Yesterday's Myths & Mysteries

The Megalithic Art Of Newgrange, Ireland

When we think of the landmarks of antiquity, we often visualize the Great Pyramids of Giza, or the druidic circle, Stonehenge. But like Scotland’s Callanish Stones, the prehistoric monument at Newgrange predates those cultural wonders by hundreds of years.

Located in Eastern Ireland, Newgrange is actually one of many prehistoric sites, including Knowth and Dowth, located along the River Boyne. The river, in fact, is said to reflect the Milky Way.

Together, these monuments form what is called the Brú na Bóinne.

Not much is known about them. Newgrange, in particular, is aligned perfectly with the sun, flooding with light as it rises at the dawn of the winter solstice.

Megalithic Art at Newgrange
Image: Flickr/Chris Evans via CC by 2.0

Scattered around these monuments are large stones inscribed with neolithic patterns, mystical swirls carved out thousands of years ago.

Check out the primary stone outside the entrance to Newgrange, for example:

Newgrange Entrance
Image: Flickr/Chad K via CC by 2.0

There’s some debate regarding how much of Newgrange is original, and how much has been rebuilt or modified in modern times.

Authenticity is often put into question, as well, though many ancient monuments have been either re-erected or secured using modern techniques as a means of preservation.

It’s an interesting question, but in no way makes Newgrange or the other monuments of the Brú na Bóinne any less remarkable.

Image: Flickr/Germán Poo-Caamaño via CC by 2.0

Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.