Cover image for Ancient Ireland : life before the Celts
Title:
Ancient Ireland : life before the Celts
Author:
Flanagan, Laurence.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
vii, 264 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780312218812
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library GN806.5 .F53 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

When the Celts first arrived in Ireland around 250BC, the island had already been inhabited for over 7,000 years. These pre-Celtic peoples have left no written records, but they have left extensive archaeological evidence, of which Newgrange is the most celebrated example. Who were these peoples and how did they live? Using archaeological evidence, Laurence Flanagan pieces together the sort of houses they built, the way they cultivated the land, their social and economic systems, and many other aspects of daily life in pre-Celtic Ireland. Combining scholarship with an accessible style, the book provides a unique and fascinating insight into a lost, fabled world.


Author Notes

Laurence Flanagan is an archaeologist and a former Keeper of Antiquities at the Ulster Museum, UK. He is the author of A Dictionary of Irish Archaeology.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Surprisingly, permanent settlement in Ireland did not occur until some time after 8,000 BCE, well beyond the end of the last Ice Age and well after other parts of the world had been occupied. Written by the former keeper of antiquities at the Ulster Museum, Belfast, this useful, sprightly book examines these prehistoric residents from their origins until the arrival of the Celts about 250 BCE. Although they left no documents or inscriptions, the earliest Irish were extremely creative. Numerous archaeological traces of their civilization have been found in pottery, weapons, tools, bronze trumpets, gold jewelry, agricultural plots, and elaborate stone monuments like famed Newgrange. Indeed, in sheer volume, the artistic genius of the Irish, especially in gold, outweighs that of all contemporary Europe, except perhaps ancient Greece. A particularly attractive feature of Flanagan's study is that he consistently quantifies how many objects or monuments have been uncovered. Thus he can make the important claim that tools are far more numerous than weapons. Suddenly the heroic warrior society scholars have so often depicted seems much more peacefully productive than once thought. Specialists will certainly profit from Flanagan's observations and syntheses. General readers will probably find the organization and illustrations of Michael O'Kelly's Early Ireland (CH, Jan'90) more instructive. E. J. Kealey College of the Holy Cross


Table of Contents

Part I The Archaeology
Introduction
The Mesolithic Period, 8000-4000 BC
The Neolithic Period, 4000-2000 BC
The Court Tombs
The Passage Tombs
Beakers and the Bronze Age
The Earlier Bronze Age
The Later Bronze Age
Part II The Social Prehistory
Society
Industry
Manufacturing
The Food Industry
Nutrition and Health
Domestic and Personal Life
Religion and the Arts
Technology and Science
The Environment
Index
Part I The Archaeology
Introduction
The Mesolithic Period, 8000-4000 BC
The Neolithic Period, 4000-2000 BC
The Court Tombs
The Passage Tombs
Beakers and the Bronze Age
The Earlier Bronze Age
The Later Bronze Age
Part II The Social Prehistory
Society
Industry
Manufacturing
The Food Industry
Nutrition and Health
Domestic and Personal Life
Religion and the Arts
Technology and Science
The Environment
Index

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