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Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, and stone monuments.Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, that has been preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.During the last glacial period, and up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice.Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe. For the sovereign state of the same name, see Republic of Ireland.For the part of the United Kingdom, see Northern Ireland.An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls.The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. The Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel; harnessing oxen; weaving textiles; brewing alcohol; and skilful metalworking, which produced new weapons and tools, along with fine gold decoration and jewellery, such as brooches and torcs. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that also included Britain, western France and Iberia, and that this is where Celtic languages developed.
The island's geography comprises relatively low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland.
In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, and Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same.
Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures, especially in the fields of literature.
This contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture.
During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland.By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain.