La Tène culture:
Since around 450BC onwards, another significant development in celtic culture was the period known as La Tène, named after the site on Lake Neuchatel in Switzerland. The new Celtic style of art appears to be heavily influenced by Mediterranean cultures, particularly the Greeks and the Etruscans with whom they traded.
Items produced in this time frame featured very detailed and decorative designs on weapons, armour, drinking vessels and personal ornaments in nronze, silver and gold.
The name of ‘Maiden” comes from the Celtic words of ‘Mai Dun’ which means great hill. The Maiden Castle is situated 2 miles from Dorchester. It is the biggest hill fort in Britain which covers 45 acres with walls towering over 6 metres high. The castle was first occupied around 3000BC which was built over an early Neolithic settlement and in the iron age it was occupied by the Durotriges tribe. The castle consists of a complex series of multiple ramparts and ditches. Flint tools and other interesting objects dating from Neolithic times have been found on the site of the Maiden Castle.
Heuneburg refers to an Iron Age hill fort, situated on a natural hill overlooking the Danube River in southern Germany. Heuneburg was first fortified in the 16th century BC and again in the 13th century BC. It was abandoned during the Late Bronze Age. During the Hallstatt Early Iron Age period, Heuneburg was restored. Excavations at the site between 1950 to 1975 uncovered the remains of a settlement surrounded by an unbaked-brick wall that had been covered in lime rendering (cement made with crushed limestone). Also discovered was evidence of a wooden parapet (low quality wall) that is of Greek design, obviously Greeks had some influence. The earliest settlement at the site was in the Middle Bronze Age. Many items of Celtic jewelry were uncovered in these ecavations, such as:
The Celts were well defined when it came to the set up of society. Tribal structure was the most important. There were distinct social classes in the divisions of the tribes. And tribal law was set up for the common good of all. Land held by individuals was subjected to taxes to help support the less able members of the tribe. Celtic society was set up with six basic classes. The lowest class was what was called the non freemen. These were lawbreakers and lost their civil rights, tribal distributions, and were banned from working in various jobs.