Dowth

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Exploring Newgrange-Liam Mac Uistin

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  • Dowth
    • Standing stone originally on top
    • Kerbstones present-some but not all decorated
      • Quartz found at foot-may have been lined like Newgrange
    • 40 decorated stones
      • At least 15 kerbstones
      • K51-Stone of seven suns-celestial symbolism.
        • Worship?
        • Similar design to backstone of cairn T at Loughcrew
          • Significant cultural symbols?
      • Northern passage-last stone on right hand side-edge of stone used to empahsise rays of a  'sun burst'
        • Right recess of southern passage-raised carved circle surrounded by little pits.
    • 2 stone lined passages from the western side
      • Northern longer passage is 8.2m in length and divided by 3 sill stones.
        • Ends in cruciform chamber. 3 recesses.
          • 3 m corbelled roof
          • 3m high orthostats define chamber
          • Large stone basin (1.4 by 1m lies in central chamber
          • Unusually on right hand side recess there is an annexe with two more chambers.
            • Floor is 2.4m long flagstone with artificial depression
            • Function?
              • Original part of tomb? Cruciform added onto this?
              • Or did it have some ritual purpose?
              • Or did it have some ritual purpose?
              • Added just because they felt like it?
      • Southern passage. 3.3m passage. Sill at end
        • Original roof caved in-possibly corbelled
        • Some cremated and unburnt remains, beads, knives
          • But from 1847 excavator not well recorded
        • Small chamber with one recess
          • Separated from main chamber by sill stone
        • Entrance 'marked' by kerbstone featuring cup marks, spiral and floral like marks
    • Souterrain built several thousand years after passage tombs
      • Built inside Kerb, below surface level so invisible
      • Connects with northern passsage
      • Used to store valuable items and safe refuge in later times.
        • Reusing site
    • 2500-200BC. Possibly built after Knowth although disputed
    • Shares winter solstice alignment (south passage)with Newgrange
      • Except rays of setting sun instead of rising
        • Linkage with death and setting sun?
          • 3 stones lit up in main chamber. Convex central stone reflects sunlight into recess onto designs
            • Significant religious symbols?
    • Roughly 85m in diameter and 15m high

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