Evidence As To Dates Of Finds Of Objects Of The Early Iron Age In Great Britain

The finds of objects of the Early Iron Age to which an approximate date can be assigned are as follows:—

(1) Finds associated with burials of a particular kind.

(2) Finds associated with objects of the Bronze Age.

(3) Finds associated with objects of early Hallstatt type.

1 i.e. have from four to ten localities where Late-Celtic finds have been made.

(4) Finds associated with fibula; or other objects of La Tene type.

(5) Finds of objects associated with imported articles of Gra?co-Italic fabric.

(6) Finds of objects associated with Ancient British coins.

(7) Finds of objects, (a) on Romano-British inhabited or fortified sites, (b) associated with Roman coins, and (r) associated with articles of Roman manufacture.

There are at least three different methods of burial characteristic of the Late-Celtic period in Great Britain.

(1) Uncremated burials in excavated graves beneath barrows in which the. deceased is generally found with his chariot and horses, as at Arras, Yorkshire.

(2I Cremated burials in pits without any exterior mound, the ashes being contained in cinerary urns and the burials in groups, as at Aylesford, Kent.

(3) Uncremated burials in graves formed of slabs of stone placed on edge, without any exterior mound, as at Birdlip, Gloucestershire.

The first class of burials correspond with those at Berru and Gorge-MeiHet, Department of the Marne, and probably belong to the same period as these earlier Gaulish interments which, from the associated Greek and Etruscan relics,1 are known on the Continent to belong to the third, fourth, and fifth centuries B.C.2

The second, or Aylesford urn field type of burial, is dated by associated vessels of Italo-Greek fabric at from 200 to 150 B.C.®

Implements of the Bronze Age have been occasionally discovered with objects of Late-Celtic character, as at

1 Such as the Grsecwyl bronze vase now in the Berne Museum; the bronze csnnchpe and Etruscan cup from Somme-Bionne (Marne); and the two-handled eup from Rodcnbach, Bavaria (described and illustrated In A. Bertrand's ArchMogie C.eltique et Gauloise, pp. 328 to 347;.

2 Arthur Evans in A rrhcrologia, vol. lii., p. 72.

Hagbourn Hill,1 Berks, where a Late-Celtic bridle-bit and harness-rings were associated with some small spear-heads and a socketed celt; and at Ilounslow,2 Middlesex, where three figures of boars and two of other animals were found with celts and gouges of the Bronze Age.

LTp to the present time, nu specimen has yet been found ;n this country of the great iron sword of Hallstatt type, with its massive ivory handle encrusted with amber.3 Of the smaller Ilallstatt sword with an iron blade and a bronze handle, having antenns>-like projections at the top,'1 one specimen from the Thames is to be seen in the British Museum, and there are about half a dozen others in the Museum of the Royal Irish Academy in Dublin.

Tall vessels made of thin sheets of bronze riveted together and furnished with two round ring-handles at the top have been found in Ireland (at Montiaghs,5 Co. Armagh; and Dowris," King's Co.) and in Scotland (at Cardross,7 Dumbartonshire) ; the form of these vessels shows that they are akin to the situla? of the late Ilallstatt or early La Tene period on the Continent.

In the instances where other objects have been associated either with the swords a antennes or situla; in Great Britain they have been of purely Bronze Age type, showing that the Ilallstatt period on the Continent was earlier than the Late-Celtic period ;n this country.

The forms of the tabula; associated with Late Celtic

2 Pric. Soc. Ant. Lind., 2nd ser., vol. iii., p. 90.

3 A. Bertrand and S. Reinach's Les Celtes dans les Valh'es du Po et du Danube, p. 125. 4 Ihid., p. 85.

5 Jour. Royal See. Ant. Irelard, ser. 5, vol. vii., p. 437. Another example found in Ireland is figured in Sir W. Wylde's Cat a I. Ahis. R.I, A., p. 531.

* Now in the British Museum. Evans' Ancient Bronze Implements, p. 4:0. ' K. Munro's Prehistoric Scotland, p. 40.

finds afford specially valuable evidence as to date. The pre-Rornan, or La Tene, type of fibula was made in one piece on the same principle, as the modern safety-pin, and therefore differed from the Roman Provincial harp, or bow-shaped fibula, in which the pin was separate from the back and worked on a hinge. Fibula; of the earlier kind have been found with Late-Celtic burials at Cowlam, Yorkshire ; Aylesford, Kent; and Birdlip, Gloucestershire ; and on inhabited and fortified sites at Hod Hill, and Rotherley, Dorset. The fibula* from the Stamford 11 ill Cemetery, near Plymouth, and the Polden Hill hoard of horse-trappings belong to the later class. As the forms of the different fibulae will be discussed subsequently, no more need be said on the subject here.

Ancient British coins have been found near the Late-Celtic cemete^'es at Aylesford,1 Kent, and Stamford Ilill," near Plymouth ; also within the fortifications of the Late-Celtic oppidct at Mount Caburn,3 near Lewes, Sussex, and Hod liill,4 near Blandford, Dorset. General Pitt,-Rivera came across ancient British coins during his excavations on the site of the Romano-British village at Rotherley5 in Cranbourne Chase, Dorset, and numerous specimens (especially of the coins of Verica, one of the three sons of Commios) have turned up from time to time at Farley Heath,6 near Guildford, Surrey.

The Romano-British inhabited or fortified sites from which objects of Late-Celtic character have been derived, have already been specified. The following lists show the instances where Late-Celtic finds have been associated with Roman coins or with objects of Roman manufacture:—

1 Arrhcpologia, vol lii., p. 315 2 Ibid., vol. xl., p. 500.

3 Ibid., vol. xlvi., p. 423. 4 Arckceol. Jour., vol. Ivii., p. 52.

s Excavations in Cranbourne Chase, vol. i!., p. 188.

9 F. Martin Tupper's Farley Heath, p. 10.

Laic-Celtic Finds associated with Roman Coins.


Nature of Find.

Date of Coins.

Victoria Cave, Settle,

Yorkshire Kelko Cave, Giggles-

wick, Yorkshire Dowkerbottom Cave, Arnc.lifTe, Yorkshire

Kirkhead Cave, Cart-

mel, Lancashire Poole's Cavern,

Buxton Thirst House, Deep-dale, Derbyshire

Thor's Cave, Staffordshire

Broch of Torwoodlee,

Selkirkshire Rotherley, Dorset

Kirkby Thore, Westmoreland Hod Hill, Dorset

/Esica, Northumberland

Farley Heath Alstonfield, Staffordshire

Ham Hill, Somerset

Westhall, Suffolk Chorley, Lancashire

Inhabited Site Inhabited Site Inhabited Site

Inhabited Site Inhabited Site Inhabited Site

Inhabited Site Fortified Tower British Village

Fortified Site

Romano - British Station

British Village Burial

Fortified Site

I Iorse-trappings Fibulae

Claudius Gothicus to Tetricus, a.n. 268 273 Domitian, a.D. 8196 (?)

Antoninus 1'ius to Gallienus, a.d. 138-268

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