The Wonder of Newgrange

18 Mar

newgrangeIt is common to overthink the deep human history that surrounds each of us on a daily basis. However, there are some exceptions that make it impossible to ignore the resilience and brilliance of human work. The Pyramids of Giza, the Coliseum, the Great Wall of China, and Stonehenge are example of such remarkable human work. Even the small island of Ireland has evidence of this stunning history in Newgrange. In the Boyne Valley, this historical monument triumphs over the other prehistoric jewels that surround it. It was constructed more than 5000 years ago and was discovered with the main corridors and tombs still intact. Taking a trip to see this Irish treasure was as perplexing as much as it was interesting.

The structure is astonishing from the outside, rebuilt using the same stones that were used thousands of years before. What was hard to understand was how long it took these people to construct such a monument, considering that the average person only lived to be about 25 years old. What was even harder to comprehend was just how they built a structure that has proven to pass the test of time. They got huge rocks from miles away and brought they up and down the rivers to the top of the hill that they stand on now. Upon entering the small tomb, you get a feel for how the monument was used in ceremonies and special occasions. By far, the most incredible part of seeing Newgrange was watching the light come through the chamber hole, that simulated the sunlight passing through on the winter solstice. Thus, even with a calendar or any advanced technology, humans were able to understand the exact location of the sun on the shortest day of the year and use that knowledge in the construction of an important monument. Therefore, throughout my visit to Newgrange, it became harder and harder to overlook the depths of human capability.

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