Celtic from the West 2: Rethinking the Bronze Age and the Arrival of Indo-European in Atlantic Europe

Celtic from the West 2: Rethinking the Bronze Age and the Arrival of Indo-European in Atlantic Europe


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Europe's Atlantic façade has long been treated as marginal to the formation of the European Bronze Age and the puzzle of the origin and early spread of the Indo-European languages. Until recently the idea that Atlantic Europe was a wholly pre-Indo-European world throughout the Bronze Age remained plausible. Rapidly expanding evidence for the later prehistory and the pre-Roman languages of the West increasingly exclude that possibility. It is therefore time to refocus on a narrowing list of ‘suspects’ as possible archaeological proxies for the arrival of this great language family and emergence of its Celtic branch. This reconsideration inevitably throws penetrating new light on the formation of later prehistoric Atlantic Europe and the implications of new evidence for interregional connections.
Celtic from the West 2 continues the series launched with Celtic from the West: Alternative Perspectives from Archaeology, Genetics, Language and Literature (2010; 2012) in exploring the new idea that the Celtic languages emerged in the Atlantic Zone during the Bronze Age. This Celtic Atlantic hypothesis represents a major departure from the long-established, but increasingly problematical scenario in which the Ancient Celtic languages and peoples called Keltoi (Celts) are closely bound up with the archaeology of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures of Iron Age west-central Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781785706523
Publisher: Oxbow Books Limited
Publication date: 05/30/2017
Series: Celtic Studies Publications , #16
Pages: 237
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Barry Cunliffe was Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford from 1972 to 2007. He has worked on many of the iconic British excavations including Fishbourne Roman Palace, Danebury Hillfort and Hengistbury Head. He is an authority on the Iron Age and the Celts, and the author of many scholarly and popular publications including The Oxford Illustrated History of Prehistoric Europe, Britain Begins, and The Celts, A Very Short Introduction.

Table of Contents

Prologue: Ha C1a ≠ PC (‘The Earliest Hallstatt Iron Age cannot equal Proto-Celtic’) (John T. Koch)

1. The Indo-Europeanization of Atlantic Europe (J. P. Mallory)
2. The Arrival of the Beaker Set in Britain and Ireland (A. P. Fitzpatrick)
3. Beakers into Bronze: Tracing connections between Western Iberia and the British Isles 2800–800 BC (Catriona Gibson)
4. Out of the Flow and Ebb of the European Bronze Age: Heroes, Tartessos, and Celtic (John T. Koch)
5. Westward Ho? Sword-Bearers and All the Rest of it . . . (Dirk Brandherm)
6. Dead-Sea Connections: A Bronze Age and Iron Age Ritual Site on the Isle of Thanet (Jacqueline I. Mc Kinley, Jörn Schuster, & Andrew Millard)
7. Models of Language Spread and Language Development in Prehistoric Europe (Dagmar S. Wodtko)
8. Early Celtic in the West: The Indo-European Context (Colin Renfrew)

Epilogue: The Celts—Where Next (Barry Cunliffe)

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