THE EARLIEST TIMES • Britain has not always been an island. • It became an island after the end of the last ice age, about 8000 years ago
THE EARLIEST PEOPLE • The people living in Britain were descendants of the first homo sapiens who arrived in Europe 30000 – 40000 years ago • They lived by fishing, hunting and collecting fruit, nuts, berries, etc.
NEOLITHIC: INTRODUCTION OF FARMING • The introduction of farming, when people learned how to produce food, is considered one of the biggest changes in human history • Farming started to develop in Britain between 5000BC and 4500 BC
NEOLITHIC: INTRODUCTION OF FARMING • The introduction of farming into Britain is probably the result of migration of people from the continent. • It took about 2000 years to spread across the island • When they produced food, they needed a place to store it, so they stopped moving around the country every season and settled down.
EARLY SETTLEMENTS • From about 3800 BC people started to settle down and we find the first large communal tombs (called barrows or mounds)
EARLY SETTLEMENTS • There are also ceremonial monuments, where people from a particular region gathered together. • Some of these monuments, called henges, were built according to the position of the sun during the winter or summer solstice. • The most famous of these monuments is Stonehenge, developed about 3000 BC
STONEHENGE • Stonehenge is a circular arrangement of standing stones built in prehistoric times and located near Salisbury • The stones were put in place in three main phases c. 3100–c. 1550 BC. • There are many theories about the reason for the building of Stonehenge but none has been proved. • People generally believe that it was a place of worship and ritual and there seems to be some connection with the summer solstice
BRONZE AGE • About 2500 BC the Bronze Age starts. • Henges continue in use, but communal tombs are replaced by individual ones. Important men and women were buried separately with objects like metal daggers or axes and pieces of pottery (beakers)
THE BEAKER PEOPLE • The Beaker people took barley to Britain. • They also took skills to make bronze utensils
BRONZE AGE • At this time people lived in settlements consisting of round houses grouped together • Metalwork improves. • The first field systems are developed in Britain about 1500-1250 BC
LATE BRONZE AGE • About 1250-800 BC the field systems continued in use. • They constructed the first hillforts, which were used for trade and religious activities.
THE IRON AGE (800 BC) • The Celts probably came from Central Europe and were technically advanced. • They could work with iron, and could make better weapons than the people who used bronze. • They took new crops (new varieties of barley and wheat), peas, beans. • They used new farming techniques (iron plough). • As a consequence, the population grew.
CELTIC HILLFORTS • Celts lived in round houses and they built hill forts that they used for trade and religious activities
CELTIC LIFE • The Celts didn't leave books behind because they didn't read and write • But the Greeks and Romans wrote about the Iron Age Celts. They tell us that the Celts lived in tribes, they wore gold and loved to fight and drink wine. They also wrote about the power of the Celts' priests, who were called druids. • The druids knew how to keep their gods happy - they sacrificed food, precious objects, and even people to their gods and goddesses.
Archaeologists have found lots of Celtic jewellery The Celts used bronze and gold as well as iron. The heads of the tribe would wear jewellery to show how important they were. They also needed sharp objects like spears, as well as shields, to defend themselves from enemy attack CELTIC LIFE
CELTIC LIFE • The Romans say that the Celts were fierce warriors. • The farmers had to be ready to fight whenever the head of the tribe called on them. • The Celts often fought naked - and it's believed that women would fight as well. • Their main weapons were the sword and spear, and they sometimes fought in horse-drawn war chariots. • Even though the Celts were proud, brave and skilled fighters, they were rather undisciplined. They could not fight against the Romans' order and power. And, of course, in the end they were defeated by the Romans.
RELIGION AND BELIEF • Archaeologists believe that the Iron Age Celts had many gods and goddesses and that the Celts worshipped their gods through sacrifice, giving them valuable objects to keep them happy. • But material treasures weren't the only sacrifices - the Iron Age Celts sacrificed animals, and even humans, to their gods. • The Celts also sacrificed weapons to the gods by throwing them into lakes and rivers • The Celtic religion was closely related to the natural world and they worshipped gods in sacred places like lakes, rivers, cliffs and bushes. The moon, the sun and the stars were especially important - the Celts thought that there were supernatural forces in every aspect of the natural world.
RELIGION AND BELIEF: THE DRUIDS • The druids were the Celts' priests, responsible for all sorts of religious ceremonies. • They were educated and powerful members of the tribe • The Druids instructed young men, supervised sacrifices, judged fights, and decreed penalties; they didn’t go to war and paid no tribute. • The Druids were suppressed by the Romans but survived as poets, historians, and judges.
THE END OF THE CELTIC AGE • By 450 BC hill forts were abandoned or transformed into primitive towns • About 200 BC Roman influence began to extend into Western Europe and Britain. • When the Romans conquered Gaul, the British Celts helped the Celts of Gaul. The Romans invaded Britain so that they could use British food for the Roman army in Gaul. • In AD 43 the Romans conquered England. They could never conquer Scotland.