by Peigin Doyle
This publication is the outcome of a conference organized for the National Monuments Service, Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, by Archaeology Ireland and the Office of Public Works and held in Dublin Castle in September 2018. The conference marked a recognition of the importance of the monumental legacy that is a feature of the prehistoric archaeology of northwest Europe in particular and, in that context, it was seen as an appropriate Irish contribution to the European Year of Cultural Heritage, celebrated in 2018.
The particular focus of the conference and of this volume is on the alignment of megalithic tombs in Ireland and Atlantic Europe. This has long been a topic of antiquarian and archaeological interest and research but the framework for interpreting and understanding this phenomenon has changed quite dramatically over time. Up to quite recently there was a considerable emphasis on seeking a level of astronomical precision that perhaps said more about the researchers and our modern western views of time and accuracy than it did about the under-standing and beliefs of prehistoric people living in very different cultural contexts. Now it is recognized generally that the construction and alignment of such monuments have to be seen and understood as part of a wider set of cultural and cosmological beliefs.
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Date of Publication: 04/12/2020