Britain in Ancient Times Essay

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Britain in ancient times. England in the Middle Ages. • The Iberians About 3 thousand years before our era the land we now call Britain was not separated from the continent by the English Channel and the North Sea. The Thames was a tributary of the Rhine. The snow did not melt on the mountains of Wales, Cumberland and Yorkshire even in summer. It lay there for centuries and formed rivers of ice called glaciers, that slowly flowed into the valleys below, some reaching as far as the Thames. At the end of the ice age the climate became warmer and the ice caps melted, flooding the lower-lying land that now lies under the North Sea and the English Channel. Many parts of Europe, including the present-day British Isles, were inhabited by the people who came to be known as the Iberians. Some of their descendants are still found in the North of Spain, populating the Iberian peninsular. Although little is known about the Iberians of the Stone Age, it is understood that they were a small, dark, long-headed race that settled especially on the chalk downs radiating from Salisbury Plain. All that is known about them comes from archaeological findings – the remains of their dwellings, their skeletons as well as some stone tools and weapons. The Iberians knew the art of grinding and polishing stone. On the downs and along the oldest historic roads, the Icknield Way and the Pilgrim’s Way, lie long barrows, the great earthenworks which were burial places and prove the existence of marked class divisions. Other relics of the past are the stone circles of Stonehenge and Avebury on Salisbury Plain. Avebury is the grandest site while Stonehenge is the best known. The name of the place comes from the Saxon word Stanhengist, or “hanging stones”. Stonehenge is fifteen hundred years older than the Egyptian pyramids. It is made of stone gates standing in groups of twos. Each vertical
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