Ancient Drombeg Stone Circle in Ireland’s County Cork

Ancient Drombeg Stone Circle in Ireland's County Cork

Ancient Drombeg Stone Circle in Ireland’s County Cork

A morning mist obscures the countryside beyond Drombeg Stone Circle, a National Monument of Ireland, located in County Cork near the village of Glandore.

Also known as the Druid’s Altar, the site was excavated in 1957 and is believed to date back as early as 1100 B.C. It’s now protected under the National Monuments Act of Ireland.

During excavations, an inverted pot with the cremated remains of an adolescent wrapped in cloth were found in the center of the 9-meter (31 feet) diameter circle, which originally had 17 upright stones. Only 13 of the stones still exist, though the megalith clearly has stones and markings oriented to the mid-winter Solstice and the Winter Solstice.

Radiocarbon dating of the cremated remains, pot and pottery shards found in the circle indicate it was in use between 1100 and 800 B.C. — that’s as much as 3,100 years ago!

To put this into perspective, the Drombeg Stone Circle is believed to have been actively used when:

    • Dorians invaded Ancient Greece
    • Mycenaean civilization was ending
    • Late Minoan culture was ending
    • Greek Dark Ages were beginning
    • New Kingdom in Egypt was ending
    • Shang Dynasty in China was ending
    • Mayan Calendar was just beginning

A short distance from the circle, the ruins of two stone walled huts along with a cooking pit, well and trough for boiling water with hot stones also were unearthed. Archaeologists believe the settlement was in use as recently as the 5th Century A.D.

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