The presence of archaeological sites has been a dream and admiration of myriad nations. A notable fact is that there is an explicit correlation between a country’s past and its present state. The past and the present invariably explain the socio-political journey that a country has travelled. Archaeological sites present a fresh memory on a county’s social and political history. Importantly, the government of various countries has been keen to attach value on the monumental sites, thereby, enabling the sites to be a national heritage. Similarly, the mentioned sites have been noted to attract tourist from the global world just to have a glimpse of the history. Ireland has been one of the luckiest countries with myriad archaeological sites. The archaeological sites greatly remind the country of its past social and political history. Similarly, the monuments have a clear link to the astronomical tourist attractions. Interestingly, the government of Ireland values most of the monuments, through the attached value on the monuments; the sites have become national heritage. Hill of Tara encompasses both social and political history of Ireland. The hill was the seat of high-kings of Ireland. Interestingly, religious and spiritual activities took place within the hill. Elections of monarchs of Ireland took place in the hill. Skellig Michael is one of the greatest monuments in Ireland. Due to its early religious settlement coupled with remarkable environment, it emerged in the World Heritage list in 1996. Similarly, Glendalough is another archaeological site that presents Ireland with historical religious structures. The monument has attractive natural vegetation, wildlife and rock-climbing activities. The paper seeks to discuss the archaeological sites in Ireland. The paper also explains how the archaeological sites shaped the Ireland history.
The Hill of Tara is an archaeological site found in County Meath and runs between Navan and Dunshaughlin. Additionally, the hill is located near river Boyne. Importantly, the mentioned Hill was the site of crowning the Ireland pre-Christian kings. The coronation of the kings was a valued ceremony, and the Hill of Tara enjoyed the privilege of hosting the ceremony. The mentioned Hill presented avenue for elections of kings; the kings either chosen or battled for the kingship position. The kingship activities in the Hill of Tara have made the monument a historical site. The Ireland populace invariably visits the monuments to have historical knowledge.
Prevalently, after the election of the monarchs at the Hill, the coronation or rather the crowning of the elected kings took place (Macleod, 2014, p.112). At the top of the Hill, the incoming kings took an oath of allegiance to serve the community on the set guidelines. The elected monarch also took a vow to protect their native land against Dane and any other stranger. The mentioned events made the Hill a remarkable and valuable site. Today, Ireland nation can sit back and watch how it has made a tremendous journey in terms of choosing leadership.
Several battles took place at the Hill of Tara. The battle between Uí Néill and Kingdom of Dublin took place at the Hill of Tara. Similarly, the battle between Grand Principality of Serbia and Empire Byzantine took place at Hill of Tara, Tara River. Furthermore, the Irish Rebellion of 1798 took place at Hill of Tara. The battle involved the British forces and the Irish Rebellion. In view of the mentioned battles, it is evident that Hill of Tara played a pivotal role in the history of Ireland. The said wars form a major historical record in Ireland. The students of history reflect at the mentioned battles, and the role played by the Hill Tara and completely agrees that indeed the Hill of Tara shaped the history of Ireland. Daniel O’Connell, dubbed as the Liberator, gathered and rallied the Irish Rebellion to battle the British forces. The mentioned warrior believed that the Hill of Tara was strategically positioned for battles. Through the mentioned battles, Ireland became a free and peaceful nation (Macleod, 2014, p.192). Also, the war itself forms the basis of history, but the war will not go unmentioned without mentioning the exact venue of the war. It is, therefore, imperative to value and accolade the historical significant of the Hill of Tara.
After the weighted battle between Irish Rebellion and British forces, Prime Minister of Britain William Pitt sensed danger. William’s goal was to protect the interest his country. In 1800, he passed an Act of the Union that made Ireland part of the Britain. The mentioned act made Ireland nation lose its parliament. According to Ireland, the Act had completely exterminated their freedom. On the other hand, the British nation was now governing Ireland nation. The Act of the Union forms history in Ireland nation, it clearly elaborates how British nation, through William Pitt (Prime Minister) conquered and ruled the Ireland nation. It is vital to mention that Ireland nation was in a dire need of their freedom. Consequently, several meeting took place to provide the best strategies on how to repeal the mentioned Act (Macleod, 2014, p.87). Interestingly, Hill of Tara provided venues for most of the meetings that intended to abolish the union. The struggling towards the abolishment of the Act of the union is part of the Ireland history. Hill of Tara being the venue for the strategic meeting, it also forms the basis of the history.
In 1843, the Liberator, O’Connell strategized how to bring attention between the people of Ireland and the British administration on the need to repeal the heinous act. To achieve his bid, O’Connel organized a series of rallies across the country, the number of rallies approximated to be forty. The Liberator also travelled by coach to address myriad meetings. A notable fact is that the part of the meetings took place in Curragh and Cashel; the gatherings approximated to 300,000 people. Interestingly, the mother and father of all the meetings took place at Hill of Tara. To be specific, both the young and the old gathered around the Hill to find a way forward or rather the solution. O’Connel took the advantage of the Hill of Tara to mobilize a high number of the people of Ireland to repeal the act. Interestingly, O’Connel averred that Ireland people who gathered for a rally at Hill of Tara were one and half million. Conversely, British, through London news, reported that the gathering was merely a hundred thousand people.
However, the fact is that, the gathering was historical and of its own in Ireland history, the mentioned country witnessed an incomparable gathering (Macleod, 2014, p.107). The meeting transformed to a political rally with the sole aim of pushing the Britain to repeal the act. It is clearly evident that Hill of Tara provided a platform for the people of Ireland to air and vent their frustrations pertaining to the act of the union. Arguably, myriad student of history strongly insisted that Hill of Tara formed the heart of history of Ireland. British government felt the weight of the Ireland people in the Rebellion of 1798 and the push for the repeal. The two incidents invariably shaped the history of Ireland. Devoid of Hill of Tara, Ireland as a country had no history.
Glendalough is another monastic site in Ireland. The mentioned monument is a glacial valley located in the county of Wicklow in Ireland. Apparently, Glendalough came to existence in 6th century; early monastic settlement took in the monument. The mentioned settlement has become the remarkable feature of the discussed archaeological site. St Kervin, who was a hermit priest, founded the site in 6th century (Kelleher, 2005, p.37). Worst to note is the fact that the British troops partly exterminated the monument in 1398. Kervin came with a group of monks in the cited century and settled at the Glendalough. Even though Kervin perished, after the 6th century the monastic continued to flourish, thereby, attracting not only the people of Ireland but also the global world.
Interesting to mention is the fact that Glendalough as monument generated resources to people of Ireland and the world. In 1042, oak timber generated from Glendalough, was of necessity in the construction of the Ship. The oak timber constructed Viking longship, 30 metres long, ever in history. In 1111, monuments became one of the two largest dioceses of North Leinster. The writing of the book of Glendalough also took place at the monastic site. Despite the destruction of Glendalough by the British, the monastic continued to be a church of local meaning and a place of journey. The present remnants in the mentioned archaeological site only elaborate the miniature part of its history. In the past, Glendalough had both social and economic activities. Just to mention but a few, it had workshops, areas for writing and copying. The Glendalough also had guest houses for accommodation, farm buildings and dwelling places for monks and Ireland residents. Interestingly, the buildings in the monastic site survived between 10th and 12th centuries.
Apparently, there were countable monuments within Glendalough. Just to mention a few, the Gateway is one of the most important and unique monument in Ireland. Inside the west wall of the gateway, there exists a cross-inscribed stone. The stones are attractive, making the tourist visit the monument. Round Tower is another monument in the Glendalough (Kelleher, 2005, p.79). The monument is approximately 30 metres high, with an entrance of about 3.5 m from the base. The Cathedral is another monument within the Glendalough; it is the largest building at Glendalough. Reefert church is another monument located in the upper lake of the Glendalough. The church had a modern surrounding and located in a groove of trees. The church formed the burial places for kings.
Glendalough has pleasant and admirable vegetation. It is encircled by semi-natural oak woodland, giving it an attractive outlook. During Eastertide, bluebells, wood anemones and wood sorrel cover the floor of the Oakwood. Additionally, Glendalough has natural plants such as the woodrush, polypod fern, bracken and a variety of species of mosses. At the underneath of the valley, is dominated holly, mountain ash and hazel (Kelleher, 2005, p.80). Additionally, at the far west end of the Upper Lake lays the remnant of the forgotten miners’ village that is invariably accessible by foot. The valley has two mines, namely Glendasan and Glendalough mines. Glendalough is a superb place to view for some of Ireland's newest breeding species. The monument has both attractive and rare wildlife animals such as the Great Spotted Woodpecker, the Goosander, Redstart, Wood Warbler, Dipper, Buzzard, and Peregrine, the list is endless.
The discussed monument is a recreational site. Interestingly, the archaeological site presents many walking trails of fluctuating difficulty around Glendalough. Prevalently, the valley has nine colour-coded walking trails. The Wickclow Mountain; National Park is solely responsible for the maintenance of the trails. Rock climbing is another interesting leisure activity in Glendalough. The granite cliffs located on the hillside above the far north-west of the valley offers rock-climbing. Notably, the quality of climbing coupled with a variety of grades entices climbers of all standards to the discussed monument. Through the mentioned activity, monument is the destination of rock-climbers.
The monument, being among the national heritage in Ireland in a big way, shaped the history of the said country. A notable fact is that the religion forms an integral part of any country’s history. The presence of Cathedral and Reefert church all form the basis of Christianity in Ireland history. Secondly, the attractive vegetation and natural resources, recreational sites coupled with wildlife in the valley, forms the social aspect of Ireland. Astronomical populaces from all corners of the world usually throng the valley to have a glimpse of the archaeological site. The monument permits the people of Ireland to correlate the past and the future and also to evaluate how the monument shaped the history of Ireland nation.
Most importantly, the Glendalough positively exposed Ireland to the outside world. The global world view Ireland as a country endowed with epochal resources. Due to the mentioned activities and structures in the monument, the world invariably influx Ireland nation. The economy of Ireland has also elevated due to the myriad tourist visits. The government of Ireland values the historical path that the discussed monument has placed the country.
Kelleher, S. R. 2005. Frommer’s Ireland 2005. USA: Wiley Publishing, Inc
Macleod, S. P. 2014. The Divine Feminine in Ancient Europe: Goddesses, Sacred Women and the Origin of Western Culture. USA: McFarland