Navan Fort or “Emain Macha” in Armagh, Northern Ireland is considered one of the most important ancient ceremonial monuments in all Ireland. According to tradition it was one of the great royal sites of pre-Christian Gaelic Ireland and the capital of the Ulaidh. It is a large circular hilltop enclosure marked by a bank and ditch inside which is a circular mound and the remains of a ring barrow. Archaeological excavations have revealed that the construction of the central mound dates to 95 BC and investigations show that there were once buildings on the site, including a huge roundhouse like structure likened to a temple which was built around a giant central oak. In a ritual act this timber structure was filled with stones, then deliberately burnt down and then covered with earth to create the mound which stands today.
It is believed that Navan was a pagan ceremonial site and was regarded as a sacred space. Flint tools and shards of pottery show evidence of settlement on this site from the Neolithic (4000 to 2500 BC) One of the the most unusual discoveries buried in this mount was the skull of a Macaque Monkey dating to 150 BC which suggests an international connection to Europe and Africa almost 2000 years ago! Navan Fort is a site of great myth & legend which today still holds more mystery & unanswered questions than archeological excavations have answered
Since returning from Navan Fort I cant stop thinking on its secrets & mysteries. Such as the true reason on why they burnt the temple & then buried it? on why it was built in this round fashion (which in my own Sci-Fi opinion looks like a giant flying saucer) & how a native African monkey got to this site at the time of Christ??? There is so much more to be rediscovered within Irelands many ancient monuments but until then they continue to hold their deepest secrets from us all……