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[usually as modifier] The second cultural phase of the European Iron Age, following the Hallstatt period (c.480 bc) and lasting until the coming of the Romans. This culture represents the height of Celtic power, being characterized by hill forts, rich and elaborate burials, and distinctively crafted artefacts.
- ‘Every undisturbed, high status burial found on the Continent from the late Hallstatt and early La Tène periods contains feasting and drinking equipment.’
- ‘Many of the continental graves were richly furnished, with fine decorated La Tène objects, Mediterranean imports and weaponry.’
- ‘By the 3rd century BC aspects of a common La Tène Celtic culture were established throughout Europe, stretching from Ireland to Romania and Hungary.’
- ‘It was superseded by the late Iron Age Celtic La Tène culture, named after an archaeological site near Lake Neuchâtel, Switzerland.’
- ‘This was based on the La Tène type brooches common throughout Europe in the later Iron Age.’
Late 19th century: named after a district in Switzerland, where remains of the culture were first identified.
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