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Tara, hill of

Tara, hill of (Co. Meath). A sacred site for at least two millennia, going back as far as the Neolithic period, the hilltop shows evidence of many structures. The Neolithic ‘Mound of the Hostages’ was erected c.2000 bc; during the Iron Age, a hill-fort was constructed on the summit, taking advantage of the natural view of the plain. It later became a central site for the five provinces to hold assembly and conduct markets and fairs. In Irish mythology Tara is the royal seat of kings, and many rites and rituals associated with kingship were enacted there.

Sandra M. Dunkin

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