Mound of the Hostages - Tara

Mound of the Hostages - Tara
Mound of the Hostages - Tara

The Mound of the Hostages (Duma na nGiall), is the oldest visible monument on the Hill of Tara. The mound covers a passage tomb built 5,000 years ago (around 3,000 BC). It was used as a place to bury human remains for more than 1,500 years. The mound lies near the northern edge of a large enclosure called Ráith na Ríg (Fort of the Kings) which was built around 100 BC. The line of Ráith na Ríg was laid out so that the ancient mound would lie within it thus respecting its importance. The Mound of the Hostages got it name in the medieval period because it was the place where the symbolic exchange of hostages took place.

The Tara excavation project began in the early summer of 1952, directed by Seán P. Ó Ríordáin, Professor of Celtic Archaeology at University College, Dublin. In 1956, after two seasons excavation at the mound, Prof Ó Ríordáin became ill. He died in 1957. His successor, Professor Ruaidhrí de Valera completed the excavation of the Mound of the Hostages in 1959. Dr Muiris O’Sullivan completed the task of publishing the excavation Duma na nGiall - The Mound of the Hostages in 2005.

Plan of megalithic tomb (Mound of the Hostages)
Plan of The Mound of the Hostages by Ursula Mattenberger
Duma na nGiall (The Mound of the Hostages), Tara.

Tara Orthostat L2
Decorated stone, orthostat L2, Mound of the Hostages by Ursula Mattenberger
Duma na nGiall (The Mound of the Hostages), Tara.

Orthostat R2 - Tara
Orthostat R2 - Mound of the Hostages, Tara
Duma na nGiall (The Mound of the Hostages), Tara.

Boyne Valley Private Day Tours

Boyne Valley Tours Pick up and return to your accommodation or cruise ship. Suggested day tour: Newgrange World Heritage site, 10th century High Crosses at Monasterboice, Hill of Tara the seat of the High Kings of Ireland and the Hill of Slane where St. Patrick let a Paschal fire in 433  More ...