The unearthing of a significant passage tomb cemetery in County Meath, Ireland, is being rated as in the “top 10” world’s greatest archaeological mysteries. The current drought conditions in the Boyne river valley made it easier for aerial reconnaissance to further expose features that were captured by historian Anthony Murphy’s drone.
This discovery is in line of the 5,500 year old passage tomb that was discovered last year in Dowth. There may be more developments on a project that is being lead by Dublin City University medieval historian Dr. Matthew Stout along with Boyne Valley archaeologist Dr. Geraldine Stout. This husband and wife team are in charge of the first set of excavations at Newgrange since 1980 that was funded by a grant from the Royal Irish Academy.
The new Dowth passage burial chamber is approximately 40m in diameter and about half the size overall of nearby Newgrange. The passage was discovered during investigation by the agri-technology company Devenish along with the University College Dublin school of archaeology. There are six curbstones that were decorated with Neo lithic carvings; the most impressive discoveries of megalithic art in Ireland. Another discovery is the type of sandstone of these stones is not found in the Boyne Valley and probably were brought down from Clogherhead, County Louth.
The questions these discoveries unearthed are: what motivated people to build these monuments and what was the nature of the settlement and also how did these people live and why in this valley? We know that river corridors that were plied by skin boats were the motorways of the day. During the excavations related to the M1 motorway there was evidence the settlements were concentrated on a 6km corridor on each side of the river.
Because of the extreme weather that is occurring in Britain and all across Europe there are many new archaeological finds are presenting new mysteries to scholars. In Ireland there are constant new finds on the western seaboard by Connemara.