Were Beaker-people the First Metallurgists in Ireland? (Figs. 1-14)

  • H.J. Case


(p. 141)

Study of Irish thick-butted axes (p. 142 ff.) shows a strong Central European influence which can be related to finds associated with bell-beakers (p. 155 ff.). This influence comes through the thin-butted axe (p. 150 ff.), one of several Central European innovations introduced during the beaker period, among them halberds (p. 152 ff.), and tin-bronze alloys. These innovations made impact on an archaic industry producing thick-butted axes, - an industry of which the affinities remain indefinite, but which are more likely to be with the beaker-culture than with other cultural complexes (p. 166 ff.).

Three phases of the Irish Early Bronze Age are deduced (p. 168 ff.); phase I, covering the earliest industry and the Central European innovations in the beaker period; phase 2, which covers the more general use of these innovations, and is roughly synchronous with the first phase of the Wessex Culture in southern England; phase 3, synchronous with the second phase of Wessex Culture, is outside the scope of this paper.