Pre-Roman Britain - Stone Age to the Iron Age
The story of prehistoric Britain began when the first humans arrived in Britain. It ended when the Romans conquered the ancient Britons and Britain became part of the Roman Empire.
The earliest humans were hunter-gatherers. They survived by hunting animals and finding food to eat. Then, very gradually people learned new skills. First they learned to herd animals and grow crops. Later they discovered the secrets of making bronze and iron.
Prehistoric people couldn't read or write, but they were excellent builders. Their tombs, forts and monuments have survived for thousands of years.
The Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is from 2500BC to 800BC. In the Bronze Age ancient Britons learned to work with copper, tin, gold and bronze.
By 2100BC, Britons were mining metals. Trading ships travelled to mainland Europe carrying copper, tin and precious objects made by metalworkers.
Some settlers who arrived belonged to the Beaker culture. Beaker people lived in clans led by powerful chiefs. They held religious ceremonies at stone circles, and buried their dead in circular graves. These customs became part of life in Ancient Britain.