Friday, September 30, 2011

Where the Grass is Greener: Day 5

Galway and Newgrange
The sky was drizzling and threatening to worsen when we got to Newgrange. Our tour guide had a giant umbrella and was wonderfully authoritative. She told us of how it was constructed during the Neolitic Age, was overgrown with fields before it was rediscovered, possibly looted and definitely graffitied. She told us of the controversial way the tomb was reconstructed with the white quartz stones surrounding its base. The architect at the time reverse engineered the wall based on where those stones fell but others argued that these stones were in reality a pathway and did not belong to the tomb’s walls at all. No wonder it looked so bright and new for being built 5,000 years ago! Without any written history, it’s impossible to know anything for certain. The spiral patterns, the boulders circling the tomb: all are open to interpretation. In the surrounding farms, we could detect the grassy heads of other mounds. One farm grew its crops all around this mound. I can’t understand why it wasn’t excavated as well. I suppose to the farmer, prehistoric tombs have no value compared to food on the table... More>>