Presentation on theme: "Pre Roman Britain AKA:The Late Iron Age Late Prehistoric Britain Pre Invasion Britain Celtic Britain."— Presentation transcript:
Pre Roman Britain AKA:The Late Iron Age Late Prehistoric Britain Pre Invasion Britain Celtic Britain
‘An Age of Mystery’ Gaps in knowledge filled by romantic fantasies.
How we know anything. Archaeology: uncovering site plans, artefacts, habitation sites. Artefacts: objects that give an idea of how the people lived, what they could make, etc. Landscape studies: what the environment was like and how people could have lived in it.
Celtic Expansion 5 th century BC. Spread from central western Europe to the Balkans, Northern Italy, Spain, France, Germany and Britain. 387 BC Rome sacked by ‘Celts’.
Sacrifice or execution? The Lindow Bog body Body discovered in peat bog in 1963. High status: trimmed beard & nails. Last meal of porridge. Strangled – cord remained at his throat. Throat cut.
The culture of Status: Material evidence Finds from high- status burials show the trappings of power and belief. Jewellery. Weapons and armour. Food and drink. Tableware. Imported luxury items.
Trade with Rome develops: Hengistbury Head. Promontory on south coast nr Christchurch Harbour, Dorset. Land approach cut off by defensive ditches. Roman amphorae of the 1 st and 2 nd centuries BC.
Power relationships with Rome: The Lexden Tumulus, Colchester. High status burial. Roman amphorae and pottery. Amongst the items were a medallion of the emperor Augustus and a bronze portrait bust of the emperor Gaius.
The Waterloo Helmet and the Battersea Shield Both bronze. Decorated in Celtic style: spirals and abstract designs. Both dredged from the river Thames. Offering to the river gods? Limited defensive value: therefore status symbol?
Pre-Roman Britain Tribes. Warrior society. Agricultural. Few urban centres. Common language. Common religion. Common culture.
Isolationism ends: The landings of Julius Caesar 58 BC Caesar begins conquest of Gaul. 55 BC leads 2 legions to Britain. Southern tribes submit. 54 BC leads 5 legions to Britain. Oppidum stormed. Peace treaty signed.
What the Romans thought… ‘The stream of Oceanus, filled with large numbers of sea monsters, dashes against the shores of the distant Britons.’ (Horace) ‘The Britons, who are savage towards foreigners…’ (Horace) ‘Their customs are in some respects like those of the Gauls, in other respects simpler and more barbaric. They are also unskilled in horticulture or farming in general.’ (Strabo)