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Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne
featured waymark
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 53° 41.577 W 006° 26.975
29U E 668389 N 5952381
Quick Description: Known as Brú na Bóinne (English: "Quarters of the Boyne") this is an internationally important complex of Neolithic chamber tombs, standing stones, henges and other prehistoric enclosures located in a wide meander of the River Boyne in Ireland.
Location: Ireland
Date Posted: 10/30/2006 11:49:23 AM
Waymark Code: WMWVW
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Tervas
Views: 351

Long Description:
The coordinates indicate the position of the visitor center.

The site is often referred to as the "Bend of the Boyne", and this is often (incorrectly) taken to be a translation of Brú na Bóinne. It is a World Heritage Site, containing what have been described as the national monuments of Ireland.

The site covers 780ha and contains around 40 passage tombs as well as other prehistoric sites and later features. The majority of the monuments are concentrated on the north side of the river. The most well-known sites within Brú na Bóinne are the impressive passage graves of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth all famous for their significant collections of megalithic art. Each stands on a ridge within the river bend and two of the tombs, Knowth and Newgrange appear to contain stones re-used from an earlier monument at the site. There is no in situ evidence for earlier activity at the site however save for the spotfinds of flint tools left by Mesolithic hunters.

other enclosure and megalith sites have been identified within the river bend and have been given simple letter designations such as the M Enclosures. In addition to the three famous tombs, several other ceremonial sites constitute the complex including:

Dowth Hall passage graves
Cloghalea Henge
Townleyhall passage grave
Monknewton henge and ritual pond
Newgrange cursus

Each of the three main megalith sites have significant archaeoastronomical significance. Newgrange and Dowth have Winter Solstice solar alignments, while it is claimed Knowth has an Equinox solar alignment. In addition, the immediate environs of the main sites have been investigated for other possible alignments. The layout and design of the Brú Na Bóinne complex across the valley has also been studdied for astronomical significance.

As well as being surrounded its southern, western and eastern sides by the Boyne, one of the Boyne's tributaries, the Mattock runs along the northern edge, almost completely surrounding Brú na Bóinne with water. All but two of the prehistoric sites are within this river isthmus.

All access to Newgrange and Knowth is by guided tour only: tours begin at the Visitor Centre in Donore, Co. Meath.

Type: Site

Reference number: 659

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