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Beyond Celts, Germans & Scythians: Archaeology & Identity in Iron Age Europe

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Who were the Iron Age peoples of Europe? Celts, Germans, Scythians: these are among the names that come to mind. But such names and the characteristics associated with them, come to us from outside observers - Greek and Roman writers - not from the native peoples themselves. To understand how late prehistoric groups constructed and expressed their identities, we need to ex Who were the Iron Age peoples of Europe? Celts, Germans, Scythians: these are among the names that come to mind. But such names and the characteristics associated with them, come to us from outside observers - Greek and Roman writers - not from the native peoples themselves. To understand how late prehistoric groups constructed and expressed their identities, we need to examine the rich archaeological evidence left by the Iron Age Europeans themselves. Recent theoretical and methodological advances in anthropology, archaeology and history, together with results of archaeological research all over Europe, provide the basis for a new approach to the problem of the identities of Iron Age peoples. Peter Wells uses patterns of identity revealed in the archaeology to interpret the commentaries of Greek and Roman authors who conveyed their own perceptions of these non-literate groups. Finally, he examines ways in which Iron Age Europeans responded to the Greek and Roman representations of them. The result was an ever-changing mosaic of complex and dynamic identities among the diverse peoples of Late Iron Age Europe.


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Who were the Iron Age peoples of Europe? Celts, Germans, Scythians: these are among the names that come to mind. But such names and the characteristics associated with them, come to us from outside observers - Greek and Roman writers - not from the native peoples themselves. To understand how late prehistoric groups constructed and expressed their identities, we need to ex Who were the Iron Age peoples of Europe? Celts, Germans, Scythians: these are among the names that come to mind. But such names and the characteristics associated with them, come to us from outside observers - Greek and Roman writers - not from the native peoples themselves. To understand how late prehistoric groups constructed and expressed their identities, we need to examine the rich archaeological evidence left by the Iron Age Europeans themselves. Recent theoretical and methodological advances in anthropology, archaeology and history, together with results of archaeological research all over Europe, provide the basis for a new approach to the problem of the identities of Iron Age peoples. Peter Wells uses patterns of identity revealed in the archaeology to interpret the commentaries of Greek and Roman authors who conveyed their own perceptions of these non-literate groups. Finally, he examines ways in which Iron Age Europeans responded to the Greek and Roman representations of them. The result was an ever-changing mosaic of complex and dynamic identities among the diverse peoples of Late Iron Age Europe.

30 review for Beyond Celts, Germans & Scythians: Archaeology & Identity in Iron Age Europe

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Drew

    I'm not sure who the intended audience for this book is. I felt at once left out (not an insider studying cultural anthropology or archeology) AND too advanced (it didn't tell me anything I had not already learned about the Europeans Romans encountered). I'm not sure who the intended audience for this book is. I felt at once left out (not an insider studying cultural anthropology or archeology) AND too advanced (it didn't tell me anything I had not already learned about the Europeans Romans encountered).

  2. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    this was an excellent overview of the current debates occurring over the perception of the "celtic" prehistoric world by the incomparable, peter wells this was an excellent overview of the current debates occurring over the perception of the "celtic" prehistoric world by the incomparable, peter wells

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    Please read my review at Celtic Scholar's Reviews and Opinions Please read my review at Celtic Scholar's Reviews and Opinions

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