Pretan(n)ia or the Isles of Pretani is the first known name of the islands now known as the British Isles. The Pretani are the most ancient inhabitants of the British Isles to whom a definite name can be given. While initially hunter-gatherers the Pretani would develop farming within the islands.
The Pretani were a matriarchial society and had a matrilinear form of inheritance. This meant there were Pretani Queens and inheritance would have been through the female line. This matriarchial society survived last in Caledonia, a Pretanic word, which would become Alba in the Gaelic and Scotland in English as language changed within the islands.
According to the Greek geographer Aristotle, who lived in the early fourth century BC, the great Phoenician ships of Tarshish, first mentioned in the Bible, had discovered one of the Pretanic islands which they called Ierne, now known in English as Ireland. Ierne in the Phoenician language means “the uttermost/ furthermost habitation”.
As trading increased between the Isles of Pretani and other nations, the Pretani society grew to become one in which their craftsmen were in greater numbers than their warriors. The Pretani lived in a time of relative peace allowing the development of skills such as mining, shipbuilding, metallurgy, pottery and jewellery.