Knowth cemetery, Tomb 4. Located c. 20m SW of the great mound, Tomb 1C, and it was excavated (E000070) as part of the Knowth conservation programme. This is the remains of a kerbed mound (diam. c. 17m), of which only 10 kerbstones remain NW-NE, 3 in situ, with another one or possibly two recovered from pits. Portions of the mound (max. H 0.4m) that was layered with boulder clay, sods and shale survived. The sockets of 20 orthostats including one stump indicate an undifferentiated passage tomb (L c. 6.5m NE-SW; Wth 0.3m at NE to 1m) entered at NE, with the sockets of 3 sillstones and a closing stone. Six arcs of stones centred on the chamber extend from the passage, 3 on either side. One small deposit of cremated bone also included three unburned animal teeth. Just 2m outside the entrance a low ceremonial stone setting (ME019-030085-) paved with quartz (diam. c. 1.6m) is enclosed by 2 settings of contiguous stones (ext. diam. c. 2.8-3m), but all the elements only survived E-S-W as the rest was destroyed by a later pit.
One stone, recovered from a pit on the site of the chamber, could be a sillstone or the backstone, if not a capstone, and bears megalithic art on both large faces and at two edges. One large surface, although damaged by the plough, has a set of concentric circles while an edge has two stippled lozenges and another has nested arcs. The other large surface had 3 horizontal lines of stippled lozenges overlying an incised cross-hatching that was probably an intended outline. Another lozenge overlies 7 boxed rectangles, and there are some cupmarks. Further work in 1997 uncovered a large capstone in a pit just W of the chamber but it was undecorated (Eogan 2017, 253-4).The tomb is enclosed in a reconstructed full mound. (Eogan 1974, 34-41, Site 11; 1984, 32-9, Site 4; 1986, 73-5)
The above description is derived from the published 'Archaeological Inventory of County Meath' (Dublin: Stationery Office, 1987). In certain instances the entries have been revised and updated in the light of recent research.
Date of upload: 10 July 2007
Revised: 16 September 2020
See the attached plans:
_1 Cemetery plan from Knowth 6, Fig. 2:1
_2 Tomb plan from Knowth 1, Fig. 15Description Source: National Monuments Service, Department of Arts, Heritage Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs.