When a Drought is a Good Thing
I've talked at length before on my website and at writing conferences about how archaeology and history have inspired my fantasy novel writing. The amazing megalithic structures of Ireland have been particularly significant to my storytelling, often making their way onto my covers. This has made July an incredibly exciting month so far with discoveries of previously unknown megalithic structures near Newgrange in Ireland’s Boyne River valley. With Ireland experiencing a severe drought, the outline of a rather large circle was captured by drone photography just a short distance from the Newgrange passage tomb. This is an open circle with concentric markings creating a large circle surrounded by two more circles of what are presumed to be old post holes.
I was curious why these are visible now and how the drought plays a part. I've learned that the previously disturbed earth where stones or timbers sat holds a little more water than the surrounding soil, which makes them appear darker in a field that is otherwise very dry from lack of rain. While there certainly have been other dry spells in Ireland, the combination of readily available drone technology allowed for a unique chance to fly over this area at precisely the right time to see this amazing structure.
Credit for the discovery and the images go to Anthony Murphy of the Mythical Ireland website. In this image (below) you see the circle clearly. To the right is an unexcavated site known as Site P. In the background you can see Newgrange.
You can read excellent coverage and interviews about this discovery on the Mythical Ireland website and the Shadows and Stone website. (Both are wonderful sites I frequently referenced when writing my Circle of Nine series.)
I look forward to seeing if there’ll be more information about this. Although the news coverage states that it will be highly unlikely that this area will be excavated, merely knowing that this extensive circle was part of the magic of the Boyne Valley may be exciting enough.
And unrelated to the drought, just this week there was another amazing discovery in this Boyne River valley. In an existing dig near Dowth Hall, a megalithic passage tomb was unearthed (see photo above). Dating back 5,500 years, this is an incredible discovery in area of Ireland that has much archaeological significance. Cleary, there remains many things to be discovered about this area and the way the people lived who built them.
RTE and the Irish Times have great coverage of this discovery as well. I wasn’t able to embed the video link in these articles but click through to have a watch. They’re marvelously educational.
"5,500-year-old passage tomb at Dowth is ‘find of a lifetime’ Archaeologists uncover burial chambers on historic Brú na Bóinne heritage site" (IRISH TIMES)
These incredible finds make me want to return to my Circle of Nine world and write another book!