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29 July 2014
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Iron Age CELTS

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Roman Rule

The Romans came to Britain looking for riches - land, slaves, and most of all, iron, lead, zinc, copper, silver and gold. They came from Rome in Italy, fighting other tribes and gaining land across most of Europe and North Africa. In AD 43 they invaded Britain.

The Romans took over the Celts' land and built towns. They built strong forts linked to a good road system. Ports and harbours were also important places for the Romans to bring in food, wine and oil from abroad. They also shipped goods from Wales overseas.

Iron gang chain

Iron gang chain, Llyn Cerrig BachThis iron gang chain was found in Llyn Cerrig Bach in north Wales during the Second World War. It has five sets of neck shackles. The writer Strabo tells us that the Romans exported slaves from Britain in the late Iron Age but we don't know if that was what this chain was used for - it may have been used for criminals or sacrifices.

The relationship between the Romans and Celts was not always unfriendly. The Romans' way of life was very different from that of the Celts and many of the Celts started to copy the Romans, speaking their language and living like them. The Celts started using Latin words and within a few generations the Celtic and Roman ways of life became mixed. The Celts and Romans married each other, Roman soldiers retired from the army and became farmers and shopkeepers. The sons and grandsons of those who fought against the Romans even joined the Roman army.

A Celtic warrior battles with a Roman soldierAfter 400 years the Romans left Britain. Their empire was coming to an end. In the western parts of the British Isles, Celtic peoples survived despite a new threat - the Anglo-Saxons.

In Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany, Celtic culture has survived and we still regard ourselves as Celts today.

©NMGW


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