ANT 324L • Iron Age Celts-W
3:30 PM-5:00 PM
During the centuries before the Roman conquest, Iron Age Europe was home to the many peoples that we now collectively call the early "Celts." Known to the Greeks and Romans as fearless warriors, prodigious drinkers, and amoral barbarians, the Celts interacted with the classical Mediterranean through trade and in hostile encounters. Feared for their attacks on Rome and Delphi, the Celts were a constant presence in Europe, northern Italy and Spain on the one hand, and in western Turkey on the other. The first century BCE and thereafter saw numerous major military incursions by the Romans into Celtic, or Gallic, and finally Insular territory. At these points of contact, the non-literate Celts entered into Classical literature.
The archaeological study of Celtic material remains reveals a fascinating culture unknown to the Classical authors. Lavish burials of women and men contain well-preserved goods and exquisite works of art in an abstract, non-narrative idiom. Many of the early concepts and forms developed further as the continental Celts moved on to the British Isles. Hillforts and enclosures permanently altered the landscape. We can begin to generalize about Celtic Iron Age social structures, economic patterns and belief systems. We will avail ourselves of both sources of information -- the Greek and Roman authors' writings about the Celts, and, primarily, the archaeology of the Celtic world. This course will cover the late Hallstatt period of the sixth century BCE through the Roman period.
Course web site Beyond Celts, Germans and Scythians, Peter S. Wells. Duckworth, 2001. Celtic Art: From Its Beginnings to the Book of Kells, M. Ruth Megaw, J. V. S. Megaw. Thames & Hudson, 2001 Celts and the Classical World, David Rankin. Routledge, 1996 Additional readings