Archaeology helps us understand the methods, rites and rituals used by our ancestors dealing with the deceased.
The memorials to the departed are the ever living reminder of the love and fear men had for men in death.
By nothing are our earliest farmers more remembered than by the monuments to the dead which they caused to be erected.
Sometimes, the burial rite in these monuments was by cremation and sometimes by inhumation, possibly a distinction on religious, social or tribal grounds.
There are three known types of grave from the Neolithic period - a cist, a pit, and a megalith.
A pit is just a hole in the ground filled with cremated bones and earth.
Examples of cists show the deceased buried with decorated clay vessels along side them.
The most important monuments of the dead in Ireland are the megalithic tombs. Approximately, 1,300 megaliths survive in Ireland which is probably the largest number of megaliths of any area in western Europe. There are four main groups of megaliths including passage graves, court cairns, wedge shaped tombs, and the most common megalith, the dolmen, of which Newgrange is one of the finest examples.
'Heritage: Tombs of the People's Lords' was broadcast on 14 June 1967. The presenter is Joseph Raftery and the programme was produced by Pat Baker.
The programme 'Heritage' was a seven part survey of Irish archaeology from early times to the Cistercian Reform and the Norman Invasion. It was written by Dr Joseph Raftery, President of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA).