Mythical Ireland was established in March of the year 2000 by journalist, author and researcher Anthony Murphy. The website represents a journey into the ancient past, and attempts to cast new light on a sometimes obscure period of the early history of Ireland. This exploration takes place through many different disciplines, which include, but are not limited to, archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, mythology, spirituality and geodesy.
The great 5,000-year-old megalithic passage-tombs of Brú na Bóinne in the Boyne Valley represent the zenith of a phase of Irish prehistory that began with the introduction of farming around 6,000 years ago. Newgrange, Knowth and
Dowth are huge, enigmatic structures, that are the finest examples of a type of monument that is found scattered throughout Ireland, and of which there may be as many as 1,500 examples. None can compare to these three, though, in terms of size, grandeur, and their illustrious prominence in the ancient myths.
Anthony’s exploration encompasses many different facets of these great monuments. He invites you to step into this ancient world, and through the various media of words, photography and video/film, to enjoy a unique glimpse a past that seems very much alive.
Enter the ‘Ancient Sites’ section of this blog for a fascinating and wide-ranging exploration of the megalithic and sacred sites of Ireland. Find out all about the Stone Age and prehistoric ruins and learn more about the possible functions and alignments of these sites. Visit the great temples of Brú na Bóinne, the Hill of Tara, the ancient cairns of Loughcrew among many others.
Explore the ancient myths, legends and folklore of Ireland and their meaning. Read the epic Táin Bó Cuailnge, or the place-name myths in the Dindshenchas. Learn about how the Tuatha Dé Danann and the Milesians came to Ireland and how the early texts describe various invasions of prehistoric Éire. Hear about Fionn and the Fianna, and discover how some myths might contain information about astronomy and the stars.
There is no doubt that the ancient megalith builders had a substantial knowledge of the movements of the sun, moon, planets and stars through the heavens. Learn more about just how complex and impressive this knowledge was. There is evidence that the people of the Neolithic knew about the 19-year Metonic cycle of the moon, as well as being able to predict eclipses.
A theory suggesting that kerb stone 15 at Knowth contains a carving of a swan's head and neck is examined by Anthony Murphy of Mythical Ireland, who finds that the theory fails on several fundamental grounds. The suggestion that there is a swan motif on K15 is not tenable.
My sixth book, 'Dronehenge: The Story Behind the Remarkable Discovery at Newgrange', has been sent to print by publisher Liffey Press and will hopefully be in the shops around 21st October or so.
There is a beautiful but somewhat unusual carving on an upright stone inside the 5,000-year-old chamber of the Newgrange megalithic monument at Brú na Bóinne. There are several suggestions as to what it might represent. Anthony Murphy explores the theories.
In the pale, cool light of autumn, a warm glow radiates from the old stones of Síd in Broga. The night watchman is here. The night watchwoman. Mrs. Hickey, the long-time custodian of this magnificent monument, long dead, still lives.
My new book about the discovery of Dronehenge is complete. My proofreading of the draft was finished during the past week and all chapters have been sent to Liffey Press. The text runs to about 68,000 words – not bad considering I started writing it on 9th April!! All images for the book have been sent to Liffey Press also.
In June, during a visit to the Neolithic passage-tomb of Fourknocks in Co. Meath, I was witness to a beautiful phenomenon that resulted from a combination of modern architecture and ancient art. Megalithic art – engravings made upon stone by humans around 5,000 years ago – was being illuminated by a pulsating beam of the summer sun, emerging through a narrow slit in the roof.