The Mound of the Hostages...
The Tara Symposium in UCD last weekend included some fascinating papers by academics from Ireland and abroad. Many of the papers read out related to the Mound of the Hostages. I attended on the Saturday and listened to the following discussions relating to the Mound:
Stone Usage at the Mound of the Hostages.
Biography of the Neolithic Body: tracing pathways, cist 11, Mound of the Hostages, Tara.
The burials behind the orthostats at the Mound of the Hostages- parallels and implications.
Tara Boy- Burial four in the Mound of the Hostages.
The context of the Bronze Age cemetery in the Mound of the Hostages.
During one of these discussions a speaker pointed out that one of the sills inside the Mound is in need of preservation due to considerable erosion. He looked quite concerned and appeared incredulous at his recent discovery at such an important location. His timely warning brought to mind a night time walk on the Hill recently when I, along with other Tara Protectors stopped by the Mound of the Hostages to inspect how badly the entrance currently appears.
JP Fay told us that after the excavations in the 1950’s they put topsoil down first instead of subsoil and now water is seeping through the topsoil thus causing the interior erosion mentioned by the Tara Symposium speaker as mentioned above. JP recommends that it all be cleaned back and dry stone walls erected at the entrance on each side for reinforcement. He says that the Mound also needs an air breather pipe for ventilation.
It is obvious to the naked eye that something is amiss with the Mound of the Hostages so I hope to highlight this here. We cannot allow such an iconic structure to fall into disrepair. For all the fine lectures delivered at the Tara Symposium, I for one am most grateful for the attention drawn to the problem of erosion within the Mound and now also to JP for sharing his opinions on why it happened in the first place and what can be done to remedy the situation.
Some photos from the Symposium: