Types of Neolithic monuments
Passage tombs are a category of Megalithic monument form the Neolithic period.
The burials which took place in these passage tombs went accompanied by a limited range of objects. An example of this is Carrowkeel where long pins made from Antlers were found, but also pendants and pottery).
The human remains which were placed in the chamber were burnt or unburnt . Many of the passage tombs have solar alignment with the winter or summer solstice.
Where Court Tombs were also used to bury the death, they are more rectilinear in design.
Where they have an unroofed court at one end or in the middle of the monument, the court was used to access to one or more roofed burial chambers.
The Court Cairn of Creevykeel is the first court cairn to be excavated in Ireland by students from Harvard University back in 1935
Portal tombs represent a third category of Neolithic monuments. The entrance of a portal tomb is marked by tall portal stones. On top lies a huge single cap stone resting on the portal stones on the front and sloping at the rear where it rests on the backstone.
They are usually found on their own in an isolated location
Note: Where these monuments are 1000s of years old, the following rules apply:
- Where you can walk around the Neolithic monuments, never climb on them
- Always respect landowner rules - some of these monuments are on private land and can't be accessed
- Leave everything as it is