Tour to mark 50 years of Knowth discoveries

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the start of excavations at Knowth in the Boyne Valley and the OPW has confirmed it hopes to create a virtual tour of its chambers that would allow the public to view the treasures inside.

The two burial chambers, which are the longest in Ireland, are inaccessible to the public but the OPW hopes new high-quality scans carried out by a team from UCD can be used to create the virtual experience.

The chambers are home to some of the 300 pieces of elaborate megalithic art that Knowth is also famous for — another piece of art was added to its collection when a large stone with a spiral design was uncovered when the boundary wall was being recovered.

“I think it came from one of the smaller tombs in Knowth and dates from 3000BC approximately,” said Professor George Eogan.

In 1962 he led the first of dozens of excavations at Knowth which as they progressed revealed that Knowth had been used by our ancestors for thousands of years for rituals.

“We did guess the site might yield evidence for a pre-historic tomb but what we didn’t anticipate at that stage is that the passage tombs were only a portion of what was here,” he said.

Evidence was uncovered revealing Knowth was, in the 1st and 2nd millennia AD, “the royal residence of the kings of Northern Brega (part of Co Meath)”, Prof Eogan said.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Dinnehan paid tribute to Prof Eogan saying: “His enthusiasm for Knowth, and the wider area of Brú na Bóinne, has never wavered and now, 50 years later, he is involved in pulling together the final publications of the project.”

He will tonight, at a special party at Knowth, mark the 50th anniversary and also launch Prof Eogan’s latest volume of research on Knowth. It is The archaeology of Knowth in the first and second millennium AD and is the fifth in the Knowth series.

© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved

More in this Section

Gardaí hunt for three-man gang who beat elderly person in his home

Liver failure following accidental paracetamol overdose on stag party lead to man's death

A message to the Apple community in Europe

First all-Ireland luxury sleeper train begins week-long rail tour


Breaking Stories

No winner of Lotto jackpot

Family 'reassured' Dept is 'doing everything in its power' to help Pat Hickey

Joseph Stiglitz: Govt should use €13bn for enormous hardship Irish people faced

Jet2.com announces 50 jobs for Belfast

Lifestyle

James Nesbitt and Hermione Norris on why the time is right for the return of Cold Feet

Get a Fair Deal with costs of care homes for elderly

Pablo Escobar’s life on the line in Narcos season two

How to buy the perfect laptop for college

More From The Irish Examiner