2004-22 Poulnabrone Dolmen - The Burren National Park (Ireland).jpg #1037 Poulnabrone Dolmen - The Burren National Park (Ireland)Thumbnails#1035 The Burren landscape - The Burren National Park (Ireland)
Poulnabrone Dolmen (in Irish "Poll na mBrón", translated as "the Hole of the Sorrows") is a portal tomb in the Burren,
County Clare, Ireland, dating back to the Neolithic period, probably between 4200 BC and 2900 BC.

The tall portal stones are each 1,8 metre (6 ft) high, holding up the front of the immense 3,6 metre by 2,1 metre (12 by 7 ft) capstone on an angle sloping down to the rear of the tomb. A shallow cairn helped to brace the structure. There is a broken "sill-stone" at the entrance that once may have reached up to the capstone, thus closing off the burial chamber. One of the portal stones had to be replaced in 1988 when its deterioration threatened to collapse the monument; an additional orthostat was then added for support. Excavations during that time found that between 16 and 22 adults and 6 children were entombed just 25 centimetre (about 10 inches) below the surface. Personal items buried with the dead included a polished stone axe, a bone pendant, quartz crystals, weapons and pottery. In the Bronze Age, around 1700 BC, a newborn baby was buried in the portico, just outside the entrance. With its dominating presence on the limestone landscape of the Burren, the tomb was probably a centre for ceremony and ritual until well into the Celtic period, or it may have served as a territorial marker in the Neolithic landscape.
Matthijs van Wageningen
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