Poulnabrone dolmen
Poulnabrone dolmen

The Republic of Ireland, which is the majority of the island of Ireland, is located off the coast of England and Wales. The capital, Dublin, is the birthplace of authors, including Oscar Wilde, and is the home of Guinness. Often referred to as the "Emerald Isle” due to its lush landscape, the country is dotted with beautiful castles, such as the medieval Cahir Castle.

Archaeological evidence has enabled the piecing together of the prehistory of Ireland. It starts with the initial evidence of humans in Ireland around 10500 BC and concludes with the start of the historical record around 400 AD. These dates are later than for much of Europe and all of the Near East. The prehistoric period includes the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age societies of Ireland. On the whole, for much of Europe, the historical record starts when the Romans invaded. Ireland, however, was not invaded by the Romans and so its historical record starts later, in this case with the arrival of Christianity.

There are two periods which have uncovered a range of historical findings; the Neolithic, with its megalithic tombs, and the the Bronze Age, with an abundance of gold jewellery. This is largely a result of Ireland’s vast areas of bogland, and many archaeological finds have since been recovered. The conditions of the bog can preserve materials extraordinarily well, as discovered with a number of bog bodies such as the Mesolithic wicker fish-traps, and a Bronze Age textile with delicate tassels of horse hair.

Ireland is an amazing destination. It is home to stunning sights, natural wonders, a dynamic cultural scene, historic lands, and of course, Guinness! As the Emerald Isle evolves, traces of Ireland’s mysterious ancient past are still clearly visible for visitors to enjoy.

Upcoming Departures

Activity Level
Andante Guide Lecturer Dr Jeremy Bennett
8 days
Price from
£3,225 £3,075
Next date
30 July 2023