My fellow megalithomaniacs should check out this documentary from RTÉ Television. The first part looks at the evolution of megalithic tombs from “simple” dolmens (if manhandling a 12 ton rock could ever be called simple) through huge cairns, to passage tombs with elaborate carvings and solar alignments.

The second deals with the development of Christian churches and monasteries, from the beehive huts of Skellig Michael through to the high crosses of Durrow and Monasterboice.

Unusually for the rather staid world of RTÉ  in particular and TV documentaries in general, the program-makers focused on the controversial theories, the exciting new research, and the minority reports. There are also some nice computer-generated artists’ impressions of what places like the Hill of Tara and Caherlehilla (site of what may be the oldest church in Ireland) might have looked like in their heyday, as well as bold denunciations of St. Patrick as base propaganda, and tantalizing hints that several of the high crosses may have been carved by a single artist, a Michelangelo of the midlands. 

Fascinating stuff!

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