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- Ceide fields

Concealed beneath a five thousand year old bog near Ballycastle in County Mayo is a remarkable pattern of walled fields and corrals which indicate the existence of an ancient, ordered tribe who farmed thisarea before the bog was formed.

It's one of the most amazing examples of Neolithic farming when people moved from a hunter gatherer society to a settled farming system of food production. It was perfectly preserved under bog land which formed over it over thousands of years. The field system that is so walls were built to mark out field boundaries. All that means that this was probably the first time that land was divided up into fields, signifying the development of property ownership/relations, the development of class society and the various economic and other relationships therein.

Today, field boundaries can be barbed wire fences, dry stone walls, hedgerows with or without ditches or old field or townland boundaries reused in multiple ways.

Get a book from you local bookshop on early Irish archaeology, Michael Ryan has a nice blue book bit dated now but still very relevant for the Céide Fields. There are more academic tomes such as Landscapes of the Neolithic etc. If you are in Dublin go to the National Museum of Ireland and pick up a book. They are no compensation for emails!

Hope it helps