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Saturday, September 14, 2013

LiDAR Finds New Passage Mound

A passage tomb was found in an important area with related passage tombs.

In a first for Ireland, the newly discovered passage tomb was found without digging, using a technique known as LiDAR.

LiDAR uses laser light to reflect or backscatter from the surface of the earth. Using the extremely precise measurements of distance, very high resolution, detailed images can be created. The name LiDAR comes from combining the words "light" and "radar." The images look to me as if the sun were setting at just the right angle to light the bumps and ripples of the earth from the side.

Passage tombs are large mounds with stone covered straight passageways which are aligned with celestial events such as the sunrise on one of the solstices. Many have ping etched large stones with fascinating designs or white rocks whose source is many miles away. The exact function of these mounds is a mystery, but they required a tremendous investment of time by a large number of people when Ireland was occupied by hunter-gatherer people fairly sparsely dispersed.

This new site is being cited as evidence that the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site is a larger complex. This makes the proposed bypass on the N2 road even more controversial.

Impact of New Discovery on N2 Bypass

Newly Discovered Passage Tomb at Newgrange

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