NEWGRANGE TUMULUS, BRÚ NA BÓINNE (IRELAND)

The megalithic era involves fascinating mysteries in the history of man. As in many other aspects of the past, Ireland is shown like a place that is hold sacred and immortal by the monuments that ancient people conceived so that the monuments could survive until the end of times.


12.03.2009 Text and pictures: JOSEP Mª ROSELLÓ

NEOLITHIC SETTLERS

There was a period in history when humans expressed their spirituality by means of the stone. Millions of tons were transported, decorated, built and sometimes hidden with spiritual and mystical purposes. This enormous work that lasted thousands of years in the entire world shows us the disconcerting reality that those primitive societies had outstanding knowledge of astronomy and their environment.

The half north of Europe was immersed in a glacier era 15,000 years ago. A large part of it was under a crust of ice. When the climate became softer, the ice melted and around 10000 BC began to move away and uncover, among others, the land that we know today as British Isles. In that moment, the region was linked by land to the European continent. The emerging, cold, desolate panorama that offered those places was probably not pleasant to develop human life. However, people went into those places following the flocks of animals.

As climate was becoming softer, the thaw process of masses of ice of the north speeded up. It caused an important increase in sea level. Great Britain and Ireland became islands around 7000 BC. This is how those settlers split from their continental relatives. This factor gave them centuries of isolation because the region became then a complex of isles surrounded with a turbulent sea that was a natural barrier during a long period of time.

A new society and culture became established in Europe 6,000 years ago. They knew the art of weaving, amassed the first budding knowledge of metallurgy, used metal tools and were farmers apart from hunters and pickers. They had access to the complex of British Isles around that period. It was a culture that bequeathed from the Mediterranean to the Baltic Sea their characteristic stone monuments: the megaliths.

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