Archaeological Evidence Against Mass Celtic Invasion

1781 words - 8 pages

To begin with, the spread of the La Tène art style from continental Europe to Ireland does not withstand scrutiny against its traditional use as evidence for a mass invasion of a Celtic La Tène people. For one thing, archaeologists in recent years have asserted the utter fallacy in assuming that the spread of a specific style in material culture necessarily indicates a population movement associated with that culture. In fact, this connection between race and material culture grew in popularity in the early 20th century, as the German archaeologist Gustaf Kossinna equated the expansion of La Tène art with an expansion of a Celtic people. If one applies this logic to a modern day case, however, the miscalculation in Kossinna’s theory is obvious. For example, one cannot attribute the overwhelming popularity of Guinness Stout in Nigeria to a massive scale population movement of “Irish Guinness-drinking people” to Nigeria, but to a cultural phenomena more related to exchange networks than demographic invasion. Indeed, many archaeologists in the last decade have taken this stance, such as J.P. Mallory, who credits the spread of La Tène style into Ireland to the Irish elites adopting a fashionable style from nearby elites . In that way, the emergence of a new decorative style dubbed by early archaeologists to be ‘Celtic’ indicates more of a trend among the elite of Ireland rather than a massive immigration of Celts from the continent.
Further on the subject of La Tène, even if race could be traced synonymously with material culture, discrepancies still appear between the La Tène artefacts of Ireland and those of the continent. In fact, several features of those artefacts distinguish the overwhelming majority of Irish Early Iron Age discoveries to be “made in a distinctly local style” rather than imported or manufactured by invaded craftspeople. For the first example, archaeologists traditionally linked the emergence of the Hallstatt C swords in Ireland to a Celtic invasion, but the relatively short length of locally-made blades set them apart from the continental imports. While this arrival of a new sword type cannot be completely ignored, the differences between swords found on the continent and in Ireland indicate that a mass movement of Celtic people into Ireland is too simplistic a view. Similarly, Irish local varieties of another important Iron Age artefact, horse gear, indicates more cultural contact than invasion from Celts. In contrast to the two-link horse bits found in Britain or on the continent in the Iron Age, three links distinguish the Irish-made bits. On top of that, several La Tène pieces such as Y-pendants and Navan-type brooches cannot be compared to any continental counterpart. Perhaps most significantly, Irish manufacturers continued to use bronze long into the Early Iron Age, after the continental craftspeople nearly ceased the manufacture of bronze artefacts, replacing it with the more abundant iron .
In summation,...

Find Another Essay On Archaeological Evidence Against Mass Celtic Invasion

Picts- a celtic tribe Essay

998 words - 4 pages The Picts inhabited Pictavia or Pictland - Caledonia (Scotland), north of the River Forth - prior to the invasion of the Scotti (Sgaothaich) from Ireland.The name Pict first appears in a panegyric written by Eumenius in 297 AD. Although Picti is usually assumed to mean painted or tattooed (as in Latin) it may have a Celtic origin. The Goidelic Celts called the Picts Cruithne and the Brythonic Celts knew them as prydyn, whence Britain.HistoryMany

The Evolution of Celtic Mythology Essay

1741 words - 7 pages literature was left by the Celts, they left much archaeological evidence that was in and of itself, rich is "story:" inscriptions, artwork, statuettes. However, in the end, it was a spoken tradition that has been translated into history that has made Celtic mythology important.Mythology in general has had a great influence on our lives today. Three worldwide phenomena, Disney, The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter books, have drawn on and

Ancient Celtic Religion- speech

738 words - 3 pages Good evening honored guests and welcome to the opening of the ‘Ancient Celtic Exhibit’. I'm the curator of the museum and I will be giving you a glimpse at what our exhibit holds. Archaeological studies have found that the Celtic religion has existed for over 3000 years from 1400 B.C. to today. Around the 6th Century B.C. the Celts spread from their homeland, Germany and Europe through Ireland all the way to Ukraine and Turkey. These

Learning About Celts Through Roman Authors

3122 words - 12 pages Celts knew how to make cheese, but Strabo was most certainly wrong in his assertion that the British knew nothing of farming, as archaeological evidence has proven much the contrary (i.e. the discovery of the remains of items which would have had an agricultural use). Both Caesar and Tacitus spoke of the locals having grown corn. We know for certain that the Celts were primarily a farming people, who also knew how to

The Once and Future King

1801 words - 8 pages the people of that period may have believed in magic, it is not likely that magic was actually present, taking Merlin’s magical abilities, Excalibur, and the Lady of the Lake out of the legend. Could these things have actually existed? Yes, but they probably were not as magical as described in the legend. There is archaeological evidence that the Anglo-Saxon’s march westward came to a sudden halt around sixth century AD, the time that Arthur was

What is understood by the term ‘Sub-Roman’ Britain?

2394 words - 10 pages due to the limitations of both the historical and archaeological evidence that have made it difficult to discuss any person, place, or event in sub-Roman Britain with confidence. Therefore we are left with cautious and colorless models that admittedly lack the appeal of Arthurian romance. In order to understand the term ‘Sub-Roman’ Britain, however, we must deal with two of the often most difficult types of contextual evidence: literary, and

Celtic Warriors

1965 words - 8 pages around with either. For defense they could form a huge and deadly shield wall which as practically impenetrable. Others used this kind of tactic but could not compare to the mass and strength of this shield wall. They did not usually have to use this but when they did very few could actually penetrate the wall. In addition, the Celts were just an all-around threat to anyone who came across their path. (Hunter) The Celtic cross is a symbol of

Legacy of Queen Boadicea

1803 words - 7 pages with the new legion, Suetonius was still heavily outnumbered. Tactitus states that there were around 10 000 Romans ready to battle against 100 000 Celts . After working the tribes into war frenzy, Boadicea led her troops into battle with a chariot charge. This maneuver, however, worked against the Celts and caused mass disorganization and chaos in their ranks. Ironically, the massive size of Boadicea's army was a detriment rather than an

The Legendary Queen Boudica And The Iceni Tribe

1672 words - 7 pages we draw the avenging sword. On this spot we must either conquer, or die with glory. There is no alternative. Though a woman, my resolution is fixed: the men, if they please, may survive with infamy, and live in bondage." (Tacitus Chapter 35) Queen Boudica and her Iceni tribesmen along with other Celtic tribes against Rome summoned forces together, rallied weapons, and defeated the Romans battle after battle (60 AD to 61 AD). The rebellion was

Boudicca: Just Ruler or power Mongering Tyrant

1515 words - 6 pages -tribal unity or co-operation against invasion and oppression.Other local tribes joined Boudicca and silver coins were minted in large numbers to finance the rebellion. Rebellion is a time when prior grievances can be aired and revenged. The Trinovantes who joined the Iceni had developed a hatred of the veterans settled at Colchester. The veterans had treated them badly, taking land, enslaving and now expanding, exploiting them generally. The omens at

Celtic Life

1155 words - 5 pages especially enraged by this invasion. She rallied her warriors and shoved the Romans backward until their rule was broken. It was especially rattling on these powerful foreigners because it was a woman in such a high rank that had led people against them. Though Celts pushed their overseers back out after a rule of several centuries, from then on, England would see conquer after conquer. Ireland and the western end of the British Isle became the

Similar Essays

The Celts Essay

4110 words - 17 pages institutions among the Celts was the blood-feud in which murder or insults against an individual would require the entire clan to violently exact retribution. The blood-feud was in part avoided by the institution of professional mediators. At least an Ireland, a professional class of jurists, called brithem, would mediate disputes and exact reparations on the offending clan.Even though Celtic society centered around a warrior aristocracy, the position of

Causes Of The Boudiccan Revolt (References To Modern And Ancient Historians As Well As Archaeological Evidence)

963 words - 4 pages , the individual that created the state of Britain at 60 AD was further creating insult as Celtic religious beliefs were being extinguished. The Celtic hatred for this religious oppression is made evident by the archaeological evidence. The temple if burnt to the ground ( symbolically Romans were trapped inside, almost sacrificially) and a statue of Claudius that was situated in the temple was destroyed and pieces subsequently scattered, such as

Celtic Languages Essay

776 words - 3 pages , Breton, Cornish, Cumbric, the hypothetical Ivernic, and possibly PictishNote that the Breton is not Gaulish, but closely related to Cornish and is thus a member of Insular Celtic. Brittany is known to have been settled from Britain in historical times.The separation of these groups probably occurred around 1000 BC. The early Celts are commonly associated with the archaeological Urnfield cultureClassificationThere are two competing schemata of

The Discovery Of Lindow Man Essay

1867 words - 7 pages ways in which he was killed. Archaeologist Anne Ross (a specialist in Celtic traditions) developed a widely accepted theory about Celtic society after she investigated the evidence presented by Lindow Man. The Celtics had three Gods: Taranis, the god of thunder; Esus, the god of the underworld; and Teutates, the god of the tribe. According to Ross' theory, each god required a specific type of sacrifice. Ross explains: "Taranis required prisoners