Newgrange is a beautiful building standing in Ireland (53o
latitude North and 6o 29' longitude West). It is more than
5000 years old
(build around 3060 CalBCE or 2500 Uncal BP), and thus older than the
in Egypt! This building, which is a big mound of some 80 meters in
stands in the Boyne Valley, some 40 km north of Dublin. In this
region two more big mounds are located: Dowth
The mound of Newgrange has been reconstructed by 'modern' people, with
the materials that were present on site. Newgrange
now looks very nice (if it really looks the same as 5000 years ago,
Cross sections of
The close environment around Newgrange is scattered with other
constructs. Close to the mound the following items, approximately build
around the same time, are important (© M.J. O'Kelly):
The environment around the entrance of the passage looks like this.
- the mound consisting of:
- the great circle stones (diameter of some 105 meters)
- the kerb stones (97 stones at the perimeter of the cairn)
- the cairn (diameter varying between 78 and 85 meters)
Cut through at K95 (close to
Cut through at K53 (opposite the
- the passage (cross like, 24 meters long and an
East side of passage
Cross cut at RS3
- an oval setting (7 m from the entrance of the passage, at K97)
- a hut (10 m from the entrance of the passage, at K3)
- a bank of yellow boulder clay (on
side between the perimeter of the cairn and the great circle stones),
it is some 5.5 meter in width and about 600 mm in height.
Winter solstice sunrise
On December 22, around winter solstice, in 1996 some pictures were
from the outside. The sun was there at the right moment after four
of outage;-) I did not make photo's from the inside, because it is not
allowed and because there is a (closed) waiting list until 2005.
The following photographs are taken:
Sunrise (taken just in front of stone GC 1).
The sun shining into the passage. One sees the shadow of the main
and above that one sees the shadow of the roofbox
(in some instances one also sees the shadow of the iron bar in the
of the roof box). The shadow of the roof box extents until R21 (see
bullet for a close-up).
The sun passing through the roofbox shines
on R21, part of it goes towards the middle of the chamber.
There will be many questions around Newgrange, but I am interested in
Age of Newgrange
The age of Newgrange is of course not easy and accurately known. But
is some information about a few parts of it (© M.J. O'Kelly):
Remember: There is a difference of some 500 years around 4000 BCE
between Uncal BP en
(Cal)BCE: 3060 (Cal)BCE is almost the
same as 4450 Uncal BP!
- turves on the north side (K53) are: 4480 ± 60 Uncal BP
- turves near the entrance (K95) are: 4535 ± 105 Uncal BP
- charcoal under RS3 is: 4425 ± 45 Uncal BP
- charcoal close to RS15 is: 4415 ± 40 Uncal BP
- it is a real pity there are no more dates about the other
in the mound!
- the partial decay of the mound was already a fact around 3950
150 Uncal BP
- Dowth seems from the same period as Newgrange.
The turves from the north side were already present before the kerb
stones were put down (see cut through at
K53). The passage was made as the latest step, because of the
which are positioned as a kind of basket
around the passage and chamber.
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Major content related changes: January 17, 1997