The Celts at the British Museum

Posted: January 29, 2016 in Dark ages, History, London, UK
Tags: ,

I have got into a bad habit when major exhibitions occur. I don’t go initially because they will be too busy and then before I know it they are almost over. So it was with the Celts exhibition at the British Museum, which closes at the end of this week and which I finally got round to seeing yesterday.

Extent of Celtic Culture in Europe - "Celts in Europe" by QuartierLatin1968. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Celts_in_Europe.png#/media/File:Celts_in_Europe.png

Extent of Celtic Culture in Europe – “Celts in Europe” by QuartierLatin1968. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – 

The exhibition follows the development of the Celtic culture, a single culture shared by a number of different peoples from eastern ( Czech Republic and Turkey), Central (Switzerland and Germany) and western (Iberia, France and Britain) Europe. It reached it height during the Iron Age and is perhaps most famous for its metalwork, much of which is on display in the exhibition.

 

 

The Celtic metalwork is amazing and these were the star exhibits on show.

Photo by Jessica springer (https://www.flickr.com/photos/wordridden/)

Photo by Jessica Spengler (https://www.flickr.com/photos/wordridden/)

 

Celtic Shield. Photo by rachel H (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagelmouse/)

Celtic Shield. Photo by Rachel H (https://www.flickr.com/photos/bagelmouse/)

 

Celtic Torc. Photo by tallis Keaton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/talliskeeton/)

Celtic Torc. Photo by Tallis Keaton (https://www.flickr.com/photos/talliskeeton/)

 

It has always been imagined that the culture expanded from a foundation in Central Europe westwards and eastwards, as shown on the map above. However I recently saw a documentary on the TV which reported the apparent finding of ‘bronze age’ Celtic artifacts from Iberia and Britain. Since no such items have been found in central or Eastern Europe, this may, if substantiated, suggest that the origins of the Celtic culture may in fact have been on the lands of the Atlantic coast and spread eastward from there.

 

The exhibition closes on Sunday.

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