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The main Laynon Building of Queen's University is in the foreground.
The damp climate and extensive deforestation in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries resulted in much of the region being covered in rich green grassland.
The centerpiece of Northern Ireland's geography is Lough Neagh, at 151 square miles (392 square kilometers) the largest freshwater lake both on the island of Ireland and in the British Isles.
The principal crops were wheat, barley, oats, flax, and hay. Dwellings were built by the post-and-wattle technique, and some were situated within ring forts.
Each of the Five Fifths had its own king, although Ulster in the north was dominant at first.
There are substantial uplands in the Sperrin Mountains (an extension of the Caledonian fold mountains) with extensive gold deposits, granite Mourne Mountains, and basalt Antrim Plateau, as well as smaller ranges in South Armagh and along the Fermanagh–Tyrone border.
None of the hills are especially high, with Slieve Donard in the dramatic Mournes reaching 2782 feet, (848 meters), Northern Ireland's highest point. The whole of Northern Ireland has a temperate maritime climate, rather wetter in the west than the east, although cloud cover is persistent across the region.
Each king was surrounded by an aristocracy, with clearly defined land and property rights, and whose main wealth was in cattle.
Céilí, or clients supported greater landowners by tilling the soil and tending the cattle.
During the Ice Age, until about 9000 years ago, and most of Ireland was covered with ice.
Sea-levels were lower then, and Ireland, as with its neighbor Britain, instead of being islands, were part of a greater continental Europe.