Newgrange is the oldest, and most famous of all the passage graves in the Boyne Valley. This enormous structure is most recognized for the light box over its entrance, which allows the sun to light up the inner chamber on the winter solstice. Newgrange is an enormous feat of early engineering situated high atop a hill with a view of the river valley below. Having Newgrange built on a hill ensured that it could be seen from a distance, welcoming early nomads to this historic passage tomb.
Newgrange was built around 3,200 BC. During the excavation period of 1967 to 1975, Professor Michael J. O’ Kelly recreated and reconstructed Newgrange to its former glory, based on his research. The outer stones on the face of Newgrange are quartz (Co. Wicklow) and granite (Co. Lowth). These stones were the same type as the original stones, although they were not the originals used in the initial foundation. 97 kerbstones surround the circular base of Newgrange. Many of these kerbstones are detailed and decorated with an assortment of spirals, circles, diamonds, and lines. Two of the most well known kerbstones are numbers one and fifty- two. Kerbstone one is designed with spirals and diamonds, as well as lines and lozenges. Kerbstone fifty-two is very different, as it has very specific and non-uniform designs on it. In the chambers at the end of the entrance passage, there are three antichambers, two of which still bare their original basins. On the walls above these basins are carvings of zig-zags and lozenges, more art from the people of the Stone Age. To create these designs, they used a stone hammer and a flint point to chip a carving into the stone. In a circle surrounding Newgrange, (about 15 meters out) is an assortment of 12 stone monoliths. These are the only remaining monoliths of the original 32.
The construction of Newgrange was certainly a major feat of engineering for people of the Stone Age. The technology was limited to what people could carry or...
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