The Iron Age is without doubt the most enigmatic period in Irish archaeology. If there are more than fifty thousand early medieval monuments known throughout Ireland, by contrast there are barely fifty monuments that one could point to and say definitively 'that's Iron Age'. The number of Iron Age artefacts is considerably higher, but pales into insignificance compared to the thousands of objects from either the Bronze Age or the early medieval period. Until recently, it was thought that the Irish Iron Age was almost entirely absent from the excavation record. With hundreds of large-scale excavations throughout the country and newly discovered sites from every period, nothing jumped out and screamed Iron Age. However, when C14 dates started coming back from many projects, it gradually became clear that the Iron Age has been there all along – typically unassuming and frequently masquerading as something from another period. The picture is still very murky, but what is obvious is that the textbook for the entire Iron Age in Ireland needs to be rewritten from start to finish. Preconceived ideas about the dating and significance of the artefactual record of the period are already being challenged. The new evidence from recent archaeological excavations has the potential to transform our new understanding of the Irish Iron Age and finally dispel the myths of Ireland’s supposed dark age. The information contained in the twenty-six essays in this volume form a very significant contribution to this process.
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|Author||Christiaan Corlett and Michael Potterton (editors)|
|Publication Data||November 2012|
Life and death in Iron Age Ireland: in the light of recent archaeological excavations. Research papers in Irish archaeology, no. 4
- ISBN: 978 1 905569 72 4
- Author(s): Christiaan Corlett and Michael Potterton (editors)
- Availability: In Stock