Irish Dreamtime

In Search of the Irish Dreamtime

Archaeology & Early Irish Literature

  1. J. P. Mallory
  • ISBN 9780500051849
  • 23.40 x 15.60 cm
  • Hardback
  • 320pp
  • With 88 illustrations in colour and black and white
  • First published 2016

A fascinating exploration of Ireland’s rich mythological tradition, from the author of the highly acclaimed The Origins of the Irish

‘An essential modern reader on the development of our concepts of the most ancient past of Ireland … formidably referenced and thorough’ – Irish Times
‘Mallory’s book will be of interest to those already immersed in the study of medieval Ireland, but hopefully will also prove a way into this fascinating subject for those new to the field’– Times Higher Education
'An extensive, erudite and humorous study’ – Current Archaeology

Irish Dreamtime

By comparing the world depicted in the earliest Irish literary tradition with the archaeological evidence available on the ground, the author explores Ireland’s rich mythological tradition and tests its claims to represent reality.

Irish Dreamtime

'In Search of the Irish Dreamtime' returns to the subject of the origins of the Irish to interrogate the native Irish retelling of their own provenance, as related by medieval manuscripts. It attempts to explore the reality of this version of the earliest history of Ireland, and 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.

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 co-authored The Archaeology of Ulster and The Tarim Mummies and 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.

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