February 16, 2020

The Celts, an arcane tribe - Die Kelten, das geheimnisvolle Volk


Once upon a time more than two and a half thousand years ago a strange and arcane culture populated Europe. The Greek called them Galatoi or Keltoi, Romans feared them as Celtae or Galli. Either word means: The brave or the fearless, and by this they meant the Celts. 

Es war einmal vor mehr als zweiteinhalbtausend Jahren, als eine sonderbare und geheimnisvolle Kultur Europa zu bevölkern began. Die Griechen nannten sie Galatoi oder Keltoi, die Römer fürchteten sie als Celtae oder Galli. Jedes dieser Worte bedeutet die Tapferen oder Furchtlosen und gemeint waren damit die Kelten.
 

Probably to the annoyance of said Greek and Romans, the Celtic culture spread out all over Europe through extensive trade relations and through their advanced agricultural knowledge. They had discovered how to preserve food through brine and salting and used a common trade language. Their people were skilled artisans and craftsmen and shared a common religion, they even practiced gender equality. 

Zur allgemeinen Verärgerung besagter Griechen und Römer breitete sich die Keltenkultur mittels weitreichender Handelsbeziehungen und fortschrittlicher Landwirtschaft über ganz Europa aus. Die Kelten hatten die Konservierung von Lebensmitteln via Salz und Salzlake entdeckt, bedienten sich einer gemeinsamen Handelssprache und Religion, waren talentierte Künstler und Handwerker und sollen sogar die Gleichberechtigung der Geschlechter praktiziert haben.

And because of all that, the Celtic culture had of course to be eradicated in the eyes of many. As a matter of fact not much is left of them, almost as if all other nations collaborated in their annihilation.

Das alles war wohl den anderen Völkern ein Dorn im Auge, und so musste die keltische Kultur natürlich zerstört werden. Und tatsächlich blieb kaum etwas aus der Zeit erhalten, fast so, als wenn sich alle zusammen getan hätten, die Kelten rückstandslos zu vernichten.
 

While on a road trip into the neighbouring state of Hesse we came across the heritage site of Celtic World.

Während eines Ausflugs in das Nachbar-Bundesland Hessen entdeckten wir mehr zufällig die Keltenwelt


In the 80s of the last century, about 50 kms (29 mi) northeast of Frankfurt, three burial sites of Celtic sovereigns were discovered by mere accident. While digging over the dirt the archeologists also found various artefacts, old trails, ramparts and ditches. 

In den Achtzigern des letzten Jahrhunderts wurde zufällig etwa 50 km nordöstlich von Frankfurt eine Begräbnisstätte für drei Keltenfürsten entdeckt. Während der Ausgrabungsarbeiten fanden die Archäologen weitere Artefakte, alte Pfade, Ringwälle und Gräben.

Site from above - Blick von oben

The most spectacular find was a well preserved life-sized statue of a Celtic leader, maybe a druid or priest even due to the stylised mistletoe headdress.

Der wohl spektakulärste Fund war aber die lebensgroße Statue eines Keltenanführers, möglicherweise sogar ein Druide oder Priester, welches aufgrund des stilisierten Mistelkopfschmucks vermutet wird. 


Ten years ago a museum - an architectural gem which won several awards - was opened to celebrate the huge discovery, and the findings could finally be presented to the public.

Vor etwa zehn Jahren wurde ein Museum eröffnet, im Übrigen eine architektonische Schönheit, die auch etliche Auszeichnungen gewonnen hat, um diese Entdeckungen zu feiern und endlich auch der Öffentlichkeit präsentieren zu können.

10 comments:

  1. That's a great post Sonja! The Celts have always fascinated me. Archaeologists in Scotland have found exquisite gold jewellery made by them. The work is so fine that it almost defies belief with the tools they had available to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Geoff. The guesswork about the Celts always make for a good reading. There is a lot of speculation ongoing, and their craftsmanship was extraordinary and matchless in their time. I tend to the theory that they were eradicated because they didn't fit the popular order of politics, social order and religion. In fact the Celts seemed more advanced than the Romans and Greek even.

      Delete
  2. Pretty cool! I hadn’t known that they were throughout Europe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was also surprised to read about the Celtic migration. They obvously were part of the migration period and went as far as Spain in the west and Greece in the southeast, and of course were found north in Scotland and Ireland and in the Alps.

      Delete
  3. The Celts came from Germany? - I did not know that. Interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not quite, Stuart. From what I have learned the Celts (or Gauls) were rather a society than a race. They seemed to have spread out all over Europe's mainland, originating from what is France today, and migrated also to Germany and further.

      Delete
  4. Great post! I had no idea of this history of the Celts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me neither, I learned most of it during the visit of the museum.

      Delete
  5. oh wow! das Museum muss ich mir merken, falls wir mal in die Ecke kommen. Danke fuer den Tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Genau, ist bestimmt was für Euren Junior.

      Delete