UD: Jan 2020
The first decades of the 21st century in European archaeology have been marked by a massive amount of new discoveries relating to the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, significantly altering our perception of the Celtic peoples who populated Iron Age Europe. One of the most spectacular discoveries in this context was unearthed at the Bettelbühl necropolis, situated just over two kilometres from the well known Celtic settlement on the Heuneburg in the Sigmaringen area of Baden–Württemberg in southern Germany.
3D Reconstruction of the Celtic settlement on the Heuneburg
In the central tumulus at the Bettelbühl site an incredibly rich burial of a Celtic lady and a child was discovered; revealing some of the most spectacular burial goods yet unearthed from this period in European history. The woman, who died aged 30-40, in ca. 583 BC, was accompanied in her journey into the afterlife by a wealth of wonderfully crafted jewelry of gold, bronze, amber, glass and other materials.
Gold jewelry from the Bettelbühl burial
Amber jewelry from the burial
Besides the aforementioned material, perhaps the most fascinating discovery in the burial was an excellently preserved example of horse armour, in the form of a lavishly decorated bronze mask. The tremendous wealth and workmanship to be observed in this and other early Celtic aristocratic burials of the period have provided a valuable insight into the high level of material and cultural sophistication which had developed among the European population by the early stages of the Iron Age.
Bronze horse mask from the Bettelbühl burial, and reconstruction
“At one moment she was a broad-eyed, most beautiful queen,
And another time a beaked, white-grey badb”.
(Harleian manuscript 4.22)
The central tenet of Celtic religion was metempsychosis – the transmigration of the soul and its reincarnation after death (Caesar J. De Bello Gallica, Book VI, XIV). This belief is probably best summed up by the Roman poet Lucanus (1st c. AD):
While you, ye Druids, when the war was done,
To mysteries strange and hateful rites returned…
Read Full Article: https://balkancelts.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/catubodua-queen-of-death/
Some of the most exquisite European Iron Age jewelry pieces were produced by the “barbarian” tribes on the Balkan peninsula between the 4th and 1st century BC. During this period Celtic craftsmen, working in a variety of mediums, drew heavily on both Scythian and Hellenistic art; a process which culminated in a distinctive Balkan Celtic style.
Although multiple mediums were used, the genius of Celtic craftsmen of this period is to be most clearly observed in silver treasures produced by the Scordisci tribes, such as those from Hrtkovci, Židovar, Čurug etc...
Probably the most enigmatic and mysterious archaeological site in Europe, the Býči Skála/Bull Rock cave in the Křtiny Valley (Czech Republic), was first investigated in 1867 by a local doctor, Jindřich Wankel, who initially discovered traces of a Paleolithic settlement.
Fascinating article by Bettina Arnold of the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee on the manipulation of science and the development of pseudo-archaeology in Nazi Germany:
UD: May 2019
The most horrific ritual associated with the ancient Celts is undoubtedly the Wicker Man, and the mass burning of human and animal sacrifices inside this sinister structure. Our knowledge of this phenomenon among the Iron Age European population comes largely from two main sources…
UD: October 2018
In order to explore the origin and significance of Samhain, the Celtic “Festival of the Dead”, it is necessary that it be viewed in the context of the wider Celtic belief system, the central tenet of which was metempsychosis…