Page 1 of 1

Iron Age ABC

Posted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:13 pm
by Lugorix
Hi Folks,

I've been reading lots of books and journals on the Iron Age, and I've found some authors like to use the system of Iron Age A, B and C when describing the British Iron Age. I like the system since it points out cultural ascpects of some place or an artifact as it differs from another just 'across the river', so to speak.

My question is this: Is this system still used or preferred? I get the general impression that some scholars like to use it, and some won't even mention it. I'm quite curious about why.

Anyone know? I'm interested in hearing your thoughts about this!

Posted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 12:15 pm
by m300572
Old fashioned system, no longer used by academics as far as I know. A lot of these classification systems worked when the amount of information available was less, and scientific dating wasn't well developed - a lot of the classifications disintegrate when you have decent dates for sites.

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:47 am
by Ellen Gethin
I always used Hallstatt and La Tene to describe the two main phases of the Iron Age.

Posted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 3:21 pm
by Lugorix
The reason A, B abd C came about in the first place is because Hallstatt and LaTene was not sufficient to describe the cultures in Britain. With all the new evidence that came about as ealy as the 30's, the ABC Iron Ages were created.

Notice on the Continent that scholars differ on calling LaTene I, II, III or call it LaTene A, B, C and D. British ABC's were fine tuned further, for example C1 and C2 just like LaTene D1 and D2.

Hallstatt and LaTene are somewhat linear. In contrast. British ABC's coincide and in some places combine. So Early, Middle and Late just won't work in Britain either when decribilng cultures.

If the British ABC is out of date, what system, if any, is currently being used?

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:09 pm
by Lugorix
I just got the book Understanding the British Iron Age: an Agenda for Action, ISBN: 1874335037x (pub. 2001). It has lots of good and some new info on the period, and puts to rest my ABC question. There is alot of work that that lies ahead to standardize "Iron Age" dates for all of Britain. There are few suggestions in there on new chronologies that might be adopted in future publications. Great little book if you are serious about studying this period.