For reasons that are unclear, this blog app closes me out after a certain length, making it impossible to either add content or edit and make corrections. So then I just have to start a new post. Oh well.
So, the Celts predominated the culture here until the arrival of Christianity in about 500 CE. The were the first iron-using Europeans and it is Celtic Art that is most enduring. Since the Romans never invaded Ireland, Celtic culture here remained intact longer. The period of 500 BCE to 500 CE is when the large stone forts were likely built as well as when the first Irish script was developed. After Christianity arrived in the 5th century until around the year 1200 was the period when the great monastic settlements were founded. People lived in defended homesteads known as ring forts, circular enclosures of stone and earth. The Viking raids of the 8th and 9th centuries eventually led to Viking settlements in the 10th century.