Conor O’ Neill






Basically a rural people, the pan-Celtic peoples were spread throughout their various territories, often grouped together in small hamlets. The vast majority of settlements in the Iron Age were small, with perhaps no more than 50 inhabitants. While hill forts could accommodate up to 1,000 people, oppida in the Late Iron Age had populations of up to 10,000.

These tribal centers, to which the Romans later applied the term Oppida, were places of public assembly and trade, where merchants congregated, animals and goods were bought and sold, and social and religious ceremonies took place. The Celtic Oppida originated in the 2nd and 1st  centuries BC. Most were built on fresh sites, usually on an elevated position. Such a location would not only have a defensive purpose, but would also have allowed the oppida to dominate nearby trade routes, and was also an important symbol of control of the area.







Circa 100 BC, a 150.000 m² unfortified late-Celtic settlement stood on the site of the current Novartis-Campus in Basel




Walls of the oppidum of Lanobri or Lansbri, San Cibrao de Lás, Galicia





Opp manc


3-D  Reconstruction of the central area of the Manching Oppidum, Bavaria, Germany


(Keltenmuseum Manching)






Further info. and 3-D Reconstructions of Late Iron Age Celtic Oppida:




Entremont Oppidum – Aix-en-Provence, France




Heuneburg Oppidum – Baden-Württemberg, Germany




Zavist Oppidum – Czech Republic