Aerial View of Dowth

Location of Dowth
Map of Dowth
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Quick Facts on Dowth

Short URL
gohist.co/s/318924
Names
Dubhadh ("dark") Dowth
Address
Leinster
Location
County Meath  county
Leinster  state
Ireland  country
Europe  continent
Main date(s)
c. 3000 BCE
Coordinates
53.703731° N, 6.450369° W
Phone
041/988-0300

Description of Dowth

Dowth is closed to visitors for safety reasons, but you can drive to the mound and view it from the road. The Dowth mound, mishapen and covered with grass and trees, gives a good idea of what the more famous Newgrange and Knowth mounds looked like before they were excavated and restored.

Dowth is larger than Newgrange - about 85m in diameter - and taller, with a height of 14m. The crater in the top is the result of earlier excavations; there is also some quarrying damage on the western side.

The mound is surrounded by 115 kerbstones, some of them decorated. Kerbstone 51 bears seven sun symbols, which likely had an astronomical or calendrical purpose.

Inside, investigations so far have revealed two passage tombs, both facing southwest. The northernmost of these has a 8.2m long passage, which leads to a cruciform chamber containing fine examples of megalithic art and an usual annex continuing off the right-hand recess. Near the entrance, a souterrain (underground storage area) from the early centuries CE links into the passage and runs north. The southern tomb has a short passage of only 3m ending in a round chamber with a recess on the right-hand side. On the opposite side of the mound is an inward curve to the kerb, which may mark the entrance to another tomb.

Northeast of the mound is a large earthen enclosure (henge) measuring 175 m in diameter with banks 20 m wide and up to 5 m high. It is the largest of several monuments that were constructed in this area around 2500 BCE.

Holly Hayes
October 7, 2011

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