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The Hill of Tara

18 Sep

The Hill of Tara, best known as the Seat of High Kings of Ireland, is located in County Meath, Leinster. It is a large circular earth mound, symbolizing the mother earth. Dating from the Neolithic period (4,000 – 2,000 BC), the hill, was a henge monument, used for ritual and/or astronomical observations. The Hill of Tara was used as an area of inauguration of Kings, being inaugurated at Tara bestowed the highest honor upon a king and accorded him a special dominance over other kings with a title of King of Tara.

There are many monuments around the Hill of Tara that all symbolize something different. To start off, there is the Mound of Hostages. The Mound of Hostages is a small, short passage grave that is designed to catch the rays of the sun. It is a holding cell to ensure loyal submission from the people of surrounding kingdoms. One extremely popular monument is the Stone of Destiny. Screen Shot 2013-09-18 at 5.14.08 PM It was said that, if a king was chosen, it would have to stand in front of the Stone of Destiny, and it would have to “roar” three times to ensure that this kings was THE king. Tara Hill is connected to significant landscape and monumental sites because it was, in medieval times, part of an extensive kingdom whose  domain extended from the River Dee to the River Liffey and eastwards to the coast.  The landscape historically extended to the Hill of Skyrne. The Hill of Skyrne, still houses the 12th century Skyrne Castle, which is a national monument.

Scholars have pointed out that you can observe all four counties from the top of Hill of Tara, which is very impressive.

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Sarah Zaatar

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