In Search of the Irish Dreamtime

Archaeology & Early Irish Literature


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ISBN: 9780500051849 Category:

J. P. Mallory


J. P. Mallory interrogates what he calls the ‘Irish Dreamtime’: the native Irish retelling of their own origins, as related by medieval manuscripts. He attempts to explore the reality of this version of the earliest history of Ireland, which places apparently ‘mythological’ events on a concrete timeline of invasions, colonizations and royal reigns that extends even further back in time than the history of Classical Greece. Can the accounts of this ‘Dreamtime’ really inform us of the way of life in Iron Age Ireland? By comparing the world depicted in the earliest Irish literary tradition with the archaeological evidence available on the ground, Mallory explores Ireland’s rich mythological tradition and tests its claims to represent reality.

Additional information

Weight 684 g
Dimensions 16.5 x 24.2 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 1 June 2016
Number of pages 320
Format Hardback
Dimensions 16.5 x 24.2 cm
Weight 684 g


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J. P. Mallory is a world expert on the interconnection of archaeology and linguistics and is the author of the standard work In Search of the Indo-Europeans and The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European. He has published numerous other works, including the hugely acclaimed The Origins of the Irish. He is Emeritus Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology at Queen's University Belfast and a member of the Royal Irish Academy.