An ancient Irish tomb may have been built with
a light chamber aligned not only to the sun, but to the moon as
Building it would have required many years of
observations of the motions of the moon by the tomb's architects.
The tomb also offered the chance of explaining the moon-inspired
names of local landmarks. The tomb's 'lightbox' was only the third
ever to be discovered and was by far the most complex. It revealed
the astonishingly-detailed astronomical knowledge of the ancient
This find ties in with that made by a team of
archaeologists from Glasgow University when they discovered a
lightbox in the roof of a prehistoric tomb on Orkney, Scotland.
It allowed the rays of the sun to reach the
innermost part of the tomb at the start and end of the winter.
At that time, only one other lightbox was known, at the Newgrange
Neolithic complex in Ireland.
The latest, and most remarkable yet, was revealed
by Martin Byrne, a researcher and artist in County Sligo, Ireland.
His work on the Neolithic tombs at Carrowkeel suggests that they
were positioned so that the light from the moon could peep into
the inner chamber at midwinter.