Will the real Celts please stand up? It seems what we have always acknowledged as the ‘historical facts’ regarding the Celtic people might not be very accurate after all.
For example, that records of the existence of the Celtic people can be traced back to ancient times is common knowledge, but some may be surprised to learn that the name ‘Celt’ (pronounced with a ‘K’, not an ‘S’) does not refer to a single unified people. It originally derived from Keltoi, a term that dates back to around 500 BC and was used by the ancient Greeks to identify ‘foreign’ or ‘different’ populations living in the area that today is Europe.
For those lucky enough to be in Britain while it’s on, an extraordinary exhibition challenges our preconceptions regarding the identity of the ancient Celts. ‘Celts: Arts and Identity’, the exhibition (at the British Museum until 31st January 2016, then in Edinburgh, at the National Museum of Scotland, from 10th March to 25th September, 2016), presents a wealth of fascinating examples of ancient Celtic life, from art to jewellery to tools. The show traces the Celts from as far back as 2,500 years and follows their progress and evolution through the art and objects of the various Celtic populations scattered over a large area stretching from the Atlantic to the Black Sea.