'Early Celtic art' - typified by the iconic shields, swords, torcs and chariot gear we can see in places such as the British Museum - has been studied in isolation from the rest of the evidence from the Iron Age. This book reintegrates the art with the archaeology, placing the finds in the context of our latest ideas about Iron Age and Romano-British society. The contributions move beyond the traditional concerns with artistic styles and continental links, to consider the material nature of objects, their social effects and their role in practices such as exchange and burial. The aesthetic impact of decorated metalwork, metal composition and manufacturing, dating and regional differences within Britain all receive coverage. The book gives us a new understanding of some of the most ornate and complex objects ever found in Britain, artefacts that condense and embody many histories.
Duncan Garrow is a lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Reading. He specialises in European prehistory (with a particular focus on Britain) and archaeological theory.
1. Introduction: re-integrating 'Celtic' art (Chris Gosden and J.D. Hill) 2. The time and space of Celtic art: interrogatin the 'technologies of enchantment' database (Duncan Garrow) 3. A Celtic mysteryL some thoughts on the genesis of insular Celtic art (Vincent and Ruth Megaw) 4. Seeing red: the aesthetics of martial objects in the British and Irish Iron age (Melanie Giles) 5. Reflections on Celtic art: a re-examination of mirror decoration (Jody Joy) 6. What can be infered from the regional stylistic diversity of Iron Age coinage? (Ian Leins) 7. Technologies of the body: Iron Age and Roman grooming and display (Hella Eckardt) 8. Celtic art in Roman Britain (Fraser Hunter) 9. Material, style and identity in first century AD metalwork, with particular reference to the Seven Siters Hoard (Mary Davis and Adam Guilt) 10. On the aesthetics of the Ancient Britons (Mansel Spratling) 11. Comment I. Contextualising Iron Age art (Niall Sharples) 12. Comment II. The unmaking of Iron Age identities: art after the Roman conquest (David Mattingly)