‘Celtic Iron Age’ – c 100 BC
Iron sword locked into decorated bronze scabbard with cast bronze fittings.
One of the huge problem is one of simple survival of iron objects. The Celts of La Tene are a primary * Iron Age * culture. But what do we find? Bronze objects! Iron swords corroded and locked into decorative bronze scabbards, with only rare x-rays giving any clue at all about physical structure of the blades.
If you define ‘Iron Age’ as ‘marking the use of iron as material’ – then the true Iron Age runs from at least about 1000 BC in Northern Europe. One of the other definition problems is that mainland Europeans / British / Scandinavians all see the frame work of their own past marked by different events. So much of what us English speakers have access to is from Britain. Whereas, North Germany and Denmark into Scandinavia was relatively untouched by Roman culture.
The line between ‘before the Celts’ and after this invasion is fuzzy at best, and does appear to also mark the transition from a primary Bronze Age into the early Iron Age.
Some histories out of mainland Europe will mark ‘Migration Period’, which usually is some (again fuzzy) time ‘post Roman – pre Medieval’.
‘Migration Era’ grave goods set – fighting knife and small tool knife. http://warehamforgeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/pre-roman-iron-age-in-north-europe.html