Chronology of Irish History.


In general I do not agree with the periodisation of history.  People in 4000BC did not suddenly wake up one day and say ‘oh we’re Neolithic people now’.  History has a continuity and flow that these periods do not allow.  Certainly the introduction of Christianity did change Ireland but in general there is no great and sudden change to life but rather and slow and gradual one. A way of life may not radically alter from one period to the next but is marked by us by the gradual change of the artefacts they left behind.  These periods that we use are merely an aid to us and provide ease when referring to aspects of history.  Here is a brief run down of the major periods used in the study of Irish history.  These, of course, differ from source to source and are not fixed.  The following is a general list of the periods of Irish history.

Mesolithic Period - c8000 - c4000BC
Neolithic Period - c4000 - c2200BC
Early Bronze Age - c2200 - 1650 BC
Middle Bronze Age - 1650 - 1200 BC
Late Bronze Age - 1200 - 700 BC
Early Iron Age - 700 - 300BC
Middle Iron Age - 300BC - 50AD
Late Iron Age - 50 - 431AD
Early Christian - 431 - 800AD
Viking Period - 800 - 1169AD
Medieval Period - 1169 - 1500AD
Early Modern Period - 1500 - 1700AD
Modern Period – 1700 – present.

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