Hill of Tara

Coffin on the Hill of Tara, Ireland

We've discovered that the crop circles that appeared in England at 1991 were actually created by artists, not aliens, unlike what Mel Gibson's movie Signs (2002) suggests. But unlike these controversial geometric circles, though it looks like one from above, the Hill of Tara is one of the natural wonders of County Meath in Ireland, south of An Uaimh. Sprawled across a green vastness, this Hill of the King (Teamhair Na Rí, Irish) is located near the River Boyne and situated between Navan and Dunshaughlin. It displays quite a number of ancient monuments, some of which are similar to those found at Newgrange and Knowth.

Its myths and legends are as interesting as its view from the top. It was believed that sometime in the early 20th century, a group of Israelites believed that the Ark of the Covenant rested beneath the Hill, but they were proven wrong after their excavation. Another theory imposes that Tara was the ancient capital of Atlantis, the long-lost city that everybody just can't stop searching for.

Similar to Newgrange, the Hill of Tara has a megalithic tomb called the Mount of Hostages, which is 1 meter wide and 4 meters long. The tomb is divided into three compartments by sillstones, each compartment containing cremated human remains. Along its stones are engravings almost similar to that in Newgrange, which are theorized to be representations of the sun, moon or other heavenly bodies.

If you are the type of person who loves talking about destiny, maybe you'll be thrilled to hear about the Stone of Destiny. Situated on top of the King's Seat (Forradh), the Lia Fáil or the Stone of Destiny is another of Tara's popular monuments. Believed to have been brought by Tuatha Dé Danann (godlike people) as one of their sacred objects, this stone is considered to be Ireland's ancient coronation stone. If the rightful king of Tara would touch this stone, legend says that it would roar (try making it roar if you want to!).

Further north, just outside the boundaries of Ráith na Rig is the Rath of the Synods or Ráith na Seanadh, a ringfort with three banks. Excavation of this site resulted to the finding of Roman coins and artifacts. Other monuments include the Banqueting Hall, Gráinnes Fort and the Sloping Trenches. Ráith Laoghaire or Laoghaire's Fort is a ring fort situated south of the Royal Enclosure where the king is reported to be buried in an upright position.

There are more monuments that the Hill of Tara has to offer, but we can't mention all of them, can we? It's up to you if you're curious enough to want to see more of it, for it is one of Ireland's most interesting sites.







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