Ancient History

Today we took a bus trip to Newgrange. It was breathtaking.

On the bus with SEK.

Sofia, Tiara, and Cherise on the Bridge over the River Boyne.

Katie and Amelia. It’s clearly not as warm as it looks!

Tiara, Sofia, and Nicole with SEK students.

Ellen and Tiara huddle for warmth. Newgrange in the background.

Nicole, Tiara, Cherise. Innocent or up to something?

From Newgrange looking toward the River Boyne. Note how green Ireland is even in the winter. Our guide said that this valley is one of the lushest on the island. He called it “50 shades of green.” Keep scrolling for an even better joke by John.

Great shot of Newgrange. The stone roof weighs an estimated 200,000 tons. Despite there being no cement, it has not allowed a drop of water (in Ireland!) inside in over 5,000 years.

The entrance to Newgrange. Archeologists discovered the remains of five bodies inside when they excavated. The inner sanctum is designed in a cross pattern, which brings up a host of questions.

A great look at the roof box that lets in approximately 17 minutes of light straight across the horizon at dawn during  the winter solstice between December18th-23rd. There is annual lottery to be one of the 25 or so people present in the inner sanctum on those days Even if you win, it has to be a sunny day. Good luck! Below is the entrance stone with ancient etchings. On the left is a rare “tri-spiral.” The only other known one in Ireland is inside. No pictures were allowed. Again, no one really knows the significance of the designs, but that has not stopped archeologists from speculating.  In typical Irish fashion, our guide said it was the most photographed stone since Mick Jagger.

The outside of Newgrange. None of the rock came from within 25 kilometers of the site, including the white quartz that lines the roof box in the previous picture. In the time before the wheel–or even the horse–in Ireland, that means it had to be carried a great distance through what was then a dense forest. All for 17 minutes!

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