The Atlantic Coast

Ken Murphy

Dyfed Archaeological Trust, Shire Hall, Camarthen Street, Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire. SA19 6AF. Email:

Cite this as: Murphy, K. 2018 The Atlantic Coast, Internet Archaeology 48.


A typical south-west Wales cropmark concentric defended enclosures/enclosed settlements (Dyfed Archaeological Trust)

During the Iron Age, the Atlantic zone of Wales exhibited similar traits to other areas along the western seaboard of Europe, most notably a large number of small, enclosed or defended settlements and a poverty of recoverable material culture. This has led some authorities to regard the area as marginal and somewhat backward compared with economic and social developments along the Welsh borders, England and continental Europe. This short article reviews the evidence for settlement, with an emphasis on west Wales, highlighting both the similarities and differences that existed along the Atlantic Coast and demonstrating that the vibrant Iron Age communities of the area were part of but different from the shared culture of north-west Europe in the late first millennium.

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