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Ground-breaking technology shows no second chamber at Newgrange
The technology used in an attempt to find out whether a second passage tomb, which may also be aligned with a solstice event, exists at Newgrange had proved its worth during experimentation by a Slovakian team of scientists who visited the Boyne Valley, an Irish archaeologist said this week.
Dr Conor Brady, archaeologist and lecturer at Dundalk Institute of Technology, who lives at Slane, said that while there would be no “dramatic announcements” about discovery of a second chamber at Newgrange at this stage, the microgravitational technology used in the experiments had proven valuable to archaeologists and scientists.
The possibility that Newgrange could have a second passage tomb, which may also be aligned with a solstice event, was being explored by a team of Irish and Slovakians archaeologists using ground-breaking technology. Read more.
Newgrange, Co. Meath, Ireland
When I went to Ireland last year for university, Newgrange was one of the places I really wanted to see. Alas, I never got an opportunity to head up that way to see it. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for a long time now, and is high on my list of things I would like to see before I die.
As a student of History and Celtic Civilisation, Newgrange fascinates me with it’s historical, archaeological and mythological properties. It probably doesn’t help that growing up listening to my mother listening Clannad really influenced me growing up (though I would never have admitted it then. I’d never have thought I’d become a huge fan of theirs now in my late 20s).
It’s somewhere I’d like to go to the next time I visit Ireland properly, though I don’t particularly care whether it is at the time of the solstice or not.
I haven’t posted in awhile, I’ve been far too busy enjoying the glorious company of my amazing family. They flew here to Ireland a week ago (wow that flew by) and I have been hanging out with them pretty much since they arrived. They took the train to Maynooth to come get me/see my flat. My mom was not too impressed with the mess that was the kitchen and I’m pretty sure that had she not been jet lagged she would have cleaned the whole thing. As it was I got my brother and dad to help me take out the trash (a truly disgusting experience) but I was not in the mood to clean up everyone else’s mess so I simply left it for us to deal with when we return from break.
I am FINALLY over being ill which is WONDERFUL! :) I can’t even express to you how happy I am that I am no longer dying of illness. It’s kinda cool to be able to eat again and stuff.
My parents rented a flat in Dublin, so we’ve been staying in the city for the past week. I must say I could never live in a city, too much noise and way too many people. Although it has been great for the many adventures and excursions we have gone on. Technically we’ve only gone on two excursions away from Dublin (one to the Cliffs of Moher- yep that was my FOURTH time experiencing those- and one to the Boyne Valley, Newgrange and Hill of Tara - first experience, truly epic, pictures later). We have also explored a large portion of the city. We went to the Guinness Storehouse, Kilmainham Gaol, and the Leprechaun Museum. We are looking into other museums to go experience today on our lovely day off from our vacation (cause that’s a thing). Tomorrow we will be headed to the Giant’s Causeway and Belfast- super pumped, I think that was one of my favorite places I’ve been so far- and then on Monday and Tuesday we’re staying in the apartment for Christmas celebrations and family time. My papa bought either all or a whole bunch of Sean Connery James Bond movies, so we have been watching through those. He also brought some of our favorite Christmas movies and we have all sorts of games we can play.
Needless to say this past week has been the most fun for me. I really miss my family when they’re not around. And contrary to common belief I don’t think I could ever live this far away from them (so, No, I do not have plans to move to Ireland although I do really like it).
Also, since I’m posting this you can see that I survived the end of the world!! :D Whoop Whoop it’s a big accomplishment me surviving the day, so surviving the end of the world is a totally big thing :)
Now…for photo editing and more adventures! :) I’ll post some pictures eventually.
Boyne Valley; Trim Castle & Knowth Grave Passage
Today was our second to last outing. So sad. We met at the Dart train station and went on a tour bus to Boyne Valley. We got to the castle and my group got to walk around a bit before our tour started. The grounds were pretty large, and everything seemed pretty intact. The walls and observatory towers were really cool, we took a whole bunch of pictures while waiting. Beth and I were joking around about being “princesses” of the castle. I would have loved to see what it was like back then. It must have been lovely.
We started out the tour on the outside, where the kitchens used to be is completely damaged but you can see where it was. We got inside and the tour guide (Neimth or something, but pronounced “eve”) told us that there were four doors to get through on the inside (including the drawbridge and a few other things) and to get in, you would have to use a battering ram, and once inside, you could not bring in the battering ram since it’s too large to fit into the first room, so you would have to go back and get the second battering ram, knock down the door, and another one after that. They said they assumed there was a fourth door behind the third door in the archway. SO COOL.
We continued the tour and she showed us models of the castles. It was built in three stages and had more added onto it than it does now. (The wooden parts all fell away over time as well as the rocks) She showed us the chapel and a room that was considered the bedroom. We then continued onto the top of the castle where the view was breathtaking. You could see the current entrance to the castle, which used to be a jail. The tour guide said there was a cellar under the jail where people were thrown down there to be “forgotten” about. There was a slide down but no way out. CRAZY.
We could also see Tara from where we stood, it is one of the tallest hills around and on a clear day you can see 20 percent of Ireland. Tara is where the magical rock is, and if the rightful king of Ireland sat on it, it would scream. I still couldn’t get over how gorgeous the view was and wished I could see it back in the day where there were no houses in the way.
Braveheart, the movie was filmed at Trim Castle!
When we got down, Beth and I wandered into a cute little bakery for lunch. We got sandwiches and I glanced over at the bakery part and saw carrot cake…I wasn’t going to get any but they had samples, so I told myself “okay one bite..” and I ended up buying a slice of carrot cake. I’m weak. Beth also bought something delicious from the bakery so I don’t feel as bad. We also bought milkshakes. Delicious.
We got back on the bus and headed to the Knowth passage grave. We wandered in the museum for a bit before meeting up again for the tour. We got onto another bus and arrived to a spectacular view of a large mound and quite a few smaller mounds surrounding it. It was built in the Neolithic period. It is not sure what the rituals were for but it was mostly for burial. It was really cool. We got to crawl through an evacuation path. I was small enough to only have to crouch on my feet and waddle through it. Everyone else had to crawl on their knees. Perks of being little!
We got to go inside the grave but we didn’t get to go far for safety reasons. After that we got to go up onto the top and take pictures and admire the view. There is no ugly view of Ireland yet. Even the city is beautiful with all of the old and grand architecture.
We took the bus home, had dinner. I’m packing for Galway this weekend, can’t wait to go! I’ll be happy to be with the girls this weekend doing fun things. Will be back to the home stay on Sunday!
It’s sad to think I basically only have a week left and it’s going to go by so fast. I’ll be busy every day from now until the day I leave due to trying to squeeze in last minute shopping, and going out with everyone, school and what not. Who needs sleep anyway? Just kidding.