Technologies of Enchantment?

Technologies of Enchantment? : Exploring Celtic Art: 400 BC to AD 100

By (author) Duncan Garrow , By (author) Chris Gosden

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While Celtic art includes some of the most famous archaeological artefacts in the British Isles, such as the Battersea shield or the gold torcs from Snettisham, it has often been considered from an art historical point of view. Technologies of Enchantment? Exploring Celtic Art attempts to connect Celtic art to its archaeological context, looking at how it was made, used, and deposited. Based on the first comprehensive database of Celtic art, it brings together current theories concerning the links between people and artefacts found in many areas of the social sciences. The authors argue that Celtic art was deliberately complex and ambiguous so that it could be used to negotiate social position and relations in an inherently unstable Iron Age world, especially in developing new forms of identity with the coming of the Romans. Placing the decorated metalwork of the later Iron Age in a long-term perspective of metal objects from the Bronze Age onwards, the volume pays special attention to the nature of deposition and focuses on settlements, hoards, and burials - including Celtic art objects' links with other artefact classes, such as iron objects and coins. A unique feature of the book is that it pursues trends beyond the Roman invasion, highlighting stylistic continuities and differences in the nature and use of fine metalwork.

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  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 140 x 218 x 22mm | 680.39g
  • 07 Sep 2012
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford
  • English
  • 115 in text illustrations, graphs, and maps
  • 0199548064
  • 9780199548064
  • 707,623

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Author Information

Chris Gosden has been a curator-lecturer at the Pitt Rivers Museum and is currently Professor of European Archaeology at Oxford University. He has carried out fieldwork in Britain, Papua New Guinea, central Asia, and Borneo. He has published on issues of colonialism, material culture, museum collections and their histories, Iron Age and Roman archaeology, and issues of identity.

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Review quote

This welcome volume sheds light on the spectacular body of Celtic art from Britain ... this volume offers a useful summation of approaches to Celtic art in Britain. Andrew Meirion Jones, Antiquity offers a fundamental reassessment of the richly decorated metalwork of the British Iron Age Greg Woolf, Times Literary Supplement

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