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The Origins of the Irish

J.P. Mallory


The first book in nearly a century to explore and satisfactorily explain how and when the Irish people came into being


Written as an engrossing detective story by the leading authority on the subject, this book deals with the core issues and multiple influences in the creation of the Irish people as well as exploring the controversial question of the Celts and the Irish language.

Bringing together the evidence of archaeology, culture, tradition, genetics and linguistics to shed welcome new light on the age-old riddle of Irish origins, and illustrated with numerous informative line drawings and maps, this brilliantly argued book is essential reading for anyone interested in Ireland and the Irish.

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'Superb and witty … as a tour d’horizon, it is unmatched'
The Irish Times

'So important ... It was very difficult to put down ... Wonderful'
History Today

'Mallory’s wry, convivial style makes this complex account an effortless and enjoyable read'
Current Archaeology

'Mallory brilliantly synthesizes the complexities of geology, archaeology, historical/mythical sources, genetics and linguistics ... I urge you to read this brilliant book'

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback

Size: 19.8 x 13.0 cm

Extent: 328 pp

Illustrations: 122

Publication date: 13 July 2017

ISBN: 9780500293300

Contents List

Preface • Introduction • 1. The Origins of Ireland • 2. First Colonists • 3. First Farmers • 4. Beakers and Metal • 5. The Rise of the Warriors • 6. The Iron Age • 7. The Native Version • 8. Skulls, Blood and Genes • 9. The Evidence of Language • 10. The Origins of the Irish

About the Author

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 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.