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Summary

The dating and distribution of the trade in Italian wine to northwest Europe in the last two centuries BC is discussed. The previously recorded Atlantic emphasis is shown to be a product of differential research; many new finds in north-eastern France, the Benelux countries, Germany and Switzerland are documented but finds are absent from ‘Germanic’ areas. The trade may start in the later second century BC, and around the middle of the first century BC there appears to be an increase in the availability of wine in non-maritime Gaul and eastern England, possibly at the expense of the Atlantic routes. The debut of the trade in Spanish wine to north-west Europe is discussed. Attention is briefly drawn to the importance of the revised distribution both to cross-Channel links between Belgic Gaul and Britain and to the difference between ‘Celts’ and ‘germans’ and the idea of a ‘Nordwestblock’.