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Archæological Studies in Ireland

Nature volume 141, pages 10311032 (11 June 1938) | Download Citation



IRELAND, for long not so much a neglected corner in the archæological field as the victim of a provincial outlook, is to come into her own as an element in the mosaic of European prehistory. She is at last to take her proper place in the pattern which a band of workers closely in touch with one another is rapidly piecing together, more especially in the north-western sector of Europe, of the early movements of cultures and peoples, from which has emerged the complex of modern Western civilization. To say this is not to ignore the achievement of Ireland's archæologists and historians in the past, many of them, like Sir William Wilde and George Coffey, of international repute. Granting these exceptions, in little more than a decade there has been a change in the spirit and orientation of Irish archæology which has diverted interest from exclusive preoccupation with Ireland as a unitary region, or as an appendage of Britain only, in such studies, and their bearing on the identification and history of the mythical races and peoples of early Ireland, to the wider horizon of the correlation of her development in civilization With that of Great Britain and the Continental mainland. The story of this change has been told recently by Dr. Adolf Mahr, keeper of antiquities and director of the National Museum of Ireland, in his presidential address for 1937 to the Prehistoric Society, of which a digest appears on another page of this issue of NATURE (see p. 1041).

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