SUBJECT AREA Arts entertainment
CREATED ON 23rd November 2017

The Development and Role of Wedge Tombs in Ireland Essay

Within this essay, the development and character of wedge tombs in Ireland will be discussed with special attention to their supply, orientation, even when they are being assembled, function, type, folklore as well as discussing a couple excavated examples. The wedge grave has become the most frequent megalithic monument in Ireland using 505 famous (O’Brien 1999, 7). Wedge tombs are found across Ireland but 75% are situated in the western half of the nation, with large concentrations in Sligo, Clare, Tipperary, Cork and Kerry (Waddell 2010, 106). The western bias because Jones (2007, 219) explains is possibly because of the Atlantic seaboard connections, while eastern Ireland had more connections with Britain, which might also show the way the wedge tomb has been introduced into Ireland, the early metallurgists travelling from Europe to Ireland, bringing with them knowledge of metal working and introducing the gallery grave tradition as seen in the Armorican "allées coverts" (O’Brien 1999, 11). The French gallery tombs are mentioned t have distinct similarities to the Irish squeeze grave, especially the presence of portico's/antechambers, septal stones, chambers, orthostatic facades along with their general gallery type (Apsimon 1986 Inside: O’Brien 1999, 11). Wedge tombs are orientated towards the setting sun; a potential proposal from Jones (2007) is that they may have served as an opening to the Otherworld incorporating the emblematic dichotomy of light and life versus shadow and death. Similarly Scarre (2002, 160) mentions that these tombs brought believers into contact with all the supernatural and so were central to their beliefs. The belief in supernatural energy was expressed through words and actions in ritual ceremonies, appeasing the grave spirits and celebrating the neighborhood enduranc...

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