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Re: fourwinds - photo
Jun 14, 2003, 13:34
Court tombs are considered the oldest of the Irish tombs. They date back to about 3500-4000bce (and perhaps earlier). However, the diminutive passage tombs of Carrowmore are throwing up C14 dates around 7000bce at the moment!!!

If you imagine a low West Kennett, but with a half circle or even a full circle in front of the tomb, then you have a court tomb. Burial right was cremation,with very little grave goods. I believe them to be more akin to a church than a burial chamber.

Their main concentration is in the north Sligo, Mayo, Donegal and right across NI. There are a few in the south, but they are more hybrids.

The portal tombs are said to be an offshoot of them.

They were set at one end of a trapezoidal cairn, similar to Wayland's & WK.

The builders could have been the first farmers as there is a concentration around north Mayo near to the Ceide Fields (a field system dated to 3500bce).

Court tombs are an insular Irish development that spread slightly into Scotland and Man - Cairn Holy and King Orry's Grave for example.

Later on I'll try to list a good bibliography on the Irish tombs.
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