Temples of Stone

Temples of Stone : Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland

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Some time 6,000 years ago, the members of a now long-forgotten tribe dragged and lifted carefully chosen stones into place and built Ireland's first 'Temple of Stone'. Over the next 2,000 years, hundreds more megalithic tombs were built across the country and then, around 2000 BC, the building stopped and the knowledge of what these remarkable stone structures meant to their builders was lost. After 4,000 years of silence, however, the stones are no longer mute. Every year, archaeologists discover more about these enigmatic monuments and instead of a single, simple answer to the question of what the megalithic tombs meant to those who built them, there is a multitude of answers, each one more intriguing that the next. As the Office of Public Works celebrates 40 years of the winter solstice at Newgrange and we enter Samhain, the Celtic New Year, Carleton Jones brings together the interpretations surrounding our megalithic tombs in a fully-illustrated popular format, shedding light on our ancestors' belief systems and rituals and their deliberate manipulations of the world around them, often with drug-induced hallucinations. All key sites in Ireland are discussed with 100 'Sites Worth Visiting' listed in a final chapter with photos, maps and detailed directions.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 220 pages
  • 228 x 276 x 32mm | 1,678.28g
  • The Collins Press
  • Cork, Ireland
  • English
  • full colour photos, line drawings, maps
  • 1905172052
  • 9781905172054
  • 567,501

Review quote

'Written with the layman in mind without forgetting that the serious-minded also need their diagrams fully notated' Sunday Tribune 'Written in a clear and lucid style but is also filled with interesting details concerning a broad range of topics and ideas' Irish Arts Review 'Accessible text is enriched by superb photos' British Archaeologyshow more

Table of contents

Preface xvi The Quest for Understanding 1 Antiquarians and Archaeologists 2 Megaliths Lose Their Innocence 8 The Megaliths 10 Excavating a Megalithic Tomb 16 The Megalith Builders 19 The World Before Megaliths 19 The Idea of the Monumental 23 Harnessing Nature 24 The Earliest Megalithic Tombs 26 Building a Megalithic Tomb 28 Neolithic Society 32 Neolithic Beliefs and Ritual 36 Thinking With Stones 41 Thinking about Communities 46 Monuments for the Community 52 Kilnagarns Lower court tomb, County Leitrim 53 Cohaw dual court tomb, County Cavan 57 Aghanaglack dual court tomb, County Fermanagh 60 Deerpark central court tomb, County Sligo 63 Monuments for Outsiders 65 Poulnabrone portal tomb, County Clare 69 Ballykeel portal tomb, County Armagh 73 Mapping Neolithic Territories 78 Space and Time Transformed 81 Space 85 Fourknocks I passage tomb, County Meath 93 Possible figurative art in Fourknocks I 101 Creevykeel court tomb, County Sligo 104 Time 111 Ballymacaldrack court tomb, County Antrim (Dooey's Cairn) 112 Aghnaskeagh portal tomb, County Louth 117 Poulawack, County Clare 120 The Cult of the Ancestors 125 Audleystown court tomb, County Down 127 The Ancestors on the Cold Hills 133 The Ancestors are Housed 135 Ballyglass court tomb, County Mayo 136 The Mighty Axe 138 The Ancestors Fail 140 Ballymacdermot court tomb, County Armagh 141 The disappearing bones at Ballymacdermot 146 Annaghmare court tomb, County Armagh 148 Journeys to the Otherworld 153 Breaking Through to the Other Side 158 Moving Through the Cosmos by Moving Through the Monument 160 Sound and Colour 164 Political Power and the Otherworld 168 Megaliths and Nature 171 Cahirguillamore, County Limerick 172 Ashleypark, County Tipperary 177 A Funeral Feast 180 Megalithic Landscapes 183 The Bend of the Boyne 183 Knowth 186 Walking the Stones 187 In Front of the Entrances 190 Entering the Tombs 192 Face to Face with the Ancestors 192 International Connections 194 Newgrange 195 Inside the House of Dagda 202 Later Centuries 204 Dowth 205 Loughcrew, County Meath 209 Sligo 214 The Last Megalithic Tombs 219 The Setting Sun 223 Lough Gur wedge tomb, County Limerick 225 Settlement and Burial on the Knockadoon Peninsula 230 The role of the Lough Gur wedge tomb in the community 232 Island wedge tomb, County Cork 234 Wedge Tombs and Metalworking Magic 237 Labbacallee wedge tomb, County Cork 240 The World after Megaliths 245 Epilogue 252 Sites Worth Visiting 253 Site Co-ordinates and Map References 289 How to Find a Site Using the Irish National Grid 289 Maps 296 Notes 315 Glossary 320 Bibliography 323 Index 330show more

About Carleton Jones

Dr Carleton Jones lectures in archaeology at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Author of The Burren and the Aran Islands - Exploring the Archaeology, his work is widely published.show more