Iron Age Highlights

A collection of objects that tells us about various aspects of life and death in Iron Age Britain

Iron Age Worked BoneCorinium Museum

Iron Age Worked Bone

This piece of bone was discovered during excavations at Lechlade in 1997. This piece of bone, would have been used as a toggle. The designs carved in to the bone highlight the importance of art in everyday objects. Curvilinear designs were popular and dominated design throughout the Iron Age.

Iron Age Ceramic PotCorinium Museum

Greyware Pottery

It was during the Iron Age that potters wheels were introduced into Britain, and is how this pot would have been made. This piece of pottery would have been used for cooking and storage of food and materials.

Dobunnic CoinCorinium Museum

Coins and Moulds

A large collection of coin moulds were found during excavations in Bagendon between 1954-56. These coin moulds tell us a  lot about the society in Iron Age Britain, many examples of these were found in Bagendon which tells us it was a large minting centre where communities were creating and distributing their own currency. The fact that this was the minting centre shows that this region held a lot of power within the local communities.

Iron Age Harness mountCorinium Museum

Harness Mount

Abstract human and animal forms were popular in Iron Age art. This harness mount a birds eye's, beak and wings, it would have been used to embellish the leather straps of horse fittings. Although not fully visible this piece would have once been covered in a light blue and red enamel, giving it a striking appearance.

Nail CleanerCorinium Museum

Nail Cleaner

This nail cleaner is a fine example of a Celtic art style that was used well into the early Roman occupation of Britain. The colourful details on this item were created by enamelling, a process which would have been carried out by a craftsman. This craftsman would have held a fair social status at this time due to the societies practice of gift giving and exchange.

Copper Alloy La Tene BroochCorinium Museum

La Tene Brooch

This Brooch dating to around 300 BC is an example of La Tene art which uses curvilinear designs to create chariot fittings, mirrors and jewellery such as this brooch. This brooch, being quite sizeable, could have been used for heavier cloaks and fabric mostly worn during winter alternatively wearing larger brooches could have been a symbol of superiority and status.

Dog skeletonCorinium Museum

Dog Skeleton

These bones came from an excavation pit in Bagendon. Whilst specialised breeds of dog were not introduced into Britain until the Roman period, this dog could have been bred as a working dog for herding or guarding purposes. From the skeleton we can estimate that the dog would have been around 50cm tall.

Kingshill Dog Skeleton, From the collection of: Corinium Museum
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Dog burial in its excavation pit at Kingshill North, Cirencester, Gloucstershire

Iron Age BurialCorinium Museum

Bagendon Burial

The remains of this Iron Age woman were found in a ditch burial in Bagendon. We can identify this body as a woman because of certain features: such as the brow bone which is far less prominent in females; the pelvis is also larger in a female skeleton, allowing for the woman to give birth. It is estimated that she was around 50 years old at the time of her death, this is determined through the fusing of the skull sutures and the wear shown on teeth. Even though this body was found in a ditch this did not mean it was an unimportant or undignified burial, ditches were an incredibly important feature of Iron Age life.

Credits: Story

Charlotte Heath, Corinium Museum

Credits: All media
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