Ireland in Prehistory
Ireland in Prehistory by Michael Herity and George Eogan.
First published in 1977, Ireland in Prehistory was written primarily
for university level students. However the general reader should
also find the story of prehistoric Ireland of interest.
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- The Background, Geographical and Historical
- Stone Age Beginnings: Hunter-Fishers and First Farmers
- The Boyne Culture: Passage Grave Builders in Ireland and Britain
- Late Neolithic: Single Burials, New Technology and First Central European Contacts
- Beaker Peoples and the Beginnings of a New Society
- Food Vessel People: Consolidation of the Single Grave Culture
- Urn People: Further Arrivals and New Developments
- Industrial Changes Late Second-Early First Millennia
- Later Prehistoric Events: The Iron Age and the Celts
Though the last forty years have seen a great acceleration in
archaeological discovery in Ireland, no work of synthesis covering the
whole prehistoric period in the island has appeared since the publication
of Raftery's Prehistoric Ireland in 1951.
Irish archaeologists have been very active in this period however; a growing body of professional workers
- there are now forty-five - have been accumulating a formidable body of
primary evidence from both field and museum studies. Chance discovery and
planned excavation have both contributed their share of information.
The present work was conceived from the realization that a general prehistory
was needed to order the large body of fact and to provide new orientations.
Though this book is designed primarily to serve the large numbers of young
people who are now studying archaeology in our universities, it is hoped
that the general reader also will find the story of prehistoric Ireland
told in its pages of interest.
The writers both specialize in the prehistoric period: Herity's work is
related mainly to the Neolithic, and he has written chapters 1-4 and 11;
Eogan's work centres upon the later Bronze Age, and he has written chapters
5-10. The material presented in a book of this kind is inevitably only a
selection, and both writers are well aware that alternative selections of
material and other interpretations can be put forward, particularly in the
areas in which they are not specialists. It is hoped, however, that the
present compilation will at least have indicated Ireland's wealth of
prehistoric material and raised new questions about pre-Christian Ireland.
The writers are indebted to their colleagues in the Department of
Archaeology at University College, Dublin, for their willingness to discuss
numerous points during the writing of the book. The bibliography is an
eloquent tribute to the work of individual prehistorians in Ireland.