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Mythical Ireland

Island of the Setting Sun (2020 Edition, Signed Copy)

Island of the Setting Sun (2020 Edition, Signed Copy)

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Ireland is home to some of the world’s oldest astronomically-aligned structures, giant stone monuments erected over 5,000 years ago. Despite their apparent simplicity, these megalithic edifices were crafted by a scientifically knowledgeable community of farmers who endeavoured to enshrine their beliefs in a stellar afterlife within the very fabric of their cleverly-designed stone temples.

In this reissued edition of their best-selling book, Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore present evidence suggesting the builders of monuments such as Newgrange and its Boyne Valley counterparts were adept astronomers, skilled engineers and capable surveyors. Their huge monuments are memorials in stone and earth, commemorating their creators’ perceived unity with the cosmos and enshrining a belief system which resulted from a synthesis of science and spirituality.

Their investigation of this awe-inspiring civilisation of people has revealed evidence that significant archaeological sites dating from deep in prehistory are linked – not alone through mythology, archaeology and cosmology – but through an arrangement of complex, and in some cases astonishing, alignments. Some of these alignments of ancient sites stretch from one side of Ireland to the other.

While the accounts of the lives of some prominent Irish saints appear to be steeped in folklore and mystery, it seems from new interpretations of the literature that the cosmic world view which existed in Neolithic Ireland experienced a continuity into early the Christian epoch.

Fourteen years on, Island of the Setting Sun has endured as a popular work. Its unusual yet stimulating amalgam of disciplines, resulting from almost eight years of research and site visits, provides a unique and fascinating exploration of stones, stars and stories.

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