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To do this she explored her colourful and at times embarrassing but almost always amusing past.

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In some places the side orthostats were leaning inwards due to the immense weight of the overlying mound, so we had to crouch and wriggle or go on hands and knees and in one place contend with a pool of muddy water.As there were loose stones on the floor, this was a painful operation.During the remainder of the 1967 season and on into 1968, work continued on the perimeter of the great mound, with the discovery of another souterrain and more evidence of Early Christian period activity.And then, on the eastern side of the mound, diametrically opposite the 1967 passage, was a junction of four passages.

This tomb, however, overlay what appeared to be a temporary habitation site used by the tomb’s builders, and this produced shreds of Carrowkeel Ware, dated to the same period as the tombs. Macalister had published the results of a small excavation at the great mound which seemed to reveal a kerb and a satellite passage tomb of Undifferentiated type.

The excavation at Knowth is one of the greatest pieces of archaeology of our time.

On June 18th 2002 it was my privilege to be there with some students forty years to the day from the start of the excavation.

George Eogan is a Meath man, born at Nobber north of Navan, about 20 miles from Knowth.

A first degree at University College Dublin was followed by a doctoral thesis on Irish Late Bronze Age swords at Trinity College Dublin under Frank Mitchell. Hartnett on the Neolithic passage tomb at Fourknocks, and with Seán Ó Ríordáin at the famous ‘Mound of the Hostages’ on the Hill of Tara – which turned out to be another passage tomb.