Sligo – home of a fantastic array of Neolithic/Megalithic monuments

Had an amazing day. Looking at the landscape and mentally stripping away the houses, masts, large buildings, roads and bridges leaves the North West of Ireland as a very special place indeed. We are looking at the oldest visible parts of prehistory first – so its the tombs. Not just the tombs themselves, but how they were seen and built together – and in relation to other sites locally. Looking at some close to 6000 years old. Think the area has approx 40% of all the passage tombs on the island. Carrowmore and Carrowkeel would be two places of focus. Littered with other eras as well – castle ruins, etc. Quite a bit to learn. Shell middens (dumps) we were shown are places where people gathered seafood and cooked them (the firecracked stones are there as well) over thousands of years. Possibly they were feasting sites.

Fair amount of reading involved, but a person has to be somewhat picky as there are a huge amount of works on the subject, and evidence, ideas and theories change. Good weather does put a shine on the country, which is a bonus as we would have to go out regardless of conditions – as do all archaeologists. I think its a Finnish expression that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. I do not have one to hand, but if you can find a decent photo of Knocknarea – its worth a look. Knoc Na Re – Hill of Kings.

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