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Newgrange Roof Box

24 December 2016

At www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/newgrange-sun-trap-may-be-onl… … where we are told the roof box or sun trap in the passage tomb of Newgrange may only be 50 or so years old as the tomb was subject to some Ministry of Works restoration, kind of thing. It also goes back to one archaeologist, we are told, who happened to be the tutor of the complainant, Michael Gibbons. Martin Brennan is not mentioned – but you would not expect an archaeologist to mention him in any case. This is a somewhat peculiar story, not just for the omission of the chap who found the sun trap but because of some friction between tutor and pupil (not disclosed). A bit of Irish blarney might be in the air.

Irish archaeologist Michael Gibbons says the idea of an ancient roof box designed to capture the rising sun at winter solstice streaming through the passage tomb to illuminate the back wall with its carvings in stone fully visible for a smidgeon of time each day for several days in December is a 50 year old myth imposed on a gullible public by his former tutor in archaeology. He says there are far more important findings at Newgrange and these include the erection of an Iron Age enclosure on top of the mound, an Iron Age burial site of an Irish elite individual with connections to Roman Britannia. One has to wonder if he has used the roof box to capture people's awareness and draw their attention to his discoveries -which may not have been getting much publicity. 

See also www.cbsnews.com/news/winter-solstice-newgrange-sun-trap-might-be-modern-… .. but if you want an uplifting moment with an autistic schoolgirl singing at a carol concert go to www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news.video-of-irish-schoolgirl-sin…

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