Is Newgrange a fake?

El Libre

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Dramatic claims in today's Irish Times from archaeologist Michael Gibbons to the effect that Newgrange as we see it now is essentially a fake. Parts of the monument were allegedly concocted 50 years ago by the late Professor Michael O'Kelly, including the famous 'roof box' through which the winter solstice sun enters (or sometimes not on cloudy mornings) the inner chamber. Dr Richard Hensey is quoted as supporting the now established view that the roof box is in fact 5,000 years old.

I have long considered that Professor O'Kelly may have taken liberties during the post-excavation reconstruction of Newgrange, but he did go to the trouble of having a surveyor test and confirm that the monument's alignment was deliberate and not accidental: John Patrick, 'Midwinter Sunrise at Newgrange', Nature, vol 249, 1974, pages 517-19.
 


silverharp

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the whole Irish cottage look about is fake for sure , Ive been to the one on the Orkney Islands so I'd imagine core is legit as there is a lot of overlap
 

Erudite Caveman

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Nobody suggests it is a fake. Just that it might have been souped-up a bit too enthusiastically when someone put in a sunroof.
 

PBP voter

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I always new it was questionable since it was rebuilt. A lot of guess work.
 

Truth.ie

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Donegal County Council did some fine rework of Grianan Fort (800 A.D).
They put cement in the joints of the stonework and parts of it now resembles my garden patio.
 

PBP voter

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On the other hand another site seems to be very similar.

Was it rebuilt as well?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowth

Dowth shares a special solar celebration with neighbouring Newgrange during the winter solstice. Martin Brennan, author of The Stars and the Stones: Ancient Art and Astronomy in Ireland - Thames and Hudson 1983,[2] discovered the remarkable alignment during the course of his ten-year study in the Boyne Valley. From November to February the rays of the evening sun reach into the passage and then the chamber of Dowth South. During the winter solstice the light of the low sun moves along the left side of the passage, then into the circular chamber, where three stones are lit up by the sun.


Chamber entrance
The convex central stone reflects the sunlight in to a dark recess, lighting up the decorated stones there. The rays then recede slowly along the right side of the passage and after about two hours the sun withdraws from Dowth South.
 

Trainwreck

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Wa? Just a little touch up here and there:









I should know, I do some authentic restoration myself:



A perfect historically accurate creation.
 

Trainwreck

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Maybe.

But let's hold off for a while.

It took forty years to settle the Piltdown Man dispute.
Seriously though.


Once they went the whole 9 yard on "recreation", they killed the archeological significance.

They could have just built a completely new one and it would have been just as "authentic".
 

Old Mr Grouser

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Seriously though.


Once they went the whole 9 yard on "recreation", they killed the archeological significance.

They could have just built a completely new one and it would have been just as "authentic".
The news-report says that " ... Parts of the monument were allegedly concocted 50 years ago by the late Professor Michael O'Kelly ..."
 

GDPR

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No, Newgrange is not a fake, like Piltdown Man. The remains are there, they do date back 5000 years, they are not modern fabrications.

What can be doubted is whether the reconstruction is accurate. We dont know whether the original actually had the quartz cladding on the exterior which makes the light so blinding. That is a modern interpretation. Lots of white stones were found around New grange as they were at Knowth, simply standing outside the tumulus. Much easier to accomplish.

Newgrange was definitely aligned with the rising sun at Midwinter, because so were all the other similar monuments. Thats a pattern of building, not an accident. On the other hand, the precision of the "light box" which allows the inner chamber to be illuminated is probably a 1960s addition.

Basically, O'Kelly "discovered" this right at the end of his proceedings when he had already reassembled the remains according to his own "gut instinct" of what they should have looked like. Sort of over-enthusiastic restoration.
 

gerhard dengler

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On the other hand another site seems to be very similar.

Was it rebuilt as well?


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowth

Dowth shares a special solar celebration with neighbouring Newgrange during the winter solstice. Martin Brennan, author of The Stars and the Stones: Ancient Art and Astronomy in Ireland - Thames and Hudson 1983,[2] discovered the remarkable alignment during the course of his ten-year study in the Boyne Valley. From November to February the rays of the evening sun reach into the passage and then the chamber of Dowth South. During the winter solstice the light of the low sun moves along the left side of the passage, then into the circular chamber, where three stones are lit up by the sun.


Chamber entrance
The convex central stone reflects the sunlight in to a dark recess, lighting up the decorated stones there. The rays then recede slowly along the right side of the passage and after about two hours the sun withdraws from Dowth South.
Not forgetting the site referred to as Knowth as well!

We had relations from abroad visiting us three years ago, so we brought them to Newgrange. Before that the last time I'd visited Newgrange was in the early 1980's.
The differences for me between both visits is the visitors centre and how one gets to see the ancient tomb. Back in 1980's one could drive up to within a short stroll of the tomb site. These days you have to go to the visitor centre and get a bus from the centre to the tomb. The person giving the tour though is much more informative compared to the visit may in the 1980's.

In fact the person giving the tour told us that there appears to be a whole series of tombs similar to Newgrange across all of the counties of Ireland on the exact same line of latitude as Newgrange, which is very interesting in itself.

Is Newgrange fake? Personally I don't think so.
 

truthisfree

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No, Newgrange is not a fake, like Piltdown Man. The remains are there, they do date back 5000 years, they are not modern fabrications.

What can be doubted is whether the reconstruction is accurate. We dont know whether the original actually had the quartz cladding on the exterior which makes the light so blinding. That is a modern interpretation. Lots of white stones were found around New grange as they were at Knowth, simply standing outside the tumulus. Much easier to accomplish.

Newgrange was definitely aligned with the rising sun at Midwinter, because so were all the other similar monuments. Thats a pattern of building, not an accident. On the other hand, the precision of the "light box" which allows the inner chamber to be illuminated is probably a 1960s addition.

Basically, O'Kelly "discovered" this right at the end of his proceedings when he had already reassembled the remains according to his own "gut instinct" of what they should have looked like. Sort of over-enthusiastic restoration.
IIRC The quartz stones should have been left laid flat around the entrance not built upright, not sure why they decided to change original design!
 

Windowshopper

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Fake wouldn't be the right word: i looks like whatt theorists of the 60's thought it looked like. I doubt such a reconstruction would be allowed today.
 

El Libre

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Nobody suggests it is a fake. Just that it might have been souped-up a bit too enthusiastically when someone put in a sunroof.
The title of Michael and Myles Gibbons's article in the current edition of the journal Emania shows how radical their re-evaluation is: The BrĂș: A Hiberno-Roman Cult Site at Newgrange? I won't be able to read the full article until the new year.
 


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