MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS <ul><ul><li>Portal Dolmen. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Over 170 in Ireland. </li></ul><ul><li>Tipod design, large roof stone with heavier end over the entrance. Single slabs resting against side and back stones. Associated with the court cairn. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Court Cairn </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Earliest megalitic tomb. </li></ul><ul><li>U shaped or oval coutyard without a roof. </li></ul><ul><li>This is set infront of a covered gallery/burial chamber. This is divided by doorjambs. Overall cairn is triangular shaped. </li></ul>Eg, Poulnabrone, Co. Clare. Eg. Creggandeveska,
Diagram-Court Cairn Creevykeel, Co. Sligo Semi-circular forecourt made up of upright stones Gallery surrounded by oval-shaped cairn or mound of stones without any roof
PASSAGE TOMBS <ul><li>The Boyne Valley, Co. Meath. </li></ul><ul><li>3200BC </li></ul><ul><li>A passage or chamber covered by a large mound or cairn of small rounded stones. </li></ul><ul><li>Irelands earliest examples of human artwork . </li></ul><ul><li>Late Stone age </li></ul>
Passage Graves The most impressive remains of the late Stone Age are the deep and mysterious stone passage graves. Set into the ground above the river Boyne in a loop as it meanders on its final stretch across the plains of Co. Meath are the finest of these graves, Newgrange and its two satellites, Knowth and Dowth.
It is almost certain that these patterns have an astronomical connection, but they may also have had a religious meaning or may have been a form of primitive calendar. Knowth
Newgrange Within these graves we find Ireland’s earliest examples of human artwork in the form of ornamented stones.
Here we find evidence of a highly organised society which used concentric whirls, circles and abstract repeating patterns, the meaning of which we can only speculate about. The roof Box may have been a form of primitive calendar.
The great Stone Circle <ul><li>. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 12 orthostats (single </li></ul><ul><li>standing stones) stand today but it has been estimated that if it were to be a complete circle, it would’ve consisted of about 35 standing stones. </li></ul><ul><li>Decoration: </li></ul><ul><li>white quartz stone found only in the Wicklow mountains </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the Kerbstones are decorated with pocking (carving/incision). </li></ul>
Quartz Wall <ul><li>A wall surrounding the front of the tomb above the kerbstones is constructed with white quartz stone </li></ul><ul><li>This was erected after excavations in 1963 replacing the stone to its original form. </li></ul>
There is an opening over the roofbox which allows the sun to shine through during the Winter Solstice
On the 21 st of December every year the Solstice sunrise reaches through the passage <ul><li>Light hitting the roofbox </li></ul><ul><li>Layout of passage way </li></ul>
WINTER SOLSTICE 21 ST DECEMBER Shortest day of the year
ENTRANCE STONE 3 left handed spirals 4 right handed spirals
PLAN OF PASSAGE <ul><li>The mound covers a passage which leads to a crucifix shaped chamber. </li></ul><ul><li>The chamber is 24 metres high. </li></ul>
22 standing stones on the left 21 standing stones on the right side The Passage at Newgrange is 19 metres long Narrow stream of light shines directly through roof box along passage.
The famous Triple Spiral on the end recess of the chamber The wonderfully decorated ceiling in the east recess of the chamber Many of these stones are decorated The spirals on the stone of the west recess
Decoration <ul><li>Lozenge shape </li></ul><ul><li>Spirals </li></ul><ul><li>Chevrons (zig zags) </li></ul><ul><li>The techniques used to decorate these stones involved incising or hammering out the design using sharp pointed instruments probably made of flint or quartz. </li></ul>
The first part of the passage is roofed by 3 large slabs After this the roof is CORBELLED
CORBEL VAULT View looking up towards the roof Side View The stones gradually slope inwards and finish with one large stone or cap on the chamber roof on the outside
<ul><li>Corbelled roof </li></ul><ul><li>Finest example in western Europe </li></ul><ul><li>constructed over 5,ooo years ago. </li></ul><ul><li>Watertight today without renovation. </li></ul>
The outer edges of the corbels are sloped downwards so that rain water drains off and onto the cairn. This method is shown to be effective in that the passage and chamber at Newgrange remain dry to this day.
Corbelled stones in the roof Details of patterns found on the corbel stones in the roof of the chamber
Kerbstones <ul><li>A cairn/mound of stone surrounded by 97 large kerbstones which in turn is surrounded by an outer circle of huge standing stones (orthostats) </li></ul><ul><li>Some kerbstones are decorated . </li></ul>
Kerbstone 1-The Entrance Some are decorated, the most spectacular being of course the entrance stone with its spiral and lozenge ornament <ul><li>Perfectly carved spiral designs </li></ul><ul><li>Three left hand spirals </li></ul><ul><li>Four right hand spirals </li></ul><ul><li>A vertical line separates each side </li></ul>
Entrance Stone Nobody knows the meaning of these concentric spirals The vertical line separating the circles appears to be significant
Kerbstone 52 Even more pronounced is the vertical line on kerbstone 52, which is the other richly decorated stone
Kerbstone 52 is at the back of the mound and lines up directly with the entrance stone
STONE BASINS <ul><li>Newgrange </li></ul><ul><li>Knowth </li></ul><ul><li>Used to hold the cremated remains of the dead. </li></ul><ul><li>Stone and bone beads also found when excavating. Thought to be used as offerings to the dead. </li></ul><ul><li>East Chamber in Knowth. </li></ul><ul><li>Found in the chambers of Newgrange,Knowth and Dowth. </li></ul>