Prehistoric dating

The main passage of Cairn T is built so that the light of the rising sun on the spring equinox is narrowed into a thin shaft, illuminating the art within.

Cairn S is aligned to the cross quarter days, and it is believed that Cairn V (of which there is very little remaining) indicated the winter solstice. Not much remains of the original stones, but what does remain hints that this must have been a magnificent sight indeed.

The recumbent stone of Old Keig is 4.9 meters long, and weighs as much as fifty tons.

The type of rock used for this stone is not local—meaning that this huge chunk of rock was transported up a steady slope from a site several miles to the southeast.

A stone avenue, which leads out of the circle, points toward the setting midsummer full moon.

These days, we barely even watch the sun rise anymore—who can imagine what was going through the minds of these ancient builders when they saw the sun go down each night? It is the most intact Neolithic settlement in Europe, gaining it UNESCO World Heritage Site status and the nickname of “Scottish Pompeii”.

What is believed to be a form of runic writing appears on artifacts and throughout the site, but successful translation has so far been impossible.

During the major standstill (which occurs every 18.6 years), the midsummer full moon sets over the left side of the recumbent, and at the minor standstill the midsummer full moon sets over the right side of the recumbent.

The site is aligned to the summer solstice, and it has been argued that year-round alignments would have allowed Bryn Celli Ddu to be used as an agricultural calendar.

In a choice between cliche and outrage, we went with the former.

It is a circular mound with a stone passageway leading to chambers inside.

Ringed by kerbstones engraved with artwork, Newgrange is certainly an impressive sight.

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