Known as Newgrange, this massive prehistoric tomb located in Ireland predates the construction of the Pyramids in Egypt. The tomb is estimated to be over 5,200 years old found in Ireland’s Boyne Valley which is typically known as Ireland’s Ancient East by historians. The structure is thought to have been built by Stone Age farmers. The mound itself is over 85 meters in diameter and 13 meters high, taking up an area of over 1 acre.
There is a small passage of 19 meters long that leads into three alcoves, the architecture of the building appears to mirror the rising sun in the mornings around the Winter Solstice. This was undoubtedly an important part of their pagan religions, the rising and setting of the sun, along with the length of the days. Around the mound itself, Newgrange is surrounded by 97 large stones that are covered in megalithic art. These stones are called kerbstones, with the most impressive one being at the entrance stone.
Newgrange is from the Stone Age (Neolithic) period of human history, meaning it was built in 3,200 B.C. which is older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is thought that the culture and people who lived here at the time we’re able to prosper due to the rich lands of the Boyne Valley. The area is now designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Most archeologists do classify the site as a tomb, however, it is thought to have held higher importance and was most likely an ancient temple of sorts. It would have been a place of astrological, spiritual, religious, and ceremonial importance for the farmer’s culture of that time. We could compare it to modern-day cathedrals of Christian religion or mosques of Islam.
It is also part of a whole range of monuments that have been built all along the bend of the River Boyne. With Knowth and Dowth being important monuments in the area also, along with 35 smaller burial tombs. Newgrange itself is best known for how the passages and chambers illuminated by the winter solstice sun due to the roof box opening. Many people still gather at Newgrange at this period of the year with a great demand for being inside the chambers during the solstice.