The mass of data recovered from the soil of Britain, which reflects upon the life of Iron Age communities, is very considerable but it is at best a partial statement of the reality of Iron Age being. Everything that has been recovered comes to us through a series of filters. Objects have had to be discarded or selected for deposition rather than being destroyed or recycled. The burial conditions have had to be suitable to encourage preservation and the object has had to be discovered, by accident or design, and been considered worthy of retention. Only a minute percentage of Iron Age material culture has come down to us, and what survives is by no means a random sample of what once existed.