|This is me when I featured on the History Channel last year as|
an expert on the 5,000-year-old monument of Newgrange.
Many people who visit the ancient and magnificent Newgrange monument in the Boyne Valley are driven by some deep longing to connect with their most distant roots. The giant 5,000-year-old megalithic construction evokes awe and wonderment, and a keen sense of melancholy for the community of people who created it and fashioned it from stone and earth in the remote past, a people now lost to time.
For the past two centuries, archaeologists, antiquarians, writers and researchers have been probing Newgrange in the hope of revealing something about its purpose, and something about the mysterious people of the New Stone Age who created giant structures using primitive technology. What has become clear from these investigations is that Newgrange is a uniquely special place, and that its construction was carried out not by a grizzly mob of grunting barbarians, but rather by an advanced agrarian community who had developed keen skills in the sciences of astronomy, engineering and architecture.
What forces compelled these people to express their cosmology and their sense of place in the landscape in such a truly spectacular feat of physical exertion and diligent scientific observation? What were the factors that drove them to fashion such an indelible memorial to their beliefs? Why did they expend monumental energy to gather hundreds of thousands of tonnes of stones and earth to create edifices that would stand intact for millennia?
In Newgrange - Monument to Immortality, writer and researcher Anthony Murphy goes deep into the mind and soul of his neolithic ancestors to attempt to draw forth some answers to these questions. In a deeply moving, poetic and philosophical exploration, he looks beyond the archaeology and the astronomy to reveal a much more profound and sacred vision of the very spirit of the people who were driven to such marvellous and wondrous efforts.