It is not proposed in this chapter to indulge in an extensive and somewhat incestuous examination of the growth of Iron Age studies in Britain simply for the sake of conventional completeness, nor for the specious exercise of holding up to ridicule the views of previous generations who have written on the subject. But some idea of how patterns of thought have developed to their present state is essential, not only because the models of the past have necessarily influenced the interpretations, and indeed the gathering, of the facts, but also because current views may tend to overreact against established dogma.