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Ritual in Late Bronze Age Ireland : Material Culture, Practices, Landscape Setting and Social Context
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This text develops a new perspective on Late Bronze Age (LBA) Ireland by identifying and analysing patterns of ritual practice in the archaeological record. The bookends of this study are the introduction of the bronze slashing sword to Ireland at around 1200 BC and the introduction and proliferation of iron technology beginning around 600 BC. Therefore, it is societal change related to new technology which defines the period discussed as the Irish Late Bronze Age (LBA) herein. Ritual practices find expression in a range of contexts which can be studied separately. However, they require an overarching, integrated ritual system to contextualise and attempt to understand their broader purpose. Similar rituals were consistently enacted in similar locations across the island of Ireland in the LBA. This indicates shared understanding of the way to enact certain rituals as well as shared understanding of what these practices would achieve.