Free Lectures at Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre

On Wednesday June 11th 2008, Robert Hensey of NUI Galway will present two short lectures at Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre.

The lectures begin at 7.00pm and are free of charge. All are welcome.

The first lecture is entitled When Space and Time Collided: A Ritualistic Perspective on the Beginnings of Astronomical Alignment in Passage Tomb Tradition. This lecture seeks to investigate the origins of one of the best-known aspects of Newgrange: The Winter Solstice alignment. It is an aspect of the 5000-year-old monument that continues to amaze and puzzle us. When did our ancestors get interested in astronomy and why was it so important to them to create these significant alignments?

The second is called Between Salmon and Ceremony: Seasonal Ritual in the Boyne Valley. Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth are all situated within a bend of the river Boyne. If you ask anyone why the Boyne is famous, among the top five answers will be that it is famous as a salmon river. The annual salmon run must have been of great significance to our ancestors living along the Banks of the Boyne. Were there festivals and ritual associated with this annual event celebrating the salmon and the deities who sent them back each year?

Robert Hensey is a PhD student whose research involves a re-examination of the monuments and artefacts of the Irish passage tomb tradition and related ritual monuments of Neolithic Ireland. His work aims to shed light on the kind of ritual activity may have occurred at these locations, and what kind of belief systems may have motivated that behaviour. His is the first study of its kind that is exclusively dedicated to the investigation of ritual practices and belief systems in Neolithic Ireland.

Newgrange Aerial View
Newgrange Aerial View

Boyne Valley Private Day Tours

Boyne Valley Tours Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour: Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice, Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick let a Paschal fire in 433  More ...