The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

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Mullaghey (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

A leaning 1.4 metre tall standing stone at the west end of a ridge above the hamlet of Mullaghey. The weathering on this stone reminded me of the stones at Callanish, though I've never been. A little gem and not far from the road.

Mullaghey (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images (click to view fullsize)

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Loughcrew Complex — Images

<b>Loughcrew Complex</b>Posted by ryaner

Patrickstown (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

11 and a half years since I last stopped by here. It's another of the slab-like stones peppered around the foothills of Loughcrew. About 1.5 metres tall and aligned NW-SE.

Patrickstown (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

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Ballinvally (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Another of the many Ballinvally standing stones, a slab aligned WNW-ESE. It's visible from the Kells to Oldcastle road and sits atop a small rise. There's another stone about 200 metres to the north-west in the neighbouring townland of Boolies.

Ballinvally (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner<b>Ballinvally</b>Posted by ryaner

Slievethoul I (Passage Grave) — Images

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Newgrange (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>Newgrange</b>Posted by ryaner

Lia Fail (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

<b>Lia Fail</b>Posted by ryaner

The Mound of Hostages (Passage Grave) — Images

<b>The Mound of Hostages</b>Posted by ryaner

Ballinvally (Stone Circle) — Fieldnotes

A last, fleeting visit before the third grim lockdown. I’d been here many times before but never made it to the circle, not confident enough to venture across the fields and over the fences. I’d read Ken Williams’s notes before but had forgotten the directions. We approached from the south, across marshy ground and traversing a small stream and a fence.

To be honest the place left me feeling a bit cold. It’s not the stones fault, just the air of general disregard and neglect and the mud and the grey December lightless atmosphere, all combining to a rushed and cursory visit. The place is puzzling anyway - was it a ‘true’ circle? The stones seem too large to be the remains of a kerb, and if you were to destroy a cairn here, why leave these remains? The north-eastern stone is unsatisfyingly mis-aligned, if these are the remains of a ‘true’ stone circle.

And yet the stones retain a power. All are large, most bulky, except the one at the north-west, the most slab-like. Beside this is where the passage-like stones jut out at a tangent. Over to the east a low double wall runs roughly north-south inside the ‘circle’. It looks ancient. The south-eastern stone is eroding nicely with runnels and gullies that are beginning to fill with soil.

The stones are at the east end of a field that slopes down from the west. At the top of the field there is a large habitation site and over the field wall is the impressive bivallate rath in the neighbouring townland of Drumsawry or Summerbank. A small standing stone is about 200 metres south-west of the ‘circle’.

Ballinvally (Stone Circle) — Images

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Ballinvally (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

There are 10 standing stones listed in the SMR in Ballinvally townland. Seven of them are north of here, further distant from the Loughcrew hills. This one is just north of a small stream that runs south-west/northeast through the valley floor at the bottom of Carnbane East. It, and the other stones north of here, could be said to be part of the wider Loughcrew Complex. It's about a metre-and-a-half tall and about 200 metres south-west of Ballinvally stone circle.

Ballinvally (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

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Bobsville (Cup Marked Stone) — Images

<b>Bobsville</b>Posted by ryaner

Boolies (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Fieldnotes

Marked as a ‘standing stone' on the SMR, I reckon these are the very scant remains of a small megalithic tomb. In the Loughcrew hinterland about a mile north of the car-park between Carnbane East and West, there's really not much to see. A low, chamber-sidestone-like orthostat is aligned roughly north-east/south-west. Parallel to it and half a metre away to the north is an even lower stone, slowly drowning in the eroded out pond that encircles the monument. Definitely one for the completists only.

Boolies (Standing Stone / Menhir) — Images

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Culmullin (Artificial Mound) — Fieldnotes

I asked my friend Thomas, a local, if he knew of Culmullin. 'Of course I do,' says he, 'it's right beside me.' Talk about hiding in plain sight – when we rounded the corner and I pointed to the barrow he exclaimed 'That thing! Sure that's that's just a heap of dirt.' Well, as we all know here, one man's heap of dirt is another man's prehistoric burial site.

It's not huge on atmosphere even though it's quite substantial – 18 metres north-south and nearly 3 metres tall at its highest point. It is, however, a small miracle, surviving as it does in a heavily farmed area, dodging, so far, the mechanical excavator's bucket. And for that, we are grateful.

Culmullin (Artificial Mound) — Images

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Prehistoric Rock Artists Were Stoned, Archaeologists Finally Prove

Altered states of consciousness have been posited for the artists of antiquity and finally archaeologists have found the smoking datura in California – but stress it neither proves nor disproves shamanic ritual

Were artists centuries ago stoned to the gills when painting or engraving on cave walls? The possible use of intoxicants in the artistic process during prehistory has been fiercely debated in archaeological and anthropological circles, as is the meaning of the depictions. It has never been proved one way or the other.

There could be different motives behind – and meanings ascribed to – art created in southeast Asia 60,000 years ago, the glorious animal images of paleo-Western Europe and fairly recent cave drawings in the Americas. Some may whisper of secretive shamanistic practices and maybe others were made by bored teenagers with ocher to spare. We cannot say all were driven by the same urges, but now, for the first time, researchers have proven the consumption of an intoxicant in a place where rock art was created: Pinwheel Cave, California, which had been used during the late prehistoric period and through the colonial period.

The archaeologists couldn’t prove directly that the early Californians were buzzing when decorating the cave. But they could demonstrate that quids (wads of masticated plant matter like quids of chewing tobacco) rammed into crevices in the cave ceiling contained the hallucinogenic agent datura, among other things.


Eire — Links

The Heritage Council - Prehistoric Rock Art in Ireland

Irish rock art is the subject of a new, richly illustrated booklet published by the Heritage Council. Written by archaeologist, Clare Busher O’Sullivan, ‘Rock Art’ explores the art form; where it can be found; what it means; and how it can be protected.

Lugg (Henge) — Fieldnotes

The trees have been felled around and on the monument and the views mostly opened up. On what was a rainy and overcast day I had about 5 minutes at the site before being drenched in a downpour.

It was a huge surprise and great to see that the monument has been opened up. It seems due care and attention was taken by the tree fellers to protect the integrity of the structure; there's even a new, explanatory sign up on the path.

Weather and lighting conditions were not the best so another visit is planned soon.

Lugg (Henge) — Images

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Showing 1-50 of 4,754 posts. Most recent first | Next 50
Taxi-driving, graphic artist with a penchant for high hills and low boulders. Currently residing in Tallaght where I can escape to the wildernesses of Wicklow within 10 minutes.

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