Behy (Céide)

Located in western Ireland, the mid Neolithic site of Behy (Céide) is significant because it features a coaxial field system.  Situated between the ocean and a peat bog, the fields at the Céide site were laid out in systematic rectangular patterns.  Radiocarbon dates from the site taken from pine trees, that were preserved in a bog, claim that the site dates to around 4500 BP.   The fields themselves were partitioned by stone walls.  Some scholars believe that Behy was a pasture site for cattle.  This argument is supported by the pollen and grass samples that have been taken from the site.          

Field layout at Behy (Céide)
Source: https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTVPcR4a2LnIyGaMHCCxX6JKJjS_MWF8dXoG2vV9YzwpIYQB7iSFQ Accessed: 12/7/15

  • Caulfield, Seamas, G. O. Donnell, and P. I. Mitchell. “(super 14) C dating of a Neolithic field system at Ceide Fields, County Mayo, Ireland.” Radiocarbon40.2: 629-640.
  • Molloy, K. A. R. E. N., and M. I. C. H. A. E. L. O’Connell. “Palaeoecological investigations towards the reconstruction of environment and land-use changes during prehistory at Céide Fields, western Ireland.” Probleme der Küstenforschung im südlichen Nordseegebiet 23 (1995): 187-225.