The Iberians and the Celts



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The Iberians

The Iberians were a primitive population that lived on: hunting, fishing, picking roots and berries. They didn’t know farming, and the use of tools and metal weapons and writing. They were short, robust, black haired, dark eyed and dark skin. Their religion was: polytheistic, animistic, fetishism.

The Celts
They arrived in Great Britain in 700 b. C. and mixed with the Iberians. They lived in the bronze and iron – age, therefore their civilisation was more evolved. They used metal tools and weapons. They also made jewels. They practised farming and trade.
Their religion was druidism. The druids were priests who were considered experts in: astronomy, medicine, science and teaching. The young people were raised by the druids who taught them the art of hunting up to the age of 21, when they had passed a proof to be inserted in the society.
Druidism worshipped all the elements of nature: rivers, woods, trees, water, fire, sky, earth. They believed that gods lived in these elements. They made rituals, ceremonies, and sacrifices to propitiate the gods.
They were organised in tribe, but they lived in wood – huts and they built them according to a circular plane. The huts were built in a circular area surrounded by a circular ditch (“ henge” in Celtic) and a bank (“mound” in Celtic) created by the earth piled for digging the ditch. In the middle of this circular area they erected a temple made up by stones inserted in the ground. It was a meeting place, a market and a sacred place for ceremonials. Stonehenge is the most one still existing.
The name “Britain” come from a Celtic word that means blue – pointed - man, because the Celts considered blue a sacred colour.
At the beginning they worshipped the gods in the woods because them were considered a sacred place.
When the Celtic civilisation became more evolved , they became good at building wooden warships, waving and breeding sheeps, pigs, oxen, and developed crafts.
They used common areas for cooking, breeding and cleaning. The figure of the woman was very important and women had equal rights and were good soldiers, warriors and queens. The most famous woman who opposed Roman invasion was Boedicea.
Stonehenge is the most important pagan temple still existing. About this buildings there are many legends and enigmas. Throughout the centuries the functions of Stonehenge were several and different: a temple, an astronomical observatory, a market, a law giving place (Roman forus) .
The strange think is that the stones come from Wales and we still don’t know how they were transported and located in that area (Celsbury) . Another enigma consists in the perfect circular position of the stones and the internal position of the central stones that reflected the location of the planet in the sky. They should have had an aerial vision to do that, for those times, for their primitive evolution it was impossible.
Language and culture.
The Celts during the 650 years of their domination in Great Britain evolved their civilisation, they developed and intensified trade, agriculture and breeding but also arts and crafts. They also experimented an alphabet based on symbols not sounds. These symbols are represented by the Runes. They also had a language: Gaelic, that is still spoken in Ireland, Wales and Scotland. When the Roman arrived, the Celts took shelter in the impervious regions of Scotland and Wales or went to Ireland because they didn’t want to be colonised by the Romans. Few of them decided to remain and they were absorbed by the Roman civilisation as slaves. During the Roman civilisation (that lasted almost 6 centuries) and during the Anglo – Saxons and Norman domination, they didn’t get relations with the dominators and maintained their language and traditions.