The Celts and the Iron Age

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1 The Celts and the Iron Age The Celts were farmers who came from central Europe. Around 800BC they began to use iron to make tools and weapons. The lands of the Celts

2 How do we know about the Celts? 1. Archaeological evidence: from sites in Ireland and Europe. Many artefacts were found in places like Hallstatt in Austria or La Tené in Switzerland. 2. Celtic Sources: such as myths and legends, history, poetry and law. These were written down by monks later. 3. Greek and Roman Sources: The Greeks and Romans wrote about the dress, customs and beliefs of the Celts. These accounts may contain bias as they were often at war with the Celts.

3 Celtic Society Ireland was divided into kingdoms called tuatha. Each tuath was made up of different people. Rí: lead his warriors and protected his people. Derbfine: The Royal Family from which the King was chosen. Nobles: Warriors who protected the tuath. Aos Dána: Wise people with skills (brehon (judge), file (poet), druid (priest), and craftsmen. Freemen: Farmers who worked on the land of the nobles. Slaves: Captures from other tribes and used as farm workers.

4 A Tuath and its rí Celts lived together in large groups called a tuath. Every tuath was led by its rí (king). The rí ruled in peacetime and led his warriors into battle. Celtic warriors were nobles of the tuath. They fought alongside the rí to defend the tuath. They were brave and loved to fight. During peacetime they joined in games, hunting and feasting.

5 The Aos Dána This group were the next in the tuath in importance. They were learned with special skills such as: Judges knew Celtic law, helped with justice Doctors knew herbs, spells and medicine Druids were priests in celtic religion File/poet wrote praise poems about the rí and warriors

6 Craftsmen Craftsmen were also very important in Celtic Ireland. Such as smiths, carpenters, stone masons and goldsmiths. Slaves This was the lowliest group in celtic society. Most were prisoners captured in war e.g. St. Patrick as a boy. Slaves belonged to their master and worked for them unpaid. Women in Celtic Society Women were important in Celtic society. They were described as fierce. They also held high positions. The Táin tells of how Queen Méabh of Connacht started a war.

7 Celtic Dwellings A.Raths / Ringforts B.Crannógs C.Hill Forts D.Promontory Forts

8 A. Rath Model

9 A. Rath/ Ringfort Circular area surrounded by wall and ditch. (Rath with stone walls called a cashel) Contained houses and sheds. Houses were round and thatched with wattle-and-daub walls. Many had souterrains (underground passages). What were they used for?

10 B. Crannóg Scotland

11 B. Crannóg Dwelling built on small artificial island on a lake. Reached by a boat or causeway (wooden path). Why were crannógs built?

12 Crannóg: Co. Clare

13 C. Hillfort: Germany

14 C. Hillforts Bigger than raths or crannógs. People did not live there. (Hill fort built near edge of cliff called promontory fort) What were hillforts used for?

15 Hillfort: Tara

16 Promontory fort: Dún Aengus

17 Promontory Forts Promontory forts were built on cliff tops. They are mainly found on the south and west coasts of Ireland. The best example is Dun Aengus on Inis Mor in the Aran Islands. Archaeologists have excavated the site for many years. They believe that the site was used for religious purposes.

18 The Celts Farming Daily Life The Celts were farmers. They had cattle and grew wheat and barley. They measured their wealth in cattle.

19 Appearance They used lime to make their hair blonde. Rich men wore a knee-length tunic with a belt. Poor men wore trousers with a shorter tunic. Women wore tunics made from wool or linen and dyed them bright colours. Many Celts wore gold jewellery.

20 Appearance

21 Religion The Celts were pagan before Christianity came to Ireland. They celebrated many festivals. Fill in the main Celtic fesivals.

22 Burial Customs Most were buried in cist graves with weapons and ornaments. They built monoliths (single stones) for their dead (Example: Turoe Stone)

23 War Many Celtic men and women had a love of war. They used spears, swords and shields.

24 Celts in Battle

25 Celtic Art The Celts were skilled artists. They covered stone and metal with designs. (Example: La Tené Art)

26 Ogham Writing The Celts invented the Ogham alphabet. They usually used it on shields, grave stones and boundary markers.

27 Pastimes They liked to feast at big banquets. They enjoyed hunting, story-telling, poetry and music. They also played a board game like chess, called ficheall.

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