Prehistoric Ireland Tour

Discover more about Ireland's earliest people, from the hunter-gatherers and first farmers of the Stone Age to the goldsmiths and warriors of the Bronze Age.

Prehistoric Ireland

On this page, you can find out what you can do at the Museum, in the classroom and online

At the Museum

Important information

All groups who are coming to the Museum must book their visit with the Bookings Office.

Prehistoric Ireland Tour

On this tour you can:

  • Discover how people in Mesolithic Ireland caught their fish with our 9,000 year old fish-trap
  • Examine some of Irelands earliest art with the mysterious carvings on our Neolithic passage tomb
  • Guess how many of your classmates could fit inside our 4,500 year old log boat 
  • Hear how our first metalworkers turned gold from the soil into stunning neck ornaments shaped like half moons
  • Imagine that you are a warrioir and decide which shield would provide the best defense in battle

Key Curriculum Strands

SESE History

  • How we find out about the past
  • The work of the historian
  • Our roots in ancient civilization
  • Time and chronology
  • Using evidence
  • Technology and innovation
  • Continuity and change over time
  • Life, society, work and culture in the past

On request, this tour can include a hands-on session with a replica Mesolithic fish-trap and replica prehistoric pottery.

You may also be interested in our Make a Prehistoric Pot Workshop.

Maximum 30 per group. Duration 50 minutes.

Tours and workshops should be booked at least two weeks in advance, via the Bookings Office.

Want to explore on your own?

As the Museum can get very busy, we require all groups to book in advance with our Bookings Office.

Using worksheet in the Bronze Age Exhibition

To make the most of your visit, we recommend that you plan activities for your students to complete:

Why not try our free worksheets: You can download these in advance of your visit, or request some at the time of your self-directed booking.

Stone Age EN  (1.15 MB, Adobe PDF)

Stone Age IRE  (1.15 MB, Adobe PDF)

My Favourite Object (Irish)  (0.11 MB, Adobe PDF)
My Favourite Object Activity Sheet (English)  (0.11 MB, Adobe PDF)

Don't forget to bring your pencils!

In The Classroom

Suggested follow up activities:

  • Create your own versions of our decorated prehistoric pots on display with air-drying clay using Neolithic pinch-pot and coil-building techniques.
  • Examine examples of carvings from kerbstones on Neolithic passage tombs and using cardboard, cut out the kerbstone shape and decorate with spirals, zig-zags and circles. Invite the students to discuss what the possible meanings might be.
  • Create a timeline using drawings inspired by your Museum visit, such as Mesolithic arrowheads, Bronze Age lunulae or shields. Add to this timeline as more topics are covered.
  • Discuss prehistoric food sources and create a menu for a prehistoric feast.

Useful link: Archaeology in the Classroom


We are continually improving and adding to our online resources.

Looking for information on exhibitions and collections?

Take a look around:

Looking for a particular object? Try our Artefacts Search

Information on the Mesolithic Clowanstown Fish-Trap:

Fishtraps article  (1.07 MB, Adobe PDF)

Seanda article on fish traps  (2.08 MB, Adobe PDF)