Houses of the Gods

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Kate Prendergast gained her D. Phil. in Archaeology from the University of Oxford and has lectured and published widely. With an abiding interest in ancient astronomy, Kate believes it, and related practical and symbolic schemes, has much to teach us today about the cosmos and our place in it.

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Neolithic monuments and astronomy at the Brú na Bóinne in Ireland and beyond

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Debates about the role of astronomy at the Neolithic monuments of the British Isles have occupied academic and independent researchers for many years. This book argues that the practice of astronomical observation had a deeply practical as well as symbolic role for early prehistoric societies negotiating the transition to an agricultural way of life.

 

With a focus on the Brú na Bóinne World Heritage Site in Ireland, including the monuments of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth, it is argued that our ancestors rendered astronomical knowledge meaningful through a rich symbolic system centred on the human experience of time.

 

This in turn may help us to understand the role of astronomy in later epochs, as the struggle to accurately observe and interpret the cycles of Earth, sun, moon and stars continued into our recent history – and is a subject that continues to be explored in archaeology and history today.

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