Ireland, 4000 to 2000 BCE





As in England, the Irish Neolithic is marked by the appearance of pottery and evidence of agriculture in the archaeological record. It is likely that this process took place over a long period of time as a result of interaction with English agriculturalists, and not (as was once assumed) the result of a mass invasion.

Giant’s Causeway

The impressive basalt columns that compose Giant’s Causeway were formed in the Paleogene period in Northern Ireland as a result of volcanic activity.

However, Irish legend has it that the Irish giant Finn McCool built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish counterpart Benandonner. Upon arriving in Scotland, Finn fled when he saw that Bennadonner was, in fact, much larger than himself. When he didn't arrive, Benandonner crossed the bridge looking for him. To protect Finn, his wife Oonagh laid a blanket over Finn and pretended he was actually Finn's baby son. When Benandonner saw the size of the 'infant', he assumed the alleged father, Finn, must be gigantic indeed. So Benandonner fled home in terror, ripping up the Causeway in order to stop Finn from following him.