I’m spending today doing a bit more research on Navan Fort for the Navan Fort Heritage Apps project. I’m working with Macha Media, CAIDRE Teo and a group of young people to produce two bilingual apps for the ancient site. The two apps aim to bring the rich archaeological and mythological heritage of the location to life for young children and their families and older teenagers and adults.
Navan Fort (Emain Macha is Old Irish, Eamhain Mhacha in modern Irish) is located in the townland of Navan, outside Armagh City. The site is part of an important archaeological landscape that includes Haughey’s Fort, The King’s Stables and Loughnashade. Navan Fort is located on a low hill and consists of a circular enclosure 250 metres in diameter, surrounded by a bank and ditch. Inside the enclosure two monuments are visible. Off-centre to the northwest is an earthen mound 40 metres in diameter and 6 metres high. Also slightly off-centre to the southeast is the circular impression of a ring-barrow, about 30 metres in diameter.
Archaeological excavations have revealed occupation layers that date back as far as the Neolithic period. Navan Fort continued to be used into the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age when a number of figure of eight structures were built. The 40 metre mound was created in in the Iron Age, in 95 BC. A circular building consisting of four concentric rings of posts around a central oak trunk was erected on the site. The structure was then deliberately burnt down filled with stones and covered in a mound of earth and turf. This process is considered to be part of some important Pagan ritual and the site continued to be considered sacred into the early Christian period. It is towards the end of this period that monks began to transcribe the tradition of Emain Macha.
According to Irish mythology and historical tradition it was the capital of the Ulaid, the people who gave their name to the province of Ulster. Legend relates that it was founded by the goddess Macha in the 7th or 5th century BC, and was the seat of Conchobar Mac Neasa in the tales of the Ulster Cycle.
Take a look at the website Navanfortapp.com or the blog feed below to find out more.
Navan Fort Heritage Apps
Bringing the heritage of Eamhain Mhacha to life
Download the new Discover Navan Fort Heritage app, free from the App Store. Let Cormac Ó hAdhmaill be your guide as you explore this unique historical location. The Discover Navan Fort Heritage app features presenter-led video clips that showcase the rich archaeological and … Continue reading →
Cú Chulainn’s Challenge (formally known as Setanta’s Challenge) is now available, free to download, from the App Store for iPhones. Cú Chulainn’s Challenge is an adventure game for children that explores the rich mythological heritage of Navan Fort / Eamhain … Continue reading →