In looking cultures such as the early Christian chiefdoms in Ireland where the evidence is not clearly established, the anthropological approach allows for the use of research from a variety of resources to be utilized in creating a concept of the nature of the culture.
In Ireland, according to the research and information gathered by anthropologists and archaeologists, after the spread of Christianity through the nation, there still existed a series of chiefdoms under which the rule of the land was governed. The tuath designed communities of early Christian Ireland were based on the needs of agriculturally based society. The evidence that is left from these cultures is based on evidence of settlements that can be attributed to the work in the last part of the 19th century by W. G. Woodmartin, and T. J. Westropp who began excavations and created maps that laid out the foundation of the settlements of the tuath agricultural communities (Edwards, 2006, pp. 9). Continuing excavations and discoveries support the theory of how the culture of the time period was structured, however it requires the use of theories of anthropological research and an understanding of the multiple disciplines under
Chiefdoms, as described by Earle (2000), are usually a population that is no more than a few thousand people, have some what of a system of inherited status within its social structure, with a chief that is primarily concerned with the economic welfare of his people (pp. 1). Within the development of political governing entities, the chiefdom sits somewhere between the hunting gathering societies and the developed state that is the basis of national formation that is the current model of social and political structuring. The chiefdom, according to Carneiro (2003), was part of an evolutionary cultural development that started with bands of people, moved to tribes, then chiefdoms, which eventually ended with the state as the political culture in