|Dowth kerbstone with circular carvings, illuminated from different angles to highlight the art.|
This stone is located two stones to the right of the famous kerbstone 51, the Stone of the Seven Suns. It is better exposed now than in any of my previous visits over the years. Some work has been done in recent time to clear away the grass around these kerbstones, which are fenced off to keep livestock away. Regrettably, whoever carried out the work also cut down a lone bush which had grown over kerbstone 51 a couple of years back.
To try to highlight the four circular features apparent on this stone, I tried to light it from different angles using a technique which I have been fond of for 16 years now which is familiar to photographers as "painting with light". What do these arcane circles represent? We could make many guesses. Given that Dowth's mythology as well as its design are likely connected to the study of eclipses, we could speculate that these are perhaps representative of full moons. Cosmic imagery is plentiful on the monuments of the Boyne Valley, where a community of farmers and astronomers built huge stone structures aligned on cosmic events over 5,000 years ago.
|Triple conjunction of Moon, Venus and Jupiter over|
Newgrange, pictured in 2012.
Fittingly, as Dowth's Irish name, Dubhadh, means "darkness", it became pretty much completely overcast as we photographed its stones . . .