Pre-Christian Ireland- Stone age
Neolithic Age 3700-2000 B.C.
Around 3700 B.C. the hunter gatherers and fishermen were replaced with people from central Europe, who travelled to Ireland through England or Scotland. What we know about these farmers comes from their stone graves called megalithic tombs. They placed importance on life after death by building imposing resting placed for the dead rather than for the living.
These people were organised farmers with complex social groups. They brought livestock with them, they cleared forests and the whole island had regular contact with land overseas.
The people who made Newgrange were intelligent and organised, farmers and had a good knowledge of astronomy. They set a lot of importance on ritual symbolism. They used the river to transport materials, therefore had good knowledge of engineering. They lived in wattle and daub huts.
Megalithic (large stone) Burial Monuments
Ex. Poulnabrone, Burren Landscape, Co. Clare
Ardara, Co. Donegal
170 in total around Ireland
Between 3 and 7 standing stones supporting 1 or 2 capstones
Single slabs rested against back to form the chamber.
Most court cairns are found in the northern part of Ireland
Has a rectangular or circular burial chamber, with a corbelled roof. The chamber would serves as the tomb and the court would hold the rituals •
1 or 2 chambers in the centre of a large mound of earth or stone, reached by a passage.
Located in the Boyne Valley Co. Meath
Constructed around 3000-2000
11m in height and 85m in diameter
The passage is 21m long, it is lines and roofed with large stones and slopes gently upwards. There is one main chamber and 3 niches, with stone basins
Roof of chamber is corbelled, layers of flattish stone in circles, each layer moving further inwards than the one below, until closed by single stone at the top. Stones tilted downwards to stop water...
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