British Iron-Age coin showing back-to-back crescent moons
© Prehistory Decoded
British Iron-Age coin showing back-to-back crescent moons.
While the Picts, famous for their symbol stones, were fighting each other, and then the Romans, in Scotland, British Celts were fighting each other, and then the Romans, in the rest of Britain. Nearly all these people, and their culture, were imported from mainland Europe in the preceding few millennia - we now know this from genetic studies. This means the British and Scottish Celts represent the tail-end of the Indo-European migration from the Pontic Steppe.

Several millennia before that, the indigenous hunter-gather population was almost totally replaced by Anatolian farmers. So we have the sequence: hunter-gatherers, Anatolian farmers, Indo-Europeans, in the British Isles.

However, we now suspect all these different cultures used practically the same zodiacal system - only a some of the symbols seem to differ across this vast timescape. We know this because of the correlations in Palaeolithic cave art, Anatolian Gobekli Tepe and Catalhoyuk, and Celtic western Europe. It appears to have been in operation right from the time the first sapiens set foot in Europe. Quite possibly, it was developed elsewhere, over 40,000 years ago, and transported across the whole world.

We can therefore expect the rest of the British Isles to have used the same zodiacal system as the Picts to the North. The Picts were nothing special.

So which zodiacal symbols can we expect to find in the first few centuries of the 1st millennium, before the last iron-age culture in Britain was replaced by the Romans, and then the Christians. Obviously, we should see some of the same symbols used by the Picts. Specifically, taking 100 to 200 AD as the date, we should expect to find the following:

summer solstice = Gemini = ibex ( = Pictish beastie of the Picts)
winter solstice = possibly the rear of Sagittarius = boar
spring equinox = Pisces = fish (or bending bird in older Anatolian system)
autumn equinox = Virgo = dog/wolf (or bear in older Anatolian system)

And what do we actually find? The evidence is less clear, but according to this non peer-reviewed article the most prevalent symbol found in archaeological remains at this time is the boar - which agrees with the zodiacal system. Boar symbols are found on coins as well as many figurines. In terms of coins, we apparently find the 'boar, wolf and horse'. But let's look at some examples of these...

Animal Signs
© Norfolk Museum Services
Now, the boar figurines are clear. And I can just make out a wolf's head on the top-right coin. But the other coins, said to resemble 'horses', 'dragons' or 'boar-horses' look to me rather like the symbol for Gemini - the charging narrow head is a give-away. So I suspect these 'dragons' or 'boar-horses' are actually symbols for Gemini, just like the Pictish beastie, i.e. they are stylised goats or ibexes. Maybe you can see something else in them?