Ireland's First Farmers
Welcome back to my series on Irish history and culture. The last time we talked about Irish history and culture we spend some time in Mesolithic Ireland. This week we are moving forward in time to about 4000 BC.
The Neolithic period, aka Late Stone Age, began in the Middle East sometime around 10,000 BC with the discovery of farming. Once a society learned how to farm they slowly abandoned their nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle and became more sedentary. This dramatic shift from hunter-gather to farmer is often called the Neolithic Revolution. The Neolithic Revolution affected all human populations and was a major turning point in human history. It was a period in time where one generations abandoned the lifestyle of their ancestors to take change the entire course of human development. Once a society mastered farming they could turn to animal domestication. Sometimes learning how to farm and domesticate animals went hand in hand. Information about farming and domestication spread throughout the trade routes. One society taught another society and so forth. As the hunter-gatherers died out the new generation abandoned the old ways and created new ways for their society. Farming allowed for groups of human to create settlements. These societies would eventually create their own customs and political system. New tools were developed. Specialized skill sets were now part of the norm in every society from healer, chief, and more. It was a completely different world than the one their ancestors dwelt in.
Ireland was the last place to be colonized and the Irish people would be one of the last groups to take up farming. The practice of farming had spread from the Middle East for thousands of years. It had reached England sometime around 4,000 BC. After England had adapted to farming they decided to colonize Ireland for farming and invaded Ireland with their new technology around 3900BC and 3000BC. The Irish hunter - gatherer societies were gradually assimilated into the newly arrived English Neolithic cultures.