Topics: Winter solstice, River Boyne, Newgrange Pages: 2 (592 words) Published: February 26, 2013
Sample essay on Newgrange

Nestled in a ridge near a bend in the Boyne River in Ireland is one of the most amazing examples of ancient monuments that can still be seen today. This monument is called Newgrange. It is a megalithic passage tomb that predates Stonehenge by roughly 1,000 years, according to carbon dating done at the site. The area surrounding Newgrange is rich with ancient Irish history and Newgrange is no exception. Newgrange was built around 3200 BC. Experts believe that it would have taken a group of 300 workers around 30 years to complete the tomb. After the people who built Newgrange stopped using it, the tomb became largely unrecognizable over time. It wasn't until 1699, when material was being removed for use on roads, that Newgrange became known to modern man. Between 1962 and 1975, archaeologists restored and excavated the site. They discovered an amazing wealth of prehistoric artwork both inside and outside of the tomb. They were also able to get a very good idea of how Newgrange was built and why it was built the way it was. The exterior of Newgrange is a large mound of rocks and turf that is roughly 280 ft. in diameter. The mound is retained by 97 kerbstones that skirt its base. Most of them have very clear examples of prehistoric Irish artwork carved into them. Outside of Newgrange there are also 12 standing stones that were likely placed at the site roughly 100 years after the tomb was built. Some archaeologists believe that they were once part of a group of 38 stones that once encircled the mound. During the excavation of Newgrange, a large amount of white quartz was found at the base of the mound on the southeast side. This lead the man who was leading the excavation to believe that there had once been a wall there. So, during restoration, a new wall of quartz and granite was built on the southeast rim of the mound. Some archaeologists believe that the original wall never existed and that the addition of the new wall was a mistake....
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