Newgrange - Mystery Of The Irish Boyne Valley
Photograph - Photo
The ancient site of Newgrange in the heart of the Boyne Valley came heavily recommended, but it was not until my final days in Ireland that I had a chance to tour the site.
We may never fully know the minds of the people who built this chamber tomb or why they oriented it to flood the tomb's interior with sunlight around the time of the winter solstice each year. Of course we can guess that there was symbolism connected with a tomb and the light of the shortest days of winter. But the entire spiritual significance of the place is just the barest of whispers to us today.
Newgrange is often billed as one of the world's oldest observatories because of that alignment with the sun. And its age definitely puts it up there. Newgrange was already in use before the great pyramids in Egypt were built. The difference, of course, is that the Egyptians had hieroglyphs to tell their stories. At Newgrange we have only inscrutable symbols on the rocks that may have been packed with meaning thousands of years ago but today are unknown. What an amazing mystery! And I had a sun filled winter day to enjoy it.
Note: Newgrange and the Bru na Boinne are part of a UNESCO designated World Heritage site.
November 21st, 2012
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