Archives for the tag “ Archeology ”

Stéphane Thibault >_

Caesar, a political propagandist, not a trained ethnographer, uses three terms to refer to tribal groupings, namely “ Celts ”, also called “ Gauls ” in Latin, “ Germans ”, and “ Belgae ”, and any discussion of ethnicity involves us in trying to understand these terms. Caesar in the very first chapter of his work defines the German specifically as those “ who dwell across the Rhine ”, that is, east of the river, and seems to be trying to suggest as a result that the Rhine is a natural boundary. He also emphasizes the difference between the Celts and Germans, and insists upon the terror which the Germans inspire, “ by the huge size of their bodies, by their incredible courage and skill in arms ”. He argues, as it suits his political purpose, that if the Germans who had already invaded Gaul before he himself got there had not been checked and driven back across the Rhine where he claims they belonged, they might have overrun all Gaul and threatened Italy, “ as previously the Cimbri and Teutoni had done ”. The Cimbri and Teutoni had been turned back by Marius less than half a century before, so that there were Romans who could still remember the terror that they had inspired. It was a potential parallel.

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Now if the cultural differences between Celts and Germans were as great as Caesar suggests, and if the Rhine indeed formed the ethnic frontier, we are entitled to expect corresponding differences in material culture to show up in the archaeological record, thus making the Rhine the archaeological frontier also. The fact is that they do not […]

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The Belgae are either the key to the situation, or a confusing anomaly. […]

Wells, Colin (1996 [1995]). « Celts and Germans in the Rhineland », dans Miranda J. Green (dir.), The Celtic World, ch. 31, Routledge, Londres et New York, p. 606-607.

Stéphane Thibault >_

At the beginning of history, around the middle of the first millennium AD [notre emphase], the country was wholly Celtic in its language and its institutions. For linguists, this can only have come about by means of a significant immigration of Celtic-speaking people at some time in later prehistory. Such an intrusion is not, however, reflected in the archaeological evidence. There is thus seeming conflict between the two disciplines.

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There is little to suggest that the earliest phase of the Irish Iron Age may be regarded as “ Celtic ”, however that term is applied. The Hallstatt culture is represented in Ireland by little more than a scatter of insular variants of the continental Gündlingen-type sword, a handful of winged chapes and a few other items […]. None of these objects is iron with the rather doubtful exception of a corroded and fragmentary sword blade from the river Shannon at Athlone for which a Hallstatt date has been claimed […].

Raftery, Barry (1996 [1995]). « Ireland. A world without the Romans », dans Miranda J. Green (dir.), The Celtic World, ch. 33, Routledge, Londres et New York, p. 637.

Stéphane Thibault >_

The Celts. Rich Traditions and Ancient Myths

Source : Barnes & Noble

For 800 years, a proud, vibrant, richly imaginative warrior people swept ruthlessly across Europe. The ancient Greeks called them “ Keltoi ” and honored them as one of the great barbarian races. Follow their fascinating story from their earliest roots 2500 years ago through the flowering of their unique culture and their enduring heritage today, enhanced with stunning reconstructions of iron-age villages, dramatizations of major historical events and visits to modern Celtic lands. This fascinating look back at the legends and legacy of the Celtic heritage is underscored by the hauntingly beautiful music of Enya.

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Episode One
The Man with the Golden Shoes

Writer and narrator Frank Delaney takes us from the earliest remains of Celtic salt-miners in Austria, 2500 years ago, through the spread of their empire from Ireland to Hungary. Although the Celts were courageous, ruthless warriors armed with iron and mounted on horseback, their proud independence kept them from uniting against the disciplined military might of Rome.

BBC (2003 [1987]). The Celts. Rich Traditions and Ancient Myths, narration de Frank Delaney, DVD vidéo, deux disques, couleur, BBC Video, approx. 325 min.

Stéphane Thibault >_

Des témoignages archéologiques nombreux révèlent l’existence d’habitats de l’âge du bronze moyen et récent à Rome, sur les monts Albains, à Préneste, etc., ce qui permet de reculer de quelques siècles le début des établissements humains sur le site de Rome, par rapport à la date traditionnelle de fondation, en 753 av. J.-C. ; les trouvailles de fragments de céramique de type mycénien le long des côtes tyrrhéniennes, à Ischia et dans l’Étrurie méridionale indiquent des contacts avec le monde égéen à l’époque des migrations héroïques dans le Latium ; elles donnent consistance aux navigations légendaires d’Ulysse, de Diomède et d’Énée en Occident. Aux VIIIe-VIIe siècles, des communautés latines s’épanouissent dans la plaine, à l’époque du développement de la civilisation villanovienne en Étrurie, qui correspond au début de la colonisation grecque en Campanie, et à la descente des Sabins le long de la vallée du Tibre. Au moment où l’incinération cède la place aux inhumations, dans des tombes à fosses parfois couvertes du tumulus, les centres albains semblent connaître une perte de vitalité (tradition de la destruction d’Albe la Longue par les Romains) et Rome fournit une documentation beaucoup plus riche que ses voisines.

Avec ses sept rois de 753 à 509, et spécialement à partir de l’avènement de la dynastique étrusque à la fin du VIIe siècle, Rome entre dans l’histoire ; de nombreuses coïncidences entre l’archéologie et l’histoire issue de la tradition littéraire ont conduit à prendre celle-ci davantage en considération […].

Cabanes, Pierre (1992). Introduction à l’histoire de l’Antiquité, Paris, A. Colin, coll.  « Cursus. Histoire », p. 112.

Stéphane Thibault >_

Le risque réel, dans cette quête de la patrie des Indo-Européens, c’est que toute notre argumentation ne soit fondée que sur une circularité. […] [L]e Pr Gimbutas parlait de « l’hypothétique culture mère des Indo-Européens, telle qu’on a pu la reconstruire au moyen des mots communs ». Childe, dans Les Migrations préhistoriques, partait de là. Il ne faudrait point oublier à quel point les spécialistes de la paléontologie linguistique s’en remettent aux archéologues pour parvenir à leurs propres conclusions.
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La linguistique historique s’appuie peut-être à juste titre sur l’archéologie mais que, simultanément, l’interprétation archéologique se déduise de l’analyse linguistique donne sérieusement à penser. Chaque discipline suppose que les conclusions de l’autre reposent sur des preuves indépendantes et fiables. En réalité, l’une commence où l’autre finit, et elles s’étayent mutuellement pour faire avancer leurs thèses respectives.

Renfrew, Colin (1994 [1987]). L’énigme indo-européenne. Archéologie et langage, trad. Michèle Miech-Chatenay, Manchecourt (France), Champs – Flammarion, p. 30-31.