Newgrange

Ireland, 2001: Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC,during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than both Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. There have been various debates as to its original purpose. Many archaeologists believe that the monument had religious significance of some sort, either as a place of worship for a “cult of the dead” or for an astronomically-based faith. Once a year, at the winter solstice, the rising sun shines directly along the long passage into the chamber for about 17 minutes and illuminates the chamber floor. It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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