The Iron Age is when we first find cemeteries of ordinary people's burials (in hole - in - the- ground graves) as opposed to the elaborate barrows of the elite few that provide our main records of burials in earlier periods.
The Celts at War. The Celts loved war. If one wasn't happening they'd be sure to start one. They were scrappers from the word go. They arrayed themselves as fiercely as possible, sometimes charging into battle fully naked, dyed blue from head to toe, and screaming like banshees to terrify their enemies.
They took tremendous pride in their appearance in battle, if we can judge by the elaborately embellished weapons and paraphernalia they used. Golden shields and breastplates shared pride of place with ornamented helmets and trumpets.
The Celts were great users of light chariots in warfare. From this chariot, drawn by two hoses, they would throw spears at enemy before dismounting to have a go with heavy slashing swords. They also had a habit of dragging families and baggage along to their battles, forming a great milling mass of encumbrances, which sometimes cost them a victory, as Queen Boudicca would later discover to her dismay.
As mentioned, they beheaded their opponents in battle and it was considered a sign of prowess and social standing to have a goodly number of heads to display.
The main problem with the Celts was that they couldn't stop fighting among themselves long enough to put up a unified front. Each tribe was out for itself, and in the long run this cost them control of Britain.
The first invasion of Britain. The Celts of Britain had ties to the tribes of Gaul and were quite familiar with the Romans to have know better. Caesar, on the other hand, claimed that Britain's people had been helping the Gauls in their wars against Rome. Britain was about to be conquered.
At dawn broke Caesar saw that the southern tribes of Britain had massed on the cliffs of Dover to meet them. Caesar sailed on in an attempt to find somewhere to land his troops. They came to a shallow beach whereupon the tribes of the Britain moved onto the beaches and did their best to intimidate the Romans. The ?Roman legionaries refused to go ashore - until a lone standard leapt ashore and was straight away cut down. The rest of the army were shamed into making a bloody landing.
The Britons met the legionaries at the beach with a large force, including chariots (two horses with a driver and warrior), an antiquated fighting method not used by the Roman military. After an initial fight, the Celtic chieftains sought a truce, and handed over hostages, but Caesar had already decided to abandon the invasion.
Bad weather delayed a fleet carrying Roman cavalry. With no cavalry the mobility of Caesar's troops were seriously obstructed. The Roman legions had to survive in a coastal region, which they found both hostile and with problems to obtain food locally. After repairing most of the three weeks in Britain.
The second invasion. The next yea saw the Romans organize a much larger expedition to Britain, with a total of 800 ship used to transport five legions of 50,000 infantry and 2000 cavalry troops, horses and a large baggage train. They sailed as the year before from Boulogne at night on July 6, 54 BC, and landed unopposed the next day on the beach between Deal and Sandwich.
Upon seeing the large size of the Roman force, the Britons retreated inland to higher ground. Caesar marched with most of his troops and encountered British forces close to Canterbury. The Romans easily broke the resistance, who retreated to a hillfort at Bigbury. After first being blocked the Romans then captured the stronghold.
After the first victory Caesar once again had bad luck. An overnight storm drove most of the Roman ships on shore. The army spent ten days building a land fort to protect and repair the 760 ships left.
During the pause in the invasion the British Celts briefly united under a single commander of the Catuvellauni tribe, a chieftain the Roman called Cassivellaunus. After a hard fight with a British chariot army the Romans eventually drove the British back toward the River Thames.
Stuck by the lack of military success the Celts eventually adapted a scorched - earth guerrilla - warfare by destroying local food source and harass the Roman legions with constant attack by chariots. Then the Celtic unity broke when neighbouring tribes resented the domination of the Catuvellauni tribe, and went over to join Caesar's side.
From these traitors, the rival tribe of the Trinovantes, Julius Caesar's learned the location of Cassivellaunus' secret stronghold, which he attacked with massive forces. A counter - attack on the Roman beach camp at Deal from Cassivellanus's allies at failed. After a short time the enemy proved unable to resist the violent attack of the Legion, and they rushed out of the fortress on another side. Many of those trying to escape were captured or killed. Chieftain Cassivellanus resigned by the many defeats and devastation of the country. The Celts surrendered. Again.
On the moment of triumph Caesar got the news that Gaul was rebelling. A counter - attack on the Roman beach camp at Deal from Cassivellaunus's allies at Kent failed after a short time the enemy proved unable to resist the violent attack of the Legion, and they rushed out of the fortress on another side. Many of those trying to escape were captured or killed. Chieftain Cassivellaunus resigned by the many defeats and the devastation of the