EXOTIC FIGURINES of Mars and Hercules dating from the 4th century BC are among finds indicating that Mountbatten was probably the first trading port in Britain.

Cynthia Gaskell Brown, who will be talking about Mountbatten’s history at the city museum on Friday, said it was clear a prosperous community lived and traded there while Plymouth was still pasture land.


“We always knew it was an important prehistoric site, but recent excavations led by professor

Barry Cunlitte amazed everyone” said Cynthia.

“There was obviously a great deal of Bronze Age trading activity, probably with merchants who sailed in short hops up the coast of France,” she said. “The figurines found by archaeologists appear to be from the North Italian area and there are also lots of bronze brooches and bracelets from Brittany.”

Cynthia said it was believed the Mountbatten community traded with tin and slaves.

“Don’t forget that there was a lot of tribal warfare in those days and those taken prisoner would be sold off as slaves. The mediterranean people thought Britons were barbarians and major exports were hunting dogs, tin, corn and humans.”

Cynthia believes the people of Mountbatten enjoyed an affluent and reasonably settled life for hundreds of years, well into Roman times.

There is a possibility the promontory was the famed port Ictis, first mentioned by the Ancient Greeks.

“Other Westcountry towns have laid claim to being Ictis, but Mountbatten seems to fit the bill in every respect,” said Cynthia.

She said Prof. Cunliffe, who led the dig with a team from Oxford University, was keen to do more work on the site, which is now owned by the Ministry of Defence.

nor do I know of the real existence of the “Tin Islands” ,from which tin comes to us:

 for first the name Eridanos itself declares that it is Hellenic and that it does not belong to a Barbarian speech, but was invented by some poet;

and secondly I am not able to hear from any one who has been an eye-witness,though I took pains to discover this, that there is a sea on the other side of Europe.

waterways plym plympton Egg Buckland Keep hoazme tamar drake mountbatten eldadhill