The British Iron Age is a conventional name used in the archaeology of Great Britain, referring to the prehistoric and protohistoric phases of the Iron Age culture of the main island and the smaller islands, typically excluding prehistoric Ireland, which had an independent Iron Age culture of its own.
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The Irish Iron Age was ended by the rise of Christianity.
While the tribes populating the island are often and especially popularly considered to have belonged to a broadly Celtic culture, or sometimes an Insular Celtic sub-group (a label which includes the Iron Age Irish, but excludes the continental Celtic cultures of Gaul and Iberia), in recent years the usefulness of this label has become a matter of controversy.
At a minimum, "Celtic" is a linguistic term without an implication of a lasting cultural unity connecting Gaul with the British Isles throughout the Iron Age.
The Brythonic languages spoken in Britain at this time, as well as others including the Goidelic and Gaulish languages of neighbouring Ireland and Gaul respectively, certainly belong to the group known as Celtic languages.
However it cannot be assumed that particular cultural features found in one Celtic-speaking culture can be extrapolated to the others.
Hundreds of radiocarbon dates have been acquired and have been calibrated on four different curves, the most precise being based on tree ring sequences.
The following scheme summarises a comparative chart presented in a 2005 book by Barry Cunliffe, The end of the Iron Age extends into the very early Roman Empire under the theory that Romanisation required some time to take effect.
In parts of Britain that were not Romanised, such as Scotland, the period is extended a little longer, say to the 5th century.
The geographer closest to AD 100 is perhaps Ptolemy.
Pliny and Strabo are a bit older (and therefore a bit more contemporary), but Ptolemy gives the most detail (and the least theory).
Attempts to understand the human behaviour of the period have traditionally focused on the geographic position of the islands and their landscape, along with the channels of influence coming from continental Europe.