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La Tene

LA TENE (Lat. tennis, shallow), the site of a lake-dwelling at the north end of Lake Neuchatel, between Marin and Pr6- fargier. According to some, it was originally a Helvetic oppidum; according to others, a Gallic commercial settlement. R. Forrer distinguishes an older semi-military, and a younger civilian settlement, the former a Gallic customs station,* the latter, which may be compared to the canabae of the Roman camps, containing the booths and taverns used by soldiers and sailors. He also considers the older station to have been, not as usually supposed, Helvetic, but pre- or proto-Helvetic, the character of which changed with the advance of the Helvetii into Switzerland (c. 110-100 B.C.). La Tene has given its name to a period of culture (c. 500 B.C.-A.D. 100), the phase of the Iron age succeeding the Hallstatt phase, not as being its startingpoint, but because the finds are the best known of their kind. The latter are divided into early (c. 50x3-250 B.C.), middle (250- 100 B.C.) and late (100 B.C.-A.D. 100), and chiefly belong to the middle period. They are mostly of iron, and consist of swords, spear-heads, axes, scythes and knives, which exhibit a remarkable agreement with the description of the weapons of the southern Celts given by Diodorus Siculus. There are also brooches, bronze kettles, torques, small bronze ear-rings with little glass pearls of various colours, belt-hooks and pins for fastening articles of clothing. The La Tene culture made its way through France across to England, where it has received the name of " late Celtic "; a remarkable find has been made at Aylesford in Kent.

See F. Keller, Lake Dwellings of Switzerland, vi. (Eng. trans., 1878) ; V. Gross, La Tene un oppidum helvete (1886) ; E. Vouga, Les Helvetes a La Tene (1886); P. Remecke, Zur Kenntnis der la Tene Denkmaler der Zone nordwdrls der Alpen (Mainzer Festschrift, 1902) ; R. Forrer, Reallexikon der prdhistorischen . . . Altertumer (1907), where many illustrations are given.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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