Trinovantes Economic Structure

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How reliable a picture of the economic structure of any one Celtic society can we gain from the ancient sources?
In terms of economy, the Trinovantes (had a wide range of different industries as well as benefitting from close trading links with Rome. Archaeological artefacts discovered within the Trinovantes tribal territory can be used as reliable sources to help establish a picture of the economic structure of this Celtic society.
Ptolemy states in his Geography (2.3) that ‘… further to the east by the Thames estuary are the Trinovantes in whose territory is the town of Camulodunum’, which shows that in Roman times the land inhabited by the Trinovantes stretched from their capitol, Camulodunum, to the mouth of the Thames. The bordering
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The particular large clay jars discovered in Trinovantian territory are identified as Dressel form 1 due to their distinctive “collared rim, long, flattened handles and a heavy spindle-shaped body” . A close study conducted by Dr. Peacock revealed that the Amphorae from the Welwyn burials originated from Italian vineyards from between 50-100 BCE. These dates adhere to the foundation of the trading relationship between the Trinovantes and Rome, allowing them to import luxury goods in return for British products due to a treaty dating back to Caesar 's invasion in 54/55 BC. A stable market of exports from the tribe would be required to sustain the scale of foreign products that have been unearthed in land occupied by the Trinovantes, including imported pottery, glass, raw materials (“they employ brass, which is imported.”Caesar, Commentarii de Bello Gallico (5.12), valuable metalwork, as well as objects related to the consumption of food and drink (such as silver drinking vessels and tableware imported from Roman …show more content…
The prolific deposits of Colne Estuary (Colchester) oyster shells on many Roman sites and the reference to British pearls/oysters by classical writers confirms their value as a capital product for export. Tacitus (Agricola 1.12) remarks on the pearls undesirable “dusky and bluish hue”, which echoes the perspective of Pliny the Elder who declares in his Natural History (9.57) that “it is established that small pearls of poor colour grow in Britain”. Salt working was another valued seaside industry that contributed to the Trinovantes market economy – evidence for this being the frequent occurrence of “red hills” found along the Essex coast, the mounds thought to be an accumulation of waste created as a bi-product of “salt working”. After the manufacturing process was completed, the salt could be traded with Mediterranean countries where salt was in limited supply – making it a precious source of wealth for Celtic Britain. Considering this, along with the versatility of salt’s uses (preserving food is one example), it is unsurprising that producing this commodity was an increasingly valuable aspect of the tribe’s economy and

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