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    EB Nitpicker Member oudysseos's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
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    Default Preview: The Pritanoi

    Greetings Europa Barbarorum fans.

    Today we are proud to present The Pritanoi.

    In Europa Barbarorum 1 for 'Rome: Total War', the Casse were one of the most popular and intriguing factions, and at the same time one of the most controversial and criticised. Many of the critiques and objections raised by fans over the years had real merit, and were often mirrored by similar concerns within the team. Yet the overriding feeling was always that it would be more "historically inaccurate" to leave the great peoples of Britain without a playable faction to represent them, despite the significant difficulties that we faced in turning the limited and sometimes equivocal information that we had into the kind of hard detail required for Europa Barbarorum.

    At one point during the development of Europa Barbarorum II, the team had even voted to leave the Casse out of the game, at least for the initial release. However, due to the hard work of some dedicated team members, we are happy to show you a British faction that has been remade almost entirely from the ground up. As you will see, there is a new name, a new faction symbol, a new unit roster, a whole new map and a new approach to the pre-Roman history of Britain; even the names for the family tree are new.
    Although part of the original twenty factions from EB1, the Pritanoi are so different from the Casse that you could almost say that they are new faction themselves. In fact, the Pritanoi share with the Casse only two things: the map colour is still blue, and the faction is still located in the British Isles.

    Faction Description and History

    Three shouts of a good warrior's house: the shout of distribution, the shout of sitting down, the shout of rising up.

    Faction Description

    We know that to the Hellenes, Tartessians and Punics that have come to trade, this is the end of the world. But I say it is not so: this is the very centre, the middle of the earth, and we have always been here. In ancient time our ancestors shaped the land as they wished, laying down the great trackways, raising the circles of giant stones, carving their totems into the hillsides, and building mighty forts on the hills. Our gods live in the rivers and mountains, speak to us from the wind among the leaves of the trees and the ears of growing grain. We worship them as we ought, by dedicating the fruits of harvest and the best works of our hands.

    In the High Place of the White Horse we live peacefully, and yet are able to strike a blow when needed, as our neighbours know right well. Our way of life is perfect - rich farms cover the green and pleasant land, hardy ponies and sturdy cattle carry us and feed us, and the bones of the earth give us the metals we need to make sharp blades and bright spears - and neither do our swords sleep. True wealth is counted in cattle and followers, and both are to be won by daring. Many seek wealth and advantage from us – and as long as we are divided amongst ourselves, they can take what they want. Under a strong hand, though, who knows but that it is we who can take from them? If you can take glory in your hands, O my Chief, and lead the men of the clan out to victory and splendour, there is a kingdom to be won, for the winds of change are beginning to blow.

    Little by little, men come in from the outside - one is a gift friend of our kings, the other a sell-sword fleeing a feud, the last under a geis, following his doom: it matters not, they all carry spears. We know them, they are our kin from far-off Gaul, and we wish them not well, for no matter the reason they have to cross the water, most often they stay. Some of them speak of savage men moving in the forests across the rivers to the east of their homes, others of small, dark men with big ideas from the great sea to the south, and because of these remote fears they look for land away from their enemies. For the moment, they are few, and indeed useful in our wars, but in the far-off time to come, who knows what they may dare when they have become many. It may be the council of prudence to drive them into the sea now, when they are weak - or else we must bind them to us with oaths of allegiance and obligation.

    Certainly we have nothing else to fear: our land is rich and broad, our people fearless and strong, we are surrounded by the wild sea, and even should some far-off King desire our land for his own, we are much too far away to be bothered by anyone else's dreams of Empire. Here in Britain, we are safe.


    Until the middle of the second century BC the history of the British Isles cannot be written in terms of identifiable individuals and their actions. At best we have to be content to define groups of people through their artefacts, the structures they built and they effects they had on their environment.
    Barry Cunliffe, Iron Age Communities in Britain and Ireland

    Here, in a nutshell, is the central challenge of British prehistory: Britain is blessed with a great archaeological heritage of awe-inspiring monuments and amazing artefacts, and has invested years of research into exploring and studying its remote past. Yet one fact hangs over it all: the written history of Britain does not begin until the invasions of Julius Caesar in 55 and 54 BC, and the earliest Briton known to history is Cassivellaunus and his contemporaries. Before that, there is no history, only archaeology.

    Yet that is a great deal. From the grave goods, excavated hill forts and settlements, votive offerings found in rivers and hordes of coins and ornaments, we can draw a detailed picture of the kind of life the people led; we know that they were a numerous people (estimates range from a population of 1 million at the time of Caesar, to four times that), but that for the most part they lived a rural, agricultural life. Cities never developed in the same way as they did around the Mediterranean and in the East, although people had begun to gather in larger settlements just before the Romans came.

    No mention has yet been made of the tribes so familiar to us from Caesar's time onwards. Tracing any of the known tribes is impossible past the introduction of coins early in the 1st century BC, and so we have decided to make no claims as to the antiquity of a particular British tribe. In the light of the settlement patterns and ceramic archaeology, we believe it is likely that the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC were a period of coalescence, in which groups later identified as Dobunni, Silures, Cornovii, &tc. were formed. Later tribes like the Trinovantes, Adtrebates, Iceni and Catuvellauni were more contemporary to Caesar's own time - thus, the state of Britain as the Romans found it was in fact a very recent development. It is in light of this that we decided to approach the Britain of 272 BC differently than had been done for EB I.

    By around 5500 BC, the last Ice Age was effectively over: sea levels had risen sufficiently to permanently cut Britain and Ireland off from the Continent, and neolithic agriculture was steadily evolving in a process that would last for several thousand years. In a larger context, speakers of groups of languages we now call Indo-European were spreading westward: by 4000 BC or so, the Windmill Hill culture of eastern Britain is clearly linked to similar groups in Central Europe - but the question of the genetic identity of the British is already a difficult question to answer. Non-Indo-European peoples were certainly present in Iberia and southwestern France, but their exact relationship to the people of Britain is not so clear that we are prepared to make any definitive claims - suffice to say that immigration into Britain is a continuous feature of its history. In recent years, there has been a great vogue in using genetic evidence to interpret pre-history, with the distribution of haplotype groups being seen as direct evidence of pre-historic migrations and the major component of 'ethnic' identity. Thus, in the case of Britain, the R1b Haplogroup has been claimed to show that the majority of British people are descended from settlers moving out of the Iberian peninsula after the end of the last Ice Age. However, the conclusions in layman's works by, among others, Oppenheimer and James, have been challenged by anthropological geneticists, and while this subject is fascinating, ultimately it has little impact on EB II.

    In any event, by the time of the 'Bell-Beaker radiation' of ca. 2500 BC, a time contemporary with the completion of Stonehenge on the Salisbury Plain, there is little reason to doubt that the Indo-European domination of France and Britain was well established - and ethno-linguistic historians already speak of a Celto-Italic group of languages at this point, including those presumably spoken in Britain. It also at this time that we begin to speak of the earliest British Bronze Age, a period that is to last some 2,000 years until 700 BC. Strong regional differences are also evident in the archaeological record, a theme that will persist well into the Roman period, but later phases of material culture such as Ewart Park and Llyn Fawr are strongly connected to the development of the continental Hallstatt culture. This period, around 800 to 400 BC, is seen as one of close trade contacts with the rest of Europe, including the economic sphere of the Mediterranean. Extensive agriculture and the proliferation of hill forts and landscape management projects like the great eathern dykes and long-distance trackways argues for a complex social order, capable of sustaining organised communal labour over several generations.

    Then, for reasons that have many competing theories, the richness of the archaeological record diminishes greatly for several hundred years. From around 400 BC to the appearance of native coin issues around 130 BC, the volume of contact with the continent seems to have sharply dropped, while at the same time many of the small hill forts were abandoned, with only the largest continuing to show use. By the latter half of the 1st century BC, the pendulum will swing again, with the Belgic-influenced communities of the Channel coast evolving into the tribal kingdoms known to the Romans. But in 272 BC, that is still all yet to come: although by this point Britain has a history of thousands of years of contact with similar peoples on the Continent, there is no reason to believe that the Britons are anything but thoroughly native to their land, with their own artistic styles and their own strongly rooted culture - yet nonetheless a culture about to go very significant changes.

    'Foreign' intervention as the primary cause of change was at one time the prevalent belief among scholars studying the Iron Age. 'Waves of Invasions' of people from the Continent, bringing with them alien material cultures and social systems, were used to explain the observed changes in material cultural. These kinds of models are no longer much in favour, except in the case of the Arras culture of Yorkshire where the archaeological evidence for external influence seems quite strong, and the Belgae of southern Britain about whose coming Caesar was explicit. But if 'invasions' in the traditional sense are no longer accepted as a major cause of change it is clear that much of south and east Britain was in contact with the Continent throughout the Iron Age, and that sometimes contact was intense. In the Early and Middle Iron Age the systems of interaction are difficult to identify but the movement of commodities, as trade goods or in cycles of gift exchange were significant. Movements of people, however, except as mercenaries, hostages, foster children, brides, and slaves, are not likely to have been on a genetically important scale. The point to remember is that small groups of foreign 'invaders', bringing technological or social innovations, can have an impact on a society disproportionate to their numbers.

    Up to the end of the 2nd century BC, Britain lay beyond the economic sphere of the Mediterranean, even if certain commodities such as Cornish tin found their way into the trade routes, almost certainly by means which distanced the producing communities from the consumers. This changed in the closing decades of the 2nd century BC when the Romans began to colonize the southern shores of Gaul. The period, roughly 120-60 BC, saw the establishment of a stable Roman system in the south. During this time the rest of Gaul and southern Britain beyond became a periphery to that system and Britain began to experience the ripple-effect of Romanization - and it is not much of a stretch to link the first developments of coinage in Britain to these events. Then in the decade 60-50 BC Julius Caesar extended Rome's direct influence over the whole of Gaul, changing Britain's position from being on the distant edge of that periphery into one of immediate proximity.

    By the beginning of the 1st century BC, when the economic influence of the Romans started to make itself felt in Gaul, the tribes of south-east Britain began to experience new pressures. A wider range of luxury goods became available and could be acquired by the wealthy to enhance their prestige, while an external demand now existed for British goods which had previously not been produced in surplus. The Roman desire for slaves alone would have caused a widespread disruption to existing social systems. While slavery probably existed in British society, the actual numbers of slaves is unlikely to have been large. But once Roman entrepreneurs had begun to involve themselves in the exchange networks extending to Britain, their demands would have been such that slaves rapidly took on the aspect of a cash crop.

    It is against this background that the Pritanoi must be guided. The greatness of their forefathers has faded somewhat, but not gone completely. They are in no sense technologically backwards or culturally barbaric, yet for a time, they are somewhat isolated from the faster pace of development in continental Europe. For many, many years, their only competition will be themselves.

    This brief overview is necessarily very vague: a more detailed (and much longer) essay on the the history of pre-Roman Britain will be presented in a later post.

    Final Note

    A point that has been remarked before, but is worth repeating, is that the changes that have been made to the Casse faction are not a repudiation of the work that went into EB I. As we will see, the nature of the evidence for the Pritanoi faction lends itself to interpretation - and often there is more than one plausible scenario for us to choose from. In EB I, the team chose to use legendary material and older traditions of British history to flesh out the details required for a Total War faction. In EB II, we have taken another approach, due in part to the new M2TW engine now available to us. The two visions of ancient Britain do not contradict each other: one is not 'right' and the other 'wrong' - they are merely different.

    A final word about the use of the term 'Celtic'. The peoples of Iron Age Britain spoke languages that are today classified as Celtic, and their material culture, though of local manufacture and possessing its own unique aspects, is clearly contiguous with the La Tene culture that dominated northwestern and central Europe and is also commonly associated with Celts. Nothing else is implied; not ethnic unity with other Celtic peoples, not any sort of international political or social organization, nor even that there necessarily existed any kind of shared Celtic identity and fellow-feeling between the speakers of the related languages. If you have nationalistic or ethnic axes to grind, there is nothing for you here. From our point of view, the Britons of the Iron Age were certainly Celts in the senses outlined above. We do not know what their own view on the matter would have been, but it seems likely to the writer that the people of Britain would have identified themselves by family, clan, and perhaps tribe: but that a larger national identity, not to mention a cultural or ethnic one, would not have occurred to them.

    Faction Symbol and Name

    Three speeches that are better than silence: inciting a king to battle, the spreading of knowledge, praise after reward.


    When it had been determined that although we were going to retain a faction in the British Isles, we would not keep the name 'Casse', we also realised that the great amount of new material that was going to feature in the faction needed a new symbol to highlight how different the Pritanoi were going to be. Many distinct types of symbols were considered, but in the end, we chose one of the most unique types of British Iron Age artefacts there is: the decorated bronze mirror.

    The symbol that you see is based on the so-called Aston Mirror, named after its place of discovery in Hertfordfshire. Other famous mirrors have more elaborate decorations, but the required size of the faction symbol dictates a simple and clearly recognisable design, as well as one that will work well with the existing British colours. Here is a large image of the actual mirror on which our symbol is based, in which you can see the simplicity, elegance and power of the British peoples artistry.

    The earliest mirrors identified in Britain were made of iron, from the 'cart-burials' found in East Yorkshire, dating to around 300 BC. More than 30 bronze mirrors with decorated backs have been found, mostly dating from 75 BC to 50 AD. Bronze decorated mirrors are specifically British, and do not seem to have been made in other parts of Europe. The Mirrors must have been objects of great expense and high status, with mysterious and magical properties, and although each one is unique, the triple-lobed motif is an element common to many of them. It is not hard to imagine that the many three-in-one icons found in Britain were potent symbols, fraught with mystery and meaning.

    This is an excellent website with more information about the mirrors.

    A final, interesting note about the new faction symbol. In real life, the handle of the Aston Mirror is attached to, in terms of the picture above, the bottom of the symbol, so that when you hold the mirror up to look into it, the apex of the three lobes points up, as indeed we have shown it. However, were you to hang the mirror by its handle, as it would have been most of the time when not in use, the image would be upside-down, and to some, look uncannily like a face, with its eyes watching you.


    Regarding our choice of a name for the faction, the first question to be addressed is why do we want to stop using 'Casse'? The answer to that has many parts, some of which will be taken up in another post, but a major consideration is that we were never sure how current that or indeed the name of any later British tribe was in the early 3rd century BC. The other major reason is that the Casse strongly imply a Belgic influence that in 272 BC had not yet begun to be felt. Lastly, we felt that so much was being changed that a whole new identity was required.

    When Pytheas, a Greek merchant and explorer from Massalia, arrived in Britain sometime around 325 BC, he learned to call the people he met Pritanoi. We no longer know if this was the name that they called themselves, or if it was one given to them by others, but it remains the only contemporary ethnonym from the start of our time period. The meaning of the name is usually taken to be The People of the Forms (or Figured Folk), referring to their reported habit of tattooing or painting themselves - or perhaps to the huge chalk figures they cut into the hillsides - but there are other possible roots for the word. In Gaulish the root *brit- means 'to judge' and *bretra-, 'word' can also mean 'to fight' or 'fray, quarrel', while *kwri-na- 'buy' has a Gaulish participle of *prito-, 'that which was bought'. A further clue is found in later Welsh, where prydydd, literally ‘maker of forms’, was the highest grade of poet in the pre-Norman Conquest period.

    This gives us the possibility for the kind of play on words so congenial to Celts, - we might imagine freebooting young British nobles crossing the Channel in search of fighting and plunder- and they might have been called Pritenoi and/or Britenoi, meaning 'The Brawlers', or 'The Settlers of Quarrels', with the mercenary implications of 'The Swords for Hire' or even ironically 'The Poetical Spearmen'.

    Speculating on etymology is endless fun, so if you are interested in more, read this article from The Place-names of Roman Britain by Rivet and Smith:


    SOURCES. As with Britannia, there is no point in listing all occurrences of this name and related forms. An outline is given in Chapter II, pp. 39-40. Good guides in following the origin and development of the name are Jackson in PP 158-60, with other détails in Scottish Historical Review, XXXIII (1954), 16, and the extensive survey of O'Rahilly in EIHM 444-52.

    The original Celtic name was *Pritani, *Priteni; the former, Jackson thinks, current in southern Britain, the latter in northern parts. The name would be that which the first speakers of P-Celtic in these islands gave themselves (but see below) and passed to Pytheas during his exploration, *Pritani being represented in Greek as Prettanoi. The antiquity of the spelling with P- is the subject of a comment by Eustathius, who, like Stephanus of Byzantium, draws attention to the -tt-. Diodorus and Strabo (in part) préserve the P, presumably following Pytheas, but eventually in Greek (doubtless influenced by the standard Latin form) the spelling with B- became common. In Latin usage from the first records Britanni was standard, with -tt- spelling also in the later Impérial period. The name is first found in Latin in Catullus and then Caesar; it can hardly have been learned by the Romans from Greek sources (since it would then have been *Prettani from the start in Latin, presumably), but seems to have been picked up from the Celtic of Gaul. It may have been, however, that the equivalences of Greek P and Latin B- had been noted; attention has been drawn, for example, to Purros = Burrus, Puxos = buxus 'box'. Another explanation is suggested by O'Rahilly EIHM 451-52 : that within Gaulish the name heard as *Pritani was assimilated to Gaulish words in *brit-, of which there were a number, and that in this form the name passed to Latin speakers.

    In the Celtic speech of these islands, beside official Britanni introduced by Latin speakers at the conquest of A.D. 43, older *Pritani naturally survived, and from it came eventually Welsh Prydain ' Britain ' : the ethnic name became a name for the island. Moreover, the inhabitants of Roman Britain went on using the name *Priteni as a désignation for the unromanised peoples north of the Antonine Wall, since from this derived Welsh Prydyn with the sense 'Picts, Pictland'. This *Priteni was the form known to the Irish, because of their close contacts with northern Britain; adapted to Q-Celtic phonetics, *Quriteni *Quritenii produced Old Irish Cruithin, Cruithni 'Picts'.

    The Latin adjectival form was Britannicus, with a learned variant used for metrical reasons in verse, Britannus. The latter seems to have retained its learned quality, its more popular noun-form for the individual of the people being Britto, first recorded in Martial XI, XXI, 9, and well known in inscriptions ; this was used as a personal name in the Continental provinces as Britto, Brittus, Britta, or perhaps coincided there with an older personal name of the same form. Ethnic Brittones, first recorded in Juvenal XV, 124, is thus a full alternative to Britanni and was in fact adopted officially : auxiliary units - alae, cohortes and numeri — of Brittones are well attested in diplomata and in inscriptions on the Continent from the late first century onwards and in ND we have Britones seniores and iuniores (Or. IX22, Occ. VII,127), secundani Britones (Occ. VII,84) and the ala IV Britonum (Or. XXXI,45), as well as the cohors III Britt(an)orum (Occ. XXXV,25). This Britto, Brittenes might be of Celtic origin, but it could also be a hypercoristic form of Britannus (O'Rahilly, citing Morris Jones, notes that in shortened forms of names a consonant was often doubled). Brittones was at any rate taken into, or survived in Celtic usage, > Welsh Brython. It survived long also (Britanni being forgotten after the collapse of Roman rule) in learned usage, for Bede regularly uses Bretto, Brettones when referring to the Celtic inhabitants of the island in his day. It cannot be regarded as wholly certain that original *Pritani was the name which the P-Celts of the island gave themselves at a very early stage, although it is clear that at a later period this name became standard among them. To suppose such self-naming as Jackson does perhaps implies a higher degree of national consciousness and unity than is warranted by what we know of tribal divisions, successive migrations and (for example in the decades which immediately preceded the Roman Conquest) endémic warfare. In many cases a people does not need to name itself; a name is often given by outsiders, foreigners, and only taken to itself by a people at a later stage. An alternative hypothesis is, then, that the inhabitants of these islands were named *Pritani by the Gauls, this name being passed to the Greeks of Massilia, to those interested in the tin trade, etc., at first in pure form with P and, much later, to the Romans with B- (after the assimilation mentioned above had occurred). There may be a further argument in the fact that the name is descriptive (see below), that is, the sort of name given by one people to others; it is not heroic or divine or specially dignified.

    DERIVATION. The accepted view is that the *Pretani are 'figured folk, tattooed folk', from an Indo-European root *qrt- 'to eut' (Latin curtus, Gaelic cruth 'form, shape'), with the *pr- of P-Celtic. They are probably not the only people so named. In RC, LI (1934), 339, there is a summary of work of Hubschmid on the name Prätigau (Switzerland), in Rheto-Romance Val Parténs, Purténs or Portenz, in older times Portennis or Pertennis, these probably deriving from ethnic *Pretani or *Pretanni; other names in the area, Partnun and Partennen, may derive from ethnic *Prettennones. These would then be a people named in the same way as those of Britain. Pokorny in VR, X (1949), 232, sought a different root for both names, nothing less than Illyrian with a sense 'Kàmpfer' ('warriors'), concluding that 'Die Pritenni in Graubünden sind dann auf ihrer Wanderung nach den Britischen Inseln dort sitzen gebleibene keltisierte Urnenfelderleute'. However, there seems no need to revise the traditionally accepted explanation of the name.

    We are well aware that by the time the Romans came to Britain and began the written history of its people, there was no longer any tribe calling itself 'Pritanoi' - yet there is no evidence that any of the tribes that we do know of were present under their post-Roman names in the early 3rd century BC. Even in the short time between Caesar and Claudius, several of the tribes mentioned by the former, like the Bibracte, the Ancalites, the Segontiaci and the Cassi, had disappeared. Had they been absorbed into newer groups like the Catuvellauni and Atrebates? Perhaps, but there is no way to prove it. We will go into the history and historiography of Late Pre-Roman Iron Age (lPRIA) Britain at much greater depth below, but as far as choosing a name for our British faction goes, after much deliberation we decided to accept Pytheas' name as the most contemporary and accurate one that we could get. We chose the P- variant of the name as it seems more etymologically sound (see above) - Pytheas' account exists only as references in other works, mainly Strabo, Pliny and Diodorus Siculus and Brettanike is a common form in these.

    We had also considered using Albiones, a name taken from the 4th century AD poem of Avienus, the Ora Maritima. Avienus claims to have translated the much earlier Massaliote Periplus, a 6th century BC work, which named Britain as 'the island of the Albiones' - but although there is no doubt that Albion is a very old name for the island of Britain, it is too vague, and its transmission too prolonged, to have been our final choice.

    It is interesting, though not central to our decision, that both 'Pritani' and 'Albion' persisted into the sub-Roman period. The Picts were called Cruithne by the Irish and Prydyn by the Britons of the south - and the Pictish kingdoms of northern Scotland were called Alba, which is still the Gaelic name for Scotland, while Prydain is modern Welsh for Britain. So although we cannot be sure what the Early Iron Age tribes called themselves, 'Britain' and 'Albion' remained meaningful names from ancient times through to the present day.

    Though they start out as the Pritanoi, many great changes lie ahead for the early British tribes, not the least of which is a fundamental transformation in their identity and way of life.

    Albion and Iuerion: the Islands of Pretannike

    Pliny the Elder writes:
    Opposite to this coast is the island called Pritannia, so celebrated in the records of Greece and of our own country. It is situate to the north-west, and, with a large tract of intervening sea, lies opposite to Germany, Gaul, and Spain, by far the greater part of Europe. Its former name was Albion; but at a later period, all the islands, of which we shall just now briefly make mention, were included under the name of “Britanniæ”... Pytheas and Isidorus say that its circumference is 4,875 miles.
    ‘Natural History’ Book IV Chapter 30

    Diodorus says of Britain:
    It is triangular in shape, the same as Sicily, but its sides are unequal. Since it extends obliquely from Europe, the headland next the continent, which they call Cantium [Kent], is only about one hundred stadia from the mainland, at which place a strait runs between. A second angle, Belerium by name [the Penwith peninsula of Cornwall], is four days’ sail from the continent. The last, called Orca, is said to project out into the sea. The shortest side faces Europe and measures 7,500 stadia; the second, extending from the channel to the extreme north, is said to be 15,000 stadia in length; while the last side measures 20,000 stadia; so the entire circumference of the island is 42,500 stadia..... Now we shall speak something of the tin that is dug and gotten there. They that inhabit the British promontory of Belerium, by reason of their converse with merchants, are more civilized, and courteous to strangers, than the rest are. These are the people that make the tin, which with a great deal of care and labour they dig out of the ground; and that being rocky, the metal is mixed with some veins of earth, out of which they melt the metal, and then refine it; then they beat it into pieces like knuckle-bones, and carry it to a British isle near at hand, called Ictis. For at low tide, all being dry between them and the island, they convey over in carts a great quantity of tin in the mean time. (There is one thing peculiar to these islands which lie between Britain and Europe: for at full sea, they appear to be islands, but at low water for a long way, they look like so many peninsulas). Thence the merchants carry into Gaul the tin which they have bought from the inhabitants. And after a journey of thirty days on foot through Gaul, they convey their packs carried by horses to the mouth of the Rhône. But thus much concerning tin.
    ‘Bibliotheca Historica’ Book V

    In Strabo, we find:
    Most of Britain is flat and overgrown with forests, although many of its districts are hilly. It bears grain, cattle, gold, silver, and iron. These things, accordingly, are exported from the island, as also hides, and slaves, and dogs that are by nature suited to the purposes of the chase; the Celti, however, use both these and the native dogs for the purposes of war too. The men of Britain are taller than the Celti, and not so yellow-haired, although their bodies are of looser build. And they have powerful chieftains in their country. For the purposes of war they use chariots for the most part, just as some of the Celti do. The forests are their cities; for they fence in a spacious circular enclosure with trees which they have felled,and in that enclosure make huts for themselves and also pen up their cattle — not, however, with the purpose of staying a long time.Their weather is more rainy than snowy; and on the days of clear sky fog prevails so long a time that throughout a whole day the sun is to be seen for only three or four hours round about midday.
    'Geography' Book IV Chapter 5

    We have taken a totally new approach to the map of the British Isles. The basic premise is that the 'civitas-and-pagi' based map of Roman Britain that is so familiar to us is not appropriate for our start date. Many of tribes themselves and most or all of the cities and settlements that were known to the Romans did not yet exist in 272 BC, and the proto-urban sites of the 1st century BC were late developments: at the start of our period, the landscape of Britain was still dominated by large numbers of hill-top forts and a large agricultural population dispersed in small houses and settlements. My method was to identify the most important hill fort sites from the 3rd century BC and build the province borders around those, rather than accept that the locations of ‘peoples’ in the Ptolemy's 2nd century AD map could be projected backwards without change to our time. This lead me to abandon using the names of tribes for the names of the provinces, as they would have had no meaning. Rather, following the practice of other Celtic societies like later Ireland, I looked to the land for inspiration, and found names that were either based on geography, river names or the one source that we have from this time: the travels of Pytheas of Massalia.

    There is no way to change the location of a settlements capitol once the game has started; rather, we will use EB II's system of Central and Outlying Authority buildings to represent the changes that take place in Britain over the course of the game - and even when the great hill forts of the 3rd century BC had declined and been abandoned, they remained impressive and iconic parts of the landscape, familiar to all.

    To an extent, the province boundaries are arbitrary, as they are a function of the number of regions available for the British Isles (eight, the same as in EB I), and not a reflection of the political divisions of 272 BC. The provinces are geographical entities more than ethnic ones, and their names either reflect the land itself or preserve toponyms known from the oldest sources. In order to anchor the world of the Pritanoi more firmly in modern understanding, we have shown the settlements superimposed on a present-day map, hopefully making it easier for you to place them in your imagination. We have left the boundary lines out as they are of minor importance for this preview.

    For an idea of how Britain will now look when you play EB II, here are some screenshots, which also feature new stratmap models. Please note again that these are WIP.

    Dunopalator, The Fort of the Spear Shafts

    The Hill of Traprain Law

    In the province of Kaledonon, the Hard Land (or Land of Hard Men), the Traprain Law is a hill about 221 meters in elevation, located 6 kilometres east of Haddington in East Lothian, Scotland. It is the site of an oppidum or hill fort, which covered at its maximum extent about 40 acres and must have been a sizable town. Whether it was a seasonal meeting place or permanent settlement is a matter for speculation.
    The hill was already a place of burial by around 1500 BC, and showed evidence of occupation and signs of ramparts after 1000 BC. The ramparts were rebuilt and re-aligned many times in the following centuries. The traditional archaic name of Dunpendyrlaw has been devolved to Dunopalator based on etymological sources:

    *paladr (m)
    Indo-European *kwəl (zero-grade of *kwel ‘turn’) > Early Celtic *kwal-atro- > British *palatro- > Middle Welsh paladyr > Welsh paladr (cf Middle Welsh pal, Cornish pal, Breton pal, all ‘a spade’); Old Irish celtair ‘a spear’

    The Indo-European etymology is uncertain, as the semantic relationship is far from obvious, but the root *kwel yields a wide diversity of meanings in various languages, such as Latin colō ‘I till (turn the earth over?)’, Greek pélō ‘I move’, Sanskrit carati ‘moves, wanders, drives’: see OIPrIE §22.3 at pp 377-8. The early Celtic word may have originally referred to some sharp tool, a goad or a hoe.

    In the Brittonic languages, it means ‘a shaft, a beam’ (originally, perhaps, one of the relatively slender roof-timbers in an iron-age roundhouse): in Welsh poetry, it is especially ‘a spear-shaft’. The plural *peleidïr (Modern Welsh peleidr) in fort-names may indicate chevaux de frise, arrays of spiked stakes to impede attackers.

    c2) Dunpender ELo (Prestonkirk, = Traprain Law) CPNS p345 dīn- + -*paladr, Gaelicised dùn

    c2) Drumpellier Lnk (Old Monklands) CPNS p345, PNMonk pp 3 and 11: perhaps a transferred name from Dunpender.


    Emain Macha, Navan Fort

    For Iuerion, the Land of Abundance, the usual etymology is that Latin Hibernia, derived from Greek Ἰέρνη I[w]ernē and Ἰουερνία Iouernia, is ultimately derived from a native word whose proto-Celtic root is *Φīwerjon-, which survives today in the official name of the Irish Republic, Éire. Since it is Pytheas who is our earliest source for this, we are reasonably confident that the name is contemporary to the 3rd century BCE.

    The choice of Isomnis, now Navan Fort, County Armagh, is a representative one. For the Late Iron Age in Ireland, there are generally considered to be four "royal" sites: Emain Macha, Cruachain, The Hill of Tara, and Dún Ailinne. In fact, Tara is bigger than Navan and may actually have been used for more than ritual. But the archaeology of Emain Macha is impressive, and the surrounding area has figured in Irish history and mythology for literally thousands of years. We should try to think of the settlement in Ireland as standing in for all the royal sites.

    Map showing the Extent of La Tene finds in Iron Age Ireland

    The site of Emain Macha, on a low hill approximately 2.6 kilometres west of the city of Armagh, is a circular enclosure 250 metres in diameter, surrounded by a bank and ditch.
    Unusually, the ditch is inside the bank, suggesting it was not built for defensive purposes. Inside the enclosure two monuments are visible. Off-centre to the north-west is an earthen mound 40 metres in diameter and 6 metres high. Also slightly off-centre to the south-east is the circular impression of a ring-barrow, the ploughed-down remains of a late prehistoric ceremonial or burial monument, about 30 metres in diameter.
    Archaeological excavations have revealed that the construction of the 40 metre mound dates to 95 BC (securely dated by dendrochronology). A circular structure consisting of four concentric rings of posts around a central oak trunk was built, its entrance facing west (prehistoric houses invariably face east, towards the sunrise). The floor of the building was covered with stones arranged in radial segments, and the whole edifice was deliberately burnt down before being covered in a mound of earth and turf (there is archaeological evidence for similar repeated construction and immolation of Tara and Dún Ailinne). The bank and ditch that surround the hilltop were built at the same time.
    No secure date can be assigned to the ring-barrow, but excavations and geophysical surveys have revealed the remains of a figure-of-eight shaped wooden building underneath. The larger ring of the figure-of-eight was 30 metres in diameter, the smaller about 20 metres. The building had been rebuilt twice. Similar, slightly smaller structures, each with a central hearth, were found under the 40 metre mound. Artefacts found in these layers show they were inhabited in the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age (approximately 600 to at least 250 BC). Perhaps the most unusual item found in these layers was the skull of a Barbary macaque.

    The first reference to the site in writing - pre-dating Irish literature by a long time – was by the Graeco-Egyptian geographer Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, who spelt it as ‘Isamnion’. This might be taken to represent a meaning ‘swift tides’ or the like, a compound which gave rise to the place name Eamhain in other parts of Ireland. Much more likely from the location of the site, however, is that Ptolemy’s form should have been Isomnion, with a meaning of ‘beneath the posts’. The development of this Celtic compound within archaic Irish would have been: isomnis > ihomniah > eumania. The latter form is in fact attested in early Irish literature as the designation of the place, written in Old Irish emain and in Modern Irish Eamhain. In the literature it is called Eamhain Mhacha.

    We are particularly indebted to Dáithí o' hOgain for his help. Another excellent source is Excavations at Navan Fort, Co. Armagh, The Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, Queen's University Belfast, Data Structure Report no. 13.

    Alauna, The Shining Place

    The province of Legambrion is based around the Vales of Pickering and York and the various tributaries of the Humber. The native name for the region is taken from what is believed to be the aboriginal name for the river, *Ambri-, which is thought by some to be a toponym that pre-dates the spread of Celtic languages in Britain. This is combined with *Lega-, place or bed, to give us 'The Place of the Ambrion', or, 'Humberland'. The famous Arras Culture of the Parisi has its home here, and the region remained distinctly unique from the south in its material culture throughout the period. Later, it would be the home of the Brigantes, one of the greatest of the British peoples.

    Roulston Scar, Yorkshire Wolds

    Sutton Bank (or Roulston Scar to give its precise name) is in the county of North Yorkshire in England. It is a high point on the Hambleton Hills and the North Yorkshire Moors with extensive views over the Vale of York and the Vale of Mowbray. The hill is the site of one of the most important prehistoric monuments in the region: a massive hill fort built in the Iron Age, around 400 BC.

    A chance discovery by the National Park has led to a major archaeological investigation in partnership with English Heritage: the new research and fieldwork have revealed that the whole plateau at Roulston Scar was once occupied by a massive hillfort believed to date back to around 400 BC. Covering an area of 60 acres and defended by a perimeter 1.3 miles long, this is the largest Iron Age fort of its kind in the north of England and one of the top 20 in size in the whole country.

    Hill forts are uncommon in Yorkshire, so it was a particular surprise to discover such a huge complex. Over the years there had been tantalising clues that such a monument existed but until recently no-one had carried out a comprehensive survey to settle the question. It is thought possible that the fort was constructed by the Brigantes or Parisi tribes, perhaps as much as a statement of power than as a defensive bastion or temporary refuge in times of trouble. Such a large fort would have taken a vast amount of labour to build, together with vast quantities of timber, which poses further intriguing questions about social organisation as well as purpose.

    ""We were shocked to discover such a huge complex," said Alastair Oswald, archaeological field investigator for English Heritage. Preliminary examinations of the remains suggest it was more than twice the size of most other prehistoric strongholds. Built of timber palisades and girdled by a 1.3 mile circuit of ramparts, 60 per cent of which are cut out of solid limestone, the fort has been provisionally dated at 400 BC.

    As well as its defensive function, archaeologists think it may have been a "statement of power", possibly housing the Iron Age equivalent of a regional assembly. "Such a large fort would have taken a vast amount of timber and labour to build, which poses many more intriguing questions," said Mr Oswald. The fortress must have taken several years - and more than 10,000 cubic metres of earth and rock, and 3,000 trees - to build, but nobody seems to have lived there for any length of time. Most hillforts were more akin to fortified villages or walled towns, often with substantial permanent populations.

    Generally taken to mean 'Shining', the native name for the Sutton Bank Hill Fort, Alauna, is borrowed, as no record remains of what the real 3rd century BC name was. There are four or five places in Roman Britain that were named Alauna, and at least two in Gaul, including what is now the city of Laon, northeast of Paris, in the territory of the Alaudini, neighbors of the original Parisi. This makes the name at least recognizable enough in a 3rd century BCE context to not be out of place. Also, the name Alauna appears in some Northumbrian toponyms- there's a river or two, which might well have been named after the Goddess as the Arras culture people start to expand. Such a borrowing is preferred over the names of sites closer to Sutton Bank, like Eboracum, Isurium, or Cataractonium, which would imply a connection to these sites that we want to avoid.


    Combrogon ('The Borderland', 'Land of the Compatriots') is an ocean-facing province: from Anglesey around the Bay of Liverpool up to the Solway Firth. The province name is reversed engineered from Cumbria/Cumberland - proto-Celtic *Kombroges, meaning compatriots, gives us The Land of the Compatriots. The grouping of northern Wales together with the rest of Cumbria into a single province, while dictated by geography and the limits of the game, is also justifiable in the sense that Cymru, the modern name of Wales, also derives from *Kombroges.

    It is generally assumed that the important Roman town Viroconium Cornoviorum, now Wroxeter, took its name from the nearby hill fort and the Cornovii tribe who dominated the region in their time. Jackson suggests the name is a Latin form of the original Uriconon, and it is possible that the name is related to Welsh Gwrgi, Breton Gurki, and Irish Ferchu, meaning "Man-hound" or "Werewolf". In Brittonic, Viroconium would then be "(The Place of/belonging to) Uirocu". A simpler possibility could be derived from *wregi- 'wall, enclosure', where the name means simply 'The Walled Place', 'The Fort'. Others have suggesed that the name is pre-Celtic. This is one reason we have adopted an anachronistic spelling ('W' was unknown at the time, and 'K' was rarely used by the Britions): another reason is simply to aid pronunciation.

    The Wrekin, Shropshire

    The Wrekin is a hill in east Shropshire, England. Rising to a height of 407 metres above the Shropshire Plain, it is a prominent and well-known landmark, marking the entrance to Shropshire for westbound travellers. There is an Iron Age hill fort on the summit almost 8 hectares in size, to which the name Uriconio originally referred. It is thought the fort was built by the Cornovii tribe and was once their capital until stormed by the Romans under Ostorius Scapula around the spring of 47 AD. The Wrekin is perhaps Shropshire’s most significant hill fort. To illustrate part of the process that we used to select the new map sites, the Wrekin had a serious competitor in the hill fort known as Old Oswestry, which in many ways is an even more impressive site, but one for which an original name was impossible to find. Furthermore, in the context of the actual EB II campaign map, the two forts would have been placed on virtually the same spot- so we went with the Wrekin, for which we know the name.

    The hillfort makes use of the hill’s natural defensive capabilities, with ramparts incorporating natural outcrops in places. The most substantial ramparts remain on the northern side of the hill, with more slight ramparts visible in many places around the summit.

    Various flints, and corn seeds which have been radio carbon dated to 900 BC indicates the site’s usage as a settlement before the Iron Age. The principle phase of occupation dates from at least 400 years before the Roman invasion, with perhaps as many as 1,000 people living in and around the fort.

    Moridunon, The Sea Fort

    The name of the province of Belerion is taken directly from Pytheas, and is traditionally thought to mean 'The Shining Land'- and although it specifically refers to Cornwall, the Welsh ancestor god Beli Mawr allows us to stretch the meaning a little to include both sides of the Bristol channel from Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to Glamorgan and Carmarthen in south Wales. Archaeological similarities persisted into Roman times, so although no claim is made that the tribes of Cornwall and Wales had any common identity, trade and travel across the shining Bristol channel was no barrier to the hardy peoples of the western periphery.

    Merlin's Hill, Carmarthen, Wales

    Although the Moridunon known to us is a Roman foundation, it is possible that the Romans used the name of the nearby hill fort for their own establishment- and in any case, the original name of Merlin's Hill has not survived. Dating back to around 400 BC, it is one of the few large hill forts in West Wales whose size alone suggests that they were centres of power controlling large territories.
    When the Roman armies entered the Towy Valley in 75 AD and established first a fort and then a town at Moridunum, the modern Carmarthen, the hill fort may still have been used for ceremonies and tribal gatherings, and its iconic power persisted into the Middle Ages, when it was know as Bryn Myrddin, the Hollow Hill.

    Maidunon, The Great Fort

    The province of Albion is at the centre of the "hill fort zone" of the Middle Iron Age, and contains many of Britains most famous ancient sites; Stonehenge, the Salisbury Plain, Glastonbury Tor, Hengistbury Head, the network of roads and causeways that include the Sweet Track (one of the oldest known engineered roads in the world), and the natural hot springs dedicated to Sulis are only a few. As we noted above, 'Albion' is thought to be one of the oldest names for Britain, coming down to us through Avienus from the Massaliote Periplus of the 6th century BC, and persisting in the modern Gaelic name for Scotland. Since the region was in many ways the centre of much of the settlement and activity of Britain over a very long period, giving it such a iconic name seemed only appropriate: this is truly a green and pleasant land.

    From Kenneth Jackson in the Journal of Roman Studies:
    ALBION, old name for Britain. Holder, Watson (Celtic Place-Names of Scotland, I-12), and others render this ' White Land ', relating the name to albus. But there is no derivative of an *albo- in this sense in any Celtic language, in which the words for
    ' white ' are from quite different stems. There is, however, in mediaeval Welsh, a word elfydd, 'world, land,' which comes directly from a British stem *albio- (Ifor Williams, Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies vi, I34); so that Albion may very well mean ' The World ', an early example of British insularity.
    Maiden Castle, Dorset

    Built around 600 BC, by the Middle Iron Age Maiden Castle had expanded to become the largest hill fort in Britain and one of the largest in Europe. According to archaeologist Niall Sharples it is, by some definitions, in fact the largest in western Europe: in about 450 BC, it expanded from 6.4 to 19 hectares (about 48 acres, or the size of more than 45 football fields). The area was initially enclosed by a single bank and ditch, although it later came to have one of the best developed multivalate systems of ramparts and ditches know from this time. Maiden Castle was occupied throughout the Iron Age: its inhabitants lived in roundhouses. The later houses appear to be organised in rows, and to be roughly similar in size, a reorganisation which indicates the increasing power of the elites over Iron Age society.

    There are many hill forts in this region that, in themselves, are suitable choices for the regional capitol. Cissbury, Danebury, Cadbury Castle, Hod Hill and many others lost out to Maiden Castle primarily for one reason: 'Maiden' can be plausibly deconstructed to 'Maidunon', whereas little trace remains of the original name of any of the other hill forts.

    Durouernon, the Fort of the Alder Grove

    The province of Kantion is taken directly from Pytheas' account, one of the three corners of Britain. The name derives from a word meaning 'rim', or 'border', and thus Kantion is 'The Borderlands', or 'The Sea Side'. The province extends from the mouth of the Thames estuary to Norfolk, a region that was inhabited from paleolithic times, yet did not become the centre of Britain until the much later rise of the Catuvellauni, Trinovantes, and Iceni. At the start of the game, this region is one of fens and dark forests, but with great potential, not least because of its proximity to the Continent and its many navigable waterways.

    Bigbury Wood Hill Fort, Kent

    The fort in Bigbury Wood is often though to be the one to which Caesar referred as "a position with extremely good man-made defences for some war between themselves... many trees had been cut down and used to block all entrances to it." We do not know what the real name of this fort was, but as in many cases, we suspect that when the hill forts were abandoned in favour of more suitable sites for proto-urban development, the new settlement (in this case, Durovernum Cantiacorum, modern Canterbury) preserved the name of the older fort. This seems more likely as 'Duro' means fortified place, and while the Bigbury hill fort was indeed fortified, the Roman settlement that became Canterbury was not, at least before the 3rd century AD.

    Penncrugon, The Head of the Ridge

    Arduon, 'The High Place' is the only land-locked province, although a river port is possible at Abingdon on the Thames. This is the home province of the faction, and borders five other provinces, giving the Pritanoi many choices. The name recalls the Forest of Arden which once covered much of the region.

    The Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire

    The settlement name is borrowed from Pennocrucium, a Romano-British town on the Antonine Itinerary and now the village of Water Eaton and is only 10 miles north-west of Uffington, and is equally suitable for the geography of the Vale of the White Horse. The possibility cannot be discounted that the Roman site, a much later foundation, itself borrowed an earlier name from somewhere nearby.

    Uffington Castle is situated upon the Ridgeway, the ancient road that follows the high ground from the Chiltern Hills to the South Coast. It sits on the northern face of the Berkshire Downs, like Segsbury Camp, its neighbour to the east, and affords very clear views of the surrounding horizon.

    The fort is defined by a single rampart in the shape of a rough pentagon, enclosing a very conservative 8.25 acres. In its heyday, this rampart would have been about 3 metres deeper than it now appears, and rather than being lined with grass, its bare chalk construction would have been exposed, making it an extremely imposing sight on the landscape. It covers about 32,000 square metres and is surrounded by two earth banks separated by a ditch with an entrance in the eastern end. A second entrance in the western end was apparently blocked up a few centuries after it was built. The original defensive ditch was V-shaped with a small box rampart in front and a larger one behind it. Timber posts stood on the ramparts. Later the ditch was deepened and the extra material dumped on top of the ramparts to increase their size. A parapet wall of sarsen stones lined the top of the innermost rampart.

    Excavations have indicated that it was probably built in the 7th or 8th century BC and continued to be occupied throughout the Iron Age. Isolated postholes were found inside the fort but no evidence of buildings. Pottery, loom weights and animal bone finds suggest some form of occupation, however, unlike its neighbours, Uffington Castle never appears to have been densely populated, despite there being evidence for buildings inside, nor was it permanently occupied. Its position close the the White Horse, Dragon Hill, the Manger, and Wayland's Smithy are suggestive of a ceremonial or spiritual importance; if so, this is a theme that both pre- and post-dates the Iron Age. Neolithic burial mounds can be found on the path between Uffington Castle and the White Horse; excavations on the largest, the pillow mound, revealed 50 skeletons, many with their skulls missing. Most unusually, some of these burial mounds were reused during the Roman and Anglo-Saxon eras - and the castle itself was a popular site for local "pagan" rituals well into the 19th century.

    The Warriors of the Pritanoi

    Three things for which an enemy is loved: wealth, beauty, worth.

    But the barbarians, upon perceiving the design of the Romans, sent forward their cavalry and charioteers, a class of warriors of whom it is their practice to make great use in their battles, and following with the rest of their forces, endeavored to prevent our men landing.
    De Bello Gallico 4.24

    Their mode of fighting with their chariots is this: firstly, they drive about in all directions and throw their weapons and generally break the ranks of the enemy with the very dread of their horses and the noise of their wheels; and when they have worked themselves in between the troops of horse, leap from their chariots and engage on foot. The charioteers in the mean time withdraw some little distance from the battle, and so place themselves with the chariots that, if their masters are overpowered by the number of the enemy, they may have a ready retreat to their own troops. Thus they display in battle the speed of horse, [together with] the firmness of infantry; and by daily practice and exercise attain to such expertness that they are accustomed, even on a declining and steep place, to check their horses at full speed, and manage and turn them in an instant and run along the pole, and stand on the yoke, and thence betake themselves with the greatest celerity to their chariots again.
    De Bello Gallico 4.33

    In the whole of this method of fighting since the engagement took place under the eyes of all and before the camp, it was perceived that our men, on account of the weight of their arms, inasmuch as they could neither pursue [the enemy when] retreating, nor dare quit their standards, were little suited to this kind of enemy; that the horse also fought with great danger, because they the Britons generally retreated even designedly, and, when they had drawn off our men a short distance from the legions, leaped from their chariots and fought on foot in unequal [and to them advantageous] battle. But the system of cavalry engagement is wont to produce equal danger, and indeed the same, both to those who retreat and to those who pursue. To this was added, that they never fought in close order, but in small parties and at great distances, and had detachments placed [in different parts], and then the one relieved the other, and the vigorous and fresh succeeded the wearied.
    De Bello Gallico 5. 16

    The Pritanoi at War

    It is our belief that before the Romans came, warfare in Britain was surrounded by a great deal of ritual and ceremony. We have no first-hand reports of what battles between the Britons were like before Caesar, but drawing on the examples of later Celtic and Gaelic societies, we believe that it is likely that Druids made sacrifice and took omens, Bards recited the glorious deeds of their masters, men hurled jokes and insults at each other, horns blared and drums thundered. It is possible that in some cases battles were observed by women and other non-combattants, and that most of the actual fighting was restricted to spectacular duels between champions. The limited vocabulary that we have from the British language supports this to an extent: there are quite a few words for 'champion', 'hero', 'warrior', 'nobleman', but not many for 'infantryman'.

    That is not to say that battles could not also be in deadly earnest, with no quarter asked or given, and it is usually assumed on the strength on later Gaelic examples, and on the many small hill top fortifications, that raids for cattle and slaves were also a large part of their military life. By the time of Caesar's invasion, the Britons were able to organize resistance, construct obstacles, and conduct guerilla-style warfare that was effective against smaller Roman units. That the Britons never succeeded in winning a large set-piece battle against the Romans is not proof of their lack of martial skill- but rather, as we think, that they had never evolved the professionalized military traditions, with disciplined command-and-control and distinct types of units, that the urban peoples of the Mediterranean long since had.

    Aside from Caesar's comments about chariot-fighters, there is almost no detailed information in the historical record for how the Britons fought their battles. Archaeology tells us that they had good swords, spears, and shields, and that helmets and body armour were likely more rare than on the Continent. A lot of clay and stone sling ammunition has been found, but there is almost no evidence of archery from this period. Our approach to designing the Pritanoi Unit Roster started with our assumptions about their way of life: an aristocratic society, with a large agricultural population dispersed over the rich countryside. If later Celts are any guide, a clan-type of social organization is very likely, with chieftains and Kings bound to their client retainers and tribesmen through oaths of protection and service, fostering of children, and the institution of hostaging. In such a setting, the existence of large bodies of drilled, disciplined and professionally niched troops is unlikely. 'Units' were probably organized by social status and family affiliation, rather than by specialized roles - and so each of the units that follow are actually part of a larger class of units, showing the different ways that a member of a particular part of the society was able to fight.

    Arioi, The Nobles

    Officers, Carnyx Players, and Standard Bearers

    The Nobles Units are in reality the same group of fighting men in three different states. As Caesar witnessed first-hand, a British warrior might come to battle in a chariot, then fight on foot, then return to his chariot if need be. This is something that we cannot do in a modification of the M2TW engine, so we have given the Nobles chariots, cavalry, and infantry, the last being the bodyguard of the King or chieftain. These units will be very small in size and slow to recruit: they are at the pinnacle of their society, the wealthiest and bravest men, the very best fighters, and one cannot expect to field entire armies of them. You will have to use them wisely, for they will be hard to replace.

    Esseda - Chariots

    Able to race around the battlefield at will and shower the foe with deadly javelins, a war-chariot is one of a Pritanoi nobleman's most prized possessions. Certainly it is one of his most expensive, for not only does the complicated machine itself have to be built and kept in good repair, but a string of ponies have to be trained and fed, and loyal fighting men kept in constant practice. To be a chariot warrior is the to be without fear, admired by all, possessed by the joy of battle, and in mortal danger every minute.

    Although there are a great many terms used to describe wheeled vehicles in the various Celtic languages, we know from Caesar that Essedon is the correct name for the war chariots of the British. Due to its completeness, we based our chariot model in large part on the famous example from Llyn Cerrig Bach ("The Small Lake of the Stones"), but the twenty or so other chariots known from burial sites are similar enough in construction. Sophisticated weapons of war, British chariots had a suspension system to stabilize the platform, allowing the fighting men to throw their spears accurately. The iron-rimmed spoked wheels were dreadfully loud and terrifying, intended to strike fear into the hearts of the hapless men being chased.

    Archaeological evidence for chariots is widespread throughout the British Isles. Actual two-wheeled vehicles, possibly of the war chariot kind, have been recorded in a number of Yorkshire burials, most notably at Wetwang Slack and Garton Slack, while metal fittings from the vehicles or their harnesses have been found in most regions. These include items such as linchpins, yoke-mounts like the decorative bulls from Bulbury and the 'yoke-terminals' from Brentford, High Cross and Llyn Cerrig Bach as well as the many hundreds of terret-rings once attached to yokes. Several examples of nave bindings, also possibly from chariots, are known. Horse-trappings, including bridle-bits, strap-buckles, rings and the unique pony cap from Torrs are even more widespread. A fascinating insight into the social and technical background of chariots comes from the settlement site of Gussage All Saints, Dorset, where a dump of founder waste was found representing the manufacture of about fifty sets of vehicle- and harness-fittings together with evidence for ironworking and a number of metalworking tools. This, combined with the evidence suggesting that young horses may have been rounded up for training, points to the possibility that the settlement was producing trained chariot teams and their vehicles, presumably as an input into the system of gift-exchange and patronage.

    At what stage war chariots were introduced into Britain is unclear. Horse-riding and vehicles are well attested in the Hallstatt period but there is no evidence to suggest that chariots were in use this early. It is more likely that the light two-wheeled vehicle was introduced during the La Tène I period in the late 5th or early 4th century. Thereafter, as we have seen, it remained in use into the 1st century AD in Scotland. In Ireland it survived for several centuries more.

    For those interested in further study, Iron Age Chariot Burials and Building an Iron Age British Chariot are excellent and serious resources.

    Marcacoi - Horse Masters

    Armed with the best swords, shields, and armour, these experienced horsemen can hit very hard indeed. There are best used in conjunction with the lighter armed and javelin-throwing cavalry of the Retainers and Tribesmen in the trimarcisia style of the Galatians that Pausanias described.

    From the evidence of bridle bits, we know that British horses at this time were small, at most twelve hands high, and it is thought that the modern Exmoor Pony is likely to be a close relative. If so, then the horses of the Pritanoi were a hardy, intelligent breed, resistant to disease and weather and able to carry heavy burdens. Studies done on isotopes in tooth enamels show us that horses were widely traded. Many pieces of horse tack have been found in Britain - most beautifully decorated - but no saddles.

    Arioi - Nobles

    Chariots and horses were the pride of every Noble, and a sign of great prestige, but when battle was truly joined, the commander must be on foot - both to direct his men as well as he can, and to show himself no less brave than his lieges. Armed with fine swords and shields, some wearing excellent mail coats and others only intricate designs in blue paint, the small band of nobles and aristocrats must pay for their privileged positions with their blood.

    Tegoslugos, The Household Warriors

    A small core of experienced warriors would have been housed and fed year-long by the nobles and kings. They have sworn their lives to their master, and will fight and die by his side. In return they are honoured and rewarded.

    Seguorina - Chosen Band

    Armed with javelins and thrusting spears, the Chosen Band follow the Arioi cavalry wherever they may go, supporting their charges with missiles, running down fleeing enemies, and covering their masters withdrawal. They are also likely to look after their masters remounts, although this is something that cannot be shown in M2TW.

    Ambactoi - Servants

    These spearmen are the other half of the chariot team, along with the Arioi foot nobles, and best serve them in a supporting role, backing up the swordsmens attack with javelins and forming a shield wall for their masters to fall back behind. They profit from long hours of regular weapons-drill and are disciplined, sturdy troops, not easily discomfited.

    Agrocunoi - Slaughter Hounds

    The best and most-beloved retainers will fight with swords alongside their noble masters, lending their weight to the attack so that it may break the enemies lines. They are ferocious, with high morale, yet apt to be impetuous.

    Touta, The People

    These are the men who, when the season allows, fulfill the oaths that they took to their chieftains and king. They are not full-time warriors, but farmers and artisans who nevertheless know the weight of a shield and feel of a spear-shaft. They are not available year-round, and can not be used for garrison duties far from their homes, as they must return in time for the harvest. They are proud of themselves and of their tribe, yet they have duties as well to their families, and for them the wish to come home alive is always present in their thoughts.

    Comnetsamoi - Neighbors

    The heads of family contingents, local chiefs of roundhouses and farming communities, they band together as light cavalry on the same kind of sturdy ponies that the noblemen ride. They can be deadly accurate with their javelins, but will not stick into a melee.

    Toutanacoi - Tribesmen

    Catioi - Throwers

    The main strength of the tribe lays in these hardy men. Their equipment is no different than that of the Retainers, being wooden shields and broad-bladed spears, but with crops to grow, families to raise and lives to lead, they are less well trained and experienced. However, there are many more of them, and they know that should they break little else stands between the people and ruin - and they know also that good warriors can get noticed, and rewarded. The two units above represent their main roles; either to stand in the line with the noblemen and their retainers, or to act as mobile skirmishers, ranging back and forth and protecting the shield-wall from the flanks. The spearmen carry a couple of heavy rocks to throw just before the clash, an effective tactic against unarmoured opponents.

    Mapoi, The Sons

    Not a social class per se, these all the sons, fosterlings and hostages of the fighting men, who come to battle as squires and servants. They have many duties: carrying food and drink to their fathers, caring for their weapons and trophies, and learning the ways of war. They have yet to earn their shields, but are already adept with slings and light spears.

    Uassedoi - Lads

    Slightly older than the other youths, or the sons of higher-classed men, these are not warriors ready for the front-line of battle - but they are unencumbered by heavy shields and can move in quickly with their spears against other light troops, or take up flanking positions with their slings. Many of these youths will someday take their fathers and uncles places, and this is where they begin their training.

    Magunoi - Youths

    Boys not strong enough for shield and spear can still stand with their people. Their slings can be deadly against unarmoured targets, not to mention horses. They are here to serve their older kinsmen, to watch and learn, and protect the warriors from other light troops.

    Special Bonus Unit - Snamoneites


    One of our most difficult tasks is that of naming units, people, buildings and places. The Britons did not adopt writing until well into the 1st century AD, except, as far as we can tell, for coins, and thus it is generally assumed that the extant writing that we do have is heavily influenced by the Latin which was the language of their conquerors. Yet we know that the Britons spoke a Celtic language related to Gaulish, certainly as early as the beginning of our period (and perhaps much earlier), and with the help of Gaulish and proto-Celtic etymological sources, and above all with the excellent database of the Celtic Personal Names of Roman Britain (CPNRB) project, we have arrived at a way of finding the names that we need. In terms of orthography, we have decided to retain a modified version of the way that words were spelled in Britain during Roman times, reflecting, we hope, the distance of Britain from the Greek world and its orthographic influences. It must be held in mind that definitive knowledge of how the Britonic language would have been spelled had Rome never invaded is impossible; instead, we have striven for a Britonic language that is similar to its Gaulish cousin, but with a different 'look'.

    We have also used the CPNRB to completely redo the list of family members' names for EBII. Now when you play the Pritanoi, you can be certain that the names of your characters are the names of real people from Iron Age Britain.

    A Special Note on Tattoo research.

    The tattoo designs for the new Pritanoi units were based on the following sources.

    Woad, Tattooing and Identity in Later Iron Age and Early Roman Britain, by Gillian Carr, Oxford Journal of Archaeology, Volume 24 Issue 3, Pages 273 - 292.

    Ms. Carr’s work examines crescent shaped objects found only among the insular Celts, which she believes are woad grinders, which were previously interpreted as “horse trappings”.

    Finding Blue, Catherine Cartwright-Jones.

    Ms. Cartwright-Jones is one of the world's foremost experts on henna and woad body art, and has successfully redeveloped the necessary techniques for making woad body paint, thought by many other tattoo artists and re-constructionists to be impossible.

    For the nature of the designs themselves, no record remains of what the British people's body paint looked like. Our closest sources are, to quote Carr,
    In 1963, Thomas (1963, fig. 15 and appendix II) examined the depictions of human faces with tattooed cheeks and necks found in early Gallic coinage dating generally within the later third and second centuries BC (see Fig. 2). The various tribes to which the coins are attributed lie roughly in a broad area from the Paris basin to Normandy and Brittany. Although it is possible that some of the marks could be symbols added to an otherwise blank space, he remarks that 'collectively there are enough examples to leave little doubt that a cheek mark of some kind on a Celt was nothing very odd, at least in north-west Gaul' (ibid., 92). Thomas believes that it was likely that facial and probably corporeal tattoos of this nature were employed in southern Britain at the same time; however, images of facial tattoos on British coins have not been found.
    Regardless, these coins are the best evidence we have for the nature of the painted designs.

    For designs on the bodies, the only roughly contemporary evidence are some sketches of designs found on bog bodies discovered in central Europe in the 1800s, found in Mumien aus den Moor, Wijnand van der Sanden.

    #1: Schwerinsdorf, dated as Late Bronze Age
    #2 - 4: Zwettl, ditto
    #5: Leer, dated as Early Iron Age

    These bodies were found far away in time and space from the Britain of the 3rd century BC, but are as close as we can get to contemporary designs.

    To sum up our conclusions, we think that a blue pigment derived from woad is more likely than not to have been used as body paint, not tattoos. The paint is really a stain that can remain on the skin for up to several weeks, like henna, which makes sense in the context of ritual use (as opposed to the permanent nature of tattoos).

    Pliny, Naturalis Historia 1st c. AD
    In Gaul there is a plant like plantain, called glastum; the wives of the Britons, and their daughters-in-law, stain all the body and at certain religious ceremonies march along naked, with a colour resembling that of the Ethiopians.
    Caesar, De Bello Gallico V
    All the Britons dye their bodies with woad (vitrum), which produces a blue colour, and this gives them a more terrifying appearance in battle.
    Pomponius Mela, de Chorographia III, 6, 51, c. AD 43
    (Britain) bears peoples and kings of peoples, but all are uncivilized, and the further away they are from the continent, the more they are acquainted with its other blessings: so much that, rich only in livestock and their territory – it is uncertain whether as an embellishment or for some other reason – they dye their bodies with vitrum.
    A young woad plant resembles plantain. Cartwright-Jones believes that “glastum” may refer to the living plant which other authors called “vitrum”. When Roman observers saw woad as a hard, glass-like composted lump, they did not see the connection between the plant and the lump.

    From a first century Celtic warrior’s point of view, woad may have been functional, as well as a cultural tradition. Woad is anti-bacterial (Hamburger, 2002) and anti-microbial (Yang, Wang, Yang et al 2004). It repels gnats and small insects. Injuries sustained while woading might heal more quickly and with less infection if woad stains deter infection. Though many translators of ancient text believe Caesar’s account refers to warriors being completely stained blue, Cartwright-Jones thinks that climbing into a woad vat would be unlikely (that would require a great deal of woad to prepare a tub-sized vat) and daunting to climb into (a vat made fresh from woad, isatis tinctoria is pungent) In comparison, one ounce of woad vat (one shot glass full) provides enough dye to cover an adult’s body with patterns. A small amount of dye is more easily prepared, and a small amount of stench is easier to bear. Skin stains from a fresh woad vat take half an hour or more to mature from green to blue. If a large vat were seasonally prepared, a large group could be woaded at once, and a month later, all would have plain skins again.

    Pomponius Mela’s description indicates that the Romans were familiar enough with the appearance of Celtic blue body art, but that they did not understand the dyeing process or the reason for it. Carr (2005) explains the interpretation of the word Latin vitrum as woad:
    Vitruvius (VII, 14, 2) tells us that, because of the scarcity of indigo, stucco painters ‘make a dye of chalk from Selinus, or from broken beads, along with woad (which the Greeks call isatis), and obtain a substitute for indigo’. ‘Woad’ was chosen as the translation of Vitruvius’ term vitrum, as we might expect, but we are also given the Greek term satis. Pliny (20, 59) tells us a ‘third kind (of wild lettuce) growing in the woods is called isatis. Its leaves pounded up with pearl-barley are good for wounds. A fourth kind is used by dyers of wools. Its leaves would be like those of wild sorrel, were they not more numerous and darker. By its root or leaves it staunches bleeding . . .’ Not only, then, is isatis, like woad, good for wounds and staunching bleeding (as discussed later) but, when compared, the leaves of the common sorrel (Rumex acetosa) are indeed similar to those of the woad plant (Isatis tinctoria), just as Pliny indicated; both plants have leaves that are arrow- shaped and clasp the stem. Finally, a closely related plant is used for dyeing. This, then, would seem to back up the link between vitrum and Isatis tinctoria or woad.
    This seems to support the theory that Pomponius Mela and others did not understand the dye and application process, and applyied the word “vitrum” in error. A hard ball of composted woad or indigo looks very much like a rough copper-blue glass bead. Mela may have mistaken one for the other. Or, because they look similar, the word for one may have been simply applied to the other.

    The archaeological traces of plants such as woad or other potential vegetable pigments also support this view. The earliest example of woad in Britain was found at Dragonby. The yellow dye, weld, was also found at the same site. As woad is not indigenous to this country, van der Veen et al. (1993) suggested that it was deliberately introduced and cultivated for its blue dye. A total of 18 fragments (a mixture of uncharred whole seeds and fragments of seed pods) were found in a later Iron Age pit; however, as the sampling was described as 'unusual and outstanding for its time' (van der Veen 1996, 197), it may be that woad existed on other sites but has been overlooked. Indeed, at the turn of the century, Plowright (1901–2) mentioned that the unpublished excavation of a barrow at Sheen, near Hartington in north Staffordshire, had yielded a considerable amount of woad-indigo in lumps and powder; however, these have not survived and no proper account of the find has been made. Plowright suggested that the barrow belonged to a woad dyer.
    It is likely, however, that whilst macrofossil remains of woad have been overlooked in the archaeological record through non-recognition or inadequate sampling, there are good reasons why such remains would be scarce. The parts of the plant used for dyeing (i.e. the leaves) are only likely to survive under exceptional preservational conditions, such as the waterlogged occupation deposits in tenth-century York, for example (Tomlinson 1985; Kenward and Hall 1995). Fruits and seeds (as found at Dragonby) are indirect evidence for the use of the plant in dyeing and rarely survive. Moreover, the pollen of woad is indistinguishable from that of other members of the Cruciferae family (Allan Hall, pers. comm.), of which the humble cabbage is also a member.

    Another source of evidence for tattooing and body painting lies in traces of pigment on the skin of bog bodies. The warriors found preserved in Siberian permafrost at Pazyryk (Rudenko 1970) give us some idea of what might once have been a common British medium of decoration.
    The translation of vitrum as woad was questioned by Pyatt et al. (1991), who examined Lindow Man. Their results suggested that clay-based copper and other pigments were applied to the body (Pyatt et al. 1991, 61). These results, together with the absence of any archaeological evidence for woad in the Iron Age (until the excavation of Dragonby a few years later), led the authors to suggest that woad was not the origin of the blue paint to which Caesar referred.
    In their search for a copper pigment on the skin of Lindow Man, Cowell and Craddock, in a later paper (1995, 75), suggested that 'the amount of copper on the skin of Lindow Man is not of sufficient magnitude to provide convincing evidence that the copper was deliberately applied as paint, especially as the epidermis, the original surface of the skin, which would have carried the putative paint, is lost'. So the question of whether Lindow Man indulged in body painting remains open.

    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
    Even as are the generations of leaves, such are the lives of men.
    Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, Illiad, 6.146

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    The Pritanoi in action.

    General, Standard Bearer and Carnyx Player





    Please note that all these images are WIP in the sense that the screenshots are sometimes taken before final adjustments.
    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
    Even as are the generations of leaves, such are the lives of men.
    Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, Illiad, 6.146

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    This is a more abstract rendering of the new Pritanoi symbol, and due to the small sizes required when actually used in-game, it is likely to be this version that will appear when you play EB II.

    What follows is a very long essay on what we feel are the salient points of the archaeological record that we based our new British faction on. You may want to copy it to a text file and read it off-line - and the Pritanoi Signature Bars are at the end of the post, so feel free to skip ahead.

    It is difficult to place the British peoples of the Middle Iron Age in the correct imaginative context - what is sometimes called the 'psychogeography'. Because they are white western Europeans, we find it hard not to associate them with the advanced, centralized and urban civilization that we all know. Yet nothing could be further from their way of life or their cultural mentality. Much closer analogues can be found in the 18th century history of the "Five Civilized Tribes" of the southeastern United States; the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole, and the later 19th century rise of the Zulu nation in southeastern Africa. We are not suggesting strong historical parallels: merely that the British of the 3rd century BC were very different than we are today.

    A Short History of Britain in the Iron Age

    Map of the hill forts of Iron Age Britain

    A narrative history of persons and events in impossible for Britain before contact with the Romans, and will will not attempt one here. Instead, we will review the archaeological and other evidence that has lead us to our conclusions. We also will not go over what past historians have written about pre-historic Britain, except incidentally. The historiography of pre-Roman Britain is a subject in itself, and one that does not have much impact on Europa Barbarorum.

    Please note that while the following essay draws on many sources, referenced in the bibliography that follows, the essential structure, and much of the phraseology, is directly drawn from several works of Barry Cunliffe, if without his permission. Needless to say, Professor Cunliffe is not responsible for any errors - but if you like what you read, you should have at look at the originals, in particular Iron Age Communities in Britain: An account of England, Scotland and Wales from the seventh century BC until the Roman Conquest. It is to be found in most college libraries, and is available online at, for what I at least feel is a bargain subscription price.


    The archaeological evidence from Atlantic Europe for the period from 1300 BC to 200 BC allows three phases to be recognized. In the first, from ca. 1300 BC to ca. 600 BC, the Atlantic system of exchange was at its most dynamic. During this time the entire system north of Galicia was actively bound in a complex network of reciprocal exchange to the Urnfield and Early Hallstatt systems of west central Europe. Meanwhile in the south of Iberia the Phoenicians and possibly the Greeks were creating ties with the Mediterranean system.

    In the second period, from ca. 600 BC to ca. 400 BC, the intensity of the east-west contacts slackened noticeably, with Ireland now left outside the system. This diminution may have been caused by a reorientation with new networks developing through Brittany, linking the West Hallstatt chiefdoms more directly with the metal-rich core of the Atlantic zone. It was at this time that Mediterranean interest in Atlantic products increased.

    In the third and final period, ca. 400 BC to ca. 200 BC, with much of Europe in the throes of disruptive migratory movements, the Atlantic system was left to develop without significant external contacts, except for a continued, and possibly increasing, interest by Mediterranean entrepreneurs. The folk movements which were underway by the beginning of the fourth century in west central Europe disrupted the long-established networks of exchange which had developed throughout Europe. In Brittany, north-western France, the Low Countries, and Britain there is a marked diminution in the volume of centrally produced goods and ideas absorbed into local repertoires. Each of the regions developed its own distinctive culture in relative isolation and it is not until the second century that extensive networks of exchange begin to develop once more.

    The Atlantic Bronze Age

    Britons first appear as a distinctive group in the archaeological record in the so-called Stone Age, but even at that early time they were constantly receiving innovations from the continent. This certainly continued in the Bronze Age, which saw settled agricultural communities expand through the use of new technologies. Bronze metallurgy, which came to Britain from Ireland ca. 1800 BC, has often been associated with the so-called ‘Beaker culture’ (named from the form of their funerary pottery) found throughout northwestern Europe. Now it is no longer believed that there was an ‘invasion’ of Beaker People who overcame Stone Age Britons with their superior metal weapons, but rather a more gradual adoption of Beaker culture attributes over a long period of time. Bronze weapons did, however, lead to military elites who demanded prestige goods and prestigious burials (replacing earlier communal burial), most notably with the Wessex culture. Without written records, however, we have no knowledge of the political arrangements of these Britons or how they viewed kinship and cultural ties. By the Middle Bronze Age we see evidence of significant social organization in the landscape. While late Neolithic peoples in Britain had organized themselves to construct megalithic ritual monuments, Bronze Age Britons were dividing and organizing the land (through ‘reaves’ of drystone walls and timber fences) in order to grow more and better crops and to minimize social conflict. Ditched enclosures appear on prominent hilltops, serving as central places for religious festivals, feasting, and the exchange of goods. The British goods that were being manufactured and exchanged, especially prestige goods like weapons, begin in the Late Bronze Age to show stylistic and decorative characteristics of a continental style known as Hallstatt. Defined by the first appearance of ‘hill-forts,’ richly adorned inhumations, distinctive weapons, and decorated objects, and the first significant contacts with the Mediterranean world, the Hallstatt culture covered much of northwestern Europe from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age. It is also clear, from Greek sources and continental place-names, that most Europeans who possessed a Hallstatt material culture were in lands where Celtic languages were spoken.

    It is Professor Cunliffe's view that the communities of the Atlantic fringe of Europe formed a single cultural zone, linked by the sea. It differed significantly from the central zone of temperate Europe and from the Mediterranean zone, yet all three were bound by networks of contact channelled along routes determined by the opportunities created by geography. Most of these corridors were threaded by navigable rivers--the Rhine, Seine, Loire, and Gironde--but other sites were important points of transfer, such as the trading port of Gadir.

    That cultural links along the Atlantic sea-ways extend back far in time is evident from the archaeological record. As early as the 4th millennium BC, megalithic tombs, of the type known as passage graves, developed on a broad front from Portugal to Ireland, and within this zone common symbols recurred, carved on the orthostats of the tombs. While no one any longer conjures up visions of migrant 'Megalithic Saints' proselytizing along the Atlantic façade, the similarities are such that the different communities must have been developing their belief systems in the general knowledge of what was happening elsewhere. A flow of ideas implies movements, however limited, of people, and it may well be that the exchange of rare commodities, such as fine stone axes, between neighbouring polities provided the mechanism.
    Continued contact was maintained throughout the second millennium and began to intensify as copper and later bronze became generally available. Along the maritime networks a distinctive burial practice spread, characterized by single inhumations accompanied by grave sets including decorated beakers. It was during this time that centres displaying élite dominance emerged in Brittany and Wessex. Cultural contact was maintained through gift exchanges which saw fine stone axes, gold, amber, and faience beads pass between them across the intervening channel.

    These contacts intensified still further in the Late Bronze Age after 1300 BC. From then, until ca. 600 BC, bronze in various forms moved in increasing quantity, and over greater distances, than before. The evidence derives almost entirely from the distribution of artefacts, but includes rare examples of shipwrecks, such as the vessels carrying French-made implements to Britain which foundered off the cliffs of Dover and in Saltcomb Bay in Devon in about the 10th century BC. Artefact distributions are at best a surrogate for understanding the movement of people and can offer only a crude indication of direction and intensity of contact. Thus the Sicilian-made shaft-hole axe found in the sea near the southern British port of Hengistbury is not necessarily evidence of a Mediterranean adventurer visiting Britain in the eighth century BC. At best it indicates the geographical extent of contact and hints at the complexity of the social processes involved.

    The copious evidence for the movement of bronze in the Late Bronze Age also raises the question of the movement of skilled people able to judge the quality of metal and, in some remote areas, to introduce the technology of extraction or manufacture. The individuals who cast a range of bronze items at Dun Aengus on the Aran Island of Inishmore off the Galway coast and at Jarlshof on Shetland 170 kilometres north of Scotland must have travelled in small boats with their metal, beeswax, refractory clay, and skills.

    Transition to Iron Technology

    There can be little doubt that the intensity and duration of these reciprocal exchanges between western central Europe and the communities of the Atlantic fringe led to a convergence in many aspects of culture. Similar élite goods were accepted over large areas, technologies and craft skills were shared, and decorative symbols may well have been understood by communities separated by considerable distances. There was also a common attitude to the gods, who required valuable equipment to be deposited in their honour in rivers, bogs, and lakes or raw materials to be buried in the earth. Taken at this level, the degree of cultural similarity over huge territories is remarkable. It is a similarity born of long and intimate contact. All parts of the Atlantic zone as far south as south-western Iberia shared this common culture until the 6th century BC.

    By 600 BC central European communities were closely connected to the emergent classical civilizations of the Mediterranean world and were fairly large-scale importers of goods from that area, especially drinking and feasting equipment. Some of this may have made its way to Britain too, although everything so far found here of appropriate date is without a secure archaeological context. Among the more likely imports are a fragment of Rhodian type amphora of late seventh- or early sixth-century date from Minster, Kent, an Etruscan bronze oenoche of late sixth- or early fifth-century date from Northampton, a trefoil-mouthed flagon of early fifth-century date from the river Crouch, Essex, and two bronze jugs of fourth-century date, one from Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire and one from Bath, Avon. Pottery was also imported—a Greek black figure kylix comes from the Thames Reading, Berkshire, and other finds include vessels from the Thames in London.

    The principal change which can be discerned within this longue durée is an intensification in the volume of bronze moving through the system after the beginning of the Late Bronze Age. It is difficult to discern an internal cause for this, and the simplest explanation would be to suppose that the metal-rich Atlantic zone was being increasingly drawn into the bronze-consuming world of the Urnfield and Nordic cultures. Here, in central and northern Europe, bronze was used up in great quantities as furnishings for the burials of the dead and as gifts to the chthonic deities whose worship demanded the deposition of valuable items buried in pits in the ground or thrown into bogs, springs, and rivers. As the Atlantic communities began to respond to the demand, developing new networks of communication along which the metals could pass, aspects of Urnfield material culture, learned from the contact, began to be absorbed into the Atlantic system--so too did the belief systems which required the deposition of wealth on a considerable scale. The Late Bronze Age was, therefore, the time when the technology and ideologies of the central European Urnfield world were introduced to the communities of the Atlantic fringe.

    The Mediterranean states will have been made aware of the potential of the Atlantic zone by the Phoenician enclave at Gadir, and it was probably as the result of Phoenician activity that Atlantic bronzes were carried into the western Mediterranean. Their appearance, scattered though they are, reflects an increasing awareness of the potential of the Atlantic zone among the communities of the Mediterranean.

    The transition from Bronze Age to Iron Age is now dated to the 8th century BC, the clearest archaeological indicator being the cessation of bronze hoarding, although this was not simultaneous across Britain. It should be stressed how little we know about social and economic developments in the first four or five centuries of the Iron Age in most of Britain. The end of bronze hoarding was a marked break in many areas, implying rapid social change. Iron was used to make some objects before the end of the Bronze Age and gradually becomes more common in the archaeological record between the 8th and 3rd centuries BC. If the cessation of bronze hoarding and the adoption of iron for utilitarian objects are indeed related - as seems likely - this implies that iron was already common by the 8th century BC, but if so, the Llyn Fawr hoard and a limited number of iron socketed axes are still virtually the only tangible evidence for the new technology.

    If the metalwork portrays a picture of marked change, this is not so with settlements and agriculture. Settlement forms and pottery styles show considerable continuity throughout the late Bronze Age and earlier Iron Age. Among other changes, the late Bronze Age saw increasing emphasis on elaborating the domestic sphere and on ritual deposition of agricultural produce, human remains and domestic objects. These forms of ritual continued throughout the Iron Age.


    Whilst the Mediterranean world was learning how to exploit the Atlantic trading system, the complex network of exchange which linked the western European communities to the innovating core of the Urnfield élite in western central Europe continued to develop in the subsequent Hallstatt C period from 750 to 600 BC. The distribution of the typical Hallstatt C slashing sword, known after the type site of Gundlingen, together with the winged chapes which adorned the ends of the scabbards, give a vivid impression of the direction and intensity of these contacts. The more common bronze version is found in the Low Countries and northern France between the Rhine and the Seine, in the Loire Valley, and in the basin of the Garonne. It also occurs quite widely in Britain, where the form is copied and modified by local craftsmen, and is scattered across the face of Ireland. In Britain and Ireland the majority of the swords from known findspots occur in rivers, lakes, or bogs in just those locations where weapons were customarily deposited throughout the latter part of the Bronze Age.

    A range of other élite equipment in bronze echoes this pattern: bronze cauldrons and buckets (both with distinctive British/Irish varieties), bronze horse gear, razors, pins, and other trinkets. In other words the full panoply of élite display, except for the ceremonial vehicle, finds its way, selectively, into the hands of the western communities. What is particularly interesting is that the élite items were incorporated in different ways into the cultural systems of the west. In the Low Countries, for example, swords and horse gear were deposited with cremation burials under barrows according to the indigenous rite. In the Garonne-Tarn region, urned cremations accompanied by personal jewellery or weapons were also normally buried beneath low barrows continuing indigenous practices. In Britain and Ireland, on the other hand, deposition was usually in watery contexts and less often in hoards. Evidence of this kind demonstrates not only how the alien goods were adopted and adapted by the western communities who received them, but also how extensive were the mechanisms which bound the polities of the Atlantic zone to those of the Hallstatt C chiefdoms of west central Europe. The network, which had developed throughout the Late Bronze Age, was now being even more intensively exploited. In the subsequent Hallstatt D period (ca. 600 to 450 BC) there was a significant change in the pattern and intensity of interaction. One possible explanation is that developing contact between the Late Hallstatt élite and the Mediterranean states diminished the desire to maintain traditional links with the west, or, more precisely, such links as there were were refocused.

    The range and quantity of centrally produced (or inspired) Hallstatt D goods in northern France, the Low Countries, Britain, and Ireland dropped dramatically. In Britain, apart from a single antennae hilted sword and a bronze cauldron, the only distinctive items are a small number of bronze daggers which were avidly copied by local craftsmen and were mainly deposited in the Thames. Similar daggers from the Low Countries and northern France suggest that these display pieces were items of exchange in the sixth and fifth centuries.

    Northern France, the Low Countries, and Britain received a flow of goods throughout the Early La Tène period. The rite of élite burial distinguished by two-wheeled vehicles, which had developed in the Marne and Moselle regions in the late fifth century, was adopted in four peripheral areas: in the Lower Seine Valley, the Ardennes, the Haine, and Yorkshire. What initiated these trends is difficult to say. A population movement is one possibility but is by no means required of the evidence, which could equally well be explained by supposing that local élites with access to the knowledge of vehicle burial (and possibly the vehicles themselves as diplomatic gifts) simply adopted the fashion as a means of self-aggrandizement. Once established it would have generated its own momentum. Other gifts that passed through the exchange network included daggers, swords, shields, and spears, as well as trinkets such as fibulae. All were copied by native craftsmen and accepted into the local repertoire.

    It is simplest to see the distribution of these Early La Tène items as reflecting a continuation of the systems which had been established in the succeeding Hallstatt D period. In other words, the pattern of contact in northern France, the Low Countries, and Britain continued little changed over a period spanning the sixth to fourth centuries. Thus the British craftsmen, who in the sixth century began to modify imported Hallstatt D daggers, and were the heirs of the makers of British Hallstatt C swords, were themselves succeeded by craftsmen who responded to new styles of La Tène daggers when they arrived on the island.

    La Tene

    Metalwork in the La Tène style, which developed in Europe at the beginning of the 5th century BC, also appears in Britain very soon after. Again the Thames valley was a major contact area and the influence on dagger production and dagger sheaths in the area should be noted, as should the change to swords in the 3rd century BC. Ornaments of La Tène style, either imports or direct copies, are found widely over central and southern England, but in fairly small numbers.

    From the 5th century down to the end of the 3rd century BC contacts between Britain and other parts of Europe were maintained along much the same lines as during the earlier part of the first millennium. Goods and ideas travelled in both directions, serving to enrich cultures over wide areas and providing a stimulus to innovation. Three main axes of contact can be discerned: cross-Channel trade, trade with northern Europe and trade along the western seaways.

    In western Britain the main axis of contact from the 5th century onwards was between the south-west peninsula and Iberia and the Mediterranean. Tin was the common theme of this contact, Devon and Cornwall being major suppliers of what in European terms is a fairly scarce metal. Two bronze fibulae brooches of Iberian origin were found accompanying burials in an inhumation cemetery at Harlyn Bay, Cornwall, and a third example has been found at Mount Batten overlooking Plymouth Sound, Devon, which was active as a trading port at this time. Greek coins were also possibly introduced from this period as a result of trade along the western seaways with the Mediterranean. A number have been found in south-western Britain, but only one, issued by Ptolemy V (204-181 BC), from Winchester, Hampshire, comes from a secure archaeological context.

    The 5th and early 4th centuries correspond to the period of Hallstatt D on the Continent, and communities in the Thames valley were clearly in close contact with Europe. Among the items imported to Britain are a short iron sword with antenna-shaped hilt from the Thames in the London area and a hemispherical cauldron from the same general provenance. Fibulae brooches were also imported—about 80 are so far known from Britain—and a bronze ribbed pail dug up at Weybridge, Surrey, was probably made by a European metalworker some time in the 6h century BC, although exactly when it arrived in Britain is uncertain.

    The western trade route also allowed contact between western Britain and Gaul, and it may have been through this route that a remarkable bronze hanging bowl, found in a stone cist apparently without any trace of a body at Cerrig-y-Drudion, Clwyd, came to Britain. This vessel is hemispherical in shape with a horizontal flange to which are attached four chains for suspension. The underside is decorated with an elaborate scheme of incised palmettes and acanthus half-palmettes thrown into relief by a cross-hatched background. It was probably made in western France in the 4th century BC.

    In the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC contact along all three main axes of trade slowed down and remained at a relatively low level until the beginning of the 1st century BC when a new episode of intense contact along the western seaways began and new trading ports like Hengistbury Head, Dorset, developed. Interestingly, this hiatus in foreign trade engendered greater local initiative among craftsmen in southern England who continued to develop their products relatively free from Continental influences.

    Continued contact with the Continent brought to Britain items of metalwork decorated in the Vegetal Style. These were copied and developed by local craftsmen producing prestige goods for the élite of eastern Britain throughout the 3rd and 2nd centuries. For the most part it was the equipment of the warrior that was selected for embellishment, in particular sword scabbards like those from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, Standlake, Oxfordshire, the River Witham near Lincoln, and the élite burial at Wetwang Slack in the Yorkshire wolds. A few decorated shields are also known, including the bosses from the Thames at Wandsworth and from the River Witham. It is also possible that the decorated pony cap from Torrs in Scotland, together with the engraved drinking-horn terminals, which had at some stage been incongruously attached to it, were products of eastern British craftsmen. Most of these valuable products were dedicated to the gods of rivers, but a few accompanied prominent people to their graves. Among these we may include, in addition to the Wetwang Slack sword, a decorated canister, also from a grave at Wetwang Slack, and an armlet, from what was probably a female burial, found at Newnham Croft in Cambridgeshire. The corpus of the surviving material is impressive and leaves little doubt that the socially varied communities of eastern Britain were dominated by élites served by skilled craftsmen in much the same way as their continental neighbours.

    Regional Variations

    Occupying a central place in the Atlantic continuum were the sea-girt peninsulas of southern Ireland, south Wales, southwest Britain, and Armorica. It was a region composed, for the most part, of old hard rocks heavily mineralized, its Atlantic face washed by the Gulf Stream, which ensured a mild but damp climate. What encouraged continued contact between these four promontories was the attraction of their metal resources, principally copper, tin, and gold.

    A second system included the coastal region of Gaul, between the Seine and the Rhine, and the adjacent shores of Britain from Hampshire to East Anglia. Here the most evident medium of exchange was bronze, either in the form of finished items or as scrap, but behind this archaeologically visible material no doubt lay exchanges in many other commodities. Further to the north cultural similarities suggest that the communities of north and west Scotland, the Northern and Western Isles, and the north-eastern part of Ireland formed another closely related zone.

    South of Armorica it is possible to distinguish two distinctive cultural zones: the north-west corner of Iberia, including Galicia, Asturia, and Cantabria, with its highly localized settlement types and copious supplies of gold and tin; and a south-western zone, stretching from the Tagus to the Lower Guadalquivir, characterized in the Late Bronze Age by engraved stelae and burnished pottery. This region was rich in copper and silver.

    A later explorer, the Massilliot ship's master Pytheas, braved the Atlantic seaways in about 320 BC, venturing even further. His reference to Belerion--the Land's End peninsula--suggests that he may have been following the established tin route, but he gives no further details. However, the Sicilian historian Timaeus, who was roughly contemporary with Pytheas and may indeed have used Pytheas as a source, recorded some additional facts which survive now only in a confused and muddled account in Pliny's Natural History. An island called Mictis is mentioned where tin is produced and the Britons sail to it in vessels of wickerwork covered with hide. Much the same story is taken up by Poseidonius (quoted by Diodorus Siculus), though the island is called Ictis and is joined to the mainland at low tide. 'Here the merchants buy the tin from the natives and carry it over to Gaul and after travelling overland for about thirty days they finally bring their loads on horses to the mouth of the Rhône' ( Hist. 5. 22). It is not immediately clear which route was being used, but the general assumption is that the tin was shipped either to the mouth of the Loire, where the port of Corbilo was said to be located, or to the Garonne. Both estuaries, Strabo tells us, were ports of embarkation for Britain.

    The tin trade described by the ancient sources is best seen as a specific development of the long-established Atlantic exchange network, manipulated now, either directly or indirectly, by Mediterranean entrepreneurs. It need have changed little except for the introduction into the native systems of concepts and possibly artefacts from the Mediterranean region. On this matter the archaeological record is not particularly informative but two small bronze figurines, one from Sligo in Ireland, the other from Aust in the Severn Estuary, may be imports from southern Spain. There is also a close similarity between fibulae from Mount Batten in Devon and Harlyn Bay in Cornwall and types manufactured in Aquitania and the Garonne estuary region. In addition to this some at least of the comparatively large number of Greek and Carthaginian coins discovered in Armorica and southern Britain are likely to have been contemporary imports.

    The Mediterranean penetration of the Atlantic systems seems to have focused particularly on the tin-rich areas of Armorica and Cornwall with a probable extension to southern Ireland where gold was to be had. But that there was also direct interest in the tin and gold production of Galicia is indirectly indicated by the extension of Phoenician activity along the Portuguese coast and the discovery of Mediterranean trade goods, including Greek pottery, at a number of coastal locations in the north-west.
    The culture of the south-western peninsula of Britain reflects that of Armorica but has its own defining characteristics. There is a preference here for pottery decorated with curvilinear motifs, though the British south-western decorated wares are less exuberant and refined than contemporary Breton wares.

    The settlement pattern has close similarities to that of Armorica, with defended enclosures for the family or extended family (in Cornwall called 'rounds') and cliff-castles around the coasts. In Devon the rather more elaborate multivallate enclosures, usually sited on hill slopes not far from a permanent water supply, might suggest a different kind of social organization, perhaps based on the importance of cattle. Underground stone-built storage chambers, called fogous, are the Cornish equivalent to the Breton souterrains.

    Much the same array of settlement types occurs across the Severn Estuary in south Wales, extending across to the south-west of the country. Here the enclosed homestead type is characterized by Walesland Rath (rath being the generic name for this type of enclosure in Wales and Ireland), where total excavation demonstrated a simple arrangement of circular houses in the centre with storage buildings around the periphery, the individual structures being replaced on a number of occasions. The material culture of the south Welsh Iron Age communities is not prolific but includes the sporadic use of decorated pottery imported from across the Severn.
    The one noticeable difference between Armorica and the British south-western communities is the absence of stelae, though the possibility must be allowed that in Britain a similar socio-religious function may have been served by wooden pillars no longer extant.

    A third area of Britain--the central southern zone--presents an altogether different picture to that of both the west and the east. Its most obvious characteristic is the dominance of hill forts--hilltops of some 5-10 hectares enclosed by substantial defences sometimes multivallate and with elaborate entrance earthworks. The hill-fort-dominated central southern zone extends from the south coast, between Devon and East Sussex, in a band of decreasing width to north Wales, with outliers spreading into Northamptonshire. It is a region of different landscapes and encompasses a number of communities demonstrating their separateness through different styles of pottery decoration: the common link between them is the hill fort.

    Although a number of excavations have shown something of the variety within the general 'hill fort' category, some generalizations can be offered. The earliest of the forts at present known, dating to the end of the Bronze Age, concentrate in the Welsh borderland, but by the sixth century the phenomenon has spread to the Wessex region, extending into the south-east (Surrey and Kent) by the third century. In some areas, such as central Wessex, it is possible to show that over time the number of forts in active use decreased, but the strength of those surviving, and the intensity of their use, was enhanced.

    Functionally, the forts seem to have served their region in a variety of ways, providing central places where the different needs of the community could be articulated. Some, like Danebury and Maiden Castle, were intensively used for settlement, production, and storage on a large scale. The extent to which the forts were designed to provide defence is debatable. The enclosing earthworks and the structure of the developed gates would certainly have offered efficient protection, but there may well have been an element of display involved. However, that some were actually defended and attacked is clear from the excavated evidence. At Danebury, for example, large numbers of sling stones were hoarded on at least two separate occasions, in the third century and again in the early first century, and after both phases there is evidence of burning at the gates, the last burning marking the abandonment of the fort. Other forts offer similar evidence, and at Bredon Hill in Gloucestershire the mutilated remains of bodies were found at the entrance.

    The hill forts are only one aspect of the settlement pattern. Elsewhere the contemporary countryside was densely scattered with farmsteads, many of which showed continuous occupation over centuries. Most of the farmsteads seem to have been of family size and were therefore probably centres of single estates practising a mixed farming with a heavy emphasis on cereal production; a few larger agglomerations indicate a scatter of more substantial communities.

    Apart from the massive nature of the hill forts, there is very little evidence in this central southern zone for a hierarchy or an élite, but the heavy emphasis on the intensive working of the land and the production of grain might indicate that status was measured by land or livestock. In the second century the two wheeled chariot, represented by decorated bronze fittings for the vehicle and the bronze harness attachments for the horses, becomes far more evident. Whether the vehicle was simply an indication of status or a means of warfare is impossible to say, but most likely it served as both. The virtual absence of elaborate weaponry is at first sight puzzling, but it could be that this was simply a reflection of the fact that prestige weapons were not consigned to rivers or burials within this region and therefore stood less chance of survival.

    The settlement pattern, as it is at present known, throws little light on social status after the 8th century. Enclosed homesteads are known but a number of much larger and more straggling settlements have been discovered, suggesting sizeable communities, of village-like proportions and complexity. Settlements in the Yorkshire wolds have been found to extend for considerable distances along the principal trackways.

    The social systems in eastern Britain, with their élite gear and nucleated settlements, contrast noticeably with those of the west, but are far more closely paralleled by those of northern France and Belgium, where the distribution of prestige warrior metalwork, the vehicle burials of the Lower Seine, the Haine, and the Ardennes, and large open settlements like Haps in the Netherlands reflect, though with regional differences, much the same overall structure.

    Agricultural Population

    The archaeological evidence suggests that, rather than a world of warriors, Iron Age Britain was in fact a more humdrum world of farmers. Probably as much as 99 per cent of the million-plus population were full-time or part-time farmers. Over recent decades, great advances in understanding these farmers - what crops they grew and how, their productivity, and so on - have come from studies of animal bones, plant remains and experimental archaeology.

    In the last ten years, however, it has also been recognised that the settlements of these farmers, and the rubbish they threw away, were not quite all that first meets the eye. Their settlements were usually built to physically recreate their mythologies, which they then literally lived inside. Iron Age round houses, for instance, even many farms and hillforts, faced east or south east, not to keep out the wind but to face the rising morning sun. In some cases, round houses were built so that their doors faced where the sun rose on the winter solstice.

    Decisions about where other activities took place in and around Iron Age farms were similarly governed by taboos and expectations. Important among these was where 'rubbish' was deposited. Analysis of the pot sherds, animal bones and tools excavated from these settlements suggests many were ritual deposits, and were not just 'ordinary' rubbish casually thrown away. As in many aspects of new research, this conclusion builds on work at Danebury hillfort in Hampshire in the 1970s and 80s. Some of this rubbish includes complete animal and human carcasses, and bits of carcasses, both possibly the result of sacrifice. But even broken pot sherds, old tools and worn out quern stones were sometimes placed in special parts of a farm, together with other objects, sometimes even according to a particular order.

    Unpicking this complex weave of patterns in the data provides a fuller picture of the beliefs of Iron Age people. For example, in the Iron Age wild animals and plants appear to have formed an insignificant proportion of the total diet. But where wild animal remains are found on sites they often come from ritual deposits. Does this indicate that hunting and eating wild animals and fish was taboo and only allowed on special occasions?

    Interpretations of the types of societies these farmers lived in are changing as well. The common image of a Celtic warrior society led by a chief or king may have been the exception rather than the rule. There has been considerable debate about what hill forts were actually for, suggesting their defences were often as much for display or symbol as primarily for defence. At the same time new studies have argued that the evidence from Wessex contradicts the idea that these hill forts were the residences of kings. A more communal and a relatively egalitarian society of small, competitive farming families might be more appropriate for large parts of Iron Age Britain where unequivocal evidence for an aristocracy is hard to find.

    This is not to say all Iron Age communities were like this. It is important to remember that the Iron Age lasted for seven centuries of change. Only the last 100 years of the period clearly saw a hierarchical, possibly class-based society with marked differences in wealth and power very different from that found earlier - and only in one part of Britain, namely the South East.

    It is also important to stress that the Iron Age was not the same across Britain and Ireland. While different types of chieftainly or kingly societies existed at the end of the Iron Age in south-east England and north-east Ireland, they did not necessarily exist across all of Britain at this time. While there were contacts, and shared cultural elements across Europe, it is the differences in all aspects of life between neighbouring areas that seem to have been more important than the similarities. One region might bury its dead in graves with grave goods, for instance, while next door the people treated their dead in an archaeologically invisible way. One area might have hill-forts and little fine metalwork, while the neighbouring region had the exact opposite. One area might have settlements enclosed by substantial earthworks, while the neighbouring area had open settlements, although presumably both societies were as threatened as each other by aggression.

    What these differences appear to show is that the lives, religious practices and types of society of Iron Age people were markedly different, at any one time, in different parts of the country. This is not to suggest these groups had little contact with each other. It is likely that trade and marriages between different groups were common, but that it was very important for groups to mark out their particular differences. The consequence is that it is difficult to talk meaningfully about a single Iron Age Britain.

    The lack of burials in the Iron Age has made it difficult to support the chronology of the period with grave-goods as it was possible to do in the Bronze Age. In the past the burials that do exist have been taken as unequivocal evidence of Continental invasion.

    There are a number of scattered burials from the south of England such as a 'warrior' grave from Owslebury in Hampshire with sword and remains of shield but the main group of burials are in the Home Counties and are known as the Aylesford-Swarling Group, named after two Kentish cemeteries and belong to the last century or so of the Iron Age and are evidence of contacts of that part of the country with the Roman world in Gaul.

    The period up to 300 BC is characterised by an increasing variety of settlement forms across Britain. There is also increased evidence for the organisation and exploitation of the agricultural landscape, including linear boundaries, field systems, pit alignments and isolated wells and pits. These features point to a dynamic pattern of agricultural intensification, with a number of innovations. Production of salt starts in the late Bronze Age and intensifies through the period, while there appears to be an increasing reliance on cereals in many areas, with spelt replacing emmer over much of eastern and southern Britain. The exact nature of regional farming systems is often poorly known, but complex patterns of local interdependence and transhumance are to be expected.

    Traditionally the period has been divided into the middle and late Iron Age, the latter being distinguished by new forms of material culture such as coins and wheel made pottery, as well as new settlement types and ritual practices. Many of these changes are, however, confined to certain parts of southern and eastern England. In other areas, such as East Sussex, Norfolk and the Fenlands, the 'middle Iron Age' - as defined by its pottery - continues up to the Roman conquest and beyond. Moreover, many 'late Iron Age' developments can now be seen either to have started earlier, or to be rooted in developments prior to 100 BC. They cannot be understood purely in terms of external causes in the 1st century BC.

    It is thus increasingly hard to sustain the traditional separation between a 'middle' and 'late' Iron Age even in southern Britain, let alone the island as a whole. Rather, the traits that typify parts of southern and eastern England in the first centuries BC and AD are another example of the regionality which typifies Iron Age Britain. In their turn, these features can be seen as part of a broader pattern of change which began ca. 400-200 BC and intensified in many regions towards the end of the millennium. Another feature of the later Iron Age is settlement expansion and ever intensifying use of the landscape, almost certainly linked to a significant rise in population. The closing centuries of the first millennium BC saw settlement expansion into previously sparsely settled areas, and the infilling of others, so that by the first century AD, large parts of the lowland landscape were virtually 'full' of settlement. It seems likely that prior to this period, many areas were relatively sparsely occupied and exploited; one reason being that the fertile but heavy soils which characterise many of the relevant areas were previously probably relatively difficult to cultivate. The improving climate of the Later Iron Age, combined with sound agricultural practice (for instance, manuring and crop rotation were used to maintain soil fertility) and technical innovation (such as reinforcing the tip of an ard with iron to enable heavier soils to be cultivated, and use of the rotary#quern to grind grain), allowed food production to rise. A substantial increase in the number of settlements is indicative of considerable population growth – it is thought to have exceeded one million (and there are much higher estimates).

    This expansion into thinly-settled areas and the social processes underlying this phenomenon are increasingly emerging as one of the crucial features of the later Iron Age. Frequently, the expansion process is linked with developing craft specialisation, for instance in the working of iron, pottery and glass , as well as with new kinds of settlement, which might in turn indicate new forms of social organisation. In some cases, the colonisation of new land was apparently accompanied by the laying out of extensive field systems as in East Anglia and the North Midlands - although better dating evidence is needed - while in others, settlement expansion may have promoted agricultural innovation.

    150 BC and after

    Britain’s most important contacts for most of the Iron Age were with Gaul, the English Channel serving more as a highway than a barrier. Commercial trade between Britain and Gaul, and the less structured transferal of ideas and customs, began in the Paleolithic period and witnessed few interruptions in the Bronze and Iron Ages. As we have noted, British innovations that were once explained by invasions from the continent are now attributed to less violent commercial contacts and kinship links. But in the LPRIA we finally have written evidence of a significant group of invaders: the Belgae. In his most famous commentary, The Gallic War, Julius Caesar gives this description of British origins:
    The inland regions of Britain are inhabited by people whom the Britons themselves claim, according to oral tradition, are indigenous. The coastal areas belong to people who once crossed from Belgium in search of booty and war: almost all of these inhabitants are called by the same national names as those of the states they originally came from. After waging war they remained in Britain and began to farm the land. Population density is high, and their dwellings are . . . very like those of the Gauls.
    Caesar, The Gallic War, 5.12

    There is much to substantiate Caesar’s account of the Belgae. For example, the names of such British tribes as the Parisi, Brigantes, Catuvellauni and Atrebates can be found in Gaul as well, and Gallo-Belgic coins begin appearing around the Thames estuary in the 2nd century BC. Archaeologists, beginning with Arthur Evans in the late 19th century, found other links. Evans discovered a cremation cemetery in Aylesford, Kent, which displayed characteristics of Gaulish burial rites and funerary objects. Swarling, another Kentish cemetery, was later also found to have similar commonalities with Southern Belgic culture. This Aylesford–Swarling culture, encompassing a large part of eastern Britain, was explained as the result of a significant invasion from northern Gaul. A similar interpretation was attached to the discovery, in East Yorkshire, of large ditch-enclosed cemeteries containing peculiar ‘vehicle burials.’ These consist of large graves in which disassembled two-wheeled vehicles (carts or chariots) covered the remains of men and women who, because some were accompanied by prestige goods (e.g. chain mail, swords, ornate mirrors), were identified as members of local nobility. These elite burials of the Arras culture, as it came to be called, have close parallels with La Tène burials throughout northern Europe. These finds alone, however, do not prove massive migrations. Many of the cremation cemeteries, for example, have now been dated to after Caesar’s British invasion. Archaeologists in recent years have preferred to see the cremations and graves as evidence for close ties between military elites on both sides of the Channel, as indeed Caesar says there were, with British nobles copying the arms and funerary rites of their near neighbors and kin in Gaul. Still, all but the most skeptical archaeologists admit to some movement of warrior groups from northern Gaul to eastern Britain, where they may have intermarried with the native aristocracy. The timeframe for such movements is difficult to work out, but clearly by the LPRIA these contacts – as well as the commercial links – were intensifying and resulting in important innovations.

    Southern Britain

    Large extended families had always been present in the island, but burial and settlement patterns seem to indicate that the entity which anthropologists call the ‘simple chiefdom’ appeared in most parts of Britain by the 2nd century BC. Once again, it is the Channel Zone which was first to innovate, but by the LPRIA tribal chiefdoms appear to be the norm throughout Britain. The south continued to innovate in the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, though hill fort construction came to a halt in this area and many were abandoned in favor of new settlements. An economic explanation can be found in the change in trading patterns due to the expansion westward of the Roman state. Two significant moments in this expansion were the establishment of the province of Transalpina in southern Gaul, in 124 BC, and Julius Caesar’s conquest of Gaul from 58 to 50 BC. The first event led to the commercial exploitation, by Roman merchants, of the old overland trade route which had for centuries brought British tin to Mediterranean ports. Now Roman wine travelled (as demonstrated by finds of Dressel amphoras) over the Carcassone Gap to Toulouse, then via the Gironde to Brittany and the Channel Islands, and finally to the principal British harbors of Hengistbury Head and Poole Harbor, where it was exchanged for metals, shale, and probably slaves. The second event, Caesar’s conquests, disrupted this Atlantic trade route and reoriented commerce in the middle of the 1st century BC. A serious blow came with Caesar’s destruction of the fleets of the Veneti, the Gallic tribe who had acted as middlemen in trade with Britain. At the same time, commercial links were being developed across the Channel on the Seine– Solent and Somme–Thames axes. Both Caesar and Strabo describe these short crossings, which were utilized by both merchants and Gallic nobles fleeing from the Roman legions. When Caesar finally conquered northern Gaul the contacts did not cease; rather, Roman and Gallic merchants took advantage of the now complete Roman control of the overland routes to further exploit the potential of the British markets.

    It is into this context that developments after ca. 150 BC in southern and eastern England - such as the adoption of coinage, visible burial rites and shrines; revitalised exchange links; and the emergence of new large-scale settlements (oppida) - must be set. By the mid 2nd century BC, southern Britain saw the re-emergence of gold, absent since the late Bronze Age. Torcs and coins were clearly among the media used to articulate social relations, and their appearance could have had a disruptive effect upon existing systems. Parts of southern Britain also show an increase in the use of horse trappings at about the same period. As yet the relationship between the various changes are poorly understood - work at sites like Danebury, Hengistbury, Maiden Castle and Westhampnett having raised as many questions as they answered. Chronologies, artefact assemblages and sites are better known from the later 1st century BC onward. Rapid changes took place, with the foundation of oppida like Colchester, Silchester and St Albans, and intensified contacts with Gaul and the Mediterranean world. Many of the principal oppida were established in areas where earlier settlement was sparse, indicating the need to consider their emergence in relation to processes of settlement expansion in other parts of Britain. There were notable changes in the forms, imagery and distribution of coinage, as well as significant alterations in personal appearance, ways of eating, and in the nature of domestic architecture. These transformations are associated with the development of 'kingdoms' - large scale polities with clear signs of social hierarchy and elites - and are essentially confined to south-east England. Here, the scale and nature of contacts with the Roman world, and with the imperial aristocracy in particular, is an area for considerable debate.

    We are beginning to understand something of the nature of overseas trade in the Iron Age that was clearly expanding after the visit of Jullius Caesar. Recent exploration of areas of Poole Harbour have re-examined timbers that were first thought to have been part of a Roman jetty but now have been recognised by virtue of radiocarbon tests as dating to around 250 BC and therefore are part of an Iron Age structure. Two jetties have now been identified, one now 45 metres long but probably originally as long as the other one that has a length of 80 metres. Their platforms were eight metres wide and made of flagstones laid on top of a superstructure of perhaps 10,000 tonnes of rubble held in place with oak piles. Greek and Roman traders probably knew the place well before the Roman Conquest and the archaeologists suggest that exports of pottery, metal objects and shale trinkets could have been exchanged for amber, Roman samian ware, amphorae of wine and olive oil. From the harbour, access to the hinterland was probably by boat along the river Stour up into modern Somerset and the river Frome that flows down through Dorset from the Maiden Castle area where a major Iron Age settlement was located. It is likely that the trading-places of Mount Batten and Hengistbury Head, active in the Late Bronze Age, were still operating.

    Such trading places are difficult to identity because the volume of trade with Europe was not enormous at this time and, apart from slaves, perhaps grain, possibly woollen textiles, and the tin and other minerals available on Dartmoor, it is not easy to suggest many goods/materials that could have been traded out of the country. These exports are not likely to have travelled far to reach their ports of embarkation so we should expect to find a number of small ports each dealing with its own locally produced material rather than expect to find multi-exports from the same port.

    Kent was clearly the chief recipient of Roman trade goods from across the narrow Straits, a flow that must have started at about the same time as Caesar’s expeditions or even a bit before. Evidence comes from graves in south-eastern Britain in cemeteries like those at Aylesford and Swarling which together provide the name Aylsford-Swarling for the culture. Elements of this culture spread to the Catuvellauni and the Trinovantes but it is best recognised amongst the Cantiaci.

    At Aylesford the site consisted of cremation burials in small, cylindrical pits. The graves contained pots including a characteristic wheel-thrown pedestal urn. Ashes were contained, not in pottery vessels but in wooden and metal buckets. One grave contained a bronze jug, a bronze ladle and two bronze brooches of Etruscan type, indications perhaps of a taste for southern menus and fashions. At Swarling the cemetery included one grave with six pottery vessels, north Italian brooches and a wooden bucket.

    Away from Kent, in Prae Wood, near Verulamium, a typical cemetery has been almost completely excavated. No less than 463 individual cremations have been found, most in urns in small pits accompanied very often by a pot or pots and bronze brooches while the richest graves also contained bronze mirrors, keys, knives, bracelets, shears, gaming pieces, spoons and toilet sets. Some rich graves were located in the centres of rectangular ditched enclosures with poorer graves placed in a circle around - a noble and his family or entourage perhaps? Prae Wood cemetery perhaps dates from the 1st half of the first century AD before the Roman Conquest so is a little later than the Aylesford and Swarling cemeteries.

    It is thought that a similar cemetery existed at Welwyn Garden City that was destroyed when the site was developed during the twentieth century. An example of one of the few graves that was salvaged was contained in a rectangular grave-pit some 3 metres by 2 metres containing the unurned ashes, five wine amphorae (containers), a bronze dish and strainer, a wooden vessel with bronze attachments, a set of gaming pieces, a wooden gaming board, glass beads, bracelets and a silver cup, of which other examples have been found in contemporary graves close by. Other graves at Welwyn contained amphorae, pedestal urns, bronze masks, bronze bowls, pairs of fire-dogs and a variety of other bronze vessels. None of them contained weapons. These rich graves have been assigned to one of two groups, the first dating between ca. 50 BC to ca. 10 BC with the principal bronze vessels and the second between ca. 10 BC to the Roman Conquest containing Gallo-Belgic pottery and Roman samian ware so that together they neatly span the century from Caesar to the Roman Conquest.

    Probably, the most outstanding burial of the period is under the Lexden tumulus situated inside the oppidum at Camulodunum in Essex. Set amongst a number of lesser graves, the Lexden tumulus was nearly three metres high and thirty metres in diameter. Beneath the mound was a central grave some nine metres by almost six. In it were a few small fragments of human bone, a bronze model cupid, the neck and head of a griffin, a small bronze bull and boar, a table and other furnishings, bits of iron wheel-rims and chain mail, silver ornaments, a silver buckle and studs, fragments of gold tissue and a silver medallion of Augustus which dates the burial to after 17 BC.

    Apart from the wheel-turned pottery and the coinage, the people of the Aylesford-Swarling culture shared another characteristic with other developing societies in southern Britain and that was the emergence of proto-urban settlements within their areas. Such sites have been recognised at several locations including Canterbury, Verulamium, Camulodunum and Rochester. They seem to have functioned as both strongholds and centres of government and to have enclosed considerable areas of countryside. Sites at Rochester, Verulamium and Camulodunum contained mints. These sites are known to British archaeologists as oppida and the assumption is that the rulers were bringing together, albeit in a tentative way, the various functions of their administrations.

    The earliest site near Verulamium appears to have been at Wheathampstead where an area of some 36 to 40 hectares was intensively occupied. Before the end of the 1st century BC, the site seems to have shifted the short distance to Verulamium which was situated above the River Lea and today is surrounded by slight earthworks although there are more impressive earthworks further out. Inside, the settlement was dispersed with several nuclei like the cemetery at Prae Wood mentioned above and a mint.


    A second major area in direct contact with the Continent at this time was Humberside. A large number of early La Tène imports and local copies of Continental material concentrate in this area, which also corresponds to the distribution of a distinctive inhumation burial tradition which followed Continental practices. Indeed it has often been suggested that this area was colonized by immigrants from the Continent at this time. However, the traditions represented may may also seen as the result of close trading ties and the local adaptation to wider ideas.

    The Arras burials have many insular features and are located in groups within blocks of land that are defined by linear dykes. The earliest burials date to the fifth century BC and are large, square barrows. Later barrows were smaller, had deep, central pits and these continued to the first century BC. The burials under these later barrows were either orientated north-south and crouched or extended east-west with different grave goods. Brooches and sheep-bones were common with the crouched burials while swords, spears, tools and pig-bones characterised the extended burials. Some corpses had been speared as part of the burial ritual. The chariot (cart) burials included some decorated metalwork along with the dismantled vehicle and include the only example of a mail tunic from the whole later-Iron Age world.

    The Arras culture is named after Arras, near Market Weighton, where an Iron Age barrow cemetery – there were more than 100 barrows, i.e. circular burial mounds – was excavated by a band of local worthies, in the years 1815–17. They found two chariot burials – that is to say barrows beneath which the corpse shared its grave with a dismantled, two-wheeled, vehicle. Because of the military implication, some archaeologists are reluctant to call them chariots. Their original purpose is by no means certain, though it seems reasonable to assume their last role was to convey the dead person – who was certainly of the highest rank – to his, or her, grave ... and then beyond. Sometimes, therefore, the term ‘cart burial’ is used. At any rate, in one of the original Arras discoveries, the deceased had been buried, not only with the chariot, but also with its two horses – his was dubbed ‘the King's Barrow’.

    In 1959, in an attempt to find more chariot burials, an area of the Arras cemetery was surveyed with a magnetometer. None were found, but another characteristic feature of the Arras culture cemeteries became apparent. The magnetometer did detect two barrows that were surrounded by square-plan ditches. A search through the records showed that square-ditched barrows had been noticed at earlier excavations. Today, ‘square barrows’ (as they are generally known), like those at Arras, are generally not recognisable to the naked eye at ground level, having been ploughed flat. Their square ditches can, however, appear as crop marks, visible from aircraft. Most recent discoveries have been made this way, and there are, quite literally, thousands of them in the Wolds and surrounding area (southeast into Holderness, west to the middle of the Vale of York and north, across the Vale of Pickering, to the southern fringes of the North York Moors).

    The burials – their sheer number suggests that this was the normal method of disposing of dead adults (apparently, it is rare to find the remains of anyone younger than around sixteen years old) – seem to span a period of some 400 years, starting in the 5th century BC and ending in the 1st century BC. The inhumations, laid in a grave at the barrow's centre (the barrows, at up to 9 metres diameter, are not large), usually in crouched position, are usually aligned with the head towards the north – there are exceptions. Modest grave goods – locally produced pottery, a brooch, a joint of meat – might accompany the inhumation. Richer burials occur occasionally, and chariot burials are very rare. The elite were not always buried with a chariot. At Kirkburn, for instance, where excavations took place in 1987, the grave designated Kirkburn 3 was a ‘warrior burial’ (a male inhumation accompanied by warrior's weapons) containing, according to the British Museum: “Probably the finest Iron Age sword in Europe”. Kirkburn 5 was a chariot burial – the occupant's chain-mail tunic had been draped, upside down, over his corpse. Both warrior and charioteer were in their late twenties/early thirties.

    Each chariot burial is unique, there is no standard layout. In the majority, however, the chariot has been dismantled prior to burial. There are, as always, exceptions. In a burial at Pexton Moor, first investigated in 1911, the chariot had been buried upright and intact – the wheels standing in pits. It seems likely that a barrow, opened in the mid-19th century, at Cawthorn Camps also contained a chariot which had been buried upright. Pexton Moor and Cawthorn Camps are to the north of the Wolds – on the southern edge of the North York Moors. At the end of 2003, a chariot burial was discovered some 20 miles west of the Wolds, at Ferrybridge. Once again, the chariot had been buried intact, but instead of the wheels resting in pits, the base of the grave sloped downwards to accommodate them. Radiocarbon dating places the burial in the 4th century BC. Interestingly, strontium testing showed that the charioteer was not a local man. He hailed from further north – possibly the Scottish Highlands or even Scandinavia.

    In some two centuries of archaeological excavation only about 20 chariot burials have been found in Britain. All of them in the Wolds and surrounding area ... except one. In January 2001, at Newbridge, near Edinburgh, a chariot burial was excavated. Like the Arras culture outliers, the vehicle had been buried upright and intact. Its wheels had been located in pits. All that remained of the charioteer were scraps of his tooth enamel. Radiocarbon assays suggest a 5th century BC date for the burial.

    In Britain then, square barrows and chariot burials are usually associated with the Arras culture, centred on the Yorkshire Wolds. There are, however, similarities (there are differences too) between Arras culture burials and those found in the Champagne region of France. Further, to the Romans, the tribe living in the Arras culture area were the Parisi, an appellation shared with the Gallic tribe after whom Paris is named. There is no conclusive evidence, but it is possible that the Arras culture was a result of an influx of people – there need not have been many – from Gaul.

    Coins and Chronologies

    Coins and their distributions

    In all, some 12,624 Iron Age coins are recorded from Britain, but unfortunately probably less than 50% survive today. Of this impressive total ca. 3,100 come from the single ‘hoard’ found at Hengistbury and a further 5,200+ from other hoards. A mere 1,100+ have been found in excavations (the majority come from three sites: Camulodunum, Braughing, and Harlow), and of these a substantial proportion are unstratified. Furthermore, it is estimated that of the 5,000 or so coins recorded on the Index housed in the Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, about two-thirds are without precise provenance. Most scholars will agree that coinage was introduced into Britain during the period 120-50 BC, but the economic and social situation in the south-east of the country, and in particular the differences in the different regional systems, are seldom taken into account.

    Several points deserve mention here. Foremost is the fact that in the early part of the period the south-east of Britain can be divided into two distinct regions: a hill fort-dominated zone stretching from Kent and Sussex westwards to Wessex and the Cotswolds, and an area of open settlement occupying the Thames Valley, East Anglia, and the Midlands. This same division is emphasized by a consideration of the ceramics of the area.

    Clearly, two separate socio-economic systems are implied. In both zones coinage was adopted and a full-scale market economy eventually developed. To suggest however that the idea of coinage in its various manifestations was completely novel might prove to be misleading. Widespread use of currency bars appears on present evidence to have preceded the introduction of coinage (if overlapping with it), while the discovery at several sites (including Winklebury and Danebury) of well made stone weights implies that careful measurement was being practised. It may well be that salt packed in ceramic containers formed another unit of value, while the possibility that storage pits for grain may have been dug to a series of size standards is a further reminder that accurate measurement, in the interests of exchange, may have been widespread. To this we might perhaps add that some at least of the large numbers of Greek coins found in south-eastern Britain are likely to be genuine Iron Age imports, thus familiarizing the natives with the idea of the coin as a unit of value. In other words, at the time when large-scale long-distance trade was re-established in the first half of the 1st century BC, it is reasonable to assume that the communities of the south-east already practised an ordered economy in which measurement by weight and possibly by volume formed an essential part. In such circumstances the ready adoption of coinage need occasion no surprise nor would it be exceptional if a money economy were to develop soon after.

    While central southern Britain was experiencing the effects of long-distance trade and most likely a limited immigration of Belgic settlers, the south-east was bound in contact of a different kind with the adjacent parts of Belgic Gaul. The nature of these contacts is obscure but the classical sources provide some hints. Caesar offers two relevant comments: that the Britons had served in most of the Gallic Wars (DBG 4.20.1) and that Diviciacus, King of the Suessiones, had dominions in Britain (DBG 2.4.7). Both statements are open to a wide variety of interpretations but at the very least they imply close diplomatic ties across the Channel. In the social systems of the time it would not have been at all unusual for tribes in Britain to have offered allegiance to Belgic high kings. The obligations thus entailed would have been met by providing warriors in time of need and in gift exchange involving, among other things, the passing of high-value coins among élites.

    The earliest of the British-minted coinages was a cast high-tin bronze issue found in great numbers in Kent and the Lower Thames valley and East Sussex. These coins, originally called 'potins' and now known as Kentish Cast Bronzes, were copied from Masilliote prototypes, a few of which arrived in east Kent possibly as the result of long-distance trade along the Atlantic route. Dating cannot be precise but the series is now thought to have begun in the late 2nd century BC and to have continued to develop until a decade or two after the Gallic War. The early appearance of low-denomination coinage in just the region where the high-value Gallo-Belgic imports are distributed is of considerable interest, for there can be little doubt that they were minted to facilitate exchange within the early monetary system. Whether or not this implies the emergence of a developing market economy is a moot point, but when seen against the background of the development of oppida in the same region it is difficult to resist the view that major developments in trade and exchange were now under way. The coincidence of the distribution of the early potin and the arc-decorated pottery of the Mucking-Crayford and Late Caburn-Saltdean styles is a strong indication that the maritime regions of the south-east remained in close contact, presumably by means of coastal shipping.

    Gallo-Belgic B coins were probably in use in Britain in the decades before Caesar’s conquest, and some of the Gallo-Belgic A examples may well have been in circulation in this period. The distribution of Gallo-Belgic B centres upon the Thames estuary favoring Kent, a distribution pattern very similar to that of the Potin I coinage for which Allen has argued a pre-conquest date. Mapped together the gross distribution of Gallo-Belgic B and Potin I probably reflects the territory within which coinage first came into regular use in Britain. The Potin coinage is of particular interest for not only was it minted in Britain but its very existence must surely imply a system of currency involving two denominations.

    It is in the context of social intercourse that we might best explain the earliest imported Gallo-Belgic coins. The two earliest issues, the Large Flan type of the Ambiani and the Defaced Die type possibly of the Caletes (i.e. Gallo-Belgic A and B in Allen's nomenclature) were minted in Gaul in the last thirty years of the 2nd century BC and could have reached Britain at this time or later. These were followed by four later types: the Abstract Design type (Gallo-Belgic C) which may have been minted by the Suessiones; the Gallic War types (Gallo-Belgic E) which began minting about 60 BC and circulated in vast numbers on both sides of the Channel, presumably to finance the war against Caesar; the Triple Tailed Horse type (Gallo-Belgic F) minted by the Suessiones about 60 BC and appearing in Britain in only small numbers; and a quarter stater, the Geometric type (Gallo-Belgic D), which was probably current in Britain between 80 and 60 BC.

    To what extent it is legitimate to construct a 'protohistory' on the basis of these early Gallo-Belgic imports is debatable. The 'Wave of Invasions' theory is not very popular antmore, but it would be legitimate to see in the distributions of the Large Flan and Defaced Die types (i.e. Gallo-Belgic A and B), emanating from the Ambiani and Caletes in the Somme valley and Belgic coastal zone, evidence of some type of folk movement. Such a view could be reconciled with the theory of a Belgic incursion into the Solent region, by supposing that in the decades around 130-100 BC many bands of settlers arrived on the British shores but only the Solent group remained ethnically identifiable in the eyes of the later Roman geographers. The alternative view, that the early Gallo-Belgic coins simply reflect diplomatic links, is equally plausible. The evidence is such that there can be no certainty.

    Of the waves of imported coinages, taken to reflect the pattern of Belgic migration to Britain, the two earliest were attributed to the second century BC, while the third and main wave, Gallo-Belgic C, was dated to about 100 BC. Some sort of Belgic activity is represented in the Lower Thames area by the coins of the second century and perhaps also the few brooches and swords-but Belgic settlement, it was felt, should date at least from the time of the third coin wave, about I00 BC. But is it possible to reconcile the story of the coins with that of the other archaeological material ? Thus is called into question the initial chronology of the Aylesford-Swarling sequence. The Aylesford-Swarling culture in Britain may be defined as an archaeological culture characterized by cremation-burials in flat graves and accompanied by distinctive pottery types. Re-examination of all the relevant material, including the reassembly of all possible grave-groups, suggests, particularly for Kent, the primary landfall, it is agreed, of the first Belgic invaders, the formation of 'homogeneous' groups of graves, based on the similarity of over-all contents. These form a simple relative chronological series, with 'early', 'middle', and 'late' periods. The three reconstructed 'bucket-grave' groups from Aylesford form the basis of the 'middle' period. It is to this period that chronological termini may be proposed, suggested, on the one hand, by the pottery types, and on the other, by the associated non-ceramic material. Excluded from this group, but found amongst the grave-material of the 'late' period, are pottery types generally attributable to the late 1st century BC, the plate and butt-beaker forms which seem to appear on settlement sites at about 10 BC.

    We may take, then, about 10 BC as the approximate date for the end of the 'middle' period. The initial date is suggested by the associated bronzes in the group. These bronzes, all from the Aylesford Grave 'Y' group, the bronze-plated situla grave, include a jug, a patella, and brooches; all have closest parallels with types found commonly in the Ornavasso cemetery in northern Italy. The utensils, in particular, enjoy an interesting distribution in north-west Europe, but for present purposes their main interest once again concerns the chronological aspect. In a comprehensive survey of Late La Tene bronze vessels Werner has been able to show that, generally speaking, the find-combinations of Late La Tene and early Roman utensils are mutually exclusive, thus facilitating a division between the Late La Tene period and the early Empire. These periods, according to Werner, coincided north of the Alps with the submission of the Vindelici in I5 BC and with the beginning of the military operations on the Rhine under Drusus in 12 BC, when Campanian-cast forms and their upper Italian imitations replace the earlier types. The majority of the Late La Tene forms beyond the Alps Werner thus puts to the last ten years of the pre-Roman period.

    Meanwhile, these bronze vessels at Aylesford are to be placed between the Caesarian and Augustan periods. Thus, since none of the diagnostic features of the Aylesford-Swarling 'middle' group can be proved to be characteristically pre-Caesarian in date, the time-range about 50 BC to about 10 BC should fairly include the whole of the group. What, then, remains to represent the pre-Caesarian period and the initial stages of Belgic settlement? The material defined as typologically 'early' in the Aylesford-Swarling sequence comes mainly from Kent and comprises a few grave-groups, all from the Swarling cemetery - but of these only two contained more than one pottery vessel-and some examples of similar pottery types without known associations. Unfortunately, two of the relevant pottery types can be shown, when associated, to occur in late as well as early contexts. What may be the typologically earliest pottery seems all to come from Aylesford; of these few pots, all now unassociated, three, neither described nor illustrated by Evans, may not even have come from the cremation-burials but from another part of the cemetery apparently used at an earlier date. The paucity of the material, then, in the 'early' group inevitably raises the question whether it may reasonably be claimed that the group, while it may be pre-Caesarian, extends as far back in time as the dating attributed at least to the main coin wave at about 100 BC.

    This is indeed a pertinent question, for though coins may relate to the dominant and wealthier elements of society which are unlikely to be documented by other archaeological material such as coarse pottery, yet burial-material ought to relate to the whole of the society, and the 'early' group represents the earliest typological stage in the Aylesford-Swarling sequence. It must therefore be doubted whether, on present evidence, there are grounds for up-dating the Aylesford-Swarling culture. On the other hand, the earlier dating for Belgic settlement in Britain proposed by the coin evidence gains some support from a reconsideration of the continental material. For it can now be shown that the continental Belgic tribes are of earlier origin than has hitherto been supposed. Analysis of the parallel Late La Tene series of Aylesford-Swarling type burials on the Continent reveals that its characteristic features of cremation-burial and distinctive pottery types have origins in Middle, and even Early, La Tene. Hence the conclusion that the southern Belgic tribes were developing during the third century BC at the latest. This is, moreover, consistent with the results of Marien's work on the La Tene material of the present-day Low Countries; here, owing to the demonstrable continuity of culture in the regional groups throughout La Tene, the Belgic tribes inhabiting these northern regions in historical times can be traced back to origins in the fifth century. The 'Germanic' origin of the Belgae, when expressed in archaeological terms, is seen to be Urnfield. In conclusion, it would seem that, if the higher dating of the coins is accepted and given the much earlier formation of the continental Belgic tribes, the Aylesford-Swarling sequence, which is more closely related to the culture of the southern Belgae and seems predominantly post-Caesarian in date, represents a later-albeit the most dominant-phase of Belgic settlement and culture in Britain. Aylesford-Swarling is now seen to extend only part way along the widened, and still widening, horizons of Belgic history.

    In the two decades before the outbreak of the Gallic War, several of the British tribes began to strike their own coinages mostly based on Gallo-Belgic C issues. Although numbers are not particularly great it is possible to show that the different types of early British coins tend to be restricted to distinct, but broadly defined, territories which reflect quite closely the ceramic zones of the Middle-Late Iron Age. The development of these early regional types can be recognized into the 40s and 30s of the 1st century, by which time many issuing authorities were adding inscriptions to the coins identifying rulers and sometimes the places where the coins were minted. Thereafter it is possible to trace the succession up to the time of the Roman invasion of 43 AD, after which the tribal entities can be positively named and quite tightly defined geographically. Reviewing the evidence overall, it is a reasonable supposition that the tribes known to us at the time of the Claudian invasion can be traced back as geo-political entities to the Middle Iron Age, and in some areas possibly even earlier, though there must have been many boundary adjustments over time. At what stage it is justifiable to use the later tribal names it is very difficult to say.

    Many of the decisions we have made in how to best represent the Iron Age peoples of Britain will without doubt be controversial. We welcome debate and critique, as long as it is civil, but we ask just one thing: please be aware that the issues surrounding this faction have been hotly debated in our team for over a year, and that we have seriously considered many alternatives and possibilities. Anyone is free to comment, of course, and even to disagree with our conclusions- but don't assume that we haven't thought of an idea or aren't aware of a piece of evidence.

    Bibliography and web resources.

    Iron Age Communities in Britain, Barry Cunliffe
    Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and Its Peoples, 8000 BC to AD 1500 , Barry Cunliffe
    The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek: The Man Who Discovered Britain, Barry Cunliffe
    The Ancient Celts, Barry Cunliffe
    British Iron Age Swords and Scabbards, I.M. Stead
    The Brigantes: From Clientage to Conquest, W. S Hanson and D. B. Campbell,
    Building an Iron Age British Chariot, Mike Loades
    Celtic Names and Roman Places, A. L. F. Rivet,
    Thoughts on the evolution of Celtic societies and grand Celtic narratives, Raimund Karl
    Toward a Phylogenetic Chronology of Ancient Gaulish, Celtic, and Indo-European, Peter Forster and Alfred Toth,
    Gifts and Kin in Early Iron Age Europe, Chris Gosden,
    Visions of Power: Imagery and Symbols in Late Iron Age Britain, John Creighton,
    ... on a road to nowhere ... ? Chariotry and the road systems in the Celtic World, Raimund Karl
    Middle Iron Age Warfare of the Hillfort Dominated Zone c. 400 BC to c. 150 BC, Jon Bryant Finney
    Kingdoms of the Celts, John Kin
    An Imperial Possession, D. Mattingly
    The Impact of Roman Rule on Native Society in the Territory of the Parisi, John S. Dent,
    Prehistoric Britain, Timothy Darvill
    Explaining Ptolemy's Roman Britain, Alastair Strang,
    The Britons, Christopher Snyder
    The Forts of Celtic Britain, Osprey
    The Scouring of the [Uffington] White Horse: Archaeology, Identity, and "Heritage",Philip Schwyzer ,
    The Iron Age in Northern Britain: Celts and Romans, Natives and Invaders, D. W. Harding
    Ancient Britain, James Dyer
    Excavations at Navan Fort, Co. Armagh, The Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork, Queen's University Belfast, Data Structure Report no. 13
    Understanding the British Iron Age, A Draft Report of a Working Party of members of the Iron Age Research Seminar
    The Celts: A History, Daithi O Hogain
    The Lords of Battle, Stephen Allen

    Show your support for Europa Barbarorum in style with these new signature banners, featuring the mighty Pritanoi! Courtesy of Gustave.

    We hope you have enjoyed this preview of our new Pritanoi faction in Europa Barbarorum II.

    Please note that unless stated otherwise, ALL pictures, names, and descriptions shown in our previews are works in progress. We continue to improve on all parts of EB, and we will continue to do so long after our initial release.

    Since some areas where these news items are posted cannot handle wide images, we appreciate your restraint from quoting full-size images.

    As always, if you have questions or comments, the best place to post them is here, where the EB team is most active:

    Europa Barbarorum ORG forum

    Europa Barbarorum TWC forum

    A special thanks to Tux and JMRC for their excellent models and renders, Gustave for his wonderful unit skins and artwork, JMRC for the screenshots and excellent unit cards, and to Power2the1, Oudysseos, Paullus, Cmaqq and Gamegeek2 for the historical info and text work.

    Have a great day
    The Europa Barbarorum team.
    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
    Even as are the generations of leaves, such are the lives of men.
    Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, Illiad, 6.146

  4. #4
    Member Member stratigos vasilios's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Absolutely amazing! I really really like the links for further study too!
    We love you because you died and resurrected to save us...
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 
    We love you Goku!

  5. #5
    Counter-Revolutionary Member BerkeleyBoi's Avatar
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    People's Republic of Berkeley.

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Wow, that was an amazing preview... great job to the EB team!

  6. #6
    Member Member WinsingtonIII's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Wow I was not expecting this!

    Everything looks great as usual, and this was an especially informative preview; I learned quite a bit.

    I think someone mentioned this before, but have you guys considered using the hilltop village/town models from the Kingdoms Teutonic campaign as a representation of the hill forts? I can take a screenshot of them if you would like to see; although they will obviously look medieval.
    from Megas Methuselah, for some information on Greek colonies in Iberia.

  7. #7
    Villiage Idiot Member antisocialmunky's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Quote Originally Posted by WinsingtonIII View Post
    Wow I was not expecting this!

    Everything looks great as usual, and this was an especially informative preview; I learned quite a bit.

    I think someone mentioned this before, but have you guys considered using the hilltop village/town models from the Kingdoms Teutonic campaign as a representation of the hill forts? I can take a screenshot of them if you would like to see; although they will obviously look medieval.
    Wow, I am totally excited. Gaza Campaign pleeez!!!
    Fighting isn't about winning, it's about depriving your enemy of all options except to lose.

    "Hi, Billy Mays Here!" 1958-2009

  8. #8

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Quote Originally Posted by oudysseos View Post
    Special Bonus Unit - Snamoneites


  9. #9
    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    HOLY CRAP!!!! I wanted to go to class, but i'll rather sit through reading this!
    Europa Barbarorum Secretary

  10. #10
    Misanthropos Member I of the Storm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    The highest praise must be given to this preview. Thoroughly researched, interesting to read and of scholarly qualities. Being an academic myself I recommend making an article of it and publish it.
    Last edited by I of the Storm; 04-21-2010 at 10:20.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Senior Member Ibn-Khaldun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    I think I found my favorite unit in EBII!
    Those Snamoneites are cool!

  12. #12
    Member Member Horatius Flaccus's Avatar
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    Ulpia Noviomagus Batavorum

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Wow! How long did you work on this preview?

    Absolutely stunning!
    Exegi monumentum aere perennius
    Regalique situ pyramidum altius
    Non omnis moriar

    - Quintus Horatius Flaccus

  13. #13
    Tuba Son Member Subotan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Very, very cool

    What kind of territory do the Pritanoi start off with?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Senior Member Ibn-Khaldun's Avatar
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    With Durowernon I guess. You can see that in the first post. There are 3 campaign map pics. Though, I understand this is just a preview and things can change in the future.
    Also, do we see Pritanoi in action as well? I mean battle video about them?

  15. #15

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Oh my gracious God!

    Looks like I'l enjoy reading this - too bad I still have homework to do for next class...
    “Save us, o Lord, from the arrows of the Magyars.” - A prayer from the 10th century.

  16. #16
    urk! Member bobbin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Quote Originally Posted by WinsingtonIII View Post
    I think someone mentioned this before, but have you guys considered using the hilltop village/town models from the Kingdoms Teutonic campaign as a representation of the hill forts? I can take a screenshot of them if you would like to see; although they will obviously look medieval.
    We are aware of the model, but thank you for your suggestion all the same.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    That's A LOT of information! Cool.

    How do the chariots function on MTW2 engine? Also, are the cavalrymen still fighting "on steroids"? Do they still attack by using quick "bursts" of hits only to stop for a moment and then go into berserk mode again?

    It looks like the model variation really benefits the barbarians. It all looks more authentic. I'm worrying about the animations, though - everything was very "slow" in MTW2 Vanilla and some fighting moves were simply ridiculous.
    Last edited by Cybvep; 04-21-2010 at 12:21.

  18. #18
    urk! Member bobbin's Avatar
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    Tin Isles

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    EB II uses new animations so no need to worry about either of those problems.

  19. #19
    Bassist, Swordsman, Gentleman Member Klearchos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Amazing!!!!! Great job guys!
    "They told him to throw down his sword and return to the earth. Hah! Time enough for the earth in the grave."

  20. #20
    Member Member Noble Wrath's Avatar
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    Always on the move - to be still is to be dead

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    I've been reading the preview for over an hour now. And all I feel for you gentlemen is respect. Seriously. EBII will be the mod to end all mods.
    Πόλεμος πάντων μέν πατήρ εστι, πάντων δέ βασιλεύς
    καί τούς μέν θεούς έδειξε, τούς δέ ανθρώπους
    τούς μέν δούλους εποίησε, τούς δέ ελευθέρους.

  21. #21
    EB Nitpicker Member oudysseos's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Just to remind people - the unit cards are clickable thumbnails - so don''t miss the larger views!
    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
    Even as are the generations of leaves, such are the lives of men.
    Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, Illiad, 6.146

  22. #22
    Sovereign of all England! Member Donkey Kong Champion Arthur, king of the Britons's Avatar
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    King Arthur's Court at Camelot

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Awesome preview! Can't wait for the final product!

    King Arthur's Court at Camelot

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    Marble bust of Arthouros the Divider, first man to pass a Koinon Law since the foundation of the Alliance.

  23. #23
    Member Member Joszen1's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    Zululand, South Africa

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Awesome! I will definitely take a Pritanoi campaign! The preview is again further evidence of why the EB team is so loved. Scholarly, fun, passionate!

  24. #24
    Member Member Tochata's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Great Job! Thanks for all of the information and sources.

  25. #25
    Near East TW Mod Leader Member Cute Wolf's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    In ancient Middle East, driving Assyrian war machines...
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    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Awesome preview....

    Although I'll miss Barrae for that (don't say that he'll join the Aedui )

    My Projects : * Near East Total War * Nusantara Total War * Assyria Total War *
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    Also known as SPIKE in TWC

  26. #26
    EB Nitpicker Member oudysseos's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Dublin, Ireland

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Quote Originally Posted by Ibn-Khaldun View Post
    With Durowernon I guess. You can see that in the first post. There are 3 campaign map pics. Though, I understand this is just a preview and things can change in the future.
    Also, do we see Pritanoi in action as well? I mean battle video about them?
    1. The home province of the Pritanoi is not Durowernon, but Uffington Castle (Penncrugon), in the landlocked province of Arduon (Arden, the High Place, or the Uplands). The screenshots do not reflect this (WIP, right?)

    Uffington Castle was/is a hill fort of relatively modest size, but remained in use throughout the period, and its proximity to the Uffington White Horse, the Manger, Dragon Hill, The Blowing Stone, and Wayland's Smithy strongly suggests that the area was one of ritual or ceremonial importance. The White Horse itself is such an iconic symbol that it was actually my first choice for the new Faction Symbol - but there are already a lot of horses in other Faction Symbols, and also we wanted to keep the original colours as much as possible - and the horse really needed to be on a green background. It still might show up on banners and stuff like that - we'll see.

    Gameplay factors were also of some consideration (though not primary) insofar as the starting province of the faction is in the middle of southern Britain and touches five other provinces, giving the player immediate choices to make as to the direction for expansion. These choices will have consequences - moving south to the Channel coast will bring you into contact with the Continent, with increased trade and access to Armorican and Belgic mercenaries - but will also introduce problems of loyalty and control of the population. Moving north to Liverpool Bay will bring you trade contacts with Ireland and the north, and will be somewhat easier to assimilate, but will not have the immediate technological benefits of the southern regions. In a way, you get to choose whether you head north and 'become' the Corieltauvi or Brigantes, or south to take on the role of the Trinovantes or Catuvellauni.

    2. We will do a video at some point and either post it on this thread or separately - we decided that since everything else was finished, that we wouldn't hold back the preview just on account of the video.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cute Wolf View Post
    Awesome preview....

    Although I'll miss Barrae for that (don't say that he'll join the Aedui )
    The family names have all been redone based on the names of real people from a somewhat later period - the earliest Briton known to history is Cassivellaunus, so we don't really know of any personalities from 272 BC. However, the choice of starting faction leader was not quite random - and that's all I say.
    Last edited by Ludens; 04-21-2010 at 19:06. Reason: merged posts
    οἵη περ φύλλων γενεὴ τοίη δὲ καὶ ἀνδρῶν.
    Even as are the generations of leaves, such are the lives of men.
    Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, Illiad, 6.146

  27. #27
    πολέμαρχος Member Apázlinemjó's Avatar
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    Mar 2009

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    As Hulk rages for EB2, so do I.
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    Finished essays: The Italian Wars (1494-1559), The siege of Buda (1686), The history of Boius tribe in the Carpathian Basin, Hungarian regiments' participation in the Austro-Prussian-Italian War in 1866, The Mithridatic Wars, Xenophon's Anabasis, The Carthagian colonization
    Skipped essays: Serbian migration into the Kingdom of Hungary in the 18th century, The Order of Saint John in the Kingdom of Hungary

  28. #28
    Member Member GenosseGeneral's Avatar
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    May 2009
    The heart of evil, to some known as Moscow

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Whenever there is preview I think I got the faction I want to play first...
    Those chariots look awesome! I thank the team for the work they put in EBII!

  29. #29
    Member Member Paltmull's Avatar
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    Dec 2008

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Spontaneous reaction:
    Last edited by Paltmull; 04-21-2010 at 17:18.

    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

  30. #30
    Member Member anubis88's Avatar
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    Apr 2007

    Default Re: Preview: The Pritanoi

    Quote Originally Posted by GenosseGeneral View Post
    Whenever there is preview I think I got the faction I want to play first...
    Haha, that's my problem as well. The thing i fear the most is, then when i will finaly get EB II, i won't be able to decide for a faction to play with for more than a year. That's what happened with EB I. Every time i came into contact with a faction, and seen them in battle, i would quit the campaing, just to do the same thing again. :S
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