Abstract: Meanings in Early Celtic Art


The style known as Early Celtic Art appeared around 500 BC in central and western Europe, replacing the geometrical ornament of the Early Iron Age.  This new style, with its dynamic patterns of floral forms and abundant use of human and animal faces and figures, became the basis not only for the Celtic art of the Late Iron Age, but also for the art styles of the Late Roman and early medieval periods, Anglo-Saxon and Viking ornament, and later decorative fashions.  Recent archaeological discoveries enable us to examine the first uses of this new style and to address the question of its meaning to the people who created and used it.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

Megaw, R. and V. Celtic Art. Thames and Hudson, 1989.

Wells, P.S. Beyond Celts, Germans and Scythians: Archaeology and Identity in Iron Age Europe. Duckworth, 2001.

Wells, P.S. Image and Response in Early Europe. Duckworth, 2008.

Dig Deeper

Email the AIA Facebook Instagram YouTube Twitter
Subscribe to the AIA e-Update

Sign Up!