Download Currency Bars - Dorset and The Sea

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Currency Bars
Although we talk about the ‘Iron Age’ there wasn't actually that much iron around. To
own goods made of iron could show that you were important or wealthy. They would
have needed around one hundred kilos of wood to produce one kilo of raw iron. Perhaps
the currency bar was a way of making iron into standard size ingots, each currency bar
being worth a certain amount.
Julius Caesar mentions currency bars in the report of his second visit to Britain in 54BC:
“they (the Britons) use bronze or gold coins or, instead of coined money, slats of iron of
a certain weight”
The first currency, in the form of iron bars date from the second century BC. By 50BC –
AD50 money was being used in Britain, although barter and trade would be the usual
way of doing business with neighbours and other tribes.