The great passage tomb cemetery of Knowth, built over 5,000 years ago during the middle of the Neolithic period (around 3200 BC), is one of a number of monuments which, together with the nearby passage tombs of Newgrange and Dowth, form part of theKnowth cemetery, site 1. This great kerbed mound is the focal point of a large passage-tomb cemetery, which has been the site of extensive excavations since 1962. Sixteen small passage-tombs are in close proximity to the main mound and another (ME019-030007-) is 120m to the W. The central mound is c. 90m by 80m by 11m in height. Incurving of the kerb to the E and W indicates entrances to two back-to-back passage-tombs. The W tomb, 34.2m long, comprises a bent passage leading to a simple square chamber; a stone basin lies at bend in passage. The E tomb, 40m long, contains a cruciform chamber with corbelled roof; N recess contains an elaborately decorated stone basin. Many of the kerb stones and large numbers of the structural stones of both tombs are decorated with megalithic art. (Eogan 1986; Moore 1987, no. 27) A paper on the alignment of the passages of Knowth 1 (Prendergast and Ray, forthcoming) summarises an account of two surveys undertaken to determine and interpret the alignments of the western and eastern passage tombs. The findings indicate that contrary to earlier suggestions, the eastern passage and the western passage (inner and outer) are not aligned towards sunrise and sunset respectively at the period of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes. This paper may be accessed at the following link http://arrow.dit.ie/arastbk/3/ (pers. comm. F. Prendergast). Revised by: Paul Walsh Date of upload: 26 February 2014
Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.