1O'Donovan, John, and Michael O'Flanagan. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the County of Mayo, Collected during the Progress of the Ordnance Survey. Mayo II. Bray, 1938. 69.

2Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 81+.
Jones reports that 1,600 megalithic tombs are known in Ireland (p. 10). The author continues: on p. 84 "We can see, therefore, that not only do churches and megalithic tombs provide elaborate architectural settings for the performance of rituals, but both contain standardised elements that help to reinforce the fundamental beliefs of their respective religions. Orientation, attention-focusing devices, the division of space, specialised fittings and symbol-laden images all work together to present a complex but unified interpretation of the cosmos. The twentieth-century architect Le Corbusier once said that a house was 'a machine for living in' - similarly, both churches and megalithic tombs are 'machines for indoctrinating in' - both are designed to transform our concepts of space and time."
In his epilogue, Jones states, "Although they were not the final step towards understanding humanity's place in the cosmos, they were a phenomenally important early step. The megaliths allowed people to shape and transform the world in ways that were unheard of before their time and also to explore their place in the world in more nuanced and complex ways. The megaliths allowed people to consider their relationship with their ancestors, with death and with time." (p. 252).

3Crimmins, Jason C. The Search for Solutions. Episode 9. Prod. Lyle Mays. PBS. 1979. Television.
"From this information we can project our intellects, and perhaps understand these ancestor."
Carleton Jones suggests that "these were Stone Age societies that for the most part we could describe as tribal. They built the megalithic tombs as part of their quest to understand the mysteries of life and death but they were in no position to have a better knowledge of the world than we do today." (Jones 252.)

4Jones 23.
Jones adds, (p. 111) "We know, in fact, that towards the end of the megalith-building period, Neolithic people sometimes built large timber circles for their rituals. Archaeologists also sometimes find the eroded and silted-in remains of large earthen enclosures that date to this slightly later period as well. So we know that Neolithic people were capable of creating monuments with different materials but they chose to use large stones for building the megalithic tombs. Surely this was because the stones themselves conveyed something that was important to the Neolithic builders."

5Slavin, Michael. The Ancient Books of Ireland. Montreal: McGill-Queen's UP, 2005. 32-34.
The lineages were described thusly: 1. Queen Keasair and her companions. 2. Partholan Cycle. 3. Nemeth and his sons, their ward with Kical and the Fomori of the Nemedian epoch. 4. The Fir-bolgic cycle. 5. The Irish gods who conquered the Fir-bolgs, including the Tuatha de Dannan. 6. The Mileian invasion. 7. Disconnected tales of local heroes who fill the space between the divine period and the heroic. 8. Heroic cycles, Fenian and Ossian. (O'Grady, Standish. Early Bardic Literature. London: Sampson Low, Searle, Marston & Rivington, 1879. 15-16.)

6Begley, Sharon. "Decoding the Book of Life." Newsweek 10 Apr. 2000.
This article may be read in its entirely here.

7Fleure, H.J. "Archaeology and Folk Tradition." Proceedings of the British Academy 17 (1931): 380.
The author asserts that "the Spanish-Irish connection is indisputable."
According to Gerard Murphy, "'In the seventh, eighth and following centuries, Irish men of learning constructed a history of Ireland on the model of biblical history and the history of Greece and Rome. Having little to guide them except stories, and a number of genealogies which traced the origin of important families to pagan gods, they altered these traditions, producing what John MacNeill used to call 'Irish synthetic history; an account of Irish origins going back to the time of Adam. In this synthetic history a place was ultimately found for Fionn, and, at least from the eleventh century, Irish men of learning were unanimous in holding that Fionn mac Cumhaill was captain of King Cormac's professional soldiery in the early third century of the Christian era." (Murphy, Gerard. The Ossianic Lore and Romantic Tales of Medieval Ireland. Dublin: At the Three Candles, 1961. 7.)

8Hicks, Ronald. "The Sacred Landscape of Ancient Ireland." Archaeology 64.3 (2011): 40-45.
From Wikipedia: "The literary corpus of the dindsenchas comprises about 176 poems plus a number of prose commentaries and independent prose tales (the so-called "prose dindsenchas" is often distinguished from the "verse", "poetic" or "metrical dindsenchas"). As a compilation the dindsenchas has survived in two different recensions. The first recension is found in the Book of Leinster, a manuscript of the 12th century, with partial survivals in a number of other manuscript sources. The text shows signs of having been compiled from a number of provincial sources and the earliest poems date from at least the 11th century. The second recension survives more or less intact in thirteen different manuscripts, mostly dating from the 14th and 15th centuries."

9Cambrensis, Giraldus. The Topography of Ireland. (originally written in 1187) in The Historical Works of Giraldus Cambrensis, Thomas Wright, ed. London: George Bell and Sons, 1882. 134.
The text may be read in its entirely here.
According to Michael Carroll, much of what Giraldus Cambrensis reported from Ireland was derived from stories told to him by others. (Carroll, Michael P. Irish Pilgrimage: Holy Wells and Popular Catholic Devotion. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999. 76.)
Estyn Evans says that Cambrensis "served as a guide and a gospel to those who sought to prove the Irish unworthy and incapable of self-government and to justify their conquest by England. Geoffrey Keating describes him as 'the bull of the herd for writing the false history of Ireland, wherefore they have no choice of guide.'" (Evans, E. Estyn. Irish Folk Ways. New York: Devin-Adair, 1957. 4.)

10Payne, Robert. A Briefe Description of Irland: Made in this Year, 1589. London: Thomas Dawson, 1589. Rpt. New York: Da Capo, 1973. 5-6.

11Daniel, Glyn. Megaliths in History. London: Thames and Hudson, 1972. 38.
Stuart Piggott suggests that "it is worthwhile considering for a moment the relation between antiquarian and philological studies in the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, and to recognize that the chaotic state of the latter did much to inhibit the development of even a rudimentary sort of prehistory. There was of course the necessary premise that as the world had been repeopled after the Deluge and the episode of the Tower of Babel, there must have been an original language for all mankind, and this, by more or less general consent, was inevitably thought to have been Hebrew." (Piggott, Stuart. Ruins in a Landscape. Edinburgh: At the University Press, 1976. 7-8.)

12Piggott, Stuart. Ruins in a Landscape. Edinburgh: At the University Press, 1976. 124.
Piggott writes: "Coaches and carriages improved with new developments in technology especially in steel springs, and so did the road surfaces that made lighter and faster vehicles possible, and English coach-builders outstripped the Continent. The Tour in search of the Picturesque, inevitably including antiquities, could now become comfortable, popular and widespread. Tours were made, written up and published."

13Williams, W. H. A. Tourism, Landscape, and the Irish Character: British Travel Writers in Pre-famine Ireland. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, 2008. 6.

14Williams 33.
The author asserts that the goal of "...meditation on the transience of human endeavor" would in time "...threaten to become by the end of the eighteenth century, a romantic emotional indulgence."
Stuart Piggott adds, ""It became fashionable for the country gentleman to make tours on horse back -- even perhaps to such remote and barbarous parts as North Wales -- and not infrequently diaries of these tours were written and published." (Piggott, Stuart. "Prehistory and the Romantic Movement." Antiquity XI (1937): 32-33.)

15Piggott, Stuart. "Prehistory and the Romantic Movement." Antiquity XI (1937): 31.
Another aspect of "taste" that was becoming influential was due to discoveries in the Americas: "This revelation of primitive man in the Americas was then of the greatest importance in moulding antiquarian thought in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, particularly so far as visual concepts of Ancient Britons were concerned." (Piggott, Stuart. Ruins in a Landscape. Edinburgh: At the University Press, 1976. 9.)
In Briton in 1714, "'some Gentlemen who had traveled in Italy, desirous of encouraging at home, a taste for those objects that had contributed so much to their entertainment abroad,' founded the Society of Dilettanti." (Daniel, Glyn. The Origins and Growth of Archeology. New York: Thomas R. CrowelL Company, 1968. 24.)

16William Stukeley, along with some like-minded friends in the mid-1720s formed the "Society of Roman Knights." Stukeley, however, decided to fancy himself a Druid, and took the name Chyndonax, as the group's "Arch-Druid." Stukeley is considered in some detail in our entry on Stonehenge.

17Piggott, Stuart. "Prehistory and the Romantic Movement." Antiquity XI (1937): 35.
Piggott quotes an early nineteenth-century author: "On a spot so hallowed by the Wing of Time, the imagination may vividly depict the rude but solemn rites attendant on the burial; the blazing pile flinging its lurid beams around...', and so on, with 'mystic songs of bards,' 'frantic yells' and 'wild and piercing shrieks of expiring victims.'"

18Jones 3-7.
The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland (County Sligo and the Island of Achill) was published by W.G. Wood-Martin in 1897. The author described the megalithic tombs around his home in Sligo and on Achill Island in County Mayo. In 1897 William Borlase wrote The Dolmens of Ireland, the first country-wide survey of the country's megalithic tombs.

19Daniel 7.
According to Daniel, in 1849 an Oxford don, Algernon Merbert, coined the word "megalith" from the Greek megas, great, and lithos, stone. (Daniel, Glyn. "Megalithic Monuments." Scientific American July 1980: 77.)

20Leerssen, Joep. Remembrance and Imagination: Patterns in the Historical and Literary Representation of Ireland in the Nineteenth Century. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame in Association with Field Day, 1997. 68.
Antiquarian W.G. Wood-Martin paid homage to those who came before him: "Until a comparatively recent period the study of Irish archaeology was in a deplorable state; travellers along the road to antiquarian knowledge were beguiled at every step from the true track by false guides who, like " Willo'-the-wisp," led them aimlessly about; yet the old school of writers, whom it is the custom to sneer at, should he judged, like other men in similar circumstances, according to the light of their time. Thus while we need pay but little heed to their arguments, deductions, and assumption of learning, we must acknowledge that we are indebted to them for many most useful and explanatory facts that might otherwise have escaped being recorded." (Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 2. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. I, 207-08.)

21Leerssen 68-69.

22Jones 3-7 .

23Jones 2-3.
Jones says that "Aubrey's main contribution to antiquarian studies was his recognition that megalithic monuments were older than both the 'Danes' (Vikings) and the Romans. Although it may now seem obvious to us that megalithic tombs pre-date the Vikings and the Romans, Aubrey held this view against the majority opinion of his day which felt that neither the native British nor the native Irish had built anything as sophisticated as a megalithic tomb."

24Jones 3-7.

25Fowler, P.J. ed. Archaeology and the Landscape; Essays for L.V. Grinsell. [London]: J. Baker, 1972. 57.
There may have been reasons other than financial for ending the project. Some in Britain may have felt that the investigations of Ireland's Celtic traditions would provide support to Irish nationalism. The letters of John O'Donovan were ultimately published..

26Jones 3-7.
Jones describes the "culture-historical paradigm" (current from the turn of the century until the 1970s) in which a particular group of artifacts was considered as the material expression of a distinct group of people. In this paradigm the archaeological record was used to identify various groups of people or cultures. Within this framework, the state-sponsored Megalithic Survey of Ireland was begun in 1949, with the first volume published in 1961.
The invention of photography in 1839, and the invention of Carbon 14 dating in 1949 greatly advanced the state of the science. On photography, the Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum noted in 1870: "It is by comparing small remains in one place with more perfect remains of the same kind and of the same period in other places, that we learn to understand the smaller remains. To carry on this study formerly required the power of traveling far and wide but the art of photography enables us to pursue this study by our own fireside, and sometimes even better than we could do by traveling, because we can place the objects side by side, and not have to trust to memory or to drawings, which are not always to be depended on." (Daniel, Glyn Edmund. The Origins and Growth of Archaeology. New York: Crowell, 1968. 131.)

27Harbison, Peter. The Archaeology of Ireland. New York: Scribner, 1976.
According to Carleton Jones, "As the great antiquity of humans became recognised in the nineteenth century, another related idea was also gradually accepted, the idea of successive ages of stone, bronze and then iron. In Ireland, this 'three- age system' was introduced by J.J.A. Worsaae, a Danish archaeologist who was invited to lecture to the Royal Irish Academy. One consequence of Worsaae's visit in 1846 was that an analogy was drawn between the Danish megalithic tombs and Irish megalithic tombs with the result that Irish megalithic tombs were now correctly attributed to the 'Stone Age' rather than to a generalised pagan past as they had been previously." (Jones, Carleton. Temples of Stone: Exploring the Megalithic Tombs of Ireland. Cork: Collins, 2007. 3-7.)

28Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. 20-21.

29Jones 10+.
According to Jones, "What we see today when we visit a megalithic tomb may be the end product of generations of use and alteration of a sacred locale rather than a single-phase construction. A monument may have begun as a timber structure, perhaps a raised platform on which bodies were left to decompose or perhaps a house where somebody had died. The timber structure may have been subsequently burnt down or left to collapse and then a stone-built megalithic tomb may have been built on top of the remains of the timber structure. Over several centuries of use, human bones and other artifacts may have been placed in the chambers of the tomb, rearranged within the tomb and possibly even removed from the tomb. At a later point in time again, the entrance to the megalithic tomb may have been ritually blocked, preventing any further interaction with the contents of the chambers. Still later, people may have dug holes into the cairn covering the tomb and inserted further burials."
The types of tombs we today identify as court tomb, portal tombs, passage tombs, and wedge tombs were previously known as court cairns, portal dolmens, passage graves, and wedge-shaped gallery graves. An intermediate type of Early Neolithic monument called a Linkardstown tomb consists of a circular mound covering a central large burial chamber, usually with distinctive decorated pottery.

30Jones 246.
According to Ronald Hutton, "...[The] Bronze Age suffered an ecological disaster profound enough to destroy faith in the traditional deities and rituals." (Hutton, Ronald. The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy. Oxford, UK: B. Blackwell, 1991. 134.)

31Jones 245.
Jones explains that "one thing that may have been different about these Neolithic chiefdoms when compared to the later Bronze Age chiefdoms is that the social inequalities in the Neolithic chiefdoms may have been masked by a megalithic-focused ideology that emphasised the group as opposed to Bronze Age chiefdoms where the chief and his warrior elites seem to have been feted."

32Hutton 22.

33Jones 11.

34Jones 125.
Jones adds on p. 140: "At times, shamans probably entered the tombs and interacted directly with the remains of the ancestors, probably in attempts to get the ancestors to intervene on behalf of the living. Requests were probably made to cure sicknesses, to ensure bountiful harvests, to avert damaging frosts and famine, and generally to keep the cosmos working for the benefit of humans. Over the generations, it was probably noted that most of these calamities were eventually corrected and this would have strengthened the people's faith in their religion."

35Hutton 136-37.
According to Hutton, ""Celtic mythology regarded the prehistoric monuments as the work of another race. Humans were encouraged to avoid them, especially the great tombs."

36Jones 12, 46-47.

37Jones 36.
Aside from Carrowkeel Pottery, items found include large stone basins, small stone pestle- hammer pendants, bone and antler pins, bone beads and pendants, and stone and clay balls.

38Jones 13.

39Jones 14.
The Beaker Period is named after a distinctive pottery type: a beaker with an inverted bell-shaped profile, usually red or red-brown in color, with horizontal bands of patterns. (Wikipedia) The Beaker Period is also referred to as the Final Neolithic, the Early Bronze Age, or the Copper Age.

40Daniel, Glyn. "Megalithic Monuments." Scientific American July 1980: 88.

40Hutton 20-21.

41Ogham writing, thought to date from the first to the fourth centuries CE, consists in Ireland of horizontal incised lines carved into the edges of a standing stone. These represent characters in Archaic Irish that usually serve as a dedicatory text. An image of these characters may be found here. An example in the Voices from the Dawn site may be found here.

42Johnson, Walter. Byways in British Archaeology. Cambridge: University, 1912. 18.

43Jones 246.
The term "powerful places" as applied to ancient monuments has inspired a series of guidebooks to such places in Ireland and elsewhere.

44Grinsell, Leslie V. Folklore of Prehistoric Sites in Britain. London: Newton Abbot, 1976. 16.
Quoting Bede, the author cites the encouragement given in 601 by Pope Gregory I to the Abbot Mellitus to Christianize the pagan temples in Britain.

45Johnson 34.

46Wood-Martin, W.G., The Rude Stone Monuments of Ireland: Co. Sligo and Achill Island. Dublin: Hodges, Figges and Co., 1888. 250.

47Lissner, Ivar. Man, God, and Magic. New York: Putnam, 1961. 276-77.

48Daniel 38.
A modern imitation of a dolmen was erected in England in 1736. Ireland has a good number of them erected as garden ornaments or even as advertisements for businesses.. Lord Arundel in 1792 had a grotto erected at Wardour Castle using parts of a megalithic tomb; A mock-Stonehenge was built by William Danby in the 1820s. At Maryhill in Washington state a Stonehenge replica was constructed as a memorial to the First World War.

49Burl, Aubrey. The Stone Circles of the British Isles. New Haven: Yale UP, 1976. 7.
Christopher Chippindale wrote: "Of wider interest is the attitude speculative archaeologists adopt, as 'the conscious initiators of a new sacred and mythopoeic world view'; they look back to ancient masters, sensitive to earth forces and aware of cosmic vision, who managed technically brilliant works in stone without disturbing ecological balances: 'they lived an immensely simply organic existence which was more related to a "monastic" or "zen" understanding of man's relation to the biosphere and which was dictated by very limited "worldly" ambitions.' That has an attraction as an alternative to consuming materialism, cold science, and shattering of the environment." (Chippindale, Christopher. Stonehenge Complete. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1983. 247. The author is quoting William Irwin Tompson and Keith Crichlow.)

50Jones 252.

51Hutton 118-124.
The author states, ""During the last twenty years thousands of hitherto unsuspected prehistoric monuments have been rediscovered by means of geophysical surveys and aerial photography. Not one has been found by all the psychics and dowsers who abound in 'alternative' archaeology.'"

52Hutton 131.
Hutton declares, "if prehistory is a time of which we do, in fact, know very little, then the more imaginative reconstructions which we possess of how things might have been, the better."

53O'Connor, Barbara, and Michael Cronin. Tourism in Ireland: a Critical Analysis. Cork, Ireland: Cork UP, 1993. 186-87.