Dun Aengus - Ancient Irish History
Photograph - Panorama Photo
The armchair historian in me gets goosebumps whenever I visit a place like Dun Aengus (or Dun Aonghasa). One of the reasons I went to the Aran Islands at all was that I had read about the dramatic ring forts that are one of the big draws for tourist to the small islands near Galway.
Dun is the Irish Gaelic for Fort. But there is no written record to confirm what the function of these ancient structures was. In comparatively modern times, people looked at this site and thought that it must be a defensive structure. And as is often the human tendency, they romanticized it and imagined these ring forts on Inishmore were built by people pushed from the mainland to this, their last stand at the edge of their world.
Modern theories suggest, though, that there may have been a ceremonial and/or spiritual function for these 'forts.' And when you stand beside the raised dais against the sheer cliff, it does feel special on a level far beyond a simple garrison.
I couldn't have had a prettier winter day for my time visiting this Iron Age site. Beautiful skies, great light... I was just dazzled as I stood there. I knew I had to create a panorama photo to really take in the full and remarkable scene.
November 9th, 2012
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