First Years Go Back in Time!
On the 25th and the 26th of January 2017, St. Aidan’s First Years went on a history trip to Newgrange and Monasterboice accompanied by Mr. Mayne, Mr. Watters and Ms. Brady.
We arrived at Newgrange Visitor Centre and we saw models of Newgrange and the land around it. Knowth and Dowth (also passage tombs) are near Newgrange. Knowth is nearly twice the size of Newgrange itself!
In another part of the Visitor Centre, we saw examples of Newlithic (New Stone Age) clothing for men and for women. The mens’ clothing was made out of fox, badger, red deer, wolf and brown bear and the womens’ clothing was made out of cow, goat, pig, sheep and dog.
We also saw a life-size hut, where the Neolithic people used to live. There were dead animals (stuffed, of course) hanging from the roof and there was a small fire in the middle. Outside the hut, there was a saddle stone which was used to grind grain into flour. There was also a little rug displaying the needles that women used to make clothes.
We came across a Neolithic skeleton. It was very interesting. Signs told us that the Neolithic people were used to diseases such as Osteoarthritis, which affected their hips and Osteophytosis, which affected their ankles. The average life expectancy for a male was 29 years and for a female, it was 26 years.
The Neolithic people hunted for their food. They got their fish by throwing a spear into the water and hitting the fish. They also gathered berries.
At Newgrange, it was very cold because we were very high up. I found it amazing that Newgrange is still standing today!
Inside Newgrange, it’s very small but the construction of it is so impressive! Especially since they had no cement.
Every year on the 18th to the 23rd of December, at 8:58am, the sun rises and it shines through the roof-box, lighting up the tomb. It ends at 9:15am so it lasts 17 minutes.
The Neolithic people were very artistic. Some of the most popular carvings (drawings) are the spiral, trispiral, chevron and the lozenge.
Our tour guide gave us lots of great information about Newgrange and its history. He told us that ‘Michael O’Kelly found Newgrange and excavated it, finding the bones of 5 human bodies.’ ‘There would have been more, but before Newgrange became known for what it is today, people came to it and took the bones home as souvenirs.’
When we left Newgrange, we went to Drogheda Retail Park and got some food and we had an hour to shop!
After that, we went to Monasterboice. When we were there, we saw Muiredach’s Cross and the different scenes on it. There are actually two crosses but we only really focused on one of them. The two crosses are in a graveyard along with the ruins of a monastery and a very high round tower.
A student from Rang Aine said that the trip was really interesting and fun and that they learned a lot of great information but best of all, it was very fun!