Stone Age Art at Entrance to Newgrange Neolithic Passage Tomb, Boyne Valley, Ireland
Newgrange is a Stone Age (Neolithic) monument in the Boyne Valley, County Meath, it is the jewel in the crown of Ireland's Ancient East. Newgrange was constructed about 5,200 years ago (3,200 B.C.) which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Great Pyramids of Giza. Newgrange is a large circular mound 85m (279ft) in diameter and 13m (43ft) high with a 19m (63ft) stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound is ringed by 97 large kerbstones, some of which are engraved with symbols called megalithic art.
Archaeologists classified Newgrange as a passage tomb, however Newgrange is now recognised to be much more than a passage tomb. Ancient Temple is a more fitting classification, a place of astrological, spiritual, religious and ceremonial importance, much as present day cathedrals are places of prestige and worship where dignitaries may be laid to rest.
The Newgrange Entrance Stone is the masterpiece of the neolithic passage-grave builders in the Boyne Valley, and is the most recognisable symbol of prehistory in Ireland.
The decoration consists of a large triple spiral engraved with double loops which fill the left side of the Entrance Stone. The spirals rotate clockwise on the way to the centre and anti-clockwise moving away from the centre, a kind of ancient Irish version of the Yin Yang. The triple spiral is echoed by another expression on a stone in the passageway, and yet another within the deepest recess of the inner chamber. A group of chevrons ( diamond shaped engravings ) emerge from the left side of the spiral. The stone is divided by a vertical groove which marks the entrance position and azimuth of the sunrise on the winter solstice.