The restored Site 12 at Knowth, looking like a little Hobbit house.


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Knowth - Site 9

Only one original kerbstone remains at Site 9. The mound was about 13 meters in diameter, and was ploughed down to the level of the field. The chamber was destroyed, but 28 sockets were uncovered which show that it was cruciform in shape, and had a very long end recess, which contained a few cremations.

The chamber was pretty big, measuring about 4 x 3.8 meters. Some loose stones, which may have been part of the corbelling, were found in the chamber. A sillstone divided chamber from the passage, which was almost 7 meters long. The passage is aligned due east, to the equinox sunrises, so perhaps the mound was a smaller, earlier version of Knowth east.

Excavations uncovered a paved or cobbled area by Site 9, and underneath and predating the mound, a neolithic fireplace was discovered. 5 sherds of pottery and 15 flint scrapers were found around the fireplace. There were no other finds, and there is no art known from this site.

Site 10

Site 10 was discovered during excavations in 1972. The site was very badly damaged when a ditch and drain were dug across the mound, no trace of which remains. There are 2 kerbstones and the remains of a chamber. Eogan considered that the internal structure was undifferentiated and probably oriented to the southeast.

Satellite 11 viewed from the southeast during excavation.

Site 11

Four kerbstones were visible poking through the grass here suggesting there was buried site below the surface. The excavation uncovered 21 kerbstones, 16 of which were in their original positions. The ring of kerbs is about 12 meters in diameter. There are no remains of an internal structure; a large pit was discovered at the centre of the site, and the chamber was probably destroyed when it was dug. 18 pieces of flint were found, only one of which showed signs of being worked. No art was found here.

Site 12

Site 12 is located on the northwest side of the great mound. Six kerbstones were found on the old ground surface in their original position, and five more turned up during the excavation. Site 12 is about 15 meters in diameter.

The undifferentiated passage and chamber are 7 meters long, with a sillstone marking off the end of the passage; the chamber is 2.5 meters long. The chamber was surrounded by an oval stone cairn about 50 cm high. Cremated remains and some bone pins were found in the chamber; 6 pieces of flint were found in the mound. There is an engraving on 1 of the kerbstones.

Kerbstones at Site 12 during excavation.

Site 12 is oriented to the southeast, quite possibly to the rising position of the midsummer lunar extreme, which would occur every 18.6 years.

The restored Site 9 at Knowth.