BALKAN CELTS

Rolltier Bohemia Boii late 2 c. BC

In the tide of nationalism and revisionism which has marked the last century, our common European Celtic heritage has been systematically deconstructed, manipulated and denied. To balance this phenomenon, the BALKANCELTS organization presents the archaeological, numismatic, linguistic and historical facts pertaining to the Celts in Eastern Europe and Asia-Minor, within the context of the pan-European Celtic culture – a heritage which belongs to no nation, yet is common to all.

  

CIUMMM

Contact: Balkancelts@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Balkancelts

 

 

ACADEMIA.EDU:

http://ucd-ie.academia.edu/BrendanMacGonagle

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Celtic Settlement in the Matra Mountains area of northeastern Hungary

Iron weapons from Grave 186 at Gyöngyös

This article, by Károly Tankó of Loránd University,  provides an overview of the latest discoveries pertaining to Celtic settlement in the Mátra Mountains region of northeastern Hungary.

https://www.academia.edu/38299331/K._Tankó_Celts_in_the_Mátra_region._Hungarian_Archaeology_E-Journal_2018_summer_1-5

Folded iron sword Grave 59 at Gyöngyös

 

 

ALEA IACTA EST – Games and Gaming Pieces in Celtic Europe

 

“What is extraordinary, they play at dice, when sober, as a serious business: and that with such a desperate venture of gain or loss, that, when everything else is gone, they set their liberties and persons on the last throw”.

(Tacitus, Germania 24)

 

 

As in the modern world, gambling and gaming played a central role in Iron Age European society. Extensive archaeological evidence from Celtic settlements and burials, from the British Isles in the west to Kalnovo in eastern Bulgaria, attests to the fact that these activities were common to all Celtic tribes across the continent.

 

Bone dice from the Celtic settlement at Naintré (Poitou-Charentes), France

(mid 1st c. BC)

 

Bone dice found at the Celtic settlement at Acy-Romance (Ardennes), France 

(1 c. BC)

No photo description available.

Bone dice from the sanctuary area of the Celtic settlement at Roseldorf  in Lower Austria. The finds come from an area of the sanctuary believed to have been dedicated to the Horse Goddess Epona.

(3/2 c. BC)

 

Indeed, such was the popularity of gaming among the Celts that by the late Iron Age gaming pieces were being produced on an industrial scale. Archaeological evidence of this phenomenon has been documented in central/eastern Europe at sites such as Manching (Pfaffenhofen District) and Berchung-Pollanten (Neumarkt District) in Germany; in Bohemia at sites such as Stradonice; in Moravia, at the settlements in Drnholec (Břeclav District), Křenovice (Přerov District) and Mistřín (Hodonín District). In the western Celtic sphere workshops manufacturing dice have been discovered at sites in France such as Villeneuve-Saint-Germain (Aisne) in Picardy, at Levroux (Indre Department) in Centre-Val de Loire, and at Aulnat-Gandaillat (Puy-de-Dôme Department) in Auvergne.

 

Image may contain: food

Bone, antler and sandstone dice / gaming pieces, from the Celtic oppidum at Stradonice (Bohemia) in the Czech Republic

(2/1 c. BC)

While gaming pieces used by the general Celtic population were produced from bone, antler or stone, naturally the wealthier class could afford sets produced from more expensive material. Particularly wonderful examples of such pieces are those fashioned in glass, the production of which reaches a high level of technical sophistication among the Celtic population from the middle La Tène period onwards. 
No photo description available.
Glass gaming pieces from Celtic warrior burials at Perugia, Italy

(4th c. BC)

No photo description available.

 

Complete set of glass gaming pieces from a rich Celtic burial at Welwyn Garden City (Hertfordshire), England

(ca. 30 BC)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mac Congail

Discovery of a Balkan Celtic Burial Complex at Podzemelj, eastern Slovenia

 

 

 

The recent chance discovery of a significant Iron Age burial complex in eastern Slovenia has uncovered important new evidence pertaining to the population who inhabited this region of Europe in the immediate pre-Roman period. 

The site, at Pezdirčeva Njiva in Podzemelj, is situated in the White Carniola area of southeastern Slovenia, near the border with Croatia.

 

Excavation of the site at Pezdirčeva Njiva

One of the graves uncovered at the Pezdirčeva Njiva site

 

Initial investigations at the site have uncovered 15 burials, dating to the late 4th – early 3rd century BC, thus placing these latest finds in the same chronological framework as other early Balkan Celtic burials from eastern Slovenia, notably those from Srednica near Ptuj. The location of the latest discovery at Podzemelj places the burial complex in the territory of the Celtic Taurisci tribe. 

 

Srednica

Bronze scabbard from a Celtic warrior burial at Srednica, eastern Slovenia (late 4th – early 3rd c. BC)

https://balkancelts.wordpress.com/2015/03/08/a-celtic-warrior-burial-from-srednica-northeastern-slovenia/

a - a - 2 Bela - 15 graves they dug out at Pezdirčeva Njiva in Podzemelj. Most of them date from the 4th century BC 5

Material from the Celtic burials at Pezdirčeva Njiva 

 

Perhaps the most interesting find so far from the Pezdirčeva Njiva burials is a Celtic gold stater based on the Greek Athena / Nike prototype, which was discovered attached to a belt in one of the burials (3 c. BC). The gold coin indicates that the burial is one of the later graves at the site. Coins are very rarely found in Celtic burials, and this example, only the third Celtic gold coin to have been found in an archaeological context on the territory of modern Slovenia, provides invaluable data concerning the dating of the burial.

 

A - coin a A Bela Krajina, Slovenia 3c. BC

A - coin b A Pezdirčeva Njiva site near Bela Krajina, Slovenia 3c. BC

Gold stater discovered in one of the Balkan Celtic burials at Podzemelj

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mac Congail

De Origine Scoticae Linguae (On the origin of the Irish language)

"A word bantráill, explained as "female slave", is probably a combination of Irish ban- "female" and Old Norse þræll "slave""

After a remarkable prologue which claims that the Irish language derives from Hebrew, Latin and Greek (and that the Irish people are descended from Greeks!), it discusses the origins of about 880 mostly Irish words, deriving them from Latin, Greek, and Hebrew, as well as Welsh and Norse. Modern scholars would not now accept most of these derivations, but nonetheless this represents one of the earliest milestones in the study of the Irish language and the beginnings of Celtic linguistics…

Fascinating article on the ancient Irish text, and its implications for European linguistics:

https://www.rte.ie/eile/brainstorm/2019/0123/1024998-did-a-medieval-irish-manuscript-disclose-a-new-word-of-old-dutch/

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