Historical photographs

Newgrange From Prehistory to the Middle Ages

Newgrange From Prehistory to the Middle Ages

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Newgrange is one of the funerary passages of the Brú na Bóinne complex, located in the County of Meath, in Ireland. It is not known for sure if it was built as a tomb, a temple or an observatory, but the truth is that Newgrange is astronomically oriented, and is an outstanding archaeological site.

Every year, on the morning of the winter solstice, sunlight penetrates the dark passage of Newgrange. The light enters the chamber and gradually extends to the rear. As the sun rises, the beam of light gets larger inside the chamber, illuminating it completely. This event has a duration of 17 minutes and is associated with the importance of the Sun in the religious beliefs of the people who built it.

Newgrange was built, approximately, between 3,300 and 2,900 a. C., as can be deduced from the carbon 14 tests conducted in 1991. This means that it is 500 years older than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, and 1,000 years older than Stonehenge.

Formerly the exterior of the Newgrange mound was surrounded by a ring of large erect stones. Of the 37 that are believed to have been, only 12 remain today. It seems that this circle of stones is not from the same era in which the monument was built, and that it was made about 1,000 years later, in the Bronze Age.

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