Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Poulnabrone Dolmen

Dolmens, properly called Portal Tombs, mark burial places in a very distinctive way, with large capstones elevated at an angle and held up by huge standing stones. 
They were created between 3,000 and 2,000 BC and are generally held to be tombs, though they may also have had a ritual significance.
The stones we see now would have originally been covered in earthen mounds, with the area below the capstone forming an entrance leading to the tomb proper. Hence the correct name of Portal Tombs.
There are more than 100 dolmens scattered throughout Ireland, in various stages of repair.
How the people of the time manipulated the truly massive capstones into place is unknown, but the fact that so much of their work still stands some 4,500 years later is a testament to their evident skill.
-Insider Guide to Ireland-

The Poulnabrone Dolmen is one of the finest remaining dolmans in Ireland. It is also one of the most visited.
In 1986 when the area around the Dolmen was excavated, the remains of 16 adults and children were found to have been buried there, over a period of perhaps 500 years.
Along side them were many artifacts, including arrowheads and axes, stone beads and broken pottery. This allowed archeologists to date the Dolmen with some confidence to about 2,500 BC.
-Do Chara-
-Insider Guide to Ireland-

The region where the Dolmen stands, the Burren, is a treasure trove of Stone Age remains, with some 70 tombs and about 500 circular forts.
-Do Chara-
-Insiders Guide to Ireland-

This large rock that stands beside the path to the dolmen is an example of a glacial erratic.
Large boulders such as this are scattered throughout the Burren and they were deposited here as the last ice sheets melted.
They were originally ripped up as the massive ice sheets moved across the land and scoured the surface. While many of these boulders have come from the Burren, other granite and sandstone erratics have been carried here from Galway and east Clare.
-Burren and Cliffs of Moher-


Pat Tillett said...

Wow! Amazing that they did this. Even more amazing that they could!
Really nice photos Carolyn!

Carolyn Ford said...

I think that so often! How did they do it? Thank you, Pat!