50 years after the start of archaeological explorations into the ancient burial tombs at Knowth in the Boyne Valley, researchers at the site have confirmed that people will get to experience the site like never before via virtual tours.
The Irish Examiner reports on the rich history of the discoveries at Knowth in Co Meath and how they will be brought that much closer to the public in the near future.
The OPW hopes that the two burial chambers at Knowth, which are the longest in Ireland, will be accessible to the public virtually using high quality scans assembled by a UCD team. The chambers are otherwise inaccessible to the public.
Knowth is famous for its megalithic art, and the burial tombs at the site housed some 300 pieces. The art pieces that have been discovered date as far back as 3000 B.C.
Professor George Eogan led the first of dozens of excavations in 1962 at Knowth. The excavations progressed over the decades to reveal that Knowth had been used for rituals by ancient peoples for thousands of years.
"We did guess the site might yield evidence for a pre-historic tomb but what we didn’t anticipate at that stage is that the passage tombs were only a portion of what was here," said Professor Eogan.
Evidence that was unearthed at the site helped to confirm that Knowth was "the royal residence of the kings of Northern Brega (part of Co Meath)", Professor Eogan said.
Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said of Professor Eogan: "His enthusiasm for Knowth, and the wider area of Brú na Bóinne, has never wavered and now, 50 years later, he is involved in pulling together the final publications of the project."
Bog bodies are kings sacrificed by Celts