Attested: Κασσιτεριδες by Herodotus 3,115 in 440 BC, Diodorus of Sicily 5,38 in 50 BC, Strabo 2,5,15 & 30 in AD 10, and Cassiterides by Pliny 4,36,1 in AD 70.
Where: The Channel Islands, as argued by Parkinson (2020), outranks other suggested locations, notably the Scilly Isles.
Name origin: Greek κασσιτερος, whose ultimate origin has been much discussed inconclusively, notably in Beekes' Greek etymological dictionary.
Notes: Dates of attestation are approximate. The later ones probably drew on the lost works of Pytheas of Massalia from 325 BC, and of Posidonius of Rhodes from the 90s BC. The Channel Isles, especially Guernsey, make excellent sense as a place where tin was traded on its way towards the Mediterranean. A mistaken belief that tin was mined there, possibly contributed to the confusion, but local geology does contain some exploitable mineral veins, so it is possible that ancient people found the easy pickings of tin ores. The argument that Ικτις was Burgh Island is strengthened by astragalus (small bone) shaped ingots of tin dredged from Erme Bay. Rivet & Smith pp180-182 discussed the names of individual Channel Islands in the Maritime Itinerary, and Parkinson (2020) tackles Pliny's list of names.
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