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Carrowkeel Cemetary by Lexus Ocampo

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 11 months ago


The History of Carrowkeel Cemetery

The Carrowkeel Cemetery is located in Co. Sligo which is in the western part of Ireland. Carrowkeel is a large group of megalithic monuments and consists of 16 cairns that are round in shape, except one, which was build in an oval. A cairn is made of stones that are piled up over a passage grave to preserve the interred remains. These tombs were built around 3200 to 2400 B.C. The Carrowkeel cairns contain chambers built of limestone slabs, several of which have corbelled roofs. Many are aligned to important rising or seting positions of the heavenly bodies, or to another monument on the horizon. Each cairn is identified by a letter from A to P and of them are in bad condition. Cairns G, E, B, and K are mostly intact and happened to be the most interesting ones.


The Astronomical Basis Behind the Cairns


Cairns G, E, B, and K all are build special in that the stars, sun, or moon will illuminate them at a certain time in the year. Scientists have inferred that the ancient sky-watchers of Ireland would stand on top of the cairn to watch the winter solstice sun rising. This purposed or use played a major role in the design and location of these monuments. Cairns B, E and K, are approximately the position of the northern extreme setting of the midwinter full moon. These three cairns show evidence of the tomb's astronomical use, but Cairn G is the most significant. Cairn G contains a roofbox that is aligned with the sunset during the summer solstice. The only other known roofbox in Ireland is at Newgrange, but Cairn G has many features which are different from Newgrange. In Cairn G, the sun can shine in the chamber a lot longer than Newgrange because it is smaller and the roofbox opens directly into the chamber. Another feature that is different is that the setting moons at either sides of the winter solstice will also illuminate the chamber. Artifacts found in Cairn G led to the theory that astronomy was taught in that chamber. Scientist believe that the small stone and chalk balls that were found were used as teaching aids. The teachers would hold these stones up toward the roofbox to teach solar and lunar positions on the horizon to students or initiates.

Comments (3)

Anonymous said

at 12:51 pm on Oct 14, 2008

Thank you David and Kelly. Yo, monotonous is such a big word, I'm not that smart

Anonymous said

at 12:49 pm on Oct 14, 2008

yeah, Mr. Ocampo, Your page was well off in the beginning, but it got really monotonous after a while. I didn't really understand it after a while and yes, Mo pictures! so it would be more interesting.

Anonymous said

at 12:45 pm on Oct 14, 2008

First!! Yeah for myspace and another blog crap.
The information was really informative. You basically read my mind when I read the Cairn part; I was thinking "What's a cairn?!". I wish there were more pictures on it so I wouldn't have to google it.

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