No evidence of Pre-Roman Steel Handles?

Sep 2012
Strangely, I can only find actual archaeological photo evidence of real flint and steels used in Scandivania by the Norse during the Viking age, but none for pre-Roman, Iron Age "British" people. Surely they must've used the flint and steel? Or did they only start to use them when Rome had its feet firmly in the door? In that case all flint and steels used by insular "Celts" (or whatever you want to call them) came to just be referred to as Roman?

I'm aware that there is evidence for their using the bow drill method with shells as a bearing block, but I just can't find any information about "Celtic" flint and steel use, no photos of real ones at all. It's just Romans and the Vikings.

BBC History 'Iron Age Life' seems to suggest that we used the bow drill. Why use the bow drill when iron was available?

Surely if they used flint and pyrites before, they could craft the steel striker handles themselves as they would've understood the method of creating fire from sparks?

So if the primary method was fire by friction for the Pre-Roman tribes of Britannia that means the Romans would've brought with them flint and steel technology and the natives would've transferred over to them? It's just a bit confusing because I've never seen a real life "British" steel handle.

Also... Let's say the Romans gave to the natives the flint and steel method. Does this mean the Picts and other northerly tribes not included in the Roman empire's boundaries were still using the bow drill?

So, the big question... Why is there no evidence of Iron Age Britons utilizing iron in the Iron Age to make these steel handles and why does it seem to have only come about during the Viking age?
Jan 2011
Chipped flint or quartz have often been found near Gaulish fire places. As an example,a quartz chipped stone found in the oppidum of Corent has been interpretated as a flint. But, as written by M Poux, the excavator of Corent, the steel part is difficult to identify among all found steel parts. However, he says the use of flint and steels is "well attested during the Gaulish era" (unhappily with no more comments).
It seems the only Gaulish flint and steels have been found in Belgium, dated IInd century BC, in Eprave (Trou de l'Ambre) and Han sur Lesse.
I don't have any photograph or scheme of these, but they should be similar to this one :

... which, in France, is commonly called "Gaulish flint and steels".
I don't have any information on the use of it by Insular Celts.


Ad Honorem
Feb 2012
In that case, they were imported into Britain by the 1st century BC, although it does appear that there's little evidence to support it nor does it appear that fire starting was ever very sophisticated in Iron Age Britain (Ray Mears might disagree :D )