The subject of this Day Seminar is Do the Celts Matter for the First Millennia?
The 1990s and early 2000s saw a heated debate about the existence or otherwise of the Celts. Recent academic work has brought the question to the fore once more, with the “Celtic from the West” theory bringing together linguistics and archaeology to argue that Celtic languages developed in the Atlantic Bronze Age. The question of Celts has also come back into public view with the National Museums Scotland / British Museum Celts exhibition and a recent BBC Celts three-parter taking very different views of the material.
Where does this leave scholars working in the first millennia in Scotland and beyond? Field archaeology offers pictures of local and regional variation, while other classes of evidence (such as decorative metalwork, and language) suggest wider connections. This year’s day seminar seeks to move beyond the heat of the Celtosceptic/Celtomaniac debate and ask how we understand our first millennia archaeology in relation to other disciplines and to wider pictures of European history. How do we work in a protohistoric period, and how do we build grander narratives and convey the excitement of this work to a wider public without falling into over-simplifications? If we write ourselves out of this grand European narrative, do we consign Scottish archaeology to a periphery?
The event opens at 9am, with the lectures starting at 9:30am, at the Meadows Lecture Theatre at the University of Edinburgh.
Attendance is free but please book your ticket now to avoid disappointment.