Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

New-grange and the Triple spiral

Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland Nigel Borrington

Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland
Nigel Borrington

The Tri-Spiral

Is a design engraved on one of the stones inside the middle chamber of Newgrange is probably the most famous Irish Megalithic symbol.

newgrange-interior

It is often referred to as a Celtic design, but it was carved at least 2500 years before the Celts reached Ireland. At 12 inches in diameter the tri-spiral design is relatively small in size, less than one-third the size of the tri-spiral design on the entrance stone.

Believed by many people to be an ancient symbol of pre-Celtic and Celtic beliefs, the triple spiral appears in various forms in pre-Celtic and Celtic art, with the earliest examples having been carved on pre-Celtic stone monuments, and later examples found in the Celtic Christian illuminated manuscripts of Insular art. The triple spiral was possibly the precursor to the later triskele design found in the manuscripts.

The megalithic tomb of Newgrange in Ireland features several examples of the triple spiral as petroglyphs. These particular examples do not feature three-fold symmetry of later renderings but feature two intertwined spirals with the third originating from the indentation between the other two. This particular feature is rendered with high fidelity in each instance at Newgrange and would suggest a non-tripartite interpretation. One possible interpretation could be the union of male and female (the two entwined spirals) to engender an offspring though how this relates to its setting in a tomb begs explanation.

Last night in order to highlight the uniqueness of the Newgrange spirals, I produced the following versions by tracing over a photograph I took of the original, thus producing different drawings using both the positive an negative spaces of the relief.

You can read into these your own interpretation of the original meaning ….

Sunrise_Newgrange_05

Boyne Valley, County Meath, Ireland Nigel Borrington

Newgrange_Triple spirals_Nigel_Borrington_303

Newgrange_Triple spirals_Nigel_Borrington_102

Newgrange_Triple spirals_Nigel_Borrington_101

2 responses

  1. Fantastic work here! Beautiful outcome!

    March 24, 2016 at 3:22 pm

    • Hello

      Thank you , 🙂 🙂 very pleased you enjoyed the post !!!

      March 24, 2016 at 3:26 pm

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