Iron in a time of change: brooch distribution and production in Middle Iron Age Britain.

Sophia A Adams

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)


Brooches first appear in Britain in the Early Iron Age c.450 BC. These earliest types are similar to La Tène A styles found on the continent. For the next 150 years brooches are usually made from bronze. It is not until c.300 BC that iron brooches come to the fore. This reflects changes in the materials used for brooches on the continent, with a transition towards more locally available resources from La Tène B to C. At the same time the quantity of brooches increases but the number of sites at which they are found decreases, indicating brooch deposition was concentrated at specific locations. The type of site favoured for brooch deposition also alters across La Tène B and C with the emphasis changing from sanctuary sites and settlements to hillforts and cemeteries. When the evidence is examined at a regional level the transition is less simple. In north-eastern England and in Wales brooches are only deposited in any frequency after c. 300 BC and these tend to be iron objects. In central, southern and eastern England the total number of Early and Middle Iron Age brooches is higher than the rest of Britain. Here bronze brooches dominate across all periods showing that not all regions shifted to a focus on local resources in La Tène C.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProduktion, Distribution, Ökonomie.
Subtitle of host publicationSiedlungs- und Wirtschaftsmuster der Latènezeit.
EditorsSabine Hornung
Place of PublicationBonn
PublisherHalbert Verlag
Number of pages187
ISBN (Print)978-3-7749-3883-0
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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