Pre-Roman Britain – 1c Iron Age Hill Forts
The Iron Age
Around 800BC people in Britain learned how to use iron. This discovery had a dramatic impact on everyday life. Iron tools made farming much easier than before and settlements grew in size.
Iron Age Britain was a violent place. People lived in clans that belonged to tribes led by warrior kings. Rival tribes fought with deadly iron weapons. Many people lived in hill forts to keep safe from attacks.
During the Iron Age, the Celtic people spread out across Europe and many settled in Britain. The ancient Britons followed a Celtic way of life. They produced fine metalwork and enjoyed feasting, music and poetry.
Iron Age Hill Forts:
By the end of the Iron Age many people lived in hill forts. These forts were surrounded by walls and ditches and warriors defended their people from enemy attacks and inside the hill forts, families lived in round houses. The simple one-roomed homes had a pointed thatched roof and walls made from wattle and daub (a mixture of mud and twigs). In the centre was there was a fire where meals were cooked in a cauldron. Around the walls were jars for storing food and beds made from straw covered with animal skins.
Iron Age farmers grew crops and vegetables. They kept geese, goats and pigs and had large herds of cows and flocks of sheep. Some people worked as potters, carpenters and metalworkers. Men and boys trained as warriors, they had to be prepared to fight at any time.
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