Embalmed heads of the Celtic Iron Age in the south of France

Share via Email This article is over 4 years old The Celtic brooch looted by the Vikings and discovered in the museum’s collection. Andy Hall for the Observer A Celtic treasure looted by the Vikings more than 1, years ago has been discovered in the British Museum’s storerooms. An ornate, gilded disc brooch dating from the eighth or ninth century was found by chance and is being described as a “staggering find”. No-one knew of its existence until now. It had been concealed in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway by a British archaeologist in the s and acquired by the British Museum in Curator Barry Ager, a Vikings specialist, was poring over artefacts before a visit from a Norwegian researching the Viking site when his eye was caught by some metal sticking out of the side of the organic lump. Intrigued, he asked the conservation department to X-ray it. The brooch, almost 6cm in diameter, had been buried in the grave of a high-status Viking woman. Substantial remains of the gilding still survive on the top surface and its elaborate design includes three dolphin-like creatures and interlaced patterns.

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Celtic Cross — symbol of faith and culture Celtic Cross symbol. Image copyright Ireland Calling The Celtic cross is a symbol of both culture and faith. The true origins of the Celtic cross are unknown but there are many theories and legends. Two cultures combined to form the cross One Christian legend says that the first Celtic cross was formed by St Patrick while bringing Christianity to the Druids.

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The Quest for Meaning The richly layered beauty of knotwork is the most identifiable type of Celtic art and artistry. The mystique of Celtic knot symbolism lies in the complex interlacing of unbroken lines. The interwoven, endless patterns compel all who gaze upon them to ascribe Celtic knotwork meaning and purpose.

The Celtic knot is not only beautiful For many, it symbolizes eternity: The Celts were not alone in their regard for trees as sacred living things. Nevertheless, the Celtic tree of life is unique because of how intricate knotwork connects the branches and the roots. Branches reach high into the heavens, roots dig deep into the Earth, yet all are woven together What does this mystical symbol signify?

Sacred Celtic Crosses Crosses have long been a sacred symbol in many cultures all over the world, even before the dawn of Christianity. Yet Celtic Crosses are distinctive They are among the most cherished Celtic symbols in all of Ireland. Countless carved stone High Crosses have dotted the Irish landscape through the ages. They are another emblem of the ancient premise, “As above, so below

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Early Celtic Ireland Political and social organization Politically, Ireland was organized into a number of petty kingdoms, or clans tuatha , each of which was quite independent under its elected king. Groups of tuatha tended to combine, but the king who claimed overlordship in each group had a primacy of honour rather than of jurisdiction. Surrounding a king was an aristocracy airi aicme, the upper class , whose land and property rights were clearly defined by law and whose main wealth was in cattle.

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Celtic Crosses The weapons and jewellery discovered in Celtic burials in Italy are good illustrations of this new style, the main elements of which were foliage motifs, especially tendril scrolls. Hence one of its names: It is also known as the Waldalgesheim Style, after an important archeological site in Germany. A feature of this prevailing trend in the fourth century BCE was the adoption and transformation of motifs of Greco-Etruscan origin. The most striking examples are the two ceremonial helmets discovered in France-at Agris and Amfreville-sous-les-Monts-both found outside the area of expansion of Celtic art in the fifth century BCE.

The strong Italic influence on the transalpine Celts is clearly apparent, too, in a series of painted vases found in Champagne France , dating from the fourth century BCE and probably produced in the same workshop. Their curvilinear decoration was executed, as on Greek and Etruscan vases, by blacking out the field and leaving the pattern in the colour of the clay the “red-figure” style.

This early attempt was followed a little later by a second series, found in Champagne, comprising ceramics in the “black-figure” style. See Prunay Vase, pictured left. The emergence of this new foliage pattern in the fourth century BCE is evidence of the assimilation and interpretation by the Celts of the ornamental repertoire of classical Greek art , one of the foremost elements of which was the Greek or Etruscan palmette and its composite forms, with tendril scrolls.

Fibulae discovered in Switzerland are closely akin to the Mediterranean prototypes, but the famous gold torc found at Waldalgesheim differs considerably.

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The surviving Celtic world of today, though vibrant and engaging in itself, is only a remnant of the culture that once dominated most of Europe and parts of Asia. From the Anatolian plains in present day Turkey to the Highlands of Scotland, the tribal Celts reigned supreme across this vast expanse for over four hundred years. Heroes of the Celtic world include Brennus who once held Rome to ransom, Queen Boudicca who in defence of her tribe decimated London, and William Wallace Braveheart who defeated an Anglo army twice the size of his spirited battalion.

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The earliest true Celtic idiom in the area of arts and crafts was the Hallstatt culture. This derived from the type-site situated in Salzkammergat a salt mine region , near the village of Halstaat in Austria, and lasted from roughly to BCE. Although centred around Austria, the Hallstatt culture spread across central Europe, divided into two zones: The Hallstatt culture was founded on its lucrative European-wide trade in salt, and iron implements, and its prosperity was fully reflected in the burial sites of its chieftains and wealthy nobility, which contained huge quantities of finely crafted artifacts, jewellery, pottery, tools and other objects.

Hallstatt art from Central Europe is noted for its high quality iron tools and weaponry, along with its bronze-based manufacture of decorative items and ornamentation. But relatively few silver or Gold objects have been found from this era.

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April 28, at 6: I wanted to ask you if you had seen this documentary by Dr. Francis Pryor, and the BBC. Its premise is similar to the ideas you touch on in this particular episode. It goes to the far end of the spectrum, however.

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The Ordovices in the north east and the Silures in the south east are but two of these early tribes, the names of which are not their own but those given them by late Roman invaders. The tribes of Wales developed regional styles of working iron, gold, and other metals, following the exquisite western European style known as La Tene after the village of La Tene in Switzerland. At the same time as iron was introduced to Britain a new crop of settlers arrived from northern Europe. These were the Celts, whose cultural influence cannot be overstated.

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Celtic Mythology Celtic Mythology Adventure, heroism, romance, and magic are a few of the elements that make Celtic mythology one of the most entrancing mythologies of Europe. Once a powerful people who dominated much of Europe, the Celts were reduced to a few small groups after the Roman invasions. However, their mythology survived, thanks largely to the efforts of medieval Irish and Welsh monks who wrote down the stories.

At the peak of their power, they inhabited an area extending from the British Isles in the west to what is now Turkey in the east. They conquered northern Italy and Macedonia, plundering both Rome and Delphi in the process. They had a reputation as fierce and courageous warriors and were viewed with respect by the Romans. Celtic expansion reached its limit around B. Gradually, the Romans subdued the Celts, and by A. At the same time, Germanic peoples conquered the Celts living in central Europe.

Just a few areas, notably Ireland and northern Britain, managed to remain free and to continue and pass on the Celtic traditions. Six groups of Celts have survived to modern times: The ancient Celts were neither a race nor a nation. They were a varied people bound together by language, customs, and religion rather than by any centralized government.

Looted Viking treasure is discovered in British Museum store

Few symbols are as recognizable as the Celtic Cross as the embodiment of Celtic Christianity. It is popularly believed that St. Patrick introduced the Celtic Cross in Ireland, during his conversion of the kings from paganism to Christianity.

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Tuesday 30 September The teams emerge to a frightening cacophony of noise from the capacity home crowd. After their bad luck in Munich, Celtic must win their Champions League home games frome here on in. Lyon kick off, Celtic win possession immediately attack. Their early surge forward is thwarted by some stout gallic defending.

Jackie McNamara concedes a free-kick just inside the Celtic half when he up-ends Carriere. The free-kick is larruped towards the edge of the box but man-mountain Bobo Balde clears his lines. Hedman boots a goal-kick forward and Hartson does his best albatross impersonation to flick it on.

Celtic hillfort of Otzenhausen

The original dated to around B. This too has a hiking trail, this time the 6km circular Druidenpfad. Search for Neunkircher Str.

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By the 2nd and 3rd century, the Celts had arrived in Ireland. They became known as the Gaels, because of their language and culture and inhabited the island of Eire as Ireland was originally known and named. DNA analysis which clearly showed a genetic fingerprint to the inhabitants of coastal regions of Spain, specifically the northern Basque region of Spain and the northwest Galician region of Spain. He discovered from approximately 4, to 5, BC that the Iberians migrated north to the British Isles and lived in all of the countries of the British Isles today.

These Iberians first inhabited Ireland and throughout the ensuing centuries evolved into what we know today as the Gaels of Ireland. The two islands had a different history; their trade-routes were not the same; they lived apart, and developed apart their civilisations One invasion followed another, and an old Irish tract gives the definite Gaelic monarchy as beginning in the fourth century B.

They drove the earlier peoples, the Iberians, from the stupendous stone forts and earthen entrenchments that guarded cliffs and mountain passes. The name of Erin recalls the ancient inhabitants, who lived on under the new rulers, more in number than their conquerors. The Gaels gave their language and their organisation to the country, while many customs and traditions of the older race lingered on and penetrated the new people.

Over a thousand years of undisturbed life lay before the Gaels, from about B.

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