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Cº Meath
nr. Drogheda
OS Grid 299274
Brú na Bóinne Center
guided tour only
Mar-Apr, Oct 0900-1730
June - Sep 0900-1900
May 0900-1830
Heritage Site

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by site
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neolithic sites
abbeys and churches
round towers
lovely scenics


Knowth Site
Virtual Tour
Cross Sections
Historical Mysteries
Mythical Ireland
Megalithic Ireland
Stones of Ireland
Petroglyph Gallery
Brú na Bóinne Center
Heritage Ireland

the mound at knowth, and 18 surrounding burials

Knowth is only one of many megalithic burial sites in Meath countey -- Newgrance, Dowth, Fourknocks, Loughcrew and Tara are the best known. The Irish name for Knowth is Cnoghba). There are 300 passage tombs in Ireland.

These mounds in the Boyne Valley date to around 3200BCE, which makes them some of the oldest structures on earth. People still argue whether these are primarily burial mounds (they are technically passage graves), temples, observatories, or something else entirely. It seems unlikely that the enormous hillocks adn stacked stone were built without some large significance -- even if they are burial mounds, they must have ceremonial importance.

paths around the base of the great mound

Knowth is a smaller mound that Newgrance, and is surrounded by 18 smaller mounds and burials -- in fact, the entire field looks roughly like a series of Hobbit holes. There are also (unusually) two passages into athe mound, one from the east and one from the west. The eastern passage ends with a cruciform chamber whih is close enough to the end of the other passage that you can hear someone in the other chamber, although they do not connect.

eighteen subsidiary burials around the site

Many have argued that the passages are aligned to the sunrise and sunset on the equinoxes, but this hasn't survived much scrutiny. Other theories point to a lunar observatory function, which shows that the builders had a clear understanding of the complicated path of the moon. Many of the decorated kerbstones seem to ahve some sort of lunar representation.

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lost in ireland 2005 travelogue and photos © rfingerson