photos to share. 🙂
Now, some info about the place:
Brú na Bóinne, which means the ‘palace’ or the ‘mansion’ of the Boyne, refers to the area within the bend of the River Boyne which contains one of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes. It is located close to the east coast of Ireland approximately 40 km north of Dublin city, about 8km west of the medieval town of Drogheda and about 5km east of the village of Slane.
The archaeological landscape within Brú na Bóinne is dominated by the three well-known large passage tombs, Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, built some 5,000 years ago in the Neolithic or Late Stone Age. Archaeologists discovered that these tombs are older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramid of Giza. An additional ninety monuments have been recorded in the area giving rise to one of the most significant archaeological complexes in terms of scale and density of monuments and the material evidence that accompanies them. The Brú na Bóinne tombs, in particular Knowth, contain the largest assemblage of megalithic art in Western Europe. Brú na Bóinne was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in December 1993. (more info here, here and here)
The tombs are absolutely huge and the place is so green, earthy and even a little mystical. There’s many speculation about these rounded tomb-hills. What we know is that they were built by farming people and it was a work took more than one generation to accomplish. It’s really incredible to stand there and imagine people who haven’t even learned to domesticate horses being able to transport such have stones from miles and miles. Talk about having a dream and dedication to fulfill it…
To make things more interesting, these farmers were clearly engineering “experts”. Each large tomb from Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, which are miles away from each other, has a specific alignment to the sun. So, during the Solstice, Equinox and other sun related events, the the main entrances would allow the illumination of the inner chamber by the sun, marking the passage of a new season. This means that this prehistorical people were technologically learned (don’t ask me how). Also, there is the belief that, since they were farmers—and, therefore, recognised the importance of the sun in their daily lives—these people might have been Sun worshipers and used these tombs also as temples and places of gathering. Of course, some also say this is all nonsense and these tombs were actually built by aliens. Either way, it’s overwhelming just to stay in front of them.
However, I did get a chance to go inside Newgrange and experience a recreation of what would happen during a Winter Solstice, when we would be lucky to have the sun picking through the usually grey and rainy Irish sky. (no pictures allowed, though I did get one from Knowth)
If you ever come to Ireland, don’t miss Brú na Bóinne. It’s absolutely incredible and you’ll feel really humble next to it. What about you? Are you interested in archaeology, history and the related things? Where would you go to celebrate you B-day? I really don’t like parties, so visiting places that sell books and places really ancient and full of rocks are really my thing. Now, I’ll leave with some more amateur-ish photos of the beautiful landscape of Ireland, Trim castle (where some of Braveheart was filmed) and some pics of me. Enjoy! 😉