Early Irish Farming
Originally published April 2007.
Early Irish Farming
Evidence of agriculture in Ireland starts appearing about 4000 BC. It is interesting to note that these early farmers do not seem to be part of the early Mesolithic settlers, but rather, it seems that farming was introduced from Britain through new settlements at various points around the coast. By 3100 BC there is evidence of major work clearing land for crops and grazing land including field systems running for several kilometers in Country Mayo.
The first plants cultivated seem to have been wheat and barley. The first domesticated animals were cattle, sheep or goats and pigs. These animals also seem to have been imported to Ireland as there is no archaeological evidence of the process of domestication of indigenous breeds.
Although the hunter-gatherer culture seems to have been absorbed by the farming culture within a few centuries, the farming culture had not totally given up their hunter-gatherer traditions. There is clear evidence that they continued to make use of available natural resources such as fish, deer, wildfowl, nuts, crab apples and berries.
Of course a new life style meant new tools, and an associated increase in the appearance of stone axes for clearing land, as well as simple spades, scratch plows, flint and stone tools for harvesting crops, and stone querns for grinding grain.
This is also the period when the first pottery began to appear in Ireland, Simple bowls were built up of rings of clay smoothed by hand, and fired in bonfires, or firing pits.
One of the more notable changes started by the early farming culture was in the burial of their dead. There is little surviving evidence of burial customs among the hunter-gatherer peoples of Ireland, but starting around 4000 BC we see the first funerary monuments in the form of megalithic structures consisting of massive rocks that were often covered with soil and sod
Fellow Scotsman? Check out some of our products!
- The Harris Tweed Patchwork Cap bears the Harris Tweed trademark, handwoven by Scottish craftsman in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland
- Each patchwork cap is unique and different, which means colors will vary slightly from hat to hat
- This piece is made with 100% Harris Tweed Wool and it is available in sizes small to 2XL
- This high-quality and authentic tartan cap boasts a classic and stylish design
- Woven in Scotland and hand-made in the USA. Cotton-lined for a wallet-friendly and eco-friendly, reusable, non-medical bandana mask. Filters out bacteria and viruses while showcasing your favorite Scottish tartan patterns
- Adjustable ear loops, and metal nose piece will keep your mask in place for safety, and comfort. These soft, no-itch masks are machine wash and dryable.
- This everyday Scarf mask accessory will compliment any fashion while keeping you safe. Its multi purpose, and wears well with any outfit with its earthy natural colors.
- Show your love of our favorite TV show, the Outlander Series and all things Celtic. Same tartan worn by your favorite Outlander Characters.
- Custom-made just for you. Due to high demand please allow 3-6 weeks for delivery. Please click for important information about custom-order items.
- Our Poly/Viscose 5 Yard Kilts are affordable creations by experienced kilt-makers in Scotland
- This kilt’s versatile poly-viscose material makes it the ideal casual kilt.
- Our Poly/Viscose 5 Yard Kilt is virtually indistinguishable from a traditional 100% wool kilt. This supple 65/35 polyester viscose blend material offers ease and comfort of wear in an array of situations and occasions
- Wool-free kilt comes in 60 tartans, giving you a wide range of tartans to choose from
- Made in Scotland
- Cast in Solid Pewter
- Shiny Rhodium Plated Finish
- Measures 1 5/8″ Wide