Celtic language, customs, ways of thinking and objects all help to tell the story of Ireland's past.

Irish language, customs, modes of thought and what it means to be Irish stem from Celtic times.

Our Irish roots lie in the distant past of stone age hunter and bronze age farmer but our deepest conscious sense of continuity stems from that which is Celtic.

This connection with the Celtic past is expressed in many things including carved stone heads, religious sanctuaries, cast bronze figures, and richly carved stones.

By around 500 BC, Ireland had established a bronze using community of considerable wealth. Contacts with the commercial and cultural outside world were close and influences from abroad were beginning to have an effect on a somewhat conservative Ireland. Objects representative of the Hallstatt culture of the Iron Age began to reach the island. New types of swords, containers of sheet metal, and iron axes became more common.

This was a time when a community with a common Celtic culture and language became established across Europe.

The Celts have left little material trace over ground on the continent of Europe. However, they created one of the most extensive empires ever created in the old world.

'Heritage: The Heroic Age' was broadcast on 28 June 1967. The presenter is Dr Joseph Raftery.

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.