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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.However, summers are cooler than those in Continental Europe. The earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. The island was Christianised from the 5th century onward.Following the Norman invasion in the 12th century, England claimed sovereignty over Ireland.With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom.
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.As of 2013, the amount of land that is wooded in Ireland is about 11% of the total, compared with a European average of 35%.As a result, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area.
During the last glacial period, and up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice.