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16 October 2014
Iron Age CELTS

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Metalwork

The name Iron Age comes from the Celts' discovery and use of iron. The clues dug up by archaeologists show how skilled the Iron Age Celts were at making metal objects.

In Wales, the earliest iron objects come from the Llyn Fawr, Rhondda Cynon Taff hoard which dates back to around 750BC. They include a sickle, a sword and a spear.

Jewellery

Archaeologists have found lots of jewellery when digging for clues about the Celts. The Celts used bronze and gold as well as iron. The heads of the tribe would wear fancy jewellery to show how important they were.

Bronze plaque with triskele, Llyn Cerrig BachThe Celtic craftsmen loved symmetrical designs and patterns. They were especially fond of a three-legged (triskeles) shape, like the one on this Iron Age bronze plaque which was found in Llyn Cerrig Bach in Anglesey. The Celts also liked to use animal shapes and faces in their patterns.

Because archaeologists rarely find clothing, leatherwork or basketwork, we can only guess by looking at the metal and gold and other objects that have survived that the Celts liked bright colours and complicated patterns.

Weapons

Shield with triskele, Tal-y-LlynTheir skill as metal workers was also important when they were defending themselves from their enemies. They needed sharp objects like spears, as well as shields, to defend themselves from enemy attack. The picture shows part of a shield, also decorated with a triskele, which was found in Tal-y-Llyn.

©NMGW


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