Knowth

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Exploring Newgrange-Liam Mac Uistin

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  • Knowth
    • 200+ decorated stones, many kerb stones (over 25% of Neolithic art in Europe)
      • Spirals, lozenges and serpentiform.
        • Also more unusual designs-crescent shapes
      • Much on hidden side of stones
        • Hidden art?
          • Or simply recycled?
      • Kerbstone K15thought to possibly lunar calendar/sundial.
        • Calendar kerbstone-shows awareness of lunar 19 year cycle. (Metonic cycle)
        • Lunar stone-5000 year old. Used to calculate lunar month (tropical) synodic month (time for moon to go around earth) and length of year.
          • 200+ decorated stones, many kerb stones (over 25% of Neolithic art in Europe)
            • Spirals, lozenges and serpentiform.
              • Also more unusual designs-crescent shapes
            • Much on hidden side of stones
              • Hidden art?
                • Or simply recycled?
            • Kerbstone K15thought to possibly lunar calendar/sundial.
              • Calendar kerbstone-shows awareness of lunar 19 year cycle. (Metonic cycle)
              • Lunar stone-5000 year old. Used to calculate lunar month (tropical) synodic month (time for moon to go around earth) and length of year.
              • Orthostat 47 (end of eastern passage) seen as lunar maps (Philip J Stooke)
        • Orthostat 47 (end of eastern passage) seen as lunar maps (Philip J Stooke)
      • Fell into disrepair. Built upon in early christian/late Iron Age period. Some Christian graffiti.
        • Used as hill fort
          • Also fell into the hand of monks
        • 35 cist burials also associated-celtic
        • Time of Christ became burial location. 35 burials, largely women
          • 2 burials are young men. Had gaming pieces with them.
      • Largest passage tomb of the complex.
      • Large  mound and 18 satellite tombs.
        • Mound is 12m in height
          • Covers roughly a hectare.
          • Estimated to 2500-2000BC
          • Roughly circular-80m E-W, 95m N-S
          • 127 kerb stones (3 now missing, 4 badly damaged)
            • Large  mound and 18 satellite tombs.
              • Mound is 12m in height
                • Covers roughly a hectare.
                • Estimated to 2500-2000BC
                • Roughly circular-80m E-W, 95m N-S
                • 127 kerb stones (3 now missing, 4 badly damaged)
        • Two passages on east-west line
          • Eastern passage is cruciform
            • Similar to Newgrange
              • Right side recess larger, more elaborately decorated
                • Curved deign of basin, same as passage stones
                • Timber circle near to entrance-grooved ware
                  • Votive offerings found
            • 40m long
          • Main chambers only metres apart
          • Independent of each other
          • Western passage is undifferentiated
            • 34m long
            • Chamber has flat rather than corbelled roof
            • Chamber separated from passage by sillstone
              • Appeared to contain stone basin-moved to two thirds of the way down passage
          • Celestial alignments-equinoxes?
            • Could celebrate sunrise and sunsets of  equinoxes
              • Similar to solstice purpose of Dowth and Newgrange
            • No longer apparent due to damage etc.
        • Art of Knowth and Dowth appears less 'formal' than Newgrange
        • One of the stone basin's was elaborately decorated.
          • Flint mace head also found-carefully carved again
          • Evidence of this being a royal/elite burial site?
            • Flint mace head also found-carefully carved again
        • Small structure outside entrances to one of the passages
          • 'Priest' stand. Stood there and delivered speeches?

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