Mythical Ireland

Search Mythical Ireland

Home Ancient Sites Myths & Legends Art Astronomy Blog High Man Stone Map Contact Shop
Information Area

What's New at MI?

NEW Image gallery

Archaeology News

Audio files

Free Fonts & Dingbats

Free Wallpapers

Irish Place Names

Amazon.co.uk Books

Other Websites

Navigation | Sky Map SiteMap

FacebookBlogspotStumbleuponYouTubeTwitter
Make a donation

Please consider a donation towards MI running costs:

My books
The Cry of the Sebac
The Cry of the Sebac - my new novel
Land of the Ever-Living Ones
Land of the Ever-Living Ones: my first work of fiction
Newgrange Monument to Immortality book
Newgrange: Monument to Immortality - click here
Island of the Setting Sun 2nd edition
"A fascinating insight into Ireland's ancient burial sites" - Irish Independent

Our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter for news and regular updates from Mythical Ireland
Established 16/3/2000
StarSnail shells (molluscs) found at Newgrange Star
Free downloadable A3 PDF poster - see link below
Newgrange snail shells

The spiriform snail shells pictured above were among about 19 different species of land molluscs found in thin layers between much thicker layers of loose cairn stones during the excavation of Newgrange. It's not thought that the snail shells were collected intentionally by the builders - rather that the most abundant species would be "typical of a rock-rubble fauna". The theory is that . . . "the habitat provided by the loose stones of the cairn provided, for a snail, all the elements of shelter, shade, moisture, etc. to be found in a wood." (O'Kelly, 1982, Appendix F, page 227). And the theory suggests that the shells of the dead molluscs would have fallen down between gaps in the stones until they "landed" on these narrow "earthy horizons", the thin layers between the stones, where "death assemblages" were formed. 

Whatever way they arrived there, one cannot help noticing the spiriform shapes of the snail shells, and one wonders whether there is a connection with the spirals which are carved so magnificently on some of the most decorated kerbstones at Newgrange - namely K1, K52 and K67, all shown above.

 

Click here to download a PDF of the above graphic
 
All information and photos, except where otherwise stated, copyright, © Anthony Murphy, 1999-2015
Home Ancient Sites Myths & Legends Art Astronomy High Man Forum Stone Map Contact