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Neolithic Ireland – Newgrange Landscape Print

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Standing outside Newgrange was as close as I’ll come to standing in Neolithic Ireland. The restored neolithic ruins in the Brú na Bóinne are so complete that it feels as if the ancient people who built them might be standing around the corner somewhere waiting for the tourists to leave.

Newgrange is one of those truly ancient sites that just sort of boggle the mind when you are standing there. These chamber tombs from Neolithic Ireland are contemporaries of the pyramids in Egypt. But unlike the pyramids there’s no written history. The symbols that are carved into the stones at Newgrange are inscrutable. They don’t add to the story just to the mystery of Neolithic Ireland and the people who dwelled there.

Having visited both the pyramids and Newgrange, I can tell you that although the interior of the pyramid I visited was comparably more spacious, it was none-the-less amazing to stand inside Newgrange. Seeing the simulated mid-winter sunrise while standing in that dark chamber was a singular experience in my life. The entrance to the tomb was built to align with the mid-winter sunrise and it’s the only time of the year that sunlight finds its way into the darkness inside.

There’s definitely a lot of metaphor going on in this experience. A symbol of rebirth for the people interred there perhaps? While we can get a vague feeling of comprehension, the rich meaning is lost with the people of Neolithic Ireland. It’s impossible for us to fully comprehend darkness and light when we so easily dispel the darkness with the flip of a switch.

As I was leaving Newgrange, I turned to look back once more and saw the deep shadows from the trees surrounding it reaching towards the ancient structure. It reminds me of the mystery that endures and of the darkness within the tomb broken only in mid-winter each year. Yes, more symbolism.

Have you stood outside Newgrange and pondered the past of Neolithic Ireland? Does this print remind you of your own visit? Or perhaps you are simply fascinated by the ancient world and the remnants of their culture? Whatever the case, I’d love to hear what about this heritage site print speaks to you.

Note: Newgrange and the other sites of the Brú na Bóinne are part of a UNESCO designated world heritage site.


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