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Newsletter Blast from the Past: La Tene Art

Originally published December 2006 “Their lives were very simple, and they had no knowledge whatsoever of any art or science” –Polybius on the Gauls of northern Italy. The surviving treasures of Celtic peoples have made a liar of the Greek historian Polybius. Some classical writers may have considered the Celtic lands an artistic waste land,[…]

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Newsletter Blast from the Past: “Discovering” the Celts

Originally Published October 2006 Although in modern terms most people think of Scotland and Ireland as being the homes of the Celts, we have to remember that Celtic tribes actually controlled or influenced much of northern Europe from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain) to the Upper Danube River. So in the next few articles I thought[…]

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Newsletter Blast from the Past: Celts and Greek Influences

Originally published 11/2006 The Hallstatt site as one of the important finds in Celtic archaeology. The Hallstatt period covered roughly 12 B.C. to 475 B.C. It is unclear whether the earlier Hallstatt peoples were actually Celtic language speakers, but by the period ranging from about 800-600 B.C. or the early Iron Age, references to these[…]

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Newsletter Blast from the Past: Irish Dendrochronology

Originally published September 2006 This month is not so much a look at Celtic culture, but a little look at one of the techniques used for dating archaeological sites, and artifacts. Last month I mentioned that one of the the ways the Deer Park Farms site was dated was through dendrochronology -the comparison of tree[…]

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Newsletter Blast from the Past: Houses in Early Medieval Ireland

Originally published August 2006 During the last fifty years about 250 houses dating from the early Medieval period of Ireland have been discovered and excavated, providing some insights into the way of life during that time. Most of these houses were located in ring forts, ecclesiastical enclosures, or the island habitations known as “crannogs” and[…]

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Newsletter Blast form the Past: A Feather in your Cap

 Originally published June 2006 I remember in my early days when I was active with a Scottish “living history” group we heard a rumor that someone from the local Scottish community was offended because one of our members had worn some pheasant feathers in his bonnet while we appeared at the local Highland games. It[…]

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Newsletter Blast from the Past: Celtic Warfare

Originally publish April 2006 Some notes I made when reading the book “Celtic Warfare 1595-1763” by James M. Hill. The book examines traditional tactics as they appeared in Scotland and Ireland. The foremost element being the Celtic or Highland Charge. The following description came form the 18th century, but with the exception of the firearms[…]

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Newsletter Blast from the Past: Maw: A Card Game of the Scottish Court

Originally published March 2006 Maw was a game that became popular in 16th century Britain, and is an ancestor to a family of games associated with Ireland and Irish communities abroad. It was also played in the Scottish court, and game historian David Parlett suggests that interactions with the court of Mary, Queen of Scots[…]

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Newsletter Blast from the Past: Scottish Women’s Plaids

The classic picture of Scottish women’s fashions is with a bit of tartan pinned to the woman’s shoulder. But according to Terry Griest, in his book Scottish Tartans and Family Names, tartan, and the wearing of plaids was out of fashion in the large cities of Scotland by the early 1600’s, especially for women. (Plaid,[…]