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Newgrange, Ireland - Enduring mystery

Newgrange, Ireland - Enduring mystery

Newgrange's alignment with the winter solstice suggests a deeper purpose than just a tomb, but other mysteries connected to the monument need to been considered to get the whole picture and solving the mystery behind the world`s probably oldest freestanding structure. 

Photo. The entrance to Newgrange with a opening called the roof box above. This opening allows the winter solstice sun to enter the narrow passage way and illuminate the dark chamber within the tomb. © Travel Explorations.

Newgrange is an ancient burial mound in Ireland, dating back to about 3200 BC. I take the momnument older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange consists of a large circular mound with an inner stone passageway and cruciform chamber. Burnt and unburnt human bones, and possible grave goods or votive offerings, were found in this chamber (Wikipedia). Its original name, Brú na Bóinne, translates to "House of the Moon" or "Womb of the Moon," hinting at a possible lunar connection [medium.com].

There is so much history and tales around the site. For they who find their way into this massive circular tomb, might have somewhat of a spiritual experience. Especially if they experience the Winter Solstice illumination. The event has a mystic aura, as the ancient carved stones briefly come alive with the light of a sun that has shone on them for millennia. 

Newgrange is shrouded in several mysteries. Some of them are: 

  • Purpose: While originally thought to be a tomb, some archaeologists now believe it was a temple due to its alignment with the winter solstice. On the shortest day of the year, the rising sun beams through a roof box and illuminates the chamber for 17 minutes [authenticvacations.com].
  • Construction: Built around 3200 BC, it predates the wheel and metal tools. 
  • Transportion: How were the heavy the Newgrange stones were brought to the site. Experts estimate it took over 20 years to move the massive stones, some weighing tons, over long distances [newgrange.com].
  • The carvings: The meaning of the elaborate carvings on the stones, including the tri-spiral symbol found elsewhere around the world, remains unclear [medium.com].
  • Situated around the perimeter of the mound is a circle of standing stones. Twelve standing-stones survive out of a possible original thirty-five (Wikipedia). 

These are just some of the things that make Newgrange so fascinating!

Stein Morten Lund, April 2024

Additional information
This articles is based written with assistance of ChatGTP4, Microsoft Copilot and Google Gemini. Background information is retrieved from Wikipedia. 

Facts (Wikpedia):

Width: 76 metres (249 ft)
Area: 1.1 acre (0.5 hectare)
Height: up to 12 metres (39 ft)

Read more about Newgrange on Wikipedia

Access to Newgrange is by guided tour only. Tours begin at the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre from which visitors are taken to the site in groups.

The mystery of Newgrange: Ireland’s megalithic marvel - Sky History

Here are some other of the ancient world's most perplexing and enduring mysteries: 

  • Thonis-Heracleion
  • Plain of Jars
  • Guanabara Bay
  • Nazca Lines
  • Paracas Candelabra
  • Sacsayhuamán
  • Cleopatra's Tomb
  • Voynich Manuscript
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