A reassembly of the monumental fragments in Dowth townland and their significance as an integral part of the prehistoric numinous precince of Brú na Bóinne, Co. Meath.
Joseph P. Fenwick
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Fenwick, J. P. (2015). A reassembly of the monumental fragments in Dowth townland and their significance as an integral part of the prehistoric numinous precinct of Brú na Bóinne, Co. Meath. Journal of Irish Archaeology, XXIV, 19-49.
This article explores the early prehistory of Dowth townland and advances a reinterpretation of its surviving archaeological fragments against the contextual backdrop of Newgrange, Knowth and the greater Brú na Bóinne monumental landscape. Field research has enabled a reclassification of some of the known sites in the townland as probable or possible passage tombs in addition to the identification of a number of previously unrecorded archaeological monuments and features. The influencing factors behind the siting of the focal passage tombs of Dowth, Newgrange and Knowth, towards the creation of a more clearly defined numinous precinct, are addressed. The location of these sites, in turn, had far-reaching implications for the subsequent layout and development of the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age monumental landscape. Far from ignoring the presence of pre-existing passage tombs, the later monumental additions appear to have been deliberately integrated into the fabric of the extant funerary and ritual landscape in a way that suggests continuity in the thread of ritual tradition and religious belief over the course of the greater part of a thousand years.