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Bronze age in Ireland

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An brief overview of the Bronze Age in Ireland.

Text of Bronze age in Ireland

  • 1. Bronze Age in Ireland The People and their Customs

2. Lesson Objectives To examine the various developments brought about in the Bronze Age period in Ireland (2,500- 500BC). Pictures will be used to bring the subject matter to life. This period will be compared to the Neolithic period through the completion of group exercises. 3. An Overview The Bronze Age period began in Ireland in roughly the year 2,500BC. This period received its name due to the fact bronze (a mixture of copper and tin) began to be used in the country. The use of this compound revolutionised the lives of Irish farmers. Improved weaponry and tools and the introduction of elaborate jewellery represented major advancement. 4. Weaponry and Tools Bronze was perfect for the creation of weaponry and tools as it was easily moulded and shaped. The most well-known tool of the period was the sickle. The sickle was sharp and nimble making it ideal for the cutting of crops and grasses 5. The Sickle * A Bronze Age sickle missing its handle. 6. QUESTION TIME! What do you think the evidence of tools such as the sickle tell us about the nature of Irish society during the Bronze Age? 7. Lunulae The Bronze Age brought about the creation of gold objects in Ireland. Most of this gold came from the rivers of Co. Wicklow. The most striking piece of gold found were the necklaces known as lunulae. Out of the 100 lunulae found in Europe, 80 were located in Ireland. 8. * Lunula found in Blessington, Co. Wicklow. 9. QUESTION TIME! 1)Who would have worn lunulae? 2)What was the purpose of wearing one at the time? 10. Burial Customs Most Bronze Age people were buried in cist graves or wedge tombs. The cist grave consisted of a shallow pit, lined with stone slabs and covered by a large flat stone. Bodies were either placed in a crouched position or burnt, with the bones being contained in a large pot inside the tomb. Food was often placed within the tomb too. 11. Cist Grave What objects can you see in this tomb? 12. Wedge Tombs Wedge tombs were built above ground. They were made from stone slabs. They were low and narrow at the back and higher and wider at the front. The slabs were then covered in earth, just like the dolmen. 13. Wedge Tomb 14. Stone Circles Stone circles were built during the Bronze Age by placing large upright stones into the ground. Archaeologists remain unsure about their use. It is possible that they acted as a place of worship. Most stone circles are aligned to the sun so it is possible that they acted as a calendar to farmers. 15. Fulachta Fiadh Bronze Age people ate the same food as Neolithic people. They grew crops such as wheat and barley to make bread and porridge. They cooked meat from cattle, pigs and sheep over a large fire in bronze cauldrons. However more famously, they also cooked using a large hole 16. Contd Hot water was poured into the hole and brought to the boil by placing large stones, which had been heated in a fire, into the water-filled trough. They removed these stones by gripping them with wooden sticks. These cooking places are known as fulachta fiadh (hunting troughs). 17. Pair Work! In what ways were the Bronze Age farmers similar and different to Neolithic farmers?

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