Michael Forman

Michael Forman
Author, Singer, Actor, Photographer. This is where I scratch out things between writing books.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Mystery Of Newgrange Solved

Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange) Mystery Has Been Solved.

Newgrange has been a mystery ever since it was found, lost and then rediscovered several times over during the last thousand years or so. Speculation has surrounded its true purpose for centuries. The word tomb is associated with it but I've never seen enough evidence to believe it was ever a grave or even a place of death. If anything, life is what it represented.

It's older than the Great Pyramids and, unlike Egypt's monuments, Newgrange was left alone. Gold and other treasures wasn't what Newgrange offered.

Make no mistake Brú na Bóinne required living humans to make it so. It wasn't made overnight and it certainly wasn't made for the dead. Clearly, it was made for the living for the purpose of continuing life. It's a clock that is able to identifies the seasons. That is that.

There are many distractions on the site. There is artwork on the foundation-stones, standing stones and in the inside of the building. Researchers research their meanings rigorously.

Big deal.

Humans leave their mark on the world all the time. We can't help ourselves. After several thousand years of use, I'd expect many marks to be left by many people. It's possible that the final ones left aren't anything like the originals. Like today's artists, the last marks left are done by people who had nothing to do with those who built Newgrange. They are a myriad of art ideals over different times.

Bones were found in the ashes of one room.


Newgrange doesn't have rooms. It's a tunnel with three nubs at it's end, one in the middle and one on either side. 

Take a look at any modern cemetery. It needs a lot of space to put a hundred years of dead bodies in. Even cremated, dried bodies take up a lot of space. There is no room inside Newgrange in which to store multiple bodies. There's no oxygen to burn a fire in there to cremate one, no black soot on the walls or roof to suggest a cremation ever took place inside. The last thing Newgrange was is a burial tomb.

So what we're left with is a building that recognizes a sunrise - for three days of the year.


The sun was revered by many cultures around the world. It's light and heat became worthy of being called a god in places that didn't need as much heat as Ireland. In Ireland where the sun skimmed the horizon and threatened to disappear forever, watching it stay around mattered much. 

It was all about knowing the sun's turnaround point. Perhaps that knowledge became currency and it was traded for services or product. If the sunrises weren't available there were backups available nearby that measured Ireland's sunsets.

I kinda like that story. It makes sense. We all want to know the time. We all want guarantees that things will get better when things are turning cold and dark. Sacrificing a loved one may have been worth warmer guarantees, especially when we believed it was desperately needed.

I say 'we' because, if in a similar situation, we would make the same sacrifices today. 

This is my resolve to Newgrange.