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A bronze coin from the Iron Age depicting an intricate design of a horse and wheels

Coins in the Iron Age (Ipswich)

Coins in the Iron Age were not used as we use them today. There were no shops. Instead people bartered and exchanged goods and produced their own food and clothing.

These coins were probably given as rewards to loyal warriors or traded as valuable objects in their own right. They were based on coins that had been circulating on the continent for many years but had a much more symbolic meaning for the people of Britain.

The design on the coins was individual to each tribe. By handing out these coins to warriors, tribal chieftains would be making a statement about their power and who was loyal to them. The horse was a particular symbol that we think stood for leadership and power. 

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