Mythical Ireland was established in March of the year 2000 by journalist, author and researcher Anthony Murphy. The website represents a journey into the ancient past, and attempts to cast new light on a sometimes obscure period of the early history of Ireland. This exploration takes place through many different disciplines, which include, but are not limited to, archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, mythology, spirituality and geodesy.
The great 5,000-year-old megalithic passage-tombs of Brú na Bóinne in the Boyne Valley represent the zenith of a phase of Irish prehistory that began with the introduction of farming around 6,000 years ago. Newgrange, Knowth and
Dowth are huge, enigmatic structures, that are the finest examples of a type of monument that is found scattered throughout Ireland, and of which there may be as many as 1,500 examples. None can compare to these three, though, in terms of size, grandeur, and their illustrious prominence in the ancient myths.
Anthony’s exploration encompasses many different facets of these great monuments. He invites you to step into this ancient world, and through the various media of words, photography and video/film, to enjoy a unique glimpse a past that seems very much alive.
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.
Artist Sheila Moylan from Durrow, Co. Laois, has been creating artworks based on the beautifully decorated kerb stones of Síd in Broga / Newgrange. During the course of her work, she made an interesting discovery about the lavishly decorated kerb stone 67 and how the carvings might have been designed by Neolithic artists.
For the first time in decades, humans were absent from the chamber of Newgrange for the annual winter solstice sunrise illumination of the famous monument.
The proposed construction of a multi-billion euro deepwater port AWAY from Bremore on the County Dublin coast is ostensibly a victory for the preservation of a significant cluster of Neolithic passage-tombs at that site.
No visitors will be allowed into the great monument of Newgrange (Síd in Broga) this year for the famous winter solstice illumination of the chamber. However, many more people around the world will get a chance to view the event via livesteam on the internet.
We have a tendency to view Brú na Bóinne and places like Tara and Rathcroghan as archaeological landscapes, which they are, of course. But perhaps when we use such rigid and functional labels we forget that these are also mythological landscapes, places associated with great deities and personages and characters and warriors.