Celtic Britain (The Iron Age 600 bc 50 ad)



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Celtic Britain (The Iron Age - 600 BC - 50 AD)






Who were Celts? Where did they come from?

The Iron Age (from 600 BC to 50 AC) is known as the age of the "Celts" in Britain. The Celts were a group of people that occupied lands from the British Isles to Gallatia and had many dealings with other cultures living there. The Celts were tribes of warriors who shared a similar language , culture and religion. It was politically convenient for the Celts to be considered as barbarians and the Romans as a great force. But history written by winners is always suspect. It isn’t correct to say that they invaded Britain. They gradually moved into the country between about 500 and 100 BC. Probably, there never was an organized Celtic invasion.




Who were Celts?
Where did they come from?

The Celts were a group of peoples that occupied lands from the British Isles to Gallatia. The Iron Age (from 600 BC to 50 AC) is the age of the "Celt" in Britain. The Celts had many dealings with other cultures that lived in the lands occupied by these peoples. The Celts were tribes of warriors who shared a similar language , culture and religion. It was a politically expedient for the Celtic peoples to be considered as barbarians and the Romans as a great force.
The history written by the winners is always suspect. Infact it isn’t correct to say that they invaded Britain. They gradually moved into the country between about 500 and 100 BC. There was probably never an organized Celtic invasion.



The advent of iron
The Celts also brought iron working to the British Isles. The use of iron had amazing effects. First, it changed trade and then it influenced local independence. Trade was essential during the Bronze age, not every area had the necessary minerals to make bronze. Iron, on the other hand, was quite cheap and easily available.


The advent of iron
They were also the people who brought iron working to the British Isles. The use of iron had amazing effects. First, it changed trade and influenced local independence. Trade was essential during the Bronze age, not every area had the necessary minerals to make bronze. Iron, on the other hand, was quite cheap and easly available.


Hill forts
The curious thing is that we don't know if hill forts were built by the native Britons to defend themselves, or by the Celts as they moved into hostile territory. There were often small ditches and banks surrounding the hilltops. Many of the hill forts were built on top of earlier causewayed camps.


Hill forts
The curious thing is that we don't know if the hill forts were built by the native Britons to defend themselves, or by the Celts as they moved into hostile territory. These were often small ditch and bank surrounding V hilltops. Many of the hill forts were built on top of earlier causewayed camps



Celtic family life
The basic unit of Celtic life was the clan, a sort of extended family. Clans were joined together with other clans to form some tribes, each with its own social structure, customs and possibly its own local gods.


Housing

The Celts lived in huts made of timber with walls of wicker and thatched roofs. The huts were generally joined in small villages. Each tribe had its own coinage system.



Housing
The Celts lived in huts made of timber with walls of wicker and thatched roofs. The huts were generally joined in small villages. In different places each tribe had its own coinage system.


Celtic family life
The basic unit of Celtic life was the clan, a sort of extended family. Clans were joined together with other clans to form some tribes, each with its own social structure, customs and possibly its own local gods.



Farming
The Celts were farmers when they weren't fighting. One of the most interesting innovations they brought to Britain was the iron plough, which made the cultivation of the soil easier. The iron ploughs constituted an agricultural revolution, for they made it possible for the first time to cultivate the rich valleys and lowland soils. In Britain it’s possible to see the long and narrow patterns of the Celtic fields.

Farming
The Celts were farmers when they weren't fighting. One of the interesting innovations they brought to Britain was the iron plough, which made the cultivation of the soil easier. The iron ploughs constituted an agricultural revolution, for they made it possible for the first time to cultivate the rich valley and lowland soils. In the Britain it’s possible to see the long and narrow pattern of the Celtic field.



The role of women
They were equal to men, could retain their own property and last but not least …could choose their own husbands! They could also be war leaders, as Boadicea, a warrior queen who fought against the Romans.

The role of women
They were equal to men, they could retained their own property and V could choose their own husbands, so they could choose the man they wanted to marry. They could also be war leaders, as Boadicea, a warrior queen who fought against the Romans.


Language
There is a written Celtic language, but it developed during the Christian times, so for much of Celtic history they relied on oral transmission of culture thanks to bards and poets. Much of what we know of their traditions comes to us today through the old tales and poems. After that they left some written testimonies too.

Language
There was a written Celtic language, but it developed during the Christian times, so for much of Celtic history they relied on oral transmission of culture thanks to bards and poets. Much of what we know of their traditions comes to us today through the old tales and poems. After that they left some written testimonies too.



Religion
From what we know of the Celts from Roman commentators, they celebrated many of their religious ceremonies in woods and near sacred water, such as wells and springs. The Romans speak of human sacrifice as a part of Celtic religion. One thing we do know, the Celts worshipped human heads. Celtic warriors would cut off the heads of their enemies in battle and show them as trophies. This might seem barbaric to us, but to the Celts the seat of spiritual power was the head that provided our main records of burials in earlier periods.


Religion
From what we know of the Celts from Roman commentators, they celebrated many of their religious ceremonies in woods and near sacred water, such as wells and springs. The Romans speak of human sacrifice as a part of Celtic religion. One thing we do know, the Celts worshipped human heads. Celtic warriors would cut off the heads of their enemies in battle and show them as trophies. This might seem barbaric to us, but to the Celts the seat of spiritual power was the head that provide our main records of burials in earlier periods.


The Celts at War
The Celts loved war. If there weren't any wars they'd be sure to start one. They arrayed themselves as fiercely as possible and screamed like banshees to terrify their enemies. The Celts were great users of light chariots in warfare. From this chariot, drawn by two horses, they would throw spears at an enemy. They also had a habit of dragging families and baggage along to their battles. They beheaded their opponents in battle and it was considered a sign of prowess and social standing to have a good number of heads to display.

The Celts at War
The Celts loved war. If there weren't any wars they'd be sure to start ones. They arrayed themselves as fiercely as possible and screaming like banshees to terrify their enemies. The Celts were great users of light chariots in warfare. From this chariot, drawn by two horses, they would throw spears at an enemy. They also had a habit of dragging families and baggage along to their battles. They beheaded their opponents in battle and it was considered a sign of prowess and social standing to have a goodly number of heads to display.









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