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Public Lecture


Exploring the Monuments and Cosmology of the Boyne Valley. What's the Bigger Picture?

Newgrange

7.30 pm Tuesday 13th September 2016

Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Society, 16-18 Queen Square, Bath, Avon BA1 2HN

Entry Free: All Welcome

Frank Prendergast, Dublin Institute of Technology

The Boyne Valley in East Meath, Ireland, is characterised by a low limestone ridge formed by glacial processes during the last Ice Age. South of this ridge and close to where the river enters the Irish Sea, the so-called "Bend of the Boyne" is where the river defines a distinctive U-shape as it traverses the wide flood-plain. Here, the soil is alluvial and highly suitable for grazing and tillage. By about 3200 BC, and several hundred years after the beginning of the Neolithic in Ireland, organised communities were farming in the Boyne Valley. More significantly, they were constructing enormous burial chambers, depositing characteristic grave-goods and embellishing many of the structural stones with elaborate incised art. The landscape siting and axial orientations of the tombs are additionally thought to reflect societal concerns with hierarchy, religious beliefs and a cosmology. This talk will consider these issues in a regional and broader European context.

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