Celtic from the West

Celtic from the West : Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature

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This book is an exploration of the new idea that the Celtic languages originated in the Atlantic Zone during the Bronze Age, approached from various perspectives pro and con, archaeology, genetics, and philology. This Celtic Atlantic Bronze Age theory represents a major departure from the long-established, but increasingly problematical scenario in which the story of the Ancient Celtic languages and that of peoples called Keltoi Celts are closely bound up with the archaeology of the Hallstatt and La Tene cultures of Iron Age west-central Europe. The Celtic from the West proposal was first presented in Barry Cunliffe's Facing the Ocean (2001) and has subsequently found resonance amongst geneticists. It provoked controversy on the part of some linguists, though is significantly in accord with John Koch's findings in Tartessian (2009). The present collection is intended to pursue the question further in order to determine whether this earlier and more westerly starting point might now be developed as a more robust foundation for Celtic studies. As well as having this specific aim, a more general purpose of Celtic from the West is to bring to an English-language readership some of the rapidly unfolding and too often neglected evidence of the pre-Roman peoples and languages of the western Iberian Peninsula. Celtic from the West is an outgrowth of a multidisciplinary conference held at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth in December 2008. As well as the 11 chapters, the book includes 45 distribution maps and a further 80 illustrations. The conference and collaborative volume mark the launch of a multi-year research initiative undertaken by the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies [CAWCS]: Ancient Britain and the Atlantic Zone [ABrAZo].Contributors: (Archaeology) Barry Cunliffe; Raimund Karl; Amilcar Guerra; (Genetics) Brian McEvoy & Daniel Bradley; Stephen Oppenheimer; Ellen Rrvik; (Language & Literature) Graham Isaac; David Parsons; John T. Koch; Philip Freeman; Dagmar S. Wodtko.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 188 x 244 x 26mm | 1,238.3g
  • Oxbow Books
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 83 b/w illus, 39 colour & b/w maps
  • 1842174754
  • 9781842174753
  • 519,150

Review quote

Its fair to say that this book succeeds in re-thinking preceding ideas about Celts in a very approachable (and visually satisfying) way. In the introduction the authors set themselves the challenge of 'stimulating a breadth of original thinking, rather than launching an Atlantic Celtic thesis as a manifesto. The breadth of scholarly writing here ensures the volume achieves that aim with considerable gusto. -- Current World Archaeology * Current World Archaeology * Its great strength is that it is multidisciplinary, consisting of chapters by archaeologists, geneticists and philologists... Overall, whatever you may think about the 'Celtic debate', this is an important book that provides easy access to multiple strands of evidence.' -- British Archaeology * British Archaeology *show more

Table of contents

Part I: Archaeology 1. Celticization from the West: The Contribution of Archaeology (Barry Cunliffe) 2. The Celts from Everywhere and Nowhere: A Re-evaluation of the Origins of the Celts and the Emergence of Celtic Cultures (Raimund Karl) 3. Ancillary Study: New Discovered Inscriptions from the South-west of the Iberian Peninsula (Amilcar Guerra) Part II: Genetics 4. Western Celts? A Genetic Impression of Britain in Atlantic Europe (Ellen C. Royrvik) 5. Irish Genetics and Celts (Brian P. McEvoy and Daniel G. Bradley) 6. A Reanalysis of Multiple Prehistoric Immigrations to Britain and Ireland Aimed at Identifying the Celtic Contributions (Stephen Oppenheimer) Part III: Language and Literature 7. The Origins of the Celtic Languages: Language Spread from East to West (G. R. Isaac) 8. Tracking the Course of the Savage Tongue: Place-names and Linguistic Diffusion in Early Britain (David N. Parsons) 9. Paradigm Shift? Interpreting Tartessian as Celtic (John T. Koch) 10. Ancillary Study: Ancient References to Tartessos (Philip M. Freeman) 11. Ancillary Study: The Problem of Lusitanian (Dagmar S. Wodtkoshow more

About Barry Cunliffe

Barry Cunliffe was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 2007. He has worked on many of the iconic British excavations including Fishbourne Roman Palace, Danebury Hillfort and Hengistbury Head. He is an authority on the Iron Age and the Celts, and the author of many scholarly and popular publications including The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe, Britain Begins, and The Celts, A Very Short Introduction. Professor John Koch is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, University of Wales. His interests include the languages, literatures, and civilizations of the early Celtic peoples from prehistory through the early Middle Ages. His works have developed original ideas in such fields as the earliest Welsh poetry, the Mabinogi, Continental Celtic, Irish saga literature, St Patrick, the classical authors' descriptions of the ancient Celts, and Bronze Age and Iron Age archaeology. He is the author of groundbreaking volumes, such as The Gododdin of Aneirin and The Celtic Heroic Age , has co-authored major innovative works, such as The Inscriptions of Early Medieval Brittany , and has contributed widely to international volumes and journals. He is the co-editor of all three Celtic from the West volumes.show more

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