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The Iberians and the Celts

The prehistoric inhabitants of the English islands were the Iberians. They were dark-haired iron-age people and their name derived from the river Iberus. Traces of these gents are found not only in Spain, but also in Southern France and Corsica, in the Canary Islands and in some areas of North Africa. In England they settled both in Britain and in Ireland. The Iberians built circular structures that were religious centers and held also a political and economical position. These were known as the “henges”, earthworks consisting of great circular banks and ditches with small stone circles and wooden buildings. The most famous and spectacular of these is Stonehenge, but its function remains still unknown. In south of Britain the Iberians left the “barrows”, large earthy or stony mound graves.

The Celts began to arrive to England in 700 B.C. They were people characterized by fair or red hair and blue eyes and they were coming from North-west Germany. Particular was the importance of women within the tribes; some women were known to rule large tribes themselves, others were fighting in battle showing great courage as well as strength. The priests of the Celts were the Druids and their religious temples were to be found in the forests. The Gaelic and Welsh, two languages which are spoken in Scotland and Wales respectively, originated from the Celts.

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