News: Famous Winter Solstice “light show” at Irish Neolithic tomb appears to be faked
The Newgrange Tomb is one of Ireland’s best know tourist attractions. Written in Gaelic as Sí an Bhrú or Brú na Bóinne, the Neolithic monument is located in County Meath, Ireland . . . located five miles (8 km) west of Drogheda on the north side of the River Boyne. It was built during the Neolithic period, around 3200 BC, making it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Although commonly called a tomb or tumulus in television documentaries, there is actually no evidence of burials. It may have been a sanctuary instead. However, its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site may be at stake. Key elements of what the tourists see appear to be pseudo-archaeology BY some famous 20th century archaeologists!
The original archaeologists added a quartz stone wall to the earthworks to make it mimic much younger Mycenaean Bronze Age tombs in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Ever since the monument was reconstructed in the mid-1950s, Irish architects have complained that the restoration by the archaeologists was highly flawed. Now a new generation of Irish archaeologists are backing them up. The structure was constructed of large vertical boulders and then covered with timber beams and earth. It did not have a quartz wall, but instead would have looked very much like the burial mounds in North America or possibly even a chokopa . . . Creek Indian rotunda.
Each year, hundreds . . . sometimes thousands . . . of tourists around the world come to Drogheda to watch the Winter Solstice sunrise strike a stone box above an altar. The same team of contemporary Irish archaeologists, who challenged the quartz outer walls, now insist that the box above the altar is only about 50 years ago and was constructed specifically to attract tourists. It has been documented that those involved in this scheme were aware of several ancient Native American structures, which actually do align with the Winter or Summer Solstice. Apparently, they sought to recreate the dramatic effect to draw tourists from the United States and Mainland Europe.
To read this article in the Irish Central ezine, go to: Newgrange Tomb
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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