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Location: Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland
Official Listing: UNESCO World Heritage Site, 1993
Significance: Ancient megalithic site, among the largest and most archaeologically significant in Europe. A beautiful tomb stands at Newgrange, decorated with spiral rock art. The complex was built perhaps 4500-4000 years ago, and the spot may have been inhabited by what anthropologists call the ‘Beaker people.’ It is one of the largest and most mystically important megaliths in Ireland.
The Threat: Development, particularly roads
Preservation Status: Newgrange has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site, but is threatened by forestry, mining, and urban sprawl from the city Drogheda. Sitka Spruce plantings around the Patrickstown hill at Loughcrew, in the Newgrange complex, threaten to damage the site as the trees are harvested. Michelle Boyle, of the University of Leicester, has proposed the removal of the plantation, but as of fall 2001, no such action had been taken.
For More Information: Sacred Sites Newsletter Volume XII, Number 1, Fall 2001