MONUMENT OF THE MONTH

MEGALITHIC MONUMENTS
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NOVEMBER 2012
KNOCKNAREA SOUTH CAIRN( QUEEN MAEVE'S TOMB ), COUNTY SLIGO
Peninsula and is a highly conspicuous landscape feature of this coastal area. The mountain was a focal point in
an extensive ritual landscape during the Neolithic period and this is indicated by the large number of passage
tombs close to, as well as on the mountain. On its flat summit, the large passage tomb cairn of Queen Mebd
'Miosgán Meadhbha' meaning 'Mebd's Lump of Butter' which measures some 55m in diameter and 10m in
height, is located and makes it the largest such tomb in Ireland outside the Boyne Valley. Mebd is reputedly
entombed in the cairn in an erect position, in full battle regalia, facing northward toward her Ulster enemies. The
tomb has not been excavated but its shape and structure and the results of archaeology, have led to the tomb being
classified as a Neolithic Passage Tomb. By far the largest, it is only one of a number of monuments on the summit
of the mountain; the others were severely damaged by the excavations of antiquarians in the 19th century. In
general the tombs are lined up North-South and may have been constructed to face Carrowmore Passage tomb
cemetery in the lowlands below.
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KONCKNAREA SOUTH CAIRN (QUEEN MAEVE'S TOMB), COUNTY SLIGO