Where worlds meet. Two Irish prehistoric mountain-top ‘villages’
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Stefan Bergh (2015) 'Where Worlds Meet. Two Irish prehistoric mountain-top villages '. Il Capitale Culturale: studies on the value of cultural heritage, 12 :21-44.
Mountains and high ground are often venerated as special places. It is their enigmatic quality as high places, their prominence and permanence in both the mental and physical landscapes that draws us to them. In the Neolithic/Bronze Age mountain tops in Ireland were frequently used for ritual purposes, often indicated by the presence of various monuments such as passage tombs, cairns as well as enclosures. In a few instances large cluster of circular houses have been recorded in close proximity to these monuments. The two largest clusters, with some 150 houses each are both found on conspicuous, rather inaccessible summits in karst landscapes. This paper presents the methodologies used in recent surveys of these two sites. The role of these seemingly domestic structures in highly charged ritual contexts is also discussed.