Knowth Kerbstone 78

Knowth Kerbstone 78
Knowth Kerbstone 78 - photo by Dessie McCarron

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 78

A serpentiform is picked with fine, dense pickmarks parallel with most of the top edge of the stone. In the top-right corner, on lower plane of the stone, is a double U-motif opening downwards, with six curving lines on the left opening towards the Us. Below the long serpentiform there is a row of circular motifs, comprising seven single U-motifs all opening downwards, and three single circles.

To the lower-right, a short serpentiform motif runs to the right edge of the stone. On the left is a double serpentiform motif running from the left edge to the middle of the stone. Each end of the upper serpentiform doubles back and meanders; the one on the right curving around one of the Us in the row above, while on the left the end of the serpentiform doubles back on itself in a loop and then loops up and down the left edge of the stone. A circle enclosed in two gapped circles separates the two serpentiform motifs, and a double semi-circle is picked lower down to the right.

Below these is a serpentiform whose left end doubles back over itself, and to the left is another short serpentiform. The lower-right angle is pick-dressed, as is the base of the recessed area in the top-right corner. Most of the carving is done with a medium-sized, rounded point. There are some dispersed pickmarks in the middle of the stone.

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Knowth Kerbstone K78
Knowth Kerbstone K78

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.

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