Extremely detailed views of the Brú na Bóinne area taken by satellite during the drought of 2018 have revealed a raft of possible new monuments. I went searching through the imagery and found at least 15 features which are possibly or likely to be archaeology, none of which are yet recorded by the National Monuments Service.
Just when you thought it wasn't possible for more archaeology to be discovered at the Brú na Bóinne Unesco World Heritage site at the bend of the Boyne, Apple Maps is using extremely detailed satellite images of the area taken during the unprecedented dry spell in summer 2018, offering the chance to see even more unrecorded archaeology in the area.
I jumped at the chance to view the imagery, not expecting to find anything that hadn't been seen before. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The Apple Maps images offer fabulous views of the big discovery of last summer - Dronehenge - and its neighbouring henges, Site LP2 and Site P. Also visible in the same field are the Pit Complex, the Four-Poster and the arcs of the Great Palisade.
Browsing through the Apple Maps imagery, I quickly stumbled upon a feature to the east of Newgrange that looks very like a ringfort – and it even appears to have a rectangular-shaped structure in its interior, the possible remains of a habitation. This is an unrecorded monument in close proximity to the great mound of Newgrange, less than half a kilometre away.
The following are images, with a brief description, of other features I have found in the Brú na Bóinne area using Apple Maps. I must emphasise that these might not all be new discoveries. It is possible that some of these features have been previously found by others and not yet added to the National Monuments Database. I have provided details of all these finds to the National Monuments Service and await feedback on how many of them might be unrecorded archaeology. All images are © Apple Maps.
In addition to all the above, I have furnished the National Monuments Service with a report containing 66 unrecorded monuments found in Apple Maps in counties Louth and Meath. I have picked out a few of my favourites from this report to show you how much archaeology was revealed during the once-in-a-generation weather conditions of June and July 2018.
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.