'Petroglyphs, the Bend in the Boyne'

Foreword

At least since the advent of modern archaeology, archaeologists have proposed numerous interpretations of the petroglyphs found throughout Ireland and Britain, yet none have ever been tested, nor can they ever be tested, and therefore do not meet the criteria of a scientific hypothesis or theory. This paper explores the likelihood that many of the panels of petroglyphs decorating the orthostats and kerbstones at sites such as Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth, simply depict the monuments that were constructed during the Neolithic and Early Bronze Ages. The spatial distribution of the motifs on stones at Knowth, Newgrange and Dowth for example, were a way of drawing in the wider ritual landscape, creating for the community a way of connecting the physical landscape, with the realm of the dead.

Though many of the monuments within the Boyne Ensemble are still visible in the landscape, there are hundreds of sites where nothing can be seen, except for the panels that exhibit this enigmatic art, with hundreds more yet to be discovered. With the advances in geo-prospecting technology, and using the probable cartographic information on the panels, undiscovered sites and monuments beckon.



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