Thursday, 13 August 2015

Knowth

Yesterday was the perfect day to explore Brú na Boinne - the passage grave monuments in the Boyne Valley, Co. Meath. I had last been to Newgrange and Knowth in 1997 and a lot has changed at Knowth especially. Nearly 20 years ago this site was still in a state of discovery -- maybe that is an understatement as I am sure there will always be something new to discover there -- but there were no didactics or guides, one just simply walked among the ruins looking. Though there is something magical about doing just that, the "cleaned-up" site allowed for better understanding of what one was looking at. So the view from the entrance of several tumuli overshadowed by the largest passage grave (bigger than Newgrange) begins the enchantment...


This is one of the smaller passage graves being singled out so that its structure is obvious: the opening to the passage is visible behind the entrance stone and kerbstones (megaliths) can be seen surrounding the mound.


I was most fascinated by the wonderful examples of Neolithic art! The huge kerbstones of the largest mound were all carved.


The drawings are all abstract and it is completely unknown whether they are a form of writing, religious symbolism or scientific/geographic symbolism.


The architecture of these mounds is so advanced: dry stone building which doesn't leak, corbelled roofs over cruciform passages and all covered by several tons of soil and rock which has lasted  for 5000 years... With this in mind, personally I tend to think of the drawings on the most advanced level possible: some kind of symbolism which blends science, geography and religion to have real meaning for the people who created these amazing structures.


The very exciting thing for me was to see the tool marks of design creation and to be able to run my fingers through the grooves of these prehistoric drawings.