The Mesolithic Period: Ireland’s First Settlers

What is so mysterious about Ireland?

It is a difficult task to state who founded Ireland? This is because Ireland itself was never one unified country under one leader until maybe the coming of Brian Boru. So how was Ireland formed? And who shaped the country in it’s infancy?

Ireland is known for a lot of things! We can build anything..fight anyone and charm the coldest of women and men with that good ole’ Irish way about us! (In my best blarney Irish…sure wasn’t it a soft day when oh Danny boy stared into his dear Kathleen’s eyes which shone like diamonds in a fair in Ballinasloe..gosh darn be garra!) Yeah! as if that works!!!

It’s Celtic mythology has certainly become global and it has definitely given a lot of people crazy ideas about us! But what does it say about our first settlers? We won’t get too bogged down on it..but it’s important to know where we come from right? Here is a snippet

Irish Mythology has no creation myth which explains how things came into being. The world, or more specifically, Ireland, was always there. The Mythology states that, before the Celts, there were five waves of invaders. Each had a profound effect on the land.

Five successive groups of invaders are said to have arrived in Ireland before the present day Gaels arrived. The first three groups are known by the names of their respective leaders and the last two by the names of the races involved.These five invaders were:

Cessair
Partholon
Nemed
The Fir Bolg
The Tuatha De Danann

For more on this..visit this excellent page: www.aislingmagazine.com/aislingmagazine/articles/TAM24/TheFive.html (warning..it can get confusing!)

We Know About Mesolithic Man!

About 12,000 years ago, Europe was covered in ice (Ice Age). This included Ireland. When the ice began to melt, plants began to grow, trees covered the land and animals began to migrate to Ireland. Ireland was connected to Britain and the Continent by these ice caps. We can’t prove for a fact that any of those characters mentioned above came to Ireland but we do know that people came roughly 9,000 years ago (7000 BC). We are also not sure how they came to Ireland…by this time it is likely Ireland separated from Britain and the continent so we must assume they came by dugout canoes or in skin covered boats.

boat stone age

The first people came during the Mesolithic Period also called the Middle Stone Age. In 1977, archaeologists excavated a site on the bank of the river Bann called Mount Sandel in Co.Derry. Archaeologists found patterns of post-holes, darker patches in soil, charcoal remains and blackened stones most likely from a hearth (fireplace). This and other excavations in the area showed us how they lived.

For more info on Mesolithic Ireland..be sure to check out my other blogs on this site

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