Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Newgrange - Knowth - stones

I'll start this post off with info panels about the stones from the main exhibition at Brú na Bóinne Visitors Centre. This was an excellent presentation about the history of the sites and life in the area contemporary with the building of the tombs. While I could nit pick about some of the assumptions made about the social structure of megalithic society (e.g. what looked like a modern 'nuclear family' depicted living in the hut illustration) it was nevertheless fascinating. I would agree with the suggestion made by the booking desk staff - unless you have a long wait for the bus tour (we didn't), save the exhibition till the end because you'll get more out of it once you've had the guided tours to the sites.

I started this post with the above images because the stones are more strongly lit, displaying their carving far better than they do under normal light conditions in my photos on site. Most of the designs have quite shallow relief. The info panel below gives a wonderful collection of the various spirals and geometric arrangements.

Now for some of the stones themselves - Knowth (some of those above are from Newgrange) -

The second stone from the right is the one with the 'sundail/calendar' design (the last of the exhibition photos above). The mixture of rough quartz lumps and smoothed granite pebbles creates a fascinating texture.

Sprials and concentric circles -

'Snakes' -

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