British Museum Celts Exhibition is the first major event held in cooperation with National Museums Scotland in order to show the history and culture of the Celts in full size. This event includes over 2 500 years of development, starting with the first ever mention of ‘Celts’ as people and culture, and right to Celtic influence we can notice in the modern world. By attending British Museum Celts Exhibition, you will know how common are some features of the Celts and European countries and the rest of the world have.
While the objects of Celtic British Museum event are showing one after another, many questions about Celtic identity are raised; however, almost all of them are answered right away. You can see the main representatives of heavy Iron Age, such as Waterloo helmet and Battersea shield. There are also items from all other ages, starting with Roman jewelery, continuing right to medieval manuscripts and crosses, and going on to quite modern football shirt exhibited in the Celts British Museum. All these objects evolve both British and Irish history. As for connections to other European countries, the most famous signs are major loans, for instance, the Gundestrup cauldron.
Huge amount of different items of art and history included in British Museum Celts Exhibition will make the whole event a so-called “Celtic British Museum”, being pleasant both for British and Irish and also for the global Celtic diaspora that exists nowadays.
Short History of The Celts
According to British Museum Celtic “department,” the name ‘Celts’ now means not only people but the whole culture. The word itself has a wide range of meanings. The original one came from Greeks, they called north barbarian outsiders this way, so ages later more or less contemporary Celtic nation took this name to put an emphasize on their identity.
The story starts near 500 BC, during Iron Age. The first ‘Celtic’ group lived on wide territories across most of Europe going north to the Alps; they usually lived villages or even fortified settlements. Their spiritual belief system was shared all over the continent – every village shared with the other one. Items they created at that time were mostly for feasts and religious events, and also warfare. Almost all of those can be seen at the Celts British Museum. People shared their beliefs through art, which was pretty abstract, and due to this feature, it was somehow different from the rest of the world.
Starting from 100 BC Roman influence took its’ place if life of the Celts. That time, Roman control went wide in order to build an empire that would include territories from Spain to Syria and across North Africa. What is interesting, the Roman conquest of European countries was often portrayed with Celts on one side that even included Asterix from the legend and Romans on the other side. By the way, some differences between British, Irish and Scottish cultures can be explained by the fact that Ireland and Scotland were never conquered by Rome while in Britain they wanted to build a unique Romano-British culture. That is why the cooperation of museums for Celt British Museum is so precious.
Near AD 400, after the fall of Rome, this area was the center of art and study. England received new Anglo-Saxon kingdoms while Roman cities were lost. Nations spoke languages we call Celtic now and continued to create their unique identities. Centers of art and study were in monasteries that were built almost in every corner. Starting from AD 793 the Vikings came here and left their impact on the culture.
Near AD 1500 the age of revival and reinvention came to these lands. The word ‘Celts’ wasn’t used after the Roman age, but it was reborn during the Renaissance. People started understanding and cherishing their history, being astonished by Greek and Roman works about the Celts. The word gained not only popularity but also some new meanings. Being more precise, the meaning extended heavily starting from 1700, minding not only people but also languages, cultures and traditions of the territories, including Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales. This word was somehow distinguishing all these nations from the rest of Europe.
The contemporary Celtic world not just exists, but is developing. Modern culture is deeply impacted by Celtic identity, starting from feasts, like the Welsh National Eisteddfod, and going on to sports, art, spirituality, and even popular culture. Many people, who know their Irish, Scottish, Welsh etc. ancestors, cherish all the meaning the word ‘Celts’ can provide. Even though recently it was discovered that the Celts aren’t a single genetic group, there people are still deeply connected to each other by the spirit and cultural heritage, which is fully shown by British Museum the Celts Event.
The history of these people is one of the richest with events, all of which can be found at British Museum Celts Exhibition. Don’t underestimate the history that involves your country. These people are your ancestors, these lands are ancient, and they are full of memories that are to be cherished.