In the verdant green Boyne Valley are three huge earth mounds, the most impressive is called Newgrange. The two other nearby mounds are named Knowth and Dowth, and all three are said by dowsers to intersect at key “telluric energy” points, as well as being situated in perfect alignment with seasonal points of solar movements. Newgrange and the other megaliths in the valley were created some 5,000 years ago by a puzzling group of kinsmen known as the Beaker People, who built in the Boyne Valley and nowhere else in Ireland. To add further mystery, the Beaker People also constructed monuments on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. No direct traces of these people have been found anywhere else in the world.

The complex of Newgrange was originally built between c. 3100 and 2900 BC, meaning that it is approximately 5,000 years old. According to carbon-14 dates, it is more than five hundred years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, and predates Stonehenge by about a thousand years, as well as predating the Mycenaean culture of ancient Greece. Geological analysis indicates that much of building materials used to construct Newgrange were littoral blocks collected from the rocky beach at Clogherhead,Co Louth, approx. 20 km to the north-east. The blocks were possibly transported, to the Newgrange site by sea and up the River Boyne, by securing them to the underside of boats at low tide; four slabs of brown carboniferous sandstone are from further afield, the rest of the 547 slabs used in the construction of the monument are greywacke of the Clogherhead formation, a feldspar rich sedimentary rock.

Giant boulders with spiral motif at the entrance of Newgrange

Conventional archaeologists regard the mounds in Boyne Valley as part of a prehistoric cemetery, largely because charred human remains were found deep inside their chambered passageways. The Boyne Valley passage graves are fine examples of megalithic culture construction, but Newgrange is more than just a burial tomb. On the days around December 21st each winter solstice, the entrance passage is in exact alignment with the rising sun, illuminating a triple spiral relief sculpture in the farthest recess of the chamber. The construction of Newgrange was once surrounded by 38 enormous pillars, but only 12 survive. The site was built to mark the turning point in the sun’s cycle.

Surrounding the exterior of the Newgrange mound are images of spirals, chevrons and other symbolic forms carved on the huge stones. There are a total of 97 curbstones lying on their sides around the mound, and the carved patterns also appear inside the passage. The carvings are believed to be recordings of astronomical and cosmological observations. The internal “beehive” chamber has a funnel-shaped roof and is externally connected by a long passageway. Whatever rituals or activities the Beaker People may have performed in this internal chamber remain a mystery. The mound covering the internal passage is more than 40 feet (12 m) in height and covers an acre (.4 hectare) of ground. The egg-shaped mound is called a tumulus, rising above the flat meadow and surrounded by a stone curbing. Over 20,000 cantaloupe-size stones were brought in from 75 miles (120 km) away to create the bulk of the tumulus. The entrance to Newgrange is marked by the elaborately carved Threshold Stone featuring carved spirals framed by concentric circles and diamond shapes.

Sacred Places Around The World: "108 Destinations" by Brad Olsen;

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Sacred Places Around The World: "108 Destinations" by Brad Olsen page 244

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