Knowth Kerbstone 13

Knowth Kerbstone 13 - K13
Knowth Kerbstone K13 | Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site

Knowth Kerbstone 13 - K13
Knowth Kerbstone K13 - Photo by Paul Kelly

The Megalithic Art of the Passage Tombs at Knowth, Co. Meath

Excavations at Knowth Volume 7: The Megalithic Art of the Passage Tombs at Knowth, Co. Meath Description of Kerbstone 13

Three stages of carving can be tentatively identified on this face. Stage 1: incised lines between many of the picked lines seem to precede them, but the full extent of the incised lines is difficult to determine because they are obscured by the picked motifs. Stage 2: the whole surface of the stone is covered with picked motifs, many executed with a rounded point of small to medium-size, but close inspection shows that different types of points were used, and it is not clear if these indicate various stages of carving.

The motifs include lozenges on the top-left, with two anti-clockwise spirals below them, one of which overlies one of the lozenges. The middle of the stone is occupied by a dense series of angular motifs, including zigzags and lozenges. There is a quartered lozenge low down, and two of the opposing triangles inside it are picked all over. To the right is a panel of zigzags, and above these are three tightly set, double, anti-clockwise spirals, two of which are conjoined to form a double S-spiral, with a very lightly picked double spiral immediately to the right and a single anti-clockwise example further right.

Above the spirals are some small serpentiforms, a large zigzag, and some small arcs opening downwards. Stage 3: a wide serpentiform motif is deeply picked with a round point along the right edge and partly across the bottom of the stone and clearly overlies a number of motifs in this area. A patch of pick-dressing under the middle spiral may also belong to this stage, but it is not so deeply picked.

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Knowth Kerbstone SE2
Kerbstone K13 (SE2) | Martin Brennan's drawing superimposed over a photograph by Martin Byrne

Knowth is a Stone Age Passage Tomb in the Boyne Valley in Ireland's Ancient East and together with Newgrange and Dowth are the principal sites of Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Knowth is the largest passage tomb of the Brú na Bóinne complex. The main mound is about 12 metres (40 ft) high and 67 metres (220 ft) in diameter covering about 1 hectare (2.5 acres). It contains two passages placed along an east-west line and was originally encircled by 127 kerbstones of which 124 are still in place.

Knowth Kerbstone K13
Knowth Kerbstone 13 | Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site

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