Newgrange, page 2,a passage grave in Ireland

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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.