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Iron Age

During the Iron Age Colchester was home to a small settlement of families living in thatched timber roundhouses.

The settlement of Camulodunum (Colchester) was one of a number of settlements that depended on subsistence economies. However communities were not isolated; they traded with others living as far afield as Gaul (France) and Rome. For example, salt, produced from sea water on the Essex coast, was traded with communities elsewhere in Britain in exchange for materials, such as iron and bronze, which are not found in Essex.

The wealth of the late Iron Age elite in Colchester area is reflected by the richness of the grave goods discovered. The most exceptional late Iron Age burial has come from the Lexden Tumulus. Among a wealth of objects was a medallion depicting the Roman emperor Augustus. It is of immense importance for the study of late Iron Age Britain as it must have been a diplomatic gift from the emperor to a client king.

In recent years a spectacular series of native aristocratic burials have been found at Stanway, on the outskirts of Colchester. They date from the late Iron Age through to around AD 60. One burial, the so-called ‘Doctor’s Grave’, included the remains of a gaming board, with the glass gaming counters still in place, and a set of surgeon’s equipment.

 

Iron Age Collections

 

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