Pre-Christian Ireland Sample Essay: the First Settlers
Even though the last corner of Europe has been already settled by people, Ireland is especially rich in its prehistoric remains. The glory of bronze and gold from the more recent prehistoric past of this wonderful land, with its technical brilliance, keeps causing amazement to the present day as well.
Pre-Christian Ireland reveals the story of human settlement from the very start almost 10 000 years ago to the 5th century AD, when Saint Patrick’s Christianizing mission took place.
The first people came to the country 9 000 years ago. Nowadays we call them the Stone Age people since they used stones as special tools to deal with the farm work and hunting. All these tools perfectly survived and have been found by the scientists. At first, these first Irish settlers mainly lived along the Ireland coast or not far from rivers since they were real hunters. They moved from place to place and mainly ate fruits and wild animals. Starting from 3 500 BC the first settlers began to clear away forests in order to create farmlands.
The Stone Age era went on for a pretty long period of time and included a wide range of various changes. Exactly for that reason we call these people by different names depending on the time frames they lived within the Stone Age. For instance, those people, who lived in the middle of the period, are called Mesolithic people.
As for the later Stone Age, in Ireland the people, who lived in Neolithic period, were mainly farmers. The time frames of the period include 4 000 BC to 2 000 BC. This means that the first Irish farmers lived on this territory more than 6 000 years ago. It is known that these farmers were engaged in raising cattle and cultivating land.
From 2 000 BC to 1 800 BC a great number of people, who were skilled in metalwork, moved to live on the Irish territory. They made various weapons and tools of bronze by mixing copper from Ireland with Spanish tin. It wasn’t hard to shape bronze and besides, this material did not break that easily.
When the matter concerns the Iron Age, we call it that way since this is the time, when people used iron weapons and tools. This period started in 500 BC and revealed that iron tools were stronger than the ones made of bronze. Those individuals, who used iron tools and weapons for the first time, are now called the Celts.
The Celts came from the European mainland. The archeologists are not sure about when the first Celts came to Ireland for the reason that there are no written records left by these people. Nonetheless, a lot of historians tend to believe that Celts came somewhere about 300 BC. They had their own customs and spoke their special language. It is important to mention that earlier people in Ireland copied some of the customs and language peculiarities of Celts during this pre-Christian period.