Tuam (/ˈtjuːəm/ TEW-əm; Irish: Tuaim [ˈt̪ˠuəmʲ], meaning 'mound' or 'burial-place') is a town in Ireland and the second-largest settlement in County Galway. It is west of the midlands of Ireland, about 35 km (22 mi) north of Galway city. Humans have lived in the area since the Bronze Age while the historic period dates from the 6th century. The town became increasingly important in the 11th and 12th centuries in political and religious aspects of Ireland. The market-based layout of the town and square indicates the importance of commerce.