The Economic Structure Of The Trinovantes

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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 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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