[Sca-cooks] Pre-Roman Britain

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Fri Sep 14 16:30:39 PDT 2012

The Cassiterides (Herodotus, 450 BCE) were the northern European islands 
from which tin came.  The term probably encompasses the tin mines in the 
British Isles, Brittany and Iberia.  Tin mining was known in the Isles from 
about 3,000 BCE, which is the same time as some of the first commercial 
olive cultivation in Crete.  Himilco explored the area for Carthagian trade 
around 500 BCE.  There was extensive trade into Central Europe and the 
Mediterranean for at least 100 years before Caesar came calling.  Strabo's 
Geography, written in Augustus's reign well before the invasion of 43 AD, 
says that the British paid more in customs and duties than could have been 
raised by conquest and taxation.

Such finds wouldn't surprise me if they showed up in a Bronze Age site from 
1000 BCE.  Trade was far more extensive than most people recognize.


> >Just read an article this morning in Current Archaeology (a British 
> >publication) that discusses finding celery and coriander seeds and olive 
> >pits in a pre-Roman kitchen midden.  These were previously only thought 
> >to have been used in Britain before the Roman conquest, and make a 
> >comment on Iron Age trade in foodstuffs.
>>Mem Elaina
> I suspect you meant to say "These were previously only thought to have 
> been used in Britain *after* the Roman conquest"
> http://www.archaeology.co.uk/articles/news/iron-age-olives-and-pampered-pets.htm
> Ongoing excavations at Silchester, Hamps., (CA 250) have uncovered the 
> first evidence that Britain's inhabitants were enlivening their meals with 
> Mediterranean flavours before the Roman conquest - including Britain's 
> first Iron Age olive.
> Ranvaig

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