Incredible drone footage of the Irish countryside that was taken during the recent heatwave appears to show evidence of a ‘henge’ that could be thousands of years old.
The henge is only visible because of the dry spell and the outline can clearly be seen from above.
The footage was taken in Co Meath near the ancient Newgrange site. The henge is thought to have been built in around 2,500 BC – 500 years after Newgrange.
Much like England’s famous Stonehenge, the henge in Co Meath is a circular enclosure and is sure to be of interest to archaeologists.
The footage was taken by historian Anthony Murphy, who has spent several years studying the archaeology of the Boyne Valley.
Murphy told the Irish Independent: “The weather is absolutely critical to the discovery of this monument.
“I have flown a drone over the Boyne Valley regularly and have never seen this.”
The recent heatwave removed much of the moisture from the soil – but Murphy says the moisture ‘lodges in the archaeological features a little bit more than it does in the surrounding soil’. This allows us to see the outline of the henge.
He added: “The crop that is growing out of the soil is greener in the archaeological features and drier outside of them.
“So when that crop is harvested all surface traces of this monument will vanish and we may not see this monument again for 2 or 3 decades depending on when we get another prolonged dry spell like this.”
The National Monuments Service at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, has praised Mr Murphy for his discovery and is planning to carry out work in a bid to develop a better understanding of the site.
A spokesperson said: “From the drone images…it is a very significant find.”
Take a look at the video below.
Drone footage shows a possible henge, or circular enclosure, which may be of archaeological interest in the UNESCO World Heritage Site close to Newgrange in Co Meath. | https://t.co/1BMuh05WNX pic.twitter.com/fFFOJBs9X4
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) July 11, 2018
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling