Ireland’s First Settlers tells the story of the archaeology and history
of the first continuous phase of Ireland’s human settlement.
It combines centuries of search and speculation about human antiquity in Ireland
with a review of what is known today about the Irish Mesolithic.
This is, in part, provided in the context of the author’s 50 years of personal experience
searching to make sense of what initially appeared to be little more than
a collection of beach rolled and battered flint tools.
The story is embedded in how the island of Ireland, its position,
distinct landscape and ecology impacted on when and how Ireland was colonised.
It also explores how these first settlers evolved their technologies and lifeways
to suit the narrow range of abundant resources that were available.
The volume concludes with discussions on how the landscape should be searched
for the often ephemeral traces of these early settlers and how sites should be excavated.
It asks what we really know about the thoughts and life of the people themselves
and what happened to them as farming began to be introduced.