Newgrange, a passage grave in Ireland

As we line up to enter the tomb, our guide announces, “If you are not comfortable in tight, close places, please either remain outside or be the last in line! The tunnel in to the mound is very narrow, once you enter the tunnel you will not be able to turn around until you have reached the inner chamber.”

It has been estimated, in 3000 BC, it would have taken 300 people working for 20 or more years to construct the 300 ft.+/- elongated dome at Newgrange. A large stone basin (alter?) was put in place first, then the central chamber was built. Each stone for the chamber was carefully laid, like over lapping roofing tiles, so that each would direct moisture away from the chamber. With completion of the chamber, layers of earth, stone and clay were used to complete its water proofing, bringing the height of the mound to around 40 feet. The central chamber’s ceiling is almost 20 feet at its highest point.

Dutifully getting in line we wait our turn to enter the passage grave. The tunnel, in to the tomb, is just shoulder wide and not quite high enough for us to walk up right. Walking in dim light, slowly up a slight incline for 60 odd feet, we finally find ourselves in the inner chamber.