Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Newgrange was the first prehistoric site in Ireland to have its astronomical alignment widely accepted, and since its discovery in 1967 has remained the best-known astronomically oriented archaeological monument on this island. This chapter investigates the discovery of the winter solstice orientation at this key light-centred site. It proposes a possible new explanation for the astronomically oriented ‘roof-box’: that its origins can be found in a previously unidentified extension to the passage during a phase of enlargement. Additionally, the chapter attempts to answer several fundamental questions. Is it conceivable that knowledge of the solstice was retained in the local community from the Late Neolithic? Could the solar orientation at Newgrange have been observed before its modern discovery through excavation, perhaps more than once? Finally, to what extent may pre-excavation reports of a winter solstice connection with Newgrange have influenced the reconstruction of the monument’s ‘roof-box’ and outer passage?

Keywords: Newgrange, Michael J. O’Kelly, passage tomb, archaeoastronomy, winter solstice, roof-box

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.