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Here Comes the Sun

Neil MacGregor focuses on light: the sunrise on the winter solstice in the passage tomb at Newgrange, Ireland, and the story of Amaterasu, Japanese sun goddess, who hid in a cave.

Neil MacGregor continues his series on the expression of shared beliefs in communities around the world, and focuses on light.

He experiences the sunrise whilst inside the monumental stone passage tomb at Newgrange, Ireland, a structure older than Stonehenge or the pyramids in Egypt. Here, on the winter solstice, thanks to the design of the tomb, a bright, narrow beam of sunlight reaches deep inside the structure.

He also considers the story of Amaterasu, the Japanese sun goddess, whose decision to hide herself in a cave plunged the world into darkness, and reflects on how - centuries later - the image of rising sun became closely linked with Japanese national identity.

Producer Paul Kobrak

The series is produced in partnership with the British Museum
Photograph: (c) The Trustees of the British Museum.

Available now

14 minutes

Last on

Sun 1 May 2022 11:45


  • Thu 26 Oct 2017 09:45
  • Thu 26 Oct 2017 19:45
  • Fri 29 Apr 2022 14:45
  • Sun 1 May 2022 11:45

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Neil MacGregor tells the stories of some of the key objects in the series.