13 – Pretani Associates – Isles of Pretani Series – Pretani Trading.
As regions of the world became settled people will have migrated remaining connected to the original settlement. For example an ancient empire is the Phoenician empire were the people were known originally as Canaanites but would become known as Phoenicians as they expanded their control built by being a highly skilled maritime trading culture. The Phoenicians traded across the Mediterranean and as far as the Isles of Pretani. There was great demand for the purple dyes made from local shells by the Pretani which would be sold by the Phoenicians to the wealthy who lived in the Mediterranean region.
The Phoenician mariners knew the Indian Ocean very well and were so well organised their commercial fleets were sent regularly to all these areas. While they lacked the magnetic compass their expertise at sea was equal to the accomplishment of most voyages achieved in modern times. The Phoenicians traded the purple dyes from the Isles of Pretani with the later Greek and Roman civilisations which was highly sought after.
The introduction of metallurgy into the Isles of Pretani is generally ascribed to those artisans who also made a type of pottery to which the name ‘Beaker’ has been given. These artisans would arrive in the Isles of Pretani around 2500 BC and examples of copper mines used at this time are found in Conlig, Northern Ireland, Ross Island, Killarney, Republic of Ireland and the Great Orme copper mine in Wales.
The copper mines of Conlig were probably the main source of copper ore in the North of Ireland. Three objects have been found near these mines which include a copper knife or dagger of Beaker type, a small copper axe of early type and a small copper dagger of more advanced type. Copper axe heads, knife and dagger blades have been connected to the processes used at the Ross Island location which have been found throughout Ireland and the west of Great Britain. The mine complex at the Great Orme in Wales likely exported its copper to Europe.
As people were learning about metals, they discovered if copper and tin were combined a superior metal could be created which became known as bronze. The working of bronze commenced in the Isles of Pretani between 2200 – 2000 BC.
Despite Ireland having tin, which accounts for some 10% of the alloy, it was not mined to any great degree, therefore tin must have been imported to Ireland from Cornwall, Brittany or even the north of Spain. All of this indicates a highly sophisticated civilization importing and trading with other early civilizations long before the Romans arrived in Britain.
As Britain had large reserves of tin in the areas of Cornwall and Devon , tin was exported across Europe from the Isles of Pretani creating a trade boom. Throughout the islands, the Pretani often replaced stone or flint with bronze as the main material for tool and weapon making.
The largest bronze items ever discovered in the islands was in England at Ely in Cambridgeshire. It consists of swords, spear-heads, arrows, axes, knives, daggers, armour, decorative equipment (in particular for horses). The swords have holes where rivets or studs held the wooden handles in place – the Isleham Hoard.
The use of iron implements superseded the use of bronze implements around 300-200 BC within the Isles of Pretani.