Free Self-led

Iron Age Wales: Daily Life of the Celts

St Fagans National Museum of History
National Roman Legion Museum
Iron Age Wales Celts KS2 Resources

Front cover of the Gods and War ebook.

Using the collections of Amgueddfa Cymru these interactive resources will allow you to explore the world and daily life of the Celts in Iron Age Wales. The two resources have been split into two ebooks: Daily Life of the Celts and Gods and War.

 

The books are full of images of objects from Iron Age Wales and interactive quizzes to help you learn more about the life of the Celts.

Daily Life of the Celts

This ebook looks at the following themes and topics:

  • Who were the Celts and how we know about the Iron Age?
  • Iron Age hillforts and houses
  • Iron Age clothes and jewellery
  • Iron Age food
  • Work in the Iron Age.

Click here to view an online version of the ebook that can be viewed on any device.

Click here to download the iBook version to Apple devices.

Gods and War

This ebook looks at the following themes and topics:

  • Iron Age art
  • Iron Age religion
  • Celtic tribes in Late Iron Age Wales
  • Celtic warriors
  • Roman invasion of Wales

Click here to view an online version of the ebook that can be viewed on any device.

Click here to download the iBook version to Apple devices.

Iron Age Wales Celts KS2 Resources

Image of sample page from the Food chapter in the iBook resource of Daily Life of the Celts.

 

Below are some extracts from the books to give you a taste of what you will find in them.

Who were the Celts?

The people we call Celts shared similar religion, languages and art. They lived in the Iron Age, in places such as Britain, Ireland, France, Germany and Spain. Celtic people did not call themselves Celts. They were made up of lots of different groups of people.

The Celtic people living in Britain at the time were called ‘Pretani’ by the Romans. This meant the ‘painted people’. The word in Welsh is ‘Prydeinig’ and in English is ‘Britons’.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

What were roundhouses made from?

The roofs were made of straw which we call thatch.
The walls could be made from different materials. The most popular material was wattle and daub. Wattle is a woven wooden fence. Daub is a mixture of clay and animal poo! Some houses had stone walls. Some had thick clay walls.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

What did the Celts wear?

It is very rare for archaeologists to find clothes from the Iron Age. The materials used for making clothes were wool, linen, animal skins and leather.

A common type of jewellery was a brooch. These were used to pin clothes together and showed people who you were. Glass beads were used to make necklaces, bracelets, or charms. Important people wore decorated bronze neck-collars, and metal necklaces called torcs. In Wales torcs were made out of bronze.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

What food did the Celts eat?

Iron Age Wales Celts KS2 Resources

Image of sample page from the Religion chapter in the iBook resource of Gods and War.

One of the most important crops in the Iron Age was wheat. You can crush the grain into flour to make bread. Two other important crops grown were oats and barley. Oats were used to make food like porridge and oatcakes. Barley was used to make beer

Most food in the Iron Age came from farms but they did get some from the wild. Wild foods included mushrooms, nettles, nuts, berries, and crab apples.

The main farm animals were sheep, pigs and cows. Boar and deer were the main wild animals that were hunted for food.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

What jobs did the Celts do?

Most people in the Iron Age were farmers but could also do different everyday crafts. Crafts included woodwork, basket making, making clothes, and making clay pots

A person that makes objects out of iron is called a blacksmith. In the Iron Age the blacksmith was a very important person.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

What did Celtic art look like?

Spiral symbols are a very common design in Celtic art. The triskele is found on many Iron Age objects. The triskele is made up of three spirals.

We don’t know what the three spirals mean. Possible meanings might be:

  • Birth, Life, Death
  • The Living, the Dead, the Gods
  • Earth, Fire, Water
  • Three Gods

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

Who were the druids?

Iron Age Wales Celts KS2 Resources

Image of sample page from the Warriors chapter in the iBook resource of Gods and War.

Druids were very important people. They were the Iron Age version of a priest, doctor, judge, and politician. People believed druids could talk to the spirits and gods. The Romans said that druids sacrificed animals and humans in sacred woods. The Romans also thought druids were dangerous as they were important in organising war.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

What Celtic tribes lived in Wales?

Written evidence for tribes in Britain comes from the Romans. The main three writers were Tacitus, Ptolemy and Cassius Dio. They only tell us about the tribes at the end of the Iron Age.

The main tribes we know of in Late Iron Age Wales are the Deceangli, Demetae, Ordovices and the Silures. There also two possible smaller tribes called the Gangani and Octapitae.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

How did Celtic Warriors fight in the Iron Age?

Warriors protected the people in their tribe. Before the Roman invasion they fought against warriors from other tribes. Warriors were very important people in Iron Age Britain. The objects they used were valuable. A lot of time was put into the decoration of these objects.

Some warriors rode around the battlefield on chariots making lots of noise and throwing javelins to scare their enemy.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

How long did it take the Romans to conquer Wales?

The Romans began their conquest of Britain in the year 43 CE. They began their conquest of Wales in 47 CE. The tribes in Wales did not give up without a fight. It took the Romans until 78 CE to conquer all of Wales.

Wales has always been a hard place to conquer. When the Romans arrived they didn’t just have fierce warriors to fight. Wales is full of mountains. This made it difficult for the Romans to travel quickly through Wales. British warriors used a style of fighting called guerrilla warfare. This involved lots of small attacks instead of one big battle. Often they would attack then run away. The warriors would hide in the mountains and forests.

Click here to the view the ebook chapter this extract appears in.

Want to find out more?

This is only a sample of the information provided in these books. To learn more about the Iron Age and explore Amgueddfa Cymru’s Iron Age collection, click on the links at the top of the page.

Click here to read an article about the Celts written by the Archaeology department.

Cost: Free of charge as is a self-led session.