Forest clearance and land use in Mayo around 3000 B.C.

  • Séamas Caulfield Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4.
Keywords: Forest clearance, land use, archaeology, rural settlement, farming, landscape, megalithic man, blanket peat, forest history, ancient woodlands, peatlands.


For thousands of years man inhabited the post-glacial forests of Europe but it was not till the advent of farming that his impact on the forest becomes significant. Stone axes are the most widespread if tenuous evidence of early forest exploitation. Because of special circumstances in the west of Ireland the actual landscape of the Stone Age farmers is still available for study. The discovery of extensive land enclosure under blanket bog which must have been preceded by major forest clearance is changing our view of the nature and scale of early farm settlements in Ireland.
How to Cite
Caulfield, S. (1981) “Forest clearance and land use in Mayo around 3000 B.C.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 21June2024).