Celtic field is an old name for traces of early (prehistoric) agricultural field systems found in North-West Europe, i.e. Britain, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, France, Sweden, Poland and the Baltic states. The fields themselves are not related to the Celtic culture.
The name was given by O. G. S. Crawford. They are sometimes preserved in areas where industrial farming has not been adopted and can date from any time from the Early Bronze Age (c. 1800 BC) until the early medieval period. They can be preserved as earthworks or soil marks.
They are characterised by their proximity to other ancient features such as enclosures, sunken lanes and farmsteads and are divided into a patchwork quilt of square plots rarely more than 2,000 m2 (0.49 acres) in area although larger examples are known (e.g. Dorset and Wiltshire). Their small size (35–50 m; 40–55 yd) implies that each was cultivated by a single person or household.
Lynchets, evidence of early ploughing can often be seen at the upper and lower ends. Large scale Roman agriculture replaced them in lowland Britain and they are more common in less accessible regions such as the West Country.
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Source: "Celtic field", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, March 8th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celtic_field.
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South West England
Maiden Castle, Dorset
British Agricultural Revolution
Vale of White Horse
West Country English
History of Dorset
British Iron Age
National Museum of Rural Life
Agriculture in Scotland
History of agriculture in Scotland
- ^ Hegener, M. (1995). Archeologie van het landschap: Langs de aarden monumenten van Nederland. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij Contact. pp. 42–47. ISBN 902541432X.
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