The southern part of this territory more or less equivalent to modern Provence had been a colony since 118 BC and exposed to the influences of Italy and Greece for much longer. Greek colonists had founded Massalia (Marseille) as far back as 600 BC. But even the inhabitants of the rest of the country, what the Romans called "long-haired Gaul", were far from shaggy barbarians. Though the economy was basically rural, the Gauls had established large hilltop towns by 100 BC, notably at Bibracte near Autun, where archeologists have identified separate merchants' quarters.
The Gauls also invented the barrel and soap and were skilful manufacturers. By 500 BC they were capable of making metal-wheeled carts, as was proved by the "chariot tomb" of Vix, where a young woman was found buried lying on a cart with its wheels removed and propped against the wall. She was wearing rich gold jewellery and next to her were Greek vases and black figure pottery, dating the burial at around 500 BC and revealing the extent of commercial relations. Interestingly, too, the Gauls' money was based on the gold staters minted by Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great.
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