Knowth Ireland, Megalithic Tomb and Calendar

B y S i n g u l a r N e w m a n

Knowth1), meaning passage mound, is a complex of ancient prehistoric passage tombs located in the Boyne valley, Meath County Ireland. It is located west of Newgrange2), another major ancient passage mound. Presently over 300 of these sites have been discovered throughout Ireland. These Neolithic monuments were built by the ancients to house the dearly departed, or more likely the royally departed, as these megalithic structures are rather large, and the manual labor required to erect such buildings was considerable. There are generally four types of megalithic tombs, court cairns, portal dolmens, wedge shaped gallery graves and passage tombs. A passage tomb consists of a narrow passageway made of large stones on both sides, leading to one or more burial chambers covered by earth or by stones. Large stones called Megaliths are usually used in the construction. This narrow chamber usually led to a cross shaped walkway where the tombs were located. This cruciform layout was very common.

The particular structure I will focus on is simply called the Great Mound. According to archeologists, this tomb was built over 5000 years ago. It has a circular shape, like a mushroom head. It actually resembles a modern sustainable building with a green roof. Originally it is believed that the roof was covered with stones, but these stones were “borrowed” for other building projects. In time grass took over and if you visit it now, the roof looks like a grassy knoll. This particular mound is by far the largest at the site. The oval main mound varies in diameter from 80 to 95m (262-311ft), with a height between 12 and 15m (40-50ft). It is surrounded by 17 smaller mounds. At the base the mound is surrounded by 134 kerb-stones. This mound is the most decorated mound ever discovered in Ireland. It is interesting to note that these kerb-stones are even decorated on the back façade. The purpose for this is unknown but archeologists theorize that the stones are of an even older origin and were simply being recycled. The interior contains two passage ways respectively oriented towards the east and towards the west. The two chambers are separated by a very thin wall. Humanoid remains were found inside the chambers. Thirty five graves have been discovered during excavations. Many of the bodies found were females and appeared to be of Celtic origin.

Due to its gigantic size, and lack of imagination, heavy machinery was used in the 70s to investigate the site. It was found that the building material was composed of alternating layers of turf, soil, shale, pebbles, sod, clay, and large stones. Some of these stones were rather large weighing up to 4 tons. It is speculated that these stones were quarried form a distance of some eight miles. The technology used to build this ancient tomb is rather simple and elementary, however what is most astounding is its placement. According to a lead archaeologist the two passages may have been purposely orientated toward the rising sun on 20 or 21 March and set on 22 or 23 September. As if they were designed to capture the equinox sunrise and sunset. This evidence provides a clear glimpse into the life of these ancient master builders. Building a structure is one thing, but building the structure so that the sun enters through a particular opening on a particular day, that is a very advanced skill that requires a pretty solid understanding of geometry, mathematics and the solar cycle. Also a particular decorated stone seems to indicate a lunar phase calendar. It is also surrounded by strange markings that illustrate a series of radii and circles. Unfortunately modern man uses different fonts, and it is nearly impossible to decipher these markings.

As an architect, I take pride in all good construction, modern or ancient. I like the fact that this structure was built with the universe in mind. It shows a respect for the greater unknown and a highly planned and structured discipline. It shows an admiration for the natural order of the cosmos, involving the moon, the sun, the stars and constellations. The builders of old took the universe and the entire planet earth into account when they set out to build this burial mound. As if reaching for our sun star, they seemed to capture a glimpse of it, by aligning themselves with its light. A most intriguing idea I must admit. As if to symbolically state that the dead shall rise with the sunshine on a special day and time. Full of mystery and the unknown, this ancient stone monument serves as an example for future generations that when you build right, and when you plan with the environment in mind, a construction derived from its larger environment, it can last an eternity.

Another topic which I haven’t covered in this article (I do cover a closely related subject in my other articles posted here) is the seemingly very advanced technology which was employed in the construction of these monolithic structures. At the time of its dedication, almost 5000 years ago, according to the archaeologists investigating the Newgrange3) burial mound, the vast knowledge of humanity was in a permanent fog, stuck on pause, dumb and in the dark.

According to most artifacts discovered so far, main stream orthodox archaeology labels 4600 B.C. as primitive, barely developing a written language, incapable dullards, hunters and fishers. Apparently there is no room for Kings and Queens, Circular Monolithic structures4) built of stone, precise solar calendars and star charts complete with 365 day calendars and solar azimuth and parabolic trajectory knowledge. There is no room in the Orthodox Science Book which today is believed and followed with religious fervor, there is no room for mistakes. And yet these monolithic structures are never mistakes, they are works of art and science.

In my studied opinion, these ancient stone temples, burial mounds, solar calendars, places of refuge, monolithic architectural piles of stacked rocks, call them what you will are neither accidents nor exceptions from the norm. They are proofs of mankind’s advanced knowledge of the heavens and earth. They stand the trial of time, throughout history, proving again and again, that against all odds and against all wars and natural disasters and cataclysms, humanity has always been quite advanced in the sciences of heaven and earth, understanding well, our place between heaven and hell, as well our geographical location in the Universe, both in time and in space, in the spiritual and the bodily realm. I believe these monuments like many others discovered on all seven continents prove mankind’s ancient advancement.

There truly is nothing new under the sun, everything you've thought of has been already thought and done, perhaps a different material, color or location but most likely it has been done. What is truly and original thought then, when you have billions and billions of souls existing for thousands of years on this planet, so called Spaceship Earth5)? Are we not the children of our fathers and mothers, the offspring our ancestors, are we really more than they? Does time really make us better and smarter, more eloquent, more educated? Wasn't the first man and woman6) closer to the truth, the Source then we are today thousands of generations later, diluted genetically and spiritually? I don’t like closing with questions but I promise I shall return to the subject at hand in a future article, and if I don’t I am sure someone else will. History is a very popular topic as it teaches us that its substance is truly un-observable and never fully absorb-able. Man learns absolutely nothing from History as planetary amnesia is rampant in the human species, a mortal plague rather. Therefore History is an unending discipline that recirculates and the speed of generational cycles. It is a conundrum, a realm beyond the sphere of rational human comprehension.

What I am saying is that History is a perfect tool to teach, illustrate, consider, ponder and understand ourselves with. Too few find this science appealing however, so then for the majority of people, history gets recycled and repeated. Instead of being treated like a science by schools and society at large, it is constantly mishandled and mismanaged, given a low rung priority. I believe History is an essential science to be thoroughly absorbed as it is truly a major part of what it means to be human. It should be elevated next to Math and Geometry and perhaps raised above as those who don’t know History are truly miserable and doomed to repeat its errors, wars and mistakes. Without History we are all history.


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