In most branches, however, their handicraft does not appear
to have risen above the ordinary level; the manufacture of linen
and woollen stuffs, that subsequently flourished in central
and northern Gaul, was demonstrably called into existence only
by the Romans. The elaboration of metals forms an exception,
and so far as we know the only one.
The copper implements
not unfrequently of excellent workmanship and even now malleable,
which are brought to light in the tombs of Gaul, and the carefully
adjusted Arvernian gold coins, are still at the present day
striking witnesses of the skill of the Celtic workers in copper
and gold; and with this the reports of the ancients well accord,
that the Romans learned the art of tinning from the Bituriges
and that of silvering from the Alesini--inventions, the first of which
was naturally suggested by the traffic' in tin, and both of which
were probably made in the period of Celtic freedom.