Archaeologists Discover Almost 40 New Monuments Close to Newgrange

The monument aligned with the winter solstice sunrise is believed to be around 200-300 years newer than the Stone Age passage tomb at Newgrange. (Image: University College Dublin)
The monument aligned with the winter solstice sunrise is believed to be around 200-300 years newer than the Stone Age passage tomb at Newgrange. (Image: University College Dublin)

A team from University College Dublin have unearthed almost 40 previously unknown monuments close to Newgrange, including a “spectacular” monument that aligns with the winter solstice sunrise.

The findings likely range from the Neolithic period (4000 B.C.), through the Bronze Age (2500 B.C.), and the early Middle Ages. The monument aligned with the winter solstice sunrise is believed to be around 200-300 years newer than the Stone Age passage tomb at Newgrange, dated around 3200 B.C., and was discovered in a field just meters from the famous site.

The Newgrange passage tomb in County Meath is dated around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. (Image: University College Dublin)

The Newgrange passage tomb in County Meath is dated around 3200 B.C., making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. (Image: University College Dublin)

Dr. Steve Davis and a team from the UCD School of Archaeology used a large-scale geophysical imaging system to reveal the new monuments as part of a joint project with the Romano-Germanic Commission. Dr. Davis said:

Their survey made use of satellite-based remote sensing, drones, airborne laser scanning, and geophysics to survey Brú na Bóinne, an area in County Meath that contains some of the world’s most important prehistoric landscapes.

These include the large megalithic passage graves of Knowth, Newgrange, and Dowth, as well as around 90 other monuments from the Neolithic period. The research is part of the “Boyne to Brodgar” project, which is examining connections between Neolithic sites in the Boyne Valley and the Orkney Islands.

The site of one of the newly discovered monuments found near Newgrange. (Image: University College Dublin)

The site of one of the newly discovered monuments found near Newgrange. (Image: University College Dublin)

The area surveyed included locations on both sides of the Boyne, within the bend of the Boyne River, and across from the prehistoric tombs at Newgrange, Knowth, and Dowth. Newgrange is synonymous with the winter solstice, where the dawn light illuminates the burial chamber, and is among the best known of the passage tombs in Brú na Boinne.

Since 1993, the site has been a World Heritage Site designated by UNESCO. Dr. Davis, who has worked for over a decade at Brú na Bóinne, said the monuments among the latest discoveries likely range from:

He added, the results of this year’s surveys:

When finished, the Boyne to Brodgar project, which began five years ago, will have surveyed more than five square kilometers.

Provided by: David Kearns, University College Dublin [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

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