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Newgrange page 2
Passage Grave, Brú na BÓinne
     
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This Site best viewed at 800x600

Newgrange page 2 - Return to Newgrange top page
Arriving within the center of the Newgrange passage grave we find ourselves standing in a small chamber. Our group is packed, two rows, shoulder to shoulder, standing around the chamber. We leave a small space within the center so at least some of us can see the guide.
Newgrange Top page
Newgrange page 2
Newgrange page 3
Knowth
Outside links:
360° view of Newgrange's inner chamber
 

 

passage entry to a Ireland passage tomb
Photo above - shows the passage way at the Knowth tomb. The newgrange passage way is similar to the passage way at Knowth but the Knowth tomb's passage has not been stabilized and visitors are not allow access beyond a peek at the passage's entrance.

Photo above - close up of the passage entrance. to Knowth passage grave. Photographs are not allowed with in the Newgrange passage grave.
The inner chamber of the Newgrange passage grave has three adjacent compartments (ah, large niches) which contain large, shallow, stone bowls. In earlier times, the bowls held the ashes from human cremations. It is believed that cremations were not held with in the passage grave but the ashes were brought in to the chamber. It has been speculated the ashes were carted in to the chamber for ceremonial ritual and then possibly removed. Burnt and un-burnt jewelry has been found with in Newgrange as well as bone fragments. Still, a few people believe calling the newgrange structure a tomb or grave is inappropriate.

Illuminated by her flashlight the guide explains how the rocks above our heads were stacked upon themselves in such a way to help shed water away from the interior chamber and create a corbel arch ceiling. Above the rock, layers of soil and clay facilitates the water shedding effect. So effective is this layered, water proofing, construction of the mound that, even today, no water seeps into this inner chamber.

One of the significant features of Newgrange is its special construction; designed to take advantage of sun rise on the day of winter solstice. Winter solstice occurs once every year at the end of December. Marking the day of the year with the least amount of daylight, it has held special important's to ancient people (and many today) all over the globe. The Newgrange passage tomb is unique in having a special window (often referred to as a roof box) located above the entrance. This window is used exclusively by the sun during the winter solstice to light the tombs inner chamber.
the newgrange passage tomb sits at the top of a high hill.
Photo above - The newgrange passage tomb sits high up on a ridge. A few, small, passage graves may be found in the surrounding area.

Our guide reports no signs of fire have been found with in the inner chamber, suggesting that in prehistoric times no torch lights were used with in the structure. Demonstrating to the group how the interior of the passage tomb would have appeared at all times except the morning of winter solstice are guide turns off her flash light.

Go to page 3 - Newgrange


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Most of the information on this website was gather during my families July 2004 visit to Ireland