|The word 'prehistoric' refers to a time before written records.
Archaeologists research the lives of people in the past by studying evidence of their tools, artefacts and activities.
Archaeologists use sophisticated scientific methods such as tree-ring analysis, pollen counts and radio-carbon dating to analyse the evidence they find.
Archaeologists may compare notes with anthropologists studying peoples who lived by gathering and hunting or by primitive farming technologies in modern times.
The first evidence of human activity ever found in Ireland was at a Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) settlement at Mount Sandel, Co. Derry, radio-carbon dated to about 7000 BC.
About 4200 BC, during the Neolithic (New Stone Age) people in Ireland were developing the skills of farming.
Metalworking began in Ireland about 2000 BC or before.
The first metalworking period is called the Bronze Age.
The technology of iron working began in Ireland about 600 BC.
Celtic culture was present or developing in Ireland at about the same time.