The Stone Age is divided into three different periods:
- Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age)
- Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age)
- Neolithic (New Stone Age)
- Europe ’s first people are known as Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age) hunter-gatherers. These people first settled in mainland Europe over 800,000 years ago and over 600,000 years ago in Britain. There is no definite evidence that Palaeolithic people lived in Ireland, although the museum's collection covers parts of Britain and Europe.
Middle Stone Age Ireland (8000 BC - 4500 BC)
The first people arrived in Ireland over 9000 years ago during the Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic) time. They were hunter-gatherers who:
hunted wild boar and gathered fruits, nuts and berries in the forests
fished in the rivers and loughs for salmon, trout and eel
hunted sea mammals ...
New Stone Age Ireland (4500 - 2500 BC)
The introduction of farming into Ireland around 6000 years ago marks the time known as the Neolithic or New Stone Age. The Ulster Museum holds substantial collections of Neolithic ceramic and lithic material from well known sites such as Lyles Hill and Ballygalley Head in County Antrim and Island...
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