9 Dec

During Thanksgiving weekend, I was fortunate enough to have my uncle come visit me. One of the day trips we planned was a trip to Newgrange. It is located on the east coast of Ireland, in country Meath about one kilometer above the River Boyne. One astonishing fact that I learned about Newgrange is that it is one of the oldest structures in the world built in 3200 BC. It is older than that of the Egyptian Pyramids and Stonehenge. It was first discovered in the 17th century by a farmer Charles Campbell. He originally started digging up the mound as he noticed a lot of rocks. He soon found a more descript figure and decided to start excavating it and saved the structure instead of dismantling it. When it was first found, the rock face of it had collapsed covering up the inside. After they restored the front of the building, they discovered what is now called a “roofbox”. At first, they had no idea what this was for. However, it was soon found out that it is meant to let in sunlight during a very specific time. On the winter solstice (December 21) and a few days before and after, they sun shines through the roofbox illuminating the inner chamber. It was very fascinating learning the probable methods that the ancient people used to track the sun and make this almost prehistoric building line up exactly. To get to the inside of the structure, you have to pass through a very narrow passage way to enter into a small circular rooms with three recesses. Each had a few bowl shaped artifacts that were assumed to hold ashes or remains of their important people. There are many thoughts to what this monument was actually for. One of the most popular ones was that the people were waiting for the sun to return to the spot before the days started getting longer. This was that they wanted to make sure that their gods had not forgotten about them and that the world as they knew it would continue to be the same. This trip was very informative and interesting. This was because everyone had heard of the Pyramids and Stonehenge, however I do not remember hearing about a structure that is over 1000 years older than Stonehenge and 2000 years older than the Pyramids.

Greg Shozda


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