Iron processing technology began to penetrate Europe from the East in the 11th century BC. Over the centuries, such knowledge gradually spread to the interior of the continent from the Aegean coast and along the Danube region (Podunavlje). In Central, Southern and Western Europe, the Iron Age began in the 9th century BC. In Central Europe, the Iron Age was divided into two stages, both of which were dominated by the Celts. The Hallstatt culture (named after the town Hallstatt in Austria), which marked the period of the Early Iron Age from 800 to 450 BC and the Late Iron Age, which coincides with the La Tène culture (according to the site of La Tène in Switzerland), which lasted from 450 BC until the Roman conquests at the end of the 1st century BC.

Celtic tribes were one of the first to learn the art of obtaining and processing iron from the East. By the time they started making the first trade contacts with the Greek colonies in the Mediterranean or with Rome, the Celts had already been skilled metallurgists for centuries, using their knowledge to obtain high-quality tools and weapons, as well as jewellery.

The condition for obtaining the purest form of iron was to repeat the process of melting iron ore several times at a temperature of 1500℃ in order to remove the last remnants of slag. The entire process was carried out in furnaces which were 1.5 m in height and were shaped as a cylinder or a cone. Celtic blacksmiths made a wide variety of weapons from the material, such as swords, spears and arrows, as well as tools for everyday use. A Celtic craftsman needed about a month of work to make an iron sword, and a couple of months to a year to make a helmet. The Celtic longsword that marked the La Tène period was well-balanced, durable and sharp and therefore highly valued and sought after among other tribes such as the Illyrians and Thracians. In this way, the Celts spread their material culture among other peoples.

Blacksmiths were highly respected and valued in the Celtic society and had a reputation as wizards, and their products were considered magical, since creating objects from iron ore was considered a magical skill. Like many other nations, the Celts had the god of smithing as one of their main deities. Their names were Gofannon, Goibniu and Gobannus depending on the tribe.

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