Irish Tumuli

These are composed of mounds of earth mixed with stones, and are generally large structures erected as places of interment. Newgrange tumulus, near Drogheda, is a most imposing structure. The entrance to this mound runs 63 feet, which communicates to a large circular chamber 280 feet in diameter and 44 feet high. A number of the great stones forming its gallery and chambers exhibit a profusion of ornamental designs, consisting of spiral, lozenge, and zigzag work, usually found in weapons of the period. The quantity of stones used in its erection has been computed at 100,000 tons. The tumulus at Dowth is similar to Newgrange and is 280 feet in diameter and 47 feet high. Knowth may be mentioned among the other remarkable tumuli. Some antiquarians maintain that they were erected by the Dedananns, who were a polished race and skilled workmen. They are assigned by others to the bronze age, which seems more probable.

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Early Irish History and Antiquities, and the History of West Cork

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