AO Magazine - March 2019
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Blanketed across the country of Ireland and reaching as far as the rugged and windswept islands off its coast, are tens of thousands of sites that tell a story about its ancient past. Long-forgotten tombs, majestic mounds, megaliths, and imposing castles stand as they have for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years. Their history is interwoven within a rich tapestry of folk tales, legends, and mythology, which bring to life the beliefs, culture, and knowledge of the ancient people that constructed them all those years ago.
In this issue, we delve into an amazing astronomical event that takes place each year - the March Equinox - and how it plays out at Loughcrew Cairns, while Anthony Murphy gives you an insider perspective on his discovery of ‘Dronehenge’, a previously unknown megalithic monument discovered near one of Ireland’s most iconic sites – Newgrange.
Inside this issue you’ll also find out the true story of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. You’d never guess that a saint had a life that was even more amazing than some of the myths that are told about him. And then we examine the life story of another interesting character from Ireland’s history. But she was no saint! The tales of the swashbuckling pirate queen Grace O’Malley will remind you that there’s two sides to every story.
David Halpin has joined us in this issue to examine Ireland’s mysterious origin story, a legendary tale which includes Egyptian royalty and godlike fairies. And there are many times that history mixes with mystery both in Ireland and abroad, so check out five of the biggest mysteries that face historians examining what went on in ancient Ireland.
The Baghdad Battery is another source of fascination and confusion for many scholars. Could the 2,000-year-old artifact be the world’s first a battery? Dr. Robert Volterri decided to find out!
Finally, we explore the history and possible future of Japan’s Aokigahara forest, a site once held as sacred but now notorious as one of the most popular places in the world to commit suicide. But many people are not resigned to this being the forest’s fate and there are strong hopes and actions to try to turn the dark story around.