1.04.2009

The Celts: Before Invading Greece

Some fascinating archaeological treasures have just been excavated on the outskirts of Krakow, Poland:
Celtic Treasures - Krakow Post.

Polish archaeologists have found the first Celtic village in the country, and it dates from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. "They found treasured coins, jewellery and everyday articles" over a ten acre site.
"Thanks to this we were able to recognise the layout of 17 huts, as well as their structure and chronological order. Also, some glass objects that we found are of great significance, because fragile glass jewellery was prone to fashion. When a bracelet broke, a Celtic woman would get a new one, according to the latest fashion. Now, when we find pieces of bracelets we can track changing fashions and so more precisely date the place it was found in," explains [Karol] Dzingielewski.

The Celts were originally a Germanic people, living in the area of today's southern Germany, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria, and they were well known for their technical achievements, especially processing metal and pottery. In 280-277 BC they invaded the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula, but had to pull out north. According to the archaeologists' theory some of them went through the Moravian lands (now part of the Czech Republic) to Malopolska in the 3rd century BC, before any Slavic tribe got here. Ma?opolska was at that time a largely depopulated area and the Celts could settle there and keep their customs and culture. It was this community that introduced money to what is now the area of Poland. Most likely they traded furs, amber, forest goods and honey.

The Celts migrated out of the Krakow area probably around the 2nd to the 1st century BC, likely joining a great Germanic migration that took place at that time. They left behind pieces of bracelets and glass beads imported from other Celtic tribes living in the south, as well as iron tools - among which was one of the oldest pair of scissors. It is owing to a great accumulation of found items that the scientists can specify the chronology of the Malopolska Celts.
The Celts thus moved West, joining the Germans, possibly those that in turn allied themselves to the tribes moving south out of Denmark. That group made their way into Gaul and Italy - where they met and were defeated by Gaius Marius.

One of the few archaeological remains we can link to Marius is a base on Delos which once held a sculpture of a Dying Gaul. This group was originally a Pergamene creation, and formed part of a group that also included a Dying Celt.

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