Banner: Knocknarea at Sunset.
The landscape to the west of Carrowkeel.
The landscape to the west of Carrowkeel.

History of Research at Carrowkeel

The history of investigation at Carrowkeel parallels, in microcosm, that of Irish archaeology, from the birth of the discipline to the present; the catalogue of work carried out at the site shows a transition from largely destructive archaeological techniques to a variety of non-invasive methods. Though we are still dependent on the 1911 excavation report for information about the monuments and finds, a number of significant discoveries have progressed research there in the last 20 years. That work is brought together for the first time here. Discoveries include two pieces of passage tomb art recently found within cairn B, which will be discussed together with megalithic art from the wider complex at Heapstown cairn and from the Carrowmore complex to the north.

The view from Carrowkeel to the west.
The view from Carrowkeel to the west. Croagh Patrick is visible 75 kilometers away on the horizon. At the Halloween and Imbolc quarter days the sun drops behind the Reek when viewed from the summit of Carrowkeel. A stone within the chamber of Cairn K marks the alignment.