travel pic: Newgrange
October 20, 2014
This is the front stone of the neolithic passage tomb at Newgrange:
I saw it, and felt like I was looking at one of the greatest pieces of artwork in the world. Perfect abstraction 5000 years before actual abstract art became a thing. (I usually try to take pictures of things without people in them, but I’m glad now that people ended up in this one so you can see the scale of it.)
The tours I took in Ireland were good because they put a lot of history in context for me — especially prehistory, because I kind of had no idea. Newgrange is old. Older than Stonehenge. I kept thinking about the level of organization and sophistication required for a society to be able to put these things together, and it blew my mind, because I realized that there are thousands of tombs, forts, stone circles, and monuments scattered over Britain and Ireland, and that this extensive culture existed to support all that — some 3000 years before the Celts came along. Everyone thinks of the the Celts when they think of Ireland. But there was so much more going on before then.
Yeah, I kind of got obsessed. And yeah, I wrote a story already. We’ll see what more comes out of this obsession.