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    United Kingdom History
    The Neolithic Period
    Source: U.S. Department of State


        The so-called Neolithic Revolution introduced a more settled way of life, including farmers, artisans and leaders. Serial cultivation included wheat and barley, and herds of cattle, pigs, sheep and goat were maintained.

        Different types of pottery and stone works appear, industrial mining of flint took place, and monumental stone enclosures, such as Stonehenge, were built.

        The Bronze Age

        At first working with copper, the British started making bronze around 2,150 BC. Over the following millennium bronze replaced stone as the main material of tools and weapons.

        By 1,600 Britain had become a major exporter of tin from nines in southeast England. Gold ornaments were found in graves of the wealthy Wessex culture of southern Britain.

        Later phases of Stonehenge were built during the Bronze Age.

        Neanderthal man inhabited Southern Britain after 60,000 BC. Subsequent glaciation drove most of the population out of Britain with repeated waves of return and depopulation, coinciding with warmer and colder periods.

        The Iron Age

        The British Iron Age began around 750 BC, and it revolutionized agriculture, because iron tipped ploughs could churn land better than those of wood or bronze.

        The Celtic culture changed Britain, starting from 900 and covering the British Isles by 500 BC, characterized by organized tribal groups, and the appearance of bronze and iron weapons and intricate gold jewelry.

        The population expanded, tribal wars occurred and hill forts were built, the first around 1,000, and farming took on an industrial scale. According to Roman sources, Britain exported hunting dogs, animal skins and slaves.

        As the Roman Empire expanded, a large number of refugees from Gaul settled in Britain, bringing with them advanced pottery skills, and creating large settlements.

        The British developed coins and extensive trade with continental Europe developed, including the export of metals.

      NOTE: Parts of the information regarding the United Kingdom on this page is re-published from U.S. Department of State. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United Kingdom History information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United Kingdom History should be addressed to the webmaster.

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    Revised 14-Oct-05
    Copyright © 2005 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)