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Prehistoric engravings on the stones at Dowth

Dowth is the only one of the three major Brú na Bóinne mounds which has not been excavated in recent times. Much of the big kerbstones remain buried, with only the tops exposed. During some Victorian style archaeology in the 1850s, major damage was caused to the top of the mound, and two stone passages were found, but thankfully the kerb remains intact. Some of the stones which are exposed have some beautiful artwork on them. The best example is kerb 51, also known as the "Stone of the Seven Suns" but there are more. Some of the art is photographed below, and many of these designs and patterns have not been seen by the general public.

Concentric semicircles
Zig-zag on rear of K51

A spiral on a kerbstone on the southern side of Dowth.

Concentric semicircles nicely lit by the sun on the southern side.

A snake-like zig-zag on the rear of kerb 51 (the Seven Suns stone).

On the rear of kerb 51
Seven Suns calibrator

Pick dressing?

This art almost looks like a warped ground plan of Newgrange. It can be found on the rear of Kerb 51.

This 'calibrator' appears on the top of the 'Stone of the Seven Suns', kerb 51, on Dowth's eastern side.

Archaeologists might refer to this as 'pick dressing' which appears on the surface of kerb 51.

Seven Suns torchlit
A view of the south of the kerb
Kerb art at night

The Stone of the Seven Suns painted with torchlight.

A view of the exposed kerbstones on the south side of Dowth.

There is a rayed circle and an 'S' shape on this stone.

A spiral
Some of the suns

This almost perfect circle is on a kerb on the south of the mound.

A spiral at Dowth. This art could be up to 5,500 years old.

Of course, these 'suns' are from the Seven Suns stone.

A view of the south of the kerb
Seven Suns stone
A view of the south of the kerb

More pictures to come soon.

A dew-covered Seven Suns stone lit up in the dark. Wonderful!

More pictures to come soon.


Back to the Dowth page


Knowth kerbstones: a comprehensive photographic collection of Knowth's megalithic art.
Inside Newgrange: some of the megalithic art inside Newgrange.
Meaning of the art: Is there an astronomical meaning to the Stone Age carvings?

All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
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