Bronze age in ireland

About me I am a professional archaeologist who lives and works in Ireland. But on this particular day I am spending my time working on my own archaeological research. Since then I published extensively on the burialsmonuments and artefacts of the period.

Bronze age in ireland

Glantane East wedge tomb. The most striking characteristic of the Neolithic in Ireland was the sudden appearance and dramatic proliferation of megalithic monuments. The largest of these tombs were clearly places of religious and ceremonial importance to the Neolithic population.

In most of the tombs that have been excavated, human remains—usually, but not always, cremated—have been found. Grave goods—pottery, arrowheads, beads, pendants, axes, etc.

When Was the Iron Age?

These megalithic tombsmore than 1, of which are now known, can be divided for the most part into four broad groups: The entrance passage to Newgrangeand the entrance stone Court cairns — These are characterised by the presence of an entrance courtyard.

They are found almost exclusively in the north of the island and are thought to include the oldest specimens. North Mayo has many examples of this type of megalith — FaulaghKilcommonErris. Passage tombs — These constitute the smallest group in terms of numbers, but they are the most impressive in terms of size and importance.

The most famous of them is Newgrangeone of the oldest astronomically aligned monuments in the world. It was built around BC. At the winter solstice the first rays of the rising sun still shine through a light-box above the entrance to the tomb and illuminate the burial chamber at the centre of the monument.

Another of the Boyne megaliths, Knowthhas been claimed to contain the world's earliest map of the Moon carved Bronze age in ireland stone. Portal tombs — These tombs include the well known dolmens. They consist of three or more upright stones supporting a large flat horizontal capstone table.

They were originally covered with earth to form a tumulusbut often their covering has now eroded to leave the impressive main stone structure.

Bronze age in ireland

Most of them are to be found in two main concentrations, one in the southeast of the island and one in the north. Wedge tombs — The largest and most widespread of the four groups, the wedge tombs are particularly common in the west and southwest.

County Clare is exceptionally rich in them.

Bronze Age Handling Box

They are the latest of the four types and belong to the end of the Neolithic. They are so called from their wedge-shaped burial chambers. The theory that these four groups of monuments were associated with four separate waves of invading colonists still has its adherents today, but the growth in population that made them possible need not have been the result of colonisation: The stone axe was the primary and essential tool for farming, carefully made in a variety of styles, and often polished.

The products of axe factories next to sources of porcellanitean especially good stone, were traded across Ireland; the main ones were Tievebulliagh and Rathlin Islandboth in County Antrim. There was a much rarer class of imported prestige axe head made from jadeite from north Italy; these may have been slowly traded across Europe to reach Ireland over a period reaching into centuries, and show no signs of use.

Other stone shapes made were chiselsadzesmaces and spearheads. Only one decorated macehead has been found, in one of the tombs at Knowthbut it is extremely fine. Some finds may also be miniature maceheads.

Bronze Age Ireland

As an example of the exceptional preservation sometimes possible in items found in anaerobic bogs, part of a finely woven bag with circular handles has survived; it used reedy plant material wound round thin strips of wood.

Decorated pottery, apparently made for funerary rather than domestic use, appears to imitate basketry patterns. This example was found in Blessingtoneastern Ireland. British Museum Metallurgy arrived in Ireland with new people, generally known as the Bell Beaker People Indo-Europeans from their characteristic pottery, in the shape of an inverted bell.

It is found, for example, at Ross Islandand associated with copper mining there, which had begun by at least 2, BC. It is thought by some scholars to be associated with the Beaker People of the Bronze Age, but the more mainstream view is, or at least used to be, that " Celts " arrived much later at the beginning of the Iron Age.

The period preceding this, in which Lough Ravel and most Ballybeg axes were produced, and which is known as the Copper Age or Chalcolithiccommenced about BC.

Bronze was used for the manufacture of both weapons and tools. Swords, axes, daggers, hatchets, halberds, awls, drinking utensils and horn-shaped trumpets are just some of the items that have been unearthed at Bronze Age sites.

Irish craftsmen became particularly noted for the horn-shaped trumpet, which was made by the cire perdue, or lost waxprocess. Copper used in the manufacture of bronze was mined in Ireland, chiefly in the southwest of the island, while the tin was imported from Cornwall in Britain.

The earliest known copper mine in these islands was located at Ross Island, at the Lakes of Killarney in County Kerry ; mining and metalworking took place there between and BC. Another of Europe's best-preserved copper mines has been discovered at Mount Gabriel in County Corkwhich was worked for several centuries in the middle of the second millennium.

As only about 0.Jan 03,  · Watch video · The Iron Age was a period in human history that followed the Bronze and Stone Ages. During the Iron Age, people across much of Europe, Asia and parts of Africa began making tools and weapons from.

Early Bronze Age began in Ireland in approximately BC. This period saw the introduction of several significant innovations, most notably the development of metalworking.

Copper and gold were amongst the earliest metals used. Bronze Age Deposits in Ireland Ireland has a rich Bronze Age heritage and it is not unusual for artifacts from the period to be unearthed, such as the golden ornament discovered in in Roscommon. Of course, metal was not the only material used in Bronze Age Ireland.

Stone tools were still very important, and there was a large pottery industry. Beaker pottery - named for its distinctive shape - was very common in Bronze Age Ireland, as it was across much of western and central Europe at the time.

The Bronze Age period in Ireland dates from around BC, when copper and gold were being mined and smelted. Copper was used for utensils, tools, and also for adornment.

The Irish Bronze Age | National Museum of Ireland | Bronze Age Handling Box

When mixed with tin the resultant alloy is bronze, a much harder material than pure copper and . Although there is currently no direct evidence for mosquito-borne pathogens in Bronze Age Ireland I think this is a useful hypothesis that is worth further consideration and testing.

References Ashe, P., O’Connor, J.P. and Casey R.J.

Bronze Age Period In Ireland - Ancient Ireland History