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Ancient Ireland: Life before the Celts
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 ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published February 15th 1999 by Palgrave Macmillan
(first published 1998)
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This book is very archeology focused with lots of info on different classifications of pottery, urns, axes and other artifacts. I was more interested in anthropology so found it pretty boring. I can't say it's a bad book though since there obviously are people looking for stuff like this so I'm trying to at least be fair with my review. It's just kind of annoying to read over and over again that there isn't enough evidence to really say for sure how people lived for most of the time period that ...more
This is a fairly extensive description of Stone Age & Bronze Age findings in Ireland, as well as a presentation of theories formed from those findings to identify social life among the inhabitants. Since I'm not an archaeologist, I'm not qualified to comment on the technical aspects of the book. It was, however, an interesting scholarly read. I was struck, though, with how quickly the author seemed to assign stereotypical domestic roles to women in this society even while pointing out eviden ...more
Great intro to Ireland during the stone and bronze ages for the non-archaeologist reader. The division into a chronological account of finds and developments followed by a necessarily shorter section discussing the conclusions and speculations that can reasonably be made about the people made sense, though led to some dry spots in the first part. Well written with some nice humor throughout--I laughed out loud once and it might have had to do with yetis, which made me laugh again when I saw that ...more
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“In a manner of speaking, the fact that humankind itself is unpredictable is the quintessential stumbling-block for archaeologists. We have to assume that the people whose dwelling-places, artefacts, lives even, we are dealing with were rational, integrated, sane and sensible human beings. Then we look around at our own contemporaries and wonder how this belief can possibly be sustained.”More quotes…