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Iron Age Chariot Burials in Britain and the Near Continent

Networks of mobility, exchange and belief in the third and second centuries BC

Greta Anthoons
Publication Year:
284 pages
BAR number:


The British chariot burials, mainly concentrated in East Yorkshire, reveal a strong link with continental Europe, which has led some scholars to believe that this burial rite was introduced by immigrants from northern Gaul. Other scholars do not accept migration as the key explanation for cultural changes and argue that new rites and customs may also be adopted through social networks that often stretch over great distances. To determine which model best explains the introduction of new burial rites in East Yorkshire in the third century BC, this book describes the similarities and differences between the British chariot burials and those of contemporary chariot burials in northern Gaul. The comparison shows that elite networks, and possibly religious networks, lie at the basis of the emergence of new burial rites in East Yorkshire. This book also discusses various types of long-distance contacts that can forge and maintain social networks.

Greta Anthoons is an independent researcher with a PhD in Celtic Archaeology from Bangor University. She is interested in long-distance social contacts, especially in elite networks as these are reflected in the archaeology of Iron Age Britain and Gaul, and in mechanisms like strategic marriages which create and underpin these networks.

‘De studie van Anthoons blinkt uit door de grondige regionale studies van de wagengraftraditie in de diverse Europese regio’s, gebaseerd op een uitputtend gebruik van de beschikbare Engels-, Frans- en Duitstalige literatuur. Ik kan de studie van harte aanbevelen aan archeologen en keltologen geïnteresseerd in elitaire graftradities en mobiliteitsdiscussies in Europese IJzertijdsamenlevingen.’ Nico Roymans, Kelten, December 2022

‘Greta Anthoons’ monograph a must-read to expand how we approach analysis of our insular material culture. It is, simply, one of the most important Iron Age books you may read for several years to come.’ Rena Maguire, Ulster Journal of Archaeology 77 (2022)

‘Anthoons combines her PhD thesis with the most up to date research available, and provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of chariot burials both in Britain and on the near Continent. This volume is a success in almost every respect and can be considered essential reading.’ Rebecca L. Ellis, Prehistoric Society, March 2022

‘This will become a cornerstone of new chariot burial research, allowing future scholars easy access to the nearest Continental comparators, and providing for the first time an in-depth summary of the British material as a coherent body of examples. There is no other publication available with this focus and breadth of comparison, and it will make an essential text particularly for students, field practitioners and academics.’ Dr Melanie Giles, University of Manchester

‘The book is a significant contribution in this field of research. It provides a new and interesting suggestion for explaining the similar yet not identical chariot burial traditions in the 3rd-2nd BC Europe, which are separated by considerable distances in space, yet share many commonalities. It also establishes a new and better dating of the chariot burials in question, as well as a typological dating mechanism by make of the iron tyres.’ Professor Raimund Karl, Bangor University

Introduction (B666_Anthoons_9781407316840_-_Introduction.pdf, 478 Kb) [Download]

Table of Contents (B666_Anthoons_9781407316840_ToC_PDF.pdf, 271 Kb) [Download]