Newgrange is by far the most famous of the three Boyne Valley passage-tombs,
Knowth is by
far the most impressive in terms of megalithic art, scale and layered
history. Knowth contains one quarter of all known megalithic art
in Europe, has two passages, and a total of 18 smaller "satellite
mounds". The site was excavated and thoroughly investigated
archaeologically over a period of 40 years and is now open to the
public who can visit through the Brú na Bóinne Visitors'
Centre in nearby Donore.
are two passages at Knowth (Newgrange
has one) which face, roughly speaking, towards the east and towards
the west. A long-held theory that the passages were aligned towards
sunrise and sunset on the Spring and Autumn Equinoxes has, in recent
years, been found to be untrue. A
new theory, backed by scientific data about the orientation
of these passages, points towards a lunar
function for Knowth.
lunar function is backed up by research which claims that the builders
of this monument had a good working knowledge of the complicated
movements of the Moon. Such knowledge would have enabled the builders
to predict eclipses and other astronomical events. Some of the many
carvings on the 127 kerbstones at Knowth could be representations
of lunar counts
art inside Knowth. Click
here to see the decorated kerbs,
is probably Knowth's astonishing quantity of art
which makes it more impressive than Newgrange.
Many of the kerbstones are decorated, while there is significant
decoration in both passages and inside some of the satellite monuments.
was significant activity at Knowth over a long period of time. Archaeologist,
Professor George Eogan, found that there were 10 separate phases
of activity at the site from the earliest times to the modern era.
There may have been settlement at Knowth as early as 6,000 years
the Iron Age, the site was fortified and a huge ditch dug around
the mound. In later times, Knowth became a significant site as the
capital of the kingdom of Brega.
are some very ancient myths about Knowth
and how it got its name. One story relates that a noble woman, Bua,
was buried there and the "great hill" was built up over
her. These placename myths are still in existence today, in a collection
called the Dindshenchas.
flint macehead found at Knowth.
are a total of 18 smaller satellite mounds around the main mound,
many of which had their own stone passages. Some also contain megalithic
number of very significant finds and artefacts have been uncovered
during 40 years of excavations at Knowth. A flint macehead, a stone
phallus and a giant
stone basin are among the interesting items found.
the late stages of excavation, Mythical Ireland gained exclusive
access to Knowth, thanks to the archaeologist, Prof. Eogan. Some
features on this site include a comprehensive pictorial overview
of the decorated kerbstones at Knowth, as well as exclusive photos
of megalithic art in the western passage.
featured are studies of the sunlight penetrating the western passage
around the time of the equinox.
four-feet granite stone basin in the Eastern passage of Knowth may
be engraved with a map of the city of Atlantis,
as Plato described it. The three concentric circles match the three
concentric lakes of Atlantis, according to a Swedish academic.