Conference participants are invited to join us on an optional bus trip on Sunday, November 1st which will take in the Hill of Tara and Loughcrew megalithic cemetery, both in Co. Meath.
The Hill of Tara, currently in the news because of protests over the building of the M3 motorway through the Tara / Skryne valley, was a sacred site from Neolithic times until the Celtic period, with surviving monuments including a passage tomb, several ring barrows, standing stones, a cursus, and a hilltop enclosure. In early medieval times it was used for the coronation of High Kings and figures in various legends; it was a key site for Irish cultural nationalism and remains important for archaeological research, popular interest and pagan groups.
Loughcrew is the largest of Ireland's four megalithic cemeteries, with over 30 Neolithic passage tombs spread over two hillsides. It is noted for its petroglyphs, including those inside Cairn T, which is aligned so that the sun illuminates these on the equinoxes (see http://www.knowth.com/loughcrew-equinox-video.htm for a video). Wewill have access to the inside of this cairn.
The bus leaves Dublin city centre at 9 am, with a pickup in Maynooth at 9.45 (exact locations TBA). After visiting Tara, we will have lunch in the recently-restored Loughcrew Gardens (http://www.loughcrew.com/garden.htm). After visiting the Loughcrew Cairns, we will return to drop people off inMaynooth around 5.30, at Dublin Airport around 6.30 for those needing to catch a flight, and Dublin city centre around 7 pm.
Price €15, €10 for students / unwaged / OAPs with ID (lunch not included).
Bookings can be made in advance through Olivia Cosgrove <firstname.lastname@example.org> or at the conference.