Yesterday's Myths & Mysteries

The Drombeg Stone Circle of Ireland

In County Cork, Ireland, near the country’s southern coast, lies the Drombeg stone circle, a megalithic monument also known as the Druid Altar. Thirteen standing stones remain of the original seventeen, forming a broken circle that dates back to the Bronze Age.

At its prime, the sandstone pillars of the Druid Altar formed a complete circle, with the southwest recumbant stone nearly, but not quite, aligned with the sunset of the winter solstice (December 21). The other stones are sloped upwards toward the recumbent stone

Two, two-meter-high portal stones also stand to the northeast, aligned with the sunset of the midwinter solstice. You can see these two “portal stones” near the center of the picture below (one fat, one thin).

Drombeg stone circle
Image: Flickr/amanderson2 via CC by 2.0

Like Scotland’s Callanish Stones, you can visit the Drombeg stone circle up close, without much distraction, and it’s been relatively untouched. Take a walk off the beaten path, voyage to a world before our own. There is also a cooking area and hearth, as well as the ruins of two prehistoric stone huts. Within one of these huts, water was once boiled with fiery stones placed into a stone basin.

During excavations in the 1950s, items were located within the circle, including a pot that contained bones and ashes. Experts dated the pot and its contents to sometime between 945-830 BC.

Ireland contains hundreds of these stone circles, each created for their own mysterious purpose. Newgrange, as well, serves as a reminder of not only humanity’s timeless culture, but of the grandeur of time itself. How will future generations look upon our current monuments?

Image: Flickr/Jimmy Harris via CC by 2.0

Rob Schwarz

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

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