For 2500 years the Celts have continued to fascinate those who have come into contact with them, yet their origins have remained a mystery and even today are the subject of heated debate among historians and archaeologists. In this engaging illustrated history, Professor Cunliffe explores the archaeological reality of these bold warriors and skilled craftsmen of barbarian Europe. He investigates the texts of the classical writers and contrasts their view of the Celts with current archaeological findings.
Tracing the emergence of chiefdoms and the 5th to 3rd century migrations as far as Bosnia and the Czech Republic, he assesses the disparity between the traditional and contemporary information. Other aspects of Celtic identity such as the cultural diversity of the tribes, their social and religious systems, art, language and law, are also examined. From the picture that emerges, Professor Cunliffe is able to distinguish between the original Celts, and the tribes which were 'Celtized', thus giving us a new insight into the true identity of this ancient people.