First research excavations for over 30 years at Newgrange

The first research excavations in more than 30 years at Newgrange have begun, after a geophysical survey showed what could prove to be an “extraordinary monument”.

The find at the World Heritage site has been described by noted archaeologist Matthew Stout as “the most definite, complex, and ordered feature ever seen in a geophysical survey in Ireland”.

Mr Stout is leading the dig alongside his wife, Geraldine.

The four-week excavations started last week and it may be another week before the team of 18 archaeologists uncover anything of real significance.

A survey was conducted in 2015 by Joanna Leigh to investigate the feasibility of renovating the old tourist office at Newgrange and clearly identified the substantial site at the back of Newgrange Farm.

It suggests numerous large pits, forming two parallel sets extending over 75m, indicating an ancient processional way to Newgrange.

The entrance way and perpendicular pits form a passage or corridor, which ends precisely due south of the entrance of the Newgrange Passage tomb.

Ms Leigh has speculated that the site is therefore associated with the passage tombs and is ritual in nature.

“It’s the most impressive geophysical underground site that I’ve ever seen,” said Mr Stout after the first week of excavations. 

“It shows four even rows of pits and ditches and is an extraordinary feature.”


Related Articles

5 Los Angeles neighbourhoods where you can hang out with celebrities

Charlie Flanagan: A woman’s place, like a man’s, is where she chooses it to be

Sport may be an opium of the people – but it matters

Malaysia probes marriage of 11-year-old girl to 41-year-old man

More in this Section

Rachel Allen to close city restaurant for €1m, eight-week revamp

Tusla overpaid staff by more than €1m

Páirc Uí Chaoimh's Liam Miller refusal to be queried by government

Man caught with heroin after falling in with bad crowd


Breaking Stories

One hospitalised following crash at Citywest

Appeal for teenage boy missing from Dublin

Counsel tells court his client wishes to avoid 'death bed litigation' in cervical smear claim

'Spending a penny' led to Meath woman's €50k win

Lifestyle

New father’s life ‘changed forever’ after he was run over by surgeon

More From The Irish Examiner