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British Iron Age

British Iron Age

Overview
The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron-Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 of the main island and the smaller islands, typically excluding prehistoric Ireland
Prehistoric Ireland
The prehistory of Ireland has been pieced together from archaeological and genetic evidence; it begins with the first evidence of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers settling in Ireland around 7000 BC and finishes with the start of the historical record, around AD 400. The prehistoric period covers the...

, and which had an independent Iron Age culture of its own. The parallel phase of Irish archaeology is termed the Irish Iron Age.
The Iron Age is not an archaeological horizon of common artefacts, but is rather a locally diverse cultural phase.

The British Iron Age lasted in theory from the first significant use of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 for tools and weapons in Britain to the Romanisation of the southern half of the island.
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Encyclopedia
The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron-Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 of the main island and the smaller islands, typically excluding prehistoric Ireland
Prehistoric Ireland
The prehistory of Ireland has been pieced together from archaeological and genetic evidence; it begins with the first evidence of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers settling in Ireland around 7000 BC and finishes with the start of the historical record, around AD 400. The prehistoric period covers the...

, and which had an independent Iron Age culture of its own. The parallel phase of Irish archaeology is termed the Irish Iron Age.
The Iron Age is not an archaeological horizon of common artefacts, but is rather a locally diverse cultural phase.

The British Iron Age lasted in theory from the first significant use of iron
Iron
Iron is a chemical element with the symbol Fe and atomic number 26. It is a metal in the first transition series. It is the most common element forming the planet Earth as a whole, forming much of Earth's outer and inner core. It is the fourth most common element in the Earth's crust...

 for tools and weapons in Britain to the Romanisation of the southern half of the island. The Romanised culture is termed Roman Britain
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 and is considered to supplant the British Iron Age. The Irish Iron Age was ended by the rise of Christianity
Celtic Christianity
Celtic Christianity or Insular Christianity refers broadly to certain features of Christianity that were common, or held to be common, across the Celtic-speaking world during the Early Middle Ages...

.

The tribes populating the island belonged to a broadly Celtic culture, termed Insular
Insular Celts
The Insular Celts are the speakers of Insular Celtic languages.-Pre-Celtic Britain:Little is known of the culture and language of pre-Celtic Britain, but remnants of the latter may remain in the names of some geographical features, such as the rivers Clyde, Tamar and Thames, whose etymology is...

 (as opposed to the non-insular Celtic cultures of continental Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 and Iberia
Celtiberians
The Celtiberians were Celtic-speaking people of the Iberian Peninsula in the final centuries BC. The group used the Celtic Celtiberian language.Archaeologically, the Celtiberians participated in the Hallstatt culture in what is now north-central Spain...

).
The Brythonic
Brythonic languages
The Brythonic or Brittonic languages form one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic language family, the other being Goidelic. The name Brythonic was derived by Welsh Celticist John Rhys from the Welsh word Brython, meaning an indigenous Briton as opposed to an Anglo-Saxon or Gael...

 and Goidelic
Goidelic languages
The Goidelic languages or Gaelic languages are one of the two branches of the Insular Celtic languages, the other consisting of the Brythonic languages. Goidelic languages historically formed a dialect continuum stretching from the south of Ireland through the Isle of Man to the north of Scotland...

 languages are recognised as forming the Insular Celtic
Insular Celtic languages
Insular Celtic languages are those Celtic languages that originated in the British Isles, in contrast to the Continental Celtic languages of mainland Europe and Anatolia. All surviving Celtic languages are from the Insular Celtic group; the Continental Celtic languages are extinct...

 subgroup of the Celtic languages
Celtic languages
The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic"; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family...

, "Celtic" being a linguistic term without an implication of a lasting cultural unity connecting Gaul with the British Isles throughout the Iron Age.

Periodisation


At present over 100 large-scale excavations of Iron Age sites have taken place, dating from the 8th century BC to the 1st century BC, and overlapping into the Bronze Age in the 8th century BC. Hundreds of radiocarbon dates
Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years. Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" ,...

 have been acquired and have been calibrated on four different curves, the most precise being based on tree ring
Dendrochronology
Dendrochronology or tree-ring dating is the scientific method of dating based on the analysis of patterns of tree-rings. Dendrochronology can date the time at which tree rings were formed, in many types of wood, to the exact calendar year...

 sequences.

The precision of the dates in this first millennium BC does not allow a periodisation based on the radiocarbon dates. The range of any one radiocarbon date varies by one Standard deviation
Standard deviation
Standard deviation is a widely used measure of variability or diversity used in statistics and probability theory. It shows how much variation or "dispersion" there is from the average...

; that is, there is a 68% probability of the historical date occurring within the range of a few hundred years. Many schemes have been proposed based on sequences of pottery and other artefacts. The following scheme summarises a comparative chart presented in a recent book by Barry Cunliffe
Barry Cunliffe
Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, CBE, known professionally as Barry Cunliffe is a former Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford, a position held from 1972 to 2007...

, but it should be noted that British artefacts were much later in adopting Continental styles such as the La Tène style of Celtic art
Celtic art
Celtic art is the art associated with the peoples known as Celts; those who spoke the Celtic languages in Europe from pre-history through to the modern period, as well as the art of ancient peoples whose language is uncertain, but have cultural and stylistic similarities with speakers of Celtic...

:
Earliest Iron Age 800-600 BC Parallel to Hallstatt C on the continent
Early Iron Age 600-400 BC Hallstat D and half of La Tène I
Middle Iron Age 400-100 BC The rest of La Tène I, all of II and half of III
Late Iron Age 100-50 BC The rest of La Tène III
Latest Iron Age 50 BC - AD 100
-


The end of the Iron Age extends into the early Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 under the theory that Romanisation required some time to effect. In parts of Britain that were not Romanised, such as Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

, the period is extended a little longer, say to the 5th century. The geographer closest to AD 100 is perhaps Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

. Pliny
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 and Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 are a bit older (and therefore a bit more contemporary), but Ptolemy gives the most detail (and the least theory).

Archaeological evidence



Attempts to understand the human behaviour of the period have traditionally focused on the geographic position of the islands and their landscape
Landscape
Landscape comprises the visible features of an area of land, including the physical elements of landforms such as mountains, hills, water bodies such as rivers, lakes, ponds and the sea, living elements of land cover including indigenous vegetation, human elements including different forms of...

, along with the channels of influence coming from continental Europe
Continental Europe
Continental Europe, also referred to as mainland Europe or simply the Continent, is the continent of Europe, explicitly excluding European islands....

.

During the later Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 there are indications of new ideas influencing land use
Land use
Land use is the human use of land. Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as fields, pastures, and settlements. It has also been defined as "the arrangements, activities and inputs people undertake in a certain land cover...

 and settlement. Extensive field systems, now called Celtic fields
Celtic fields
Celtic field is a popular name for the traces of early agricultural field systems found in North-West Europe, e.g. Belgium, Britain, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands. The name was given by O.G.S. Crawford. They are sometimes preserved in areas where industrial farming has not been adopted and...

, were being set out and settlements were becoming more permanent and focused on better exploitation of the land. The central organisation to undertake this had been present since the Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

 period but it was now targeted at economic and social
Social
The term social refers to a characteristic of living organisms...

 goals, such as taming the landscape rather than the building of large ceremonial structures like Stonehenge
Stonehenge
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in the English county of Wiltshire, about west of Amesbury and north of Salisbury. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks...

. Long ditches, some many miles in length, were dug with enclosures
Enclosure (archaeology)
In archaeology, an enclosure is one of the most common types of archaeological site. It is any area of land separated from surrounding land by earthworks, walls or fencing. Such a simple feature is found all over the world and during almost all archaeological periods...

 placed at their ends. These are thought to indicate territorial border
Border
Borders define geographic boundaries of political entities or legal jurisdictions, such as governments, sovereign states, federated states and other subnational entities. Some borders—such as a state's internal administrative borders, or inter-state borders within the Schengen Area—are open and...

s and a desire to increase control over wide areas.

By the 8th century BC, there is increasing evidence of Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 becoming closely tied to continental Europe, especially in Britain's South and East. New weapon types appeared with clear parallels to those on the continent such as the Carp's tongue sword, complex examples of which are found all over Atlantic Europe
Atlantic Europe
Atlantic Europe is a geographical and anthropological term for the western portion of Europe which borders the Atlantic Ocean. The term may refer to the idea of Atlantic Europe as a cultural unit and/or as an biogeographical region....

. Phoenicia
Phoenicia
Phoenicia , was an ancient civilization in Canaan which covered most of the western, coastal part of the Fertile Crescent. Several major Phoenician cities were built on the coastline of the Mediterranean. It was an enterprising maritime trading culture that spread across the Mediterranean from 1550...

n traders probably began visiting Great Britain in search of minerals around this time, bringing with them goods from the Mediterranean. At the same time, Northern European artefact types reached Eastern Great Britain in large quantities from across the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

. Within this context, the climate
Climate of the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom straddles the geographic mid-latitudes between 50-60 N from the equator. It is also positioned on the western seaboard of Eurasia, the world's largest land mass. These boundary conditions allow convergence between moist maritime air and dry continental air...

 became considerably wetter, forcing Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 farmsteads that had grown on lowland areas to relocate to upland sites.

Defensive structures dating from this time are often impressive, for example the broch
Broch
A broch is an Iron Age drystone hollow-walled structure of a type found only in Scotland. Brochs include some of the most sophisticated examples of drystone architecture ever created, and belong to the classification "complex Atlantic Roundhouse" devised by Scottish archaeologists in the 1980s....

s of Northern Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and the hill fort
Hill fort
A hill fort is a type of earthworks used as a fortified refuge or defended settlement, located to exploit a rise in elevation for defensive advantage. They are typically European and of the Bronze and Iron Ages. Some were used in the post-Roman period...

s that dotted the rest of the islands. Some of the most well-known hill forts include Maiden Castle, Dorset
Maiden Castle, Dorset
Maiden Castle is an Iron Age hill fort south west of Dorchester, in the English county of Dorset. Hill forts were fortified hill-top settlements constructed across Britain during the Iron Age...

, Cadbury Castle, Somerset
Cadbury Castle, Somerset
Cadbury Castle is an Iron Age hill fort in the civil parish of South Cadbury in the English county of Somerset. It is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and associated with King Arthur.-Background:...

 and Danebury
Danebury
Danebury is an Iron Age hill fort in Hampshire in England, about north-west of Winchester . The site, covering , was excavated by Barry Cunliffe in the 1970s...

, Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

. Hill forts first appeared in Wessex
Wessex
The Kingdom of Wessex or Kingdom of the West Saxons was an Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the West Saxons, in South West England, from the 6th century, until the emergence of a united English state in the 10th century, under the Wessex dynasty. It was to be an earldom after Canute the Great's conquest...

 in the Late Bronze Age, but only become common in the period between 550 and 400 BCE. The earliest were of a simple univallate form, and often connected with earlier enclosures attached to the long ditch systems. Few hill forts have been substantially excavated in the modern era, Danebury being a notable exception, with 49% of its total surface area studied. However, it appears that these "forts" were also used for domestic purposes, with examples of food storage, industry and occupation being found within their earthworks. On the other hand, they may have been only occupied intermittently as it is difficult to reconcile permanently occupied hill forts with the lowland farmsteads and their roundhouse
Roundhouse (dwelling)
The roundhouse is a type of house with a circular plan, originally built in western Europe before the Roman occupation using walls made either of stone or of wooden posts joined by wattle-and-daub panels and a conical thatched roof. Roundhouses ranged in size from less than 5m in diameter to over 15m...

s found during the 20th century, such as at Little Woodbury
Little Woodbury
Little Woodbury is the name of an important Iron Age archaeological site near Salisbury in the English county of Wiltshire.It was partially excavated between 1938 and 1939 by Gerhard Bersu, a German archaeologist who introduced the revolutionary approaches he had developed in continental Europe...

 and Rispain Camp
Rispain Camp
Rispain Camp is the remains of a fortified farmstead 1 mile west of Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. It is one of the major Iron Age archaeological sites in Scotland....

. Many hill forts are not in fact "forts" at all, and demonstrate little or no evidence of occupation.

The development of hill forts may have occurred due to greater tensions that arose between the better structured and more populous social groups. Alternatively, there are suggestions that, in the latter phases of the Iron Age, these structures simply indicate a greater accumulation of wealth and a higher standard of living, although any such shift is invisible in the archaeological record for the Middle Iron Age, when hill forts come into their own. In this regard, they may have served as wider centres used for markets and social contact. Either way, during the Roman occupation
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

 the evidence suggests that, as defensive structures, they proved to be of little use against concerted Roman attack. Suetonius comments that Vespasian captured more than twenty "towns" during a campaign in the West Country in 43 CE, and there is some evidence of violence from the hill forts of Hod Hill and Maiden Castle in Dorset from this period. Some hill forts continued as settlements for the newly conquered Britons. Some were also reused by later cultures, such as the Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

, in the early Medieval period.

Demography


The Roman historian Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

 described the Britons as being descended from people who had arrived from the continent, comparing the Caledonians
Caledonians
The Caledonians , or Caledonian Confederacy, is a name given by historians to a group of indigenous peoples of what is now Scotland during the Iron Age and Roman eras. The Romans referred to their territory as Caledonia and initially included them as Britons, but later distinguished as the Picts...

 (in modern-day Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

) to their Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 neighbours; the Silures
Silures
The Silures were a powerful and warlike tribe of ancient Britain, occupying approximately the counties of Monmouthshire, Breconshire and Glamorganshire of present day South Wales; and possibly Gloucestershire and Herefordshire of present day England...

 of Southern Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 to Iberia
Iberians
The Iberians were a set of peoples that Greek and Roman sources identified with that name in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula at least from the 6th century BC...

n settlers; and the inhabitants of Southeast Britannia
Roman Britain
Roman Britain was the part of the island of Great Britain controlled by the Roman Empire from AD 43 until ca. AD 410.The Romans referred to the imperial province as Britannia, which eventually comprised all of the island of Great Britain south of the fluid frontier with Caledonia...

to Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

ish tribes. This migrationist
Migrationism
Migrationism is an approach to explaining changes in past societies based on the theory that movements of people from one region to another can account for changes in the culture of the second region....

 view long informed later views of the origins of the British Iron Age and, indeed, the making of the modern nations. Linguistic
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 evidence inferred from the surviving Celtic languages
Celtic languages
The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic"; a branch of the greater Indo-European language family...

 in Northern and Western Great Britain at first appeared to support this idea, and the changes in material culture which archaeologists observed during later prehistory
Prehistory
Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history. Prehistory can refer to the period of human existence before the availability of those written records with which recorded history begins. More broadly, it refers to all the time preceding human existence and the invention of writing...

 were routinely ascribed to a new wave of invaders.

By the 1960s, however, this view had fallen from favour as it was argued that changes in language and artefact types could not necessarily be attributed to large, long distance population movements. Ideas can be transported more easily than people and can account for many changes in the archaeological record not otherwise explained, as well as for the presence of the Celtic languages in Britain. The numerous finds of swords and other weaponry were originally attributed to a warlike society but are now often also, or instead, interpreted as items of social status, perhaps given as diplomatic gifts between tribes.

There was certainly a large migration of people from Central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 westwards during the early Iron Age but that people from this movement actually reached Britain in significant enough numbers to constitute an invasion is now a minority view among archaeologists. The arrival in Southern Britain of the Belgae
Belgae
The Belgae were a group of tribes living in northern Gaul, on the west bank of the Rhine, in the 3rd century BC, and later also in Britain, and possibly even Ireland...

 from the end of the 2nd century BCE however is still widely considered an invasion, as it is attested in Caesar's Commentaries on the Gallic War, although depending on the interpretation of Aylesford-Swarling pottery it may be invisible in the archaeological record.

Although this invasionist approach has been widely discarded, it is important not to overlook the fact that exchanges with the continent were a defining aspect of the British Iron Age, and limited movement of people from Gaul into Britain and vice versa throughout the Iron Age is a very reasonable possibility.

Population estimates vary but the number of people in Iron Age Great Britain could have been three or four million by the first century BCE, with most concentrated densely in the agricultural lands of the South. Settlement density and a land shortage may have contributed to rising tensions during the period. The population pyramid for Iron Age Britain would have been a classic pyramid in shape, with no significant number of people older than fifty years. The average life expectancy at birth would have been around 25, but at the age of five it would have been around 30. These figures would be slightly lower for women, and slightly higher for men throughout the Middle Iron Age in most areas, on account of the high mortality rate of young women during childbirth; however, the average age for the two sexes would be roughly equal for the Late Iron Age. This interpretation depends on the view that warfare and social strife increased in the Late Iron Age, which seems to be fairly well attested in the archaeological record, for Southern Britain at least.

Early in the Iron Age, the widespread Wessex pottery of Southern Britain, such as the type style from All Cannings Cross
All Cannings Cross
All Cannings Cross is the name of farm and an archaeological site close to All Cannings near Devizes in the English county of Wiltshire.It is famous as being the first site where the emergence of iron age technology in Britain was identified by archaeologists...

, may suggest a consolidated socio-economic group in the region. However, by 600 BC this appears to have broken down into differing sub-groups with their own pottery styles. Between c. 400 and 100 BCE there is evidence of emerging regional identities and a significant population increase.

Ptolemy's Albion


Claudius Ptolemy described Britain at the beginning of Roman rule but incorporated material from earlier sources. Although the name "Pretanic Isles" had been known since the voyage of Pytheas
Pytheas
Pytheas of Massalia or Massilia , was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony, Massalia . He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe at about 325 BC. He travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain...

 and "Britannia
Britannia
Britannia is an ancient term for Great Britain, and also a female personification of the island. The name is Latin, and derives from the Greek form Prettanike or Brettaniai, which originally designated a collection of islands with individual names, including Albion or Great Britain. However, by the...

" was in use by Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

 and Pliny, Ptolemy used the earlier "Albion
Albion
Albion is the oldest known name of the island of Great Britain. Today, it is still sometimes used poetically to refer to the island or England in particular. It is also the basis of the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, Alba...

," known to have been used as early as the Massaliote Periplus
Massaliote Periplus
The Massaliote Periplus or Massaliot Periplus is the name of a now-lost merchants' handbook possibly dating to as early as the 6th century BC describing the sea routes used by traders from Phoenicia and Tartessus in their journeys around Iron Age Europe...

.

Iron Age beliefs in Britain



The Romans described a variety of deities worshipped by the people of Northwestern Europe. Barry Cunliffe
Barry Cunliffe
Sir Barrington Windsor Cunliffe, CBE, known professionally as Barry Cunliffe is a former Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford, a position held from 1972 to 2007...

 perceives a division between one group of gods relating to masculinity, the sky and individual tribes and a second, female group of goddesses relating to associations with fertility, the earth and a universality that transcended tribal differences. Wells and springs had female, divine links exemplified by the goddess Sulis
Sulis
In localised Celtic polytheism practised in Britain, Sulis was a deity worshipped at the thermal spring of Bath . She was worshipped by the Romano-British as Sulis Minerva, whose votive objects and inscribed lead tablets suggest that she was conceived of both as a nourishing, life-giving mother...

 worshipped at Bath. In Tacitus
Tacitus
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the Roman Emperors Tiberius, Claudius, Nero and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors...

' Agricola
Agricola (book)
The Agricola is a book by the Roman historian Tacitus, written c 98, which recounts the life of his father-in-law Gnaeus Julius Agricola, an eminent Roman general. It also covers, briefly, the geography and ethnography of ancient Britain...

 (2.21), he notes the similarity between both religious and ritual practices of the pre-Roman British and the Gauls.

Religious practices revolved around offerings and sacrifices, sometimes human but more often involving the ritual slaughter of animals or the deposition of metalwork, especially war booty. Weapons and horse trappings have been found in the bog at Llyn Cerrig Bach
Llyn Cerrig Bach
Llyn Cerrig Bach is a small lake in the north-west of the island of Anglesey, Wales. Its main claim to fame is the large hoard of Iron Age materials discovered there in 1942, apparently placed in the lake as votive offerings...

 on Anglesey
Anglesey
Anglesey , also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn , is an island and, as Isle of Anglesey, a county off the north west coast of Wales...

 and are interpreted as votive offering
Votive offering
A votive deposit or votive offering is one or more objects displayed or deposited, without the intention of recovery or use, in a sacred place for broadly religious purposes. Such items are a feature of modern and ancient societies and are generally made in order to gain favor with supernatural...

s cast into a lake. Numerous weapons have also been recovered from rivers, especially the Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

, but also the Trent
River Trent
The River Trent is one of the major rivers of England. Its source is in Staffordshire on the southern edge of Biddulph Moor. It flows through the Midlands until it joins the River Ouse at Trent Falls to form the Humber Estuary, which empties into the North Sea below Hull and Immingham.The Trent...

 and Tyne
River Tyne
The River Tyne is a river in North East England in Great Britain. It is formed by the confluence of two rivers: the North Tyne and the South Tyne. These two rivers converge at Warden Rock near Hexham in Northumberland at a place dubbed 'The Meeting of the Waters'.The North Tyne rises on the...

. Some buried hoard
Hoard
In archaeology, a hoard is a collection of valuable objects or artifacts, sometimes purposely buried in the ground. This would usually be with the intention of later recovery by the hoarder; hoarders sometimes died before retrieving the hoard, and these surviving hoards may be uncovered by...

s of jewellery are interpreted as gifts to the earth gods.

Disused grain storage pits and the ends of ditches have also produced what appear to be deliberately placed deposits, including a preference for burials of horses, dogs and ravens. The bodies were often mutilated and some human finds at the bottom of pits, such as those found at Danebury
Danebury
Danebury is an Iron Age hill fort in Hampshire in England, about north-west of Winchester . The site, covering , was excavated by Barry Cunliffe in the 1970s...

, may have had a ritual aspect.

Caesar's texts tell us that the priests of Britain were Druid
Druid
A druid was a member of the priestly class in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul, and possibly other parts of Celtic western Europe, during the Iron Age....

s, a religious elite with considerable holy and secular powers. Great Britain appears to have been the seat of the Druidic religion and Tacitus' account of the later raid on Anglesey led by Suetonius Paulinus gives some indication of its nature. No archaeological evidence survives of Druidry, although a number of burials made with ritual trappings and found in Kent
Kent
Kent is a county in southeast England, and is one of the home counties. It borders East Sussex, Surrey and Greater London and has a defined boundary with Essex in the middle of the Thames Estuary. The ceremonial county boundaries of Kent include the shire county of Kent and the unitary borough of...

 may suggest a religious character to the subjects.

Overall, the traditional view is that religion was practised in natural settings in the open air. However, several sites interpreted as Iron Age shrines seem to contradict this view which may derive from Victorian and later Celtic romanticism. Sites such as at Hayling Island
Hayling Island
-Leisure activities:Although largely residential, Hayling is also a holiday, windsurfing and sailing centre, the site where windsurfing was invented....

 in Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

 and that found during construction work at Heathrow airport are interpreted as purpose-built shrines. The Hayling Island example was a circular wooden building set within a rectangular precinct and was rebuilt in stone as a Romano-British
Romano-British
Romano-British culture describes the culture that arose in Britain under the Roman Empire following the Roman conquest of AD 43 and the creation of the province of Britannia. It arose as a fusion of the imported Roman culture with that of the indigenous Britons, a people of Celtic language and...

 temple in the 1st century AD to the same plan. The Heathrow temple was a small cella
Cella
A cella or naos , is the inner chamber of a temple in classical architecture, or a shop facing the street in domestic Roman architecture...

 surrounded by a ring of posthole
Posthole
In archaeology a posthole is a cut feature used to hold a surface timber or stone. They are usually much deeper than they are wide although truncation may not make this apparent....

s thought to have formed an ambulatory
Ambulatory
The ambulatory is the covered passage around a cloister. The term is sometimes applied to the procession way around the east end of a cathedral or large church and behind the high altar....

 which is very similar to Romano-Celtic temples found elsewhere in Europe. A rectangular structure at Danebury
Danebury
Danebury is an Iron Age hill fort in Hampshire in England, about north-west of Winchester . The site, covering , was excavated by Barry Cunliffe in the 1970s...

 and a sequence of six-poster structures overlooking calf burials and culminating in a trench-founded rectangular structure at Cadbury Castle
Cadbury Castle
Cadbury Castle may refer to:*Cadbury Castle, Devon, an Iron Age hill fort*Cadbury Castle, Somerset, an Iron Age hill fort...

, Somerset, have been similarly interpreted. An example at Sigwells, overlooking Cadbury Castle, was associated with metalwork and whole and partial animal burials to its east. However, evidence of an open air shrine was found at Hallaton
Hallaton
Hallaton is a village and civil parish in the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 523....

, Leicestershire. Here, a collection of objects known as the Hallaton Treasure
Hallaton Treasure
The Hallaton Treasure, the largest hoard of British Iron Age coins, was discovered in 2000 near Hallaton in southeast Leicestershire, England, by volunteers from the Hallaton Fieldwork Group...

 (previously known as the Southeast Leicestershire Treasure) were buried in a ditch in the early 1st century AD. The only structural evidence was a wooden palisade built in the ditch.

Death in Iron Age Great Britain seems to have produced different behaviours in different regions. Cremation was a common method of disposing of the dead, although the chariot burial
Chariot burial
Chariot burials are tombs in which the deceased was buried together with his chariot, usually including his horses and other possessions....

s and other inhumations of the Arras culture
Arras Culture
The Arras culture is an archaeological culture of the Middle Iron Age in East Yorkshire It takes its name from the cemetery site of Arras near Market Weighton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which was discovered in the 19th century...

 of East Yorkshire, and the cist burials of Cornwall, demonstrate that it was not ubiquitous. In fact, the general dearth of excavated Iron Age burials makes drawing conclusions difficult. Excarnation
Excarnation
In archaeology and anthropology, the term, excarnation , refers to the burial practice of removing the flesh and organs of the dead, leaving only the bones....

 has been suggested as a reason for the lack of burial evidence with the remains of the dead being dispersed either naturally or through human agency.

The Economy of Iron Age Britain


Trade links developed in the Bronze Age and beforehand provided Great Britain with numerous examples of continental craftsmanship. Swords especially were imported, copied and often improved upon by the natives. Early in the period, Hallstatt
Hallstatt
Hallstatt, Upper Austria is a village in the Salzkammergut, a region in Austria. It is located near the Hallstätter See . At the 2001 census it had 946 inhabitants...

 slashing swords and daggers were a significant import although, by the mid 6th century, the volume of goods arriving seems to have declined, possibly due to more profitable trade centres appearing in the Mediterranean. La Tène culture
La Tène culture
The La Tène culture was a European Iron Age culture named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel in Switzerland, where a rich cache of artifacts was discovered by Hansli Kopp in 1857....

 items (usually associated with the Celt
Celt
The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Roman-era Europe who spoke Celtic languages.The earliest archaeological culture commonly accepted as Celtic, or rather Proto-Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture , named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria....

s) appeared in later centuries and, again, these were adopted and adapted with alacrity by the locals.

There also appears to have been a collapse in the bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 trade during the early Iron Age, which can be viewed in three ways:

1. Steady Transition; the development of iron parallel to a diminishing bronze system.

2. Rapid Abandonment; iron undermines bronze and takes over its social function.

3. Bronze Crisis; severe reduction in the supply of bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 allows the iron to replace it.

With regard to animal husbandry, cattle represented a significant investment in pre-Roman Britain as they could be used as a source of portable wealth, as well as providing useful domestic by-products such as milk, cheese and leather. In the Later Iron Age, an apparent shift is visible, revealing a change in dominance from cattle rearing to that of sheep. Economically, sheep are significantly less labour intensive, requiring fewer people per animal.

Whilst cattle and sheep dominate the osteo-archaeological record, evidence for pig, ox, dog and, rarely, chicken is widely represented. Interestingly, there is generally an absence from environmental remains of hunted game and wild species as well as fresh and sea water species, even in coastal communities.

A key commodity of the Iron Age was salt, used for preservation and the supplementation of diet. Whilst difficult to find archaeologically, some evidence does exist. Salterns, in which sea water was boiled to produce salt, are prevalent in the East Anglia
East Anglia
East Anglia is a traditional name for a region of eastern England, named after an ancient Anglo-Saxon kingdom, the Kingdom of the East Angles. The Angles took their name from their homeland Angeln, in northern Germany. East Anglia initially consisted of Norfolk and Suffolk, but upon the marriage of...

 fenlands. Additionally, Morris notes that some salt trading networks spanned over 75 km.

Representing an important political and economic medium, the vast number of Iron Age coins
Celtic coinage
Celtic coinage refers to the coins minted by the Celts from the late 4th century BC to the late 1st century BC. Celtic coinage was influenced by trade with and the supply of mercenaries to the Greeks, and initially copied Greek designs, especially Macedonian coins from the time of Philip II of...

 found in Great Britain are of great archaeological value. Some, such as gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 stater
Stater
The stater was an ancient coin used in various regions of Greece.-History:The stater is mostly of Macedonian origin. Celtic tribes brought it in to Europe after using it as mercenaries in north Greece. It circulated from the 8th century BC to 50 AD...

s, were imported from mainland Europe. Others, such as the cast bronze (potin) coins of Southeast England, are clearly influenced by Roman originals. The British tribal kings also adopted the continental habit of putting their names on the coins they had minted, with such examples as Tasciovanus from Verulamium
Verulamium
Verulamium was an ancient town in Roman Britain. It was sited in the southwest of the modern city of St Albans in Hertfordshire, Great Britain. A large portion of the Roman city remains unexcavated, being now park and agricultural land, though much has been built upon...

 and Cunobelinos from Camelodunum identifying regional differentiation. Hoard
Hoard
In archaeology, a hoard is a collection of valuable objects or artifacts, sometimes purposely buried in the ground. This would usually be with the intention of later recovery by the hoarder; hoarders sometimes died before retrieving the hoard, and these surviving hoards may be uncovered by...

s of Iron Age coins include the Silsden Hoard
Silsden Hoard
The Silsden Hoard is an assemblage containing 27 gold coins of late British Iron Age date and a Roman finger ring.-Discovery:The hoard was discovered in 1998 by Jeff Walbank using a metal detector in a field at Silsden in West Yorkshire, England. The hoard was declared to be treasure before being...

 in West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire
West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972....

 found in 1998. A large collection of coins, known as the Hallaton Treasure
Hallaton Treasure
The Hallaton Treasure, the largest hoard of British Iron Age coins, was discovered in 2000 near Hallaton in southeast Leicestershire, England, by volunteers from the Hallaton Fieldwork Group...

, was found at a Late Iron Age shrine near Hallaton
Hallaton
Hallaton is a village and civil parish in the Harborough district of Leicestershire, England. According to the 2001 census the parish had a population of 523....

, Leicestershire
Leicestershire
Leicestershire is a landlocked county in the English Midlands. It takes its name from the heavily populated City of Leicester, traditionally its administrative centre, although the City of Leicester unitary authority is today administered separately from the rest of Leicestershire...

 in 2000 and consisted of 5294 coins, mostly attributed to the Corieltavi tribe. These were buried in 14 separate hoards over several decades in the early 1st century AD.

The expansion of the economy throughout the period, but especially in the later Iron Age, is in large part a reflection of key changes in the expression of social and economic status.

Trade in the Early and Middle Iron Age


The Early Iron Age saw a substantial number of goods belonging to the Hallstatt culture imported from the continent, and these came to have a major effect on Middle Iron Age native art. However, throughout most of the Middle Iron Age, trade with the continent basically dried up; there is no evidence for large-scale commerce whatsoever, which must have been as a result of the social circumstances in Southern Britain at the time: trade brought wealth to a small group, and wealth brought power. Thus it was avoided among the egalitarian tribes of the Middle Iron Age of the hillfort zone.

Trade in the Late Iron Age


From the late 2nd century BC onwards South-central Britain was indirectly linked into Roman trading networks via Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

 and the Atlantic seaways to southwest France. Hengistbury Head
Hengistbury Head
Hengistbury Head is a headland jutting into the English Channel between Bournemouth and Milford on Sea in the English county of Dorset.At the end is a spit which creates the narrow entrance to Christchurch Harbour.-Location:...

 in Dorset
Dorset
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...

 was the most important trading site and large quantities of Italian wine amphora
Amphora
An amphora is a type of vase-shaped, usually ceramic container with two handles and a long neck narrower than the body...

e have been found there. These Atlantic trade networks were heavily disrupted following Julius Caesar’s
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

 conquest of Brittany in the 50s BC. This fact may support a supposition that the Celts of Britain had an economic interest in supporting their Gallic brethren in their resistance to Roman occupation.

In Southeast Britain, meanwhile, extensive contact with the ‘Belgic’
Belgae
The Belgae were a group of tribes living in northern Gaul, on the west bank of the Rhine, in the 3rd century BC, and later also in Britain, and possibly even Ireland...

 tribes of Northern France is evidenced by large numbers of imported Gallo-Belgic gold coins between the mid-2nd century BC and Caesar’s conquest of Gaul
Gallic Wars
The Gallic Wars were a series of military campaigns waged by the Roman proconsul Julius Caesar against several Gallic tribes. They lasted from 58 BC to 51 BC. The Gallic Wars culminated in the decisive Battle of Alesia in 52 BC, in which a complete Roman victory resulted in the expansion of the...

 in the 50s BC. These coins probably did not principally move through trade. In the past, the emmigration of Belgic peoples to Southeast Britain has been cited as an explanation for their appearance in that region. However, recent work suggests that their presence in Southeast Britain may have occurred due to a kind of political and social patronage that was paid by the North French groups in exchange for obtaining aid from their British counterparts in their warfare with the Romans on the Continent.

After Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, a thriving trade developed between Southeast Britain and the near Continent. This is archaeologically evidenced through imports of wine and olive oil amphorae and mass-produced Gallo-Belgic pottery
Ancient Roman pottery
Pottery was produced in enormous quantities in ancient Rome, mostly for utilitarian purposes. It is found all over the former Roman Empire and beyond...

. Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

, writing in the early 1st century AD, lists ivory chains and necklaces, amber gems, glass vessels
Roman glass
Roman glass objects have been recovered across the Roman Empire in domestic, industrial and funerary contexts. Glass was used primarily for the production of vessels, although mosaic tiles and window glass were also produced. Roman glass production developed from Hellenistic technical traditions,...

, and other petty wares, as articles imported to Britain, whilst he recorded the island's exports as grain, cattle, gold, silver, iron, hides, slaves and hunting dogs. This trade probably thrived as a result of political links and client kingship
Roman client kingdoms in Britain
The Roman client kingdoms in Britain were native tribes who chose to align themselves with the Roman Empire because they saw it as the best option for self-preservation or for protection from other hostile tribes...

 relationships that developed between groups in Southeast Britain and the Roman world.

The end of Iron Age Britain



Historically speaking, the Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 in Southern Great Britain ended with the Roman invasion. Clearly the native societies were not instantaneously changed into toga
Toga
The toga, a distinctive garment of Ancient Rome, was a cloth of perhaps 20 ft in length which was wrapped around the body and was generally worn over a tunic. The toga was made of wool, and the tunic under it often was made of linen. After the 2nd century BC, the toga was a garment worn...

-wearing, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

-speaking provincials, though some relatively quick change is evident archaeologically. For example, the Romano-Celtic shrine in Hayling Island
Hayling Island
-Leisure activities:Although largely residential, Hayling is also a holiday, windsurfing and sailing centre, the site where windsurfing was invented....

, Hampshire
Hampshire
Hampshire is a county on the southern coast of England in the United Kingdom. The county town of Hampshire is Winchester, a historic cathedral city that was once the capital of England. Hampshire is notable for housing the original birthplaces of the Royal Navy, British Army, and Royal Air Force...

 was constructed in the AD 60's–70's, whilst Agricola
Gnaeus Julius Agricola
Gnaeus Julius Agricola was a Roman general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain. His biography, the De vita et moribus Iulii Agricolae, was the first published work of his son-in-law, the historian Tacitus, and is the source for most of what is known about him.Born to a noted...

 was still campaigning in Northern Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 (mostly in what is now Scotland
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

), and on top of an Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 ritual site. Rectilinear stone structures, indicative of a change in housing to the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 style are visible from the mid to late 1st century AD at Brixworth
Brixworth
Brixworth is a village and civil parish in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire, England. The 2001 census recorded a parish population of 5,162. The village is particularly notable for All Saints' Church, Brixworth, its historic Anglo-Saxon church....

 and Quinton
Quinton
Quinton may refer to:*Quinton Andrews, American football player*Anthony Quinton, a philosopher*A. R. Quinton, an English watercolour artist*Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, an American Mixed Martial Artist*René Quinton, a French naturalist...

.

In areas where Roman rule was not strong or was non-existent, Iron Age beliefs and practices remained, but not without at least marginal levels of Roman, or Romano-British influence. The survival of place names, such as Camulodunum
Camulodunum
Camulodunum is the Roman name for the ancient settlement which is today's Colchester, a town in Essex, England. Camulodunum is claimed to be the oldest town in Britain as recorded by the Romans, existing as a Celtic settlement before the Roman conquest, when it became the first Roman town, and...

(Colchester
Colchester
Colchester is an historic town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in Essex, England.At the time of the census in 2001, it had a population of 104,390. However, the population is rapidly increasing, and has been named as one of Britain's fastest growing towns. As the...

), and which derive from the native language, is evidence of this.

Further reading

  • Collis, J.R., 2003, The Celts, origins, myths, inventions Stroud: Tempus
  • Haselgrove, C., 2001, Iron Age Britain in its European Setting, in Collis, J.R. (ed) Settlement and Society in Iron Age Europe, Sheffield: Sheffield Archaeological Monograph 11, pp37–73
  • Haselgrove, C. and Moore, T., 2007, The later Iron Age in Britain and beyond, Oxford: Oxbow
  • Pryor, F., 2003, Britain, BC; life in Britain and Ireland before the Romans, London: Harper Collins, chapters 11-12
  • Hill, J.D., 1995, Ritual and Rubbish in the Iron Age of Wessex BAR British Series 242

See also

  • Iron Age tribes in Britain
    Iron Age tribes in Britain
    The names of the Iron Age tribes in Britain were recorded by Roman and Greek historians and geographers, especially Ptolemy, although information from the distribution of Celtic coins has also shed light on the extents of the territories of the various groups that occupied the island.It is...

  • Celtic coinage
    Celtic coinage
    Celtic coinage refers to the coins minted by the Celts from the late 4th century BC to the late 1st century BC. Celtic coinage was influenced by trade with and the supply of mercenaries to the Greeks, and initially copied Greek designs, especially Macedonian coins from the time of Philip II of...

  • Massaliote Periplus
    Massaliote Periplus
    The Massaliote Periplus or Massaliot Periplus is the name of a now-lost merchants' handbook possibly dating to as early as the 6th century BC describing the sea routes used by traders from Phoenicia and Tartessus in their journeys around Iron Age Europe...

  • Pytheas
    Pytheas
    Pytheas of Massalia or Massilia , was a Greek geographer and explorer from the Greek colony, Massalia . He made a voyage of exploration to northwestern Europe at about 325 BC. He travelled around and visited a considerable part of Great Britain...

  • Ulaid
    Ulaid
    The Ulaid or Ulaidh were a people of early Ireland who gave their name to the modern province of Ulster...

  • Eston Nab
    Eston Nab
    Eston Nab is a local landmark to those who live along the River Tees, in north-east England.A nab is a rocky promontory, or outcrop, and Eston Nab, marking the highest point – at - on the escarpment which forms Eston Hills, appears as a clear sandstone cliff on the northernmost edge of Eston Moor...

     Evidence of Bronze Age and Iron Age settlements.
  • Living in the Past
    Living in the Past (TV series)
    Living in the Past was a fly on the wall documentary programme aired by the BBC in 1978 which followed a group of 15 young volunteers recreating an Iron Age settlement, where they sustained themselves for a year, equipped only with the tools, crops and livestock that would have been available in...

    , a 1978 BBC TV project whch attempted to re-create life in an English Iron Age village.