The luxury of abundance. Syntheses of Irish prehistory

TitelThe luxury of abundance. Syntheses of Irish prehistory
AuteursFontijn, D, Van Reybrouck, D
Titel van het tijdschriftArchaeological Dialogues
Volume of jaargang6
Nummer binnen de jaargang1
Begin en eindpagina's55-73

The last decade has witnessed a significant increase in the number of comprehensive syntheses on Irish prehistory, both in terms of academic texbooks and popular accounts. The present review essay finds that these syntheses are highly convergent in terms of theme, scope, and theoretical underpinnings. Although large-scale migrations are rejected as explanations for culture change, Ireland is still perceived as the receptacle for foreign ideas and overseas inventions, whereby imports are not just introduced but also perfected in Ireland. We argue that a similar attitude can be noted in the perception of the history of Irish prehistory. This convergence and absence of overt polemics are explained by referring to the small size of the Irish archaeological community. The increase in syntheses is accounted for by a number of empirical preconditions, the theoretical climate of opinion, the institutional expansion of the discipline, the public impact of rapidly changing natural and political lanscape and the notion of an Irish identity.

Citation KeyFontijn:1999aa