The role of the house in early Neolithic Ireland

Jessica Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


The focus of this article is the use and abandonment of the rectangular timber buildings of the Irish early Neolithic, a period that corresponds roughly with the first half of the fourth millennium cal BC. While they do not represent the only remains of occupation at this time, the fact that they display a striking degree of homogeneity of size, shape and materials makes them an especially interesting part of settlement activity on the island. One particular feature of this patterning
is the frequency with which early Neolithic timber buildings have been substantially or completely destroyed by fire. It will be argued below that this burning was deliberate and played an important role in the lifecycle – the creation, maintenance and destruction – of these buildings. To provide a context for this discussion, a more in-depth look will be taken at these distinctive buildings and at their form and function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-257
JournalEuropean Journal of Archaeology
Issue number2/3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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