It may be surprising to learn that this book is the first ever survey of the Atlantic Iron Age: this tradition is cited in archaeology frequently enough to seem firmly established, yet has never been clearly defined.With this book, Jon Henderson provides an important and much-needed exploration of the archaeology of western areas of Britain, Ireland, France and Spain to consider how far Atlantic Iron Age communities were in contact with each other. By examining the evidence for settlement and maritime trade, as well as aspects of the material culture of each area, Henderson identifies distinct Atlantic social identities through time. He also pinpoints areas of similarity: the possibility of cultural 'cross-pollination' caused by maritime links and to what extent these contacts influenced and altered the distinctive character of local communities. A major theme running through the book is the role of the Atlantic seaboard itself and what impact this unique environment had on the ways Atlantic communities perceived themselves and their place in the world.
As a history of these communities unfolds, a general archaeological Atlantic identity breaks down into a range of regional identities which compare interestingly with each other and with traditional models of Celtic identity. Bringing together the Iron Age settlement evidence for the Atlantic regions in one place for the first time, this excellent and original book is certain to establish itself as the definitive study of the Atlantic Iron Age.