The Irish Neolithic has been dominated by the study of megalithic tombs, but the defining element of Irish settlement evidence is the rectangular timber Early Neolithic house, the numbers of which have more than quadrupled in the last ten years. The substantial Early Neolithic timber house was a short-lived architectural phenomenon of as little as 90 years, perhaps like short-lived Early Neolithic long barrows and causewayed enclosures. This book explores the wealth of evidence for settlement and houses throughout the Irish Neolithic, in relation to Britain and continental Europe. More importantly it incorporates the wealth of new, and often unpublished, evidence from developer-led archaeological excavations and large grey-literature resources.
The settlement evidence scattered across the landscape, and found as a result of developer-funded work, provides the social context for the more famous stone monuments that have traditionally shaped our views of the Neolithic in Ireland. It provides the first comprehensive review of the Neolithic settlement of Ireland, which enables a more holistic and meaningful understanding of the Irish Neolithic.
1. Populating the past 2. The house and society 3. The Irish early Neolithic house 4. The role of the Early Neolithic house 5. Beyond the ‘house horizon’ 6. Settling the island: activity and place 7. A landscape in small acts 8. After the flood: re-assessing the Irish Neolithic Index
"[A] textbook example of joined-up research support that Ireland does particularly well. This is an extraordinarily important resource. [T]he international audience in particular will be most interested in the remarkable series of Neolithic rectilinear houses... The opening chapter neatly tracks the divergent histories of Neolithic studies in Ireland and Britain. This chapter forms a very useful introduction to the history of research for both regions... [H]owever, this volume provides a comprehensive and thoughtful analysis of a truly exceptional data set. It will be essential reading for anyone interested in the European Neolithic and a landmark volume in the study of Irish prehistory."
~Ian Armit, European Journal of Archaeology, 18/01/15
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