A slave-chain from Llyn Cerrig Bach

Contributed by National Museum Wales Cardiff

Iron slave-chain from Llyn Cerrig Bach, Anglesey; Copyright: The National Museum of Wales

The Greek geographer, Strabo, mentions the export of slaves, hunting dogs and corn from Late Iron Age Britain.This iron slave-chain was once thrown into a lake called Llyn Cerrig Bach, on Anglesey. Slavery and a trade in people was commonplace in the ancient world, an essential source of controlled labour. Strabo, a Greek geographer, tells of the export of slaves from Late Iron Age Britain to the expanding territories of the Roman Empire. It is one of many prized items found together in a waterlogged peat layer, including chariot parts, weapons, cauldrons, decorated metalwork and tools. A wooden platform probably once led out to a small island sitting in the lake. This natural, isolated place was a religious place of great significance. Here, gifts were periodically offered into the lake to the residing Gods. Perhaps itself a captured item, the removal of this slave-chain from Roman manipulation could be viewed as a powerful and symbolic act of resistence. The Druids, an influential British priestly class, may have been involved.

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About this object

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Location
Culture
Period

100BC - AD100

Theme
Size
H:
310cm
W:
15cm
D:
4cm
Colour
Material

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