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Celts: New Discoveries & Theories

ramonmercado

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War Paint Used By Celts Fights Breast Cancer
Main Category: Breast Cancer News
Article Date: 14 Aug 2006 - 12:00pm (PDT)

The Woad plant, which the Celts used to use as a blue war paint dye, also contains compounds which could help fight breast cancer, say researchers from Bologna University, Italy. The plant, which comes from the same family as broccoli and cauliflower, is rich in glucobrassicin.

Previous studies' findings have suggested that if you eat vegetables rich in glucobrassicin you could be protecting yourself against cancer. The problem with testing glucobrassicin itself has been getting enough of it.

The scientists found that if you damage the leaves of the Woad plant its defence mechanism releases glucobrassicin. Glucobrassicin kills some pests which feed on plants. The compound has another useful property, it is especially effective as an anti-tumour agent for patients with breast cancer. The scientists believe that glucobrassicin gets rid of compounds that cause cancer, as well as derivatives of oestrogen.

Dr Stefania Galletti, team leader, said in an interview with the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture “The availability of glucobrassicin in good amounts and at low cost could finally permit studies to be performed in order to clarify the anti-cancer role of glucobrassicin-rich vegetables, like broccoli, in the human diet.”

The researchers believe that this chemical, and others like it, could eventually play an important role in cancer prevention and treatment.

Glucobrassicin enhancement in woad (Isatis tinctoria) leaves by chemical and physical treatments
Stefania Galletti, Jessica Barillari, Renato Iori, Gianpietro Venturi
View The Abstract Online:
www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/abstract/112730122/ABSTRACT
10.1002/jsfa.2571

Written by: Christian Nordqvist
Editor: Medical News Today

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/healthn ... wsid=49579
 
So how does one go aout harnessing the power of blue? Do we get to paint our naked selves in it and run around screaming and brandishing weapons? Coz if it does, count me in! ;)
 
No, it isn't that. It really isn't. No, I am not in denial!

Any more from you, sunshine, and I'll put it back on my head and arrest you! :shock:
 
Early Celtic 'Stonehenge' Discovered in Germany's Black Forest
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 074624.htm

General plan of the early Celtic burial mound with sky constellations. (Credit: Image courtesy of Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum)

ScienceDaily (Oct. 11, 2011) — A huge early Celtic calendar construction has been discovered in the royal tomb of Magdalenenberg, nearby Villingen-Schwenningen in Germany's Black Forest. This discovery was made by researchers at the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum at Mainz in Germany when they evaluated old excavation plans. The order of the burials around the central royal tomb fits exactly with the sky constellations of the Northern hemisphere.

Whereas Stonehenge was oriented towards the sun, the more than 100 meter width burial mound of Magdalenenberg was focused towards the moon. The builders positioned long rows of wooden posts in the burial mound to be able to focus on the Lunar Standstills. These Lunar Standstills happen every 18,6 year and were the 'corner stones' of the Celtic calendar.

The position of the burials at Magdeleneberg represents a constellation pattern which can be seen between Midwinter and Midsummer. With the help of special computer programs, Dr. Allard Mees, researcher at the Römisch-Germanischen Zentralmuseum, could reconstruct the position of the sky constellations in the early Celtic period and following from that those which were visible at Midsummer. This archaeo-astronomic research resulted in a date of Midsummer 618 BC, which makes it the earliest and most complete example of a Celtic calendar focused on the moon.

Julius Caesar reported in his war commentaries about the moon based calendar of the Celtic culture. Following his conquest of Gaul and the destruction of the Gallic culture, these types of calendar were completely forgotten in Europe. With the Romans, a sun based calendar was adopted throughout Europe. The full dimensions of the lost Celtic calendar system have now come to light again in the monumental burial mound of Magdalenenberg.

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum, via AlphaGalileo.

Edit to amend title.
 
Another German discovery, this time with beer. Sausage as well no doubt. Ling though? Celtic chavs?

Beer and Bling in Iron Age Europe
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 163710.htm

Collaborating with the State Monuments Office in Tübingen, Germany, UW-Milwaukee Professor Bettina Arnold has excavated Iron-Age burial mounds in an area of southwest Germany where pre-Roman Celtic people lived. (Credit: Image courtesy of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2012) — If you wanted to get ahead in Iron-Age Central Europe you would use a strategy that still works today -- dress to impress and throw parties with free alcohol.

Pre-Roman Celtic people practiced what archaeologist Bettina Arnold calls "competitive feasting," in which people vying for social and political status tried to outdo one another through power partying.

Artifacts recovered from two 2,600-year-old Celtic burial mounds in southwest Germany, including items for personal adornment and vessels for alcohol, offer a glimpse of how these people lived in a time before written records were kept.

That was the aim of the more than 10-year research project, says Arnold, anthropology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and co-director of a field excavation at the Heuneburg hillfort in German state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The work was partially funded by the National Geographic Society and Arnold collaborated with the State Monuments Office in Tübingen, Germany.

In fact, based on the drinking vessels found in graves near the hillfort settlement and other imported objects, archaeologists have concluded the central European Celts were trading with people from around the Mediterranean.

Braü or mead?

"Beer was the barbarian's beverage, while wine was more for the elite, especially if you lived near a trade route," says Kevin Cullen, an archaeology project associate at Discovery World in Milwaukee and a former graduate student of Arnold's.

Since grapes had not yet been introduced to central Europe, imported grape wine would indicated the most social status. The Celts also made their own honey-based wine, or mead, flavored with herbs and flowers, that would have been more expensive than beer, but less so than grape wine.

They also made a wheat or barley ale without hops that could be mixed with mead or consumed on its own, but that had to be consumed very soon after being made. "Keltenbräu," is an example of such an ale. It would have been a dark, roasted ale with a smoky flavor.

To the upper-class, the quantity of alcohol consumed was as important as the quality. Arnold excavated at least one fully intact cauldron used for serving alcoholic beverages in one of the graves at Heuneburg. But it's hard to top the recovery of nine drinking horns -- including one that held 10 pints -- at a single chieftain's grave in nearby Hochdorf in the 1970s.

Dapper dudes and biker chicks

In addition to their fondness for alcohol, Celtic populations from this period were said by the Greeks and Romans to favor flashy ornament and brightly striped and checked fabrics, says Arnold. The claim has always been difficult to confirm, however, since cloth and leather are perishable.

The Heuneburg mounds yielded evidence of both, even though no bones remain due to acidic soil. But the team of archaeologists were able to reconstruct elements of dress and ornamentation using new technology.

Rather than attempt to excavate fragile metal remains, such as hairpins, jewelry, weapons and clothing fasteners, Arnold and her colleagues encased blocks of earth containing the objects in plaster, then put the sealed bundles through a computerized tomography, or CT, scanner.

"We found fabulous leather belts in some of the high-status women's graves, with thousands of tiny bronze staples attached to the leather that would have taken hours to make," she says. "I call them the Iron-Age Harley-Davidson biker chicks." Images show such fine detail, the archaeologists theorize that some of the items were not just for fashion.

"You could tell whether someone was male, female, a child, married, occupied a certain role in society and much more from what they were wearing."

The pins that secured a veil to a woman's head, for example, also appear to symbolize marital status and perhaps motherhood. Other adornment was gender-specific -- bracelets worn on the left arm were found in men's graves, but bracelets worn on both arms and neck rings were found only in graves of women.

Surprisingly, it was the metal implements in close contact with linen and wool textiles in the graves that provided a chance for their preservation. Bits of fabric clinging to metal allowed the archaeologists to use microscopic inspection to recreate the colors and patterns used.

"When you can actually reconstruct the costume," says Arnold, "all of a sudden these people are 'there' -- in three dimensions. They have faces. They can almost be said to have personalities at that point."

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, via Newswise.
 
A rediscovery.

Priceless Celtic brooch discovered by chance in British Museum storeroom
Experts say “staggering find” was likely looted by Vikings in Irish raid
By PATRICK COUNIHAN, IrishCentral Staff Writer
Published Monday, January 6, 2014, 7:23 AMUpdated Monday, January 6, 2014, 7:59 AM

A Celtic brooch, believed to have been looted by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago, will go on display at the British Museum.
A Celtic brooch, believed to have been looted by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago, will go on display at the British Museum.
Photo by Andy Hall / Observer

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A priceless Celtic treasure described as a “staggering find” and compared to the legendary Tara brooch has been discovered by accident in the storerooms of Britain’s national museum.

The brooch looted by Viking more than a thousand years ago was embedded in a lump of organic material excavated from a site in Norway.

The Guardian newspaper says the ornate, gilded disc brooch dating from the eighth or ninth century was found by chance.

It has been described as a ‘staggering find,’ which was unknown as it lay in the storeroom.

The report says the brooch was concealed in a lump of organic material excavated from a Viking burial site at Lilleberge in Norway by a British archaeologist in the 1880s. It was acquired by the British Museum in 1891.

The paper reports that Curator Barry Ager, a noted Vikings specialist, was poring over artifacts before a visit from a Norwegian researching the Viking site.

His eye was caught by some metal sticking out of the side of the organic lump and he asked the conservation department to X-ray it.

Ager told the paper: “At that stage, I really didn’t know what was inside. It was a staggering find.

“It turned out, quite remarkably, to be this Celtic disc. It’s extremely exciting. It’s a very rare example of its sort within the collection and shows contact between the British Isles and Norway in the Viking period, objects seized as loot in this country and taken back.”

Ager told the Guardian that he believes the brooch was originally made in Ireland or Scotland and came from a shrine or a reliquary.

He added that the Vikings converted it into a brooch by attaching rivet holes and a pin.

The brooch is almost 2.4 inches in diameter and had been buried in the grave of a high-status Viking woman.

The report says substantial remains of the gilding still survive on the top surface. Its elaborate design includes three dolphin-like creatures and interlaced patterns.

Ager revealed: “The patterns, the quatrefoil of the central roundel and the form of the ‘dolphins’ heads have clear parallels in Celtic metalwork and manuscripts of the 8th to early 9th centuries, such as the Tara Brooch and the Book of Mac Regol.

“The craftsmanship is very fine. The Vikings valued “eye-catching” objects: The Vikings themselves were very skilled metalworkers, so I’m sure that’s something that would appeal to a Viking eye.

“It was the custom to bury the person with their personal possessions. They were pagan at the time, so it was part of the standard Viking burial rite.”

The brooch will go on display at the British Museum in March.



Read more: http://www.irishcentral.com/news/Pricel ... z2pf8ZR8Cy
Follow us: @IrishCentral on Twitter | IrishCentral on Facebook
 
German archaeologists discovered a Celtic grave in 2011 in the Danube heartland, where they found the remains of a Celtic princess, from 2,600 years ago, buried with her gold and amber jewelry.

The princess had remained in her final resting place since about 609BC. German experts began to dig out the 80 tonnes of clay covering the grave to remove it bring it their offices where it could be examined.

Experts believe that the manner that she was buried, with expensive jewels, shows that she was of a high social rank. The brooches found are particularly beautiful with Celtic designs in gold and amber. According to BBC reports the remains of a child were also found in the grave. The child is presumed to be the princess'.

The entire grave and the surrounding clay were unearthed, put onto a truck and transported to the office of archaeological service of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in Ludwigsburg near Stuttgart. The grave, incased in concrete, ended its journey in the back garden of the offices protected by a tent.

http://www.irishcentral.com/news/ar...RITES-SEPT8&utm_term=The Best of IrishCentral
 
Celts: Art and Identity review – a wild world of visions and myth
British Museum, London
This exemplary show of Celtic art digs deep into 2,500 years of astounding abstract beauty
Laura Cumming
Sunday 27 September 2015 08.00 BST

...
He looks like nothing on earth, this frightening man with two faces (or was he a god?). Certainly he does not look Celtic. So it is only right that the British Museum’s staggering new blockbuster should open with this 2,000-year-old statue, found in a German field. For it turns out that the Celts are not quite what we thought. We may associate the word “Celtic” specifically with Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany, but the name was first used around 500BC by the ancient Greeks, who used it to describe people living all over northern Europe.

So it is the sculptor who made the dragon-hinged jug in this show around 400BC in France, and the jeweller who twisted gold into shining bracelets in Germany around the same time. It is the soldier in what is now Bulgaria, whose chariot was fitted with owl-eyed human faces, and all the people who supped from a massive silver cauldron, a bull and a woman warrior at its base, found in a Danish peat bog in 1891.

...

The organisers (from the British Museum’s exceptional generation of young curators) are surely right to suggest that these objects are all that remain of lost myths. Consider the immense Gundestrup cauldron, with its reliefs of a female warrior jumping like some Twyla Tharp dancer, a giant dipping another warrior in a smaller cauldron and a helmet taking flight in a bird’s claws. You follow the stories frame by frame, like a graphic novel.

The Celts left no writing – amazing fact – so now imagine, the curators urge, what the intricacies of their lines might have meant. The horned helmet thrown into the Thames near Waterloo 2,000 years ago has a showstopping form – a heavy-metal jester’s hat – but is also minutely inscribed with scrolling incisions and swirls; surely some kind of pictographic language.

etc...

http://www.theguardian.com/culture/...british-museum-review-wild-world-visions-myth
 
Tonight on TV:

The Celts: Blood, Iron, and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver
9pm - 10pm
BBC Two


Documentaries about the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings have never been thin on the ground. But the Celts get rather lost in TV history. Notwithstanding a 1987 series (music by Enya!), the expansionist peoples of the Iron Age have been shunted aside. Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver try to put that right with this engaging, darting three-parter.

A sculpture from the third century BC shows that the Romans viewed their opponents as savages. But we see countless examples of how structured and sophisticated Celtic society was: intricate fibulae from a burial site in France, rocksalt mines in the Austrian Alps, the enormous cauldron of a chieftain buried in Germany and so on.

Roberts and Oliver’s narrative baton-passing works surprisingly well in a programme packed with amazing archaeological finds (it’s as easy as brushing away a carpet of leaves in one case) and un-jarring reconstructions.

About this programme
1/3. New series. Anthropologist Alice Roberts and archaeologist Neil Oliver explore the origins and beliefs of the ancient group of peoples, looking at their highly sophisticated tribal culture and influence on vast areas of the ancient world. They begin by examining the origins of the Celts in the Alps of Central Europe and the moment they first came into contact with the Romans, revealing the pivotal battles that took place between the two rivals came to define the future direction of European civilisation and the shape of the modern-day world.

http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/d...roberts-and-neil-oliver--series-1---episode-1
 
Tonight on TV:

The Celts: Blood, Iron, and Sacrifice with Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver
9pm - 10pm
BBC Two


Documentaries about the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Vikings have never been thin on the ground. But the Celts get rather lost in TV history. Notwithstanding a 1987 series (music by Enya!), the expansionist peoples of the Iron Age have been shunted aside. Alice Roberts and Neil Oliver try to put that right with this engaging, darting three-parter.

A sculpture from the third century BC shows that the Romans viewed their opponents as savages. But we see countless examples of how structured and sophisticated Celtic society was: intricate fibulae from a burial site in France, rocksalt mines in the Austrian Alps, the enormous cauldron of a chieftain buried in Germany and so on.

Roberts and Oliver’s narrative baton-passing works surprisingly well in a programme packed with amazing archaeological finds (it’s as easy as brushing away a carpet of leaves in one case) and un-jarring reconstructions.

About this programme
1/3. New series. Anthropologist Alice Roberts and archaeologist Neil Oliver explore the origins and beliefs of the ancient group of peoples, looking at their highly sophisticated tribal culture and influence on vast areas of the ancient world. They begin by examining the origins of the Celts in the Alps of Central Europe and the moment they first came into contact with the Romans, revealing the pivotal battles that took place between the two rivals came to define the future direction of European civilisation and the shape of the modern-day world.

http://www.radiotimes.com/episode/d...roberts-and-neil-oliver--series-1---episode-1

Thanks for the reminder.
 
It was Ok, but PLEASE PLEASE no more low budget 'reconstructions'. Just give us the history.
 
Friends' 30-year-search for Celtic treasure trove pays off
2 hours ago

A 30-year obsession finally paid off for two metal detector enthusiasts when they discovered one of the world's largest hoards of Celtic treasure.

The last coins of nearly 70,000 - worth millions of pounds - have now been removed from the site in Jersey.

Robert Hall reports.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-38703914?ocid=socialflow_twitter

Vid at link.
 
Whilst not related to new discoveries, the following video presentation does encapsulate our understanding of Celtic artwork and is tremendously informative in that respect.

It's a filmed lecture, illustrating some exceptional examples of Celtic craft artistry and I thought might be of interest.

 
Celtic Tache Deity.

A tiny statue's moustache and haircut could be evidence of popular fashion trends from the 1st Century, an archaeologist has said.

The 5cm (2in) figure of a Celtic deity was discovered at the National Trust's Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire. Work in 2018 revealed a late Iron Age to early Roman rural settlement, and artefacts discovered there have since been subject to further analysis. The "remarkable" detail was revealed when the figurine was cleaned.

Its hair appears neatly shaped at the front and long but tidy at the back, and it is believed it could represent Cernunnos, the Celtic god of fertility.
Shannon Hogan, National Trust archaeologist for the East of England, said: "This figure is an exceptional find and thanks to careful conservation and cleaning, we can now see some remarkable detail.

"His hairstyle and moustache are clear, which might be indicative of current trends or perhaps typical for depictions of this particular deity."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-56116411
 
Celtic Tache Deity.

A tiny statue's moustache and haircut could be evidence of popular fashion trends from the 1st Century, an archaeologist has said.

The 5cm (2in) figure of a Celtic deity was discovered at the National Trust's Wimpole Estate in Cambridgeshire. Work in 2018 revealed a late Iron Age to early Roman rural settlement, and artefacts discovered there have since been subject to further analysis. The "remarkable" detail was revealed when the figurine was cleaned.

Its hair appears neatly shaped at the front and long but tidy at the back, and it is believed it could represent Cernunnos, the Celtic god of fertility.
Shannon Hogan, National Trust archaeologist for the East of England, said: "This figure is an exceptional find and thanks to careful conservation and cleaning, we can now see some remarkable detail.

"His hairstyle and moustache are clear, which might be indicative of current trends or perhaps typical for depictions of this particular deity."

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-56116411
Not far away from me! I keep meaning to visit the Wimpole Estate. Maybe after lockdowns have ended...
 
The debate rages on." Sociable Sailors" with a woman or/and man* in every port no doubt.

Celts never existed new book claims, Welsh professor hits out
Professor Patrick Sims-Williams has hit out at Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins' new book "The Celts: A Sceptical History".


A professor of Celtic studies at a Welsh university has written a scathing review of a new book claiming that there was no such thing as Celts. Professor Patrick Sims-Williams, a professor of Welsh and Celtic Studies at Aberystwyth University, has hit out at Guardian columnist Simon Jenkins' new book "The Celts: A Sceptical History", which claims that there was never a distinct Celtic people or tribe.

Instead, Jenkins argues that Celts were just "sociable sailors" and notions of a Celtic identity developed in Ireland, Scotland, and Wales as a political tool against English oppression.

However, Sims-Williams wrote in the Times Literary Supplement that the book was "ahistorical", describing Jenkins' grasp of Celtic scholarship as "shaky". ...

https://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/celts-never-existed-welsh-professo


*Celtic warriors were bisexual​


Jan Battles
Sunday March 30 2003, 12.00am, The Sunday Times

The Land of Sex and Sinners will reveal that some ancient Celtic warriors had sex with male comrades and sometimes engaged in threesomes. Among those whose sexuality will be explored is Cu Chulainn, the mythical hero of Ulster.
The series is being made by Tyrone Productions, the company founded by Moya Doherty and John McColgan, the makers of Riverdance.

“A lot of warrior societies, including the Danes, would have been partly bisexual,” said Jimmy Duggan, the producer and director of the series. “While they were off being warriors they lived in an all-male environment.”
Duggan has uncovered Roman historical accounts of such behaviour among Celtic men. “There are hints that Cu Chulainn was bisexual,” he said. ...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/celtic-warriors-were-bisexual-2wkvvjb7gfv

 
Last edited:

Celtic ruler's 2,000-year-old ring kept in cupboard for 28 years

A "jaw-dropping" gold ring thought to have been worn by a Celtic leader 2,000 years ago is to be auctioned off - after spending nearly three decades in a collector's cupboard.

The Iron Age jewellery, unearthed in a North Yorkshire field in 1994, is expected to fetch up to £30,000.

The ring dates back to 100BC, decades before the Roman invasion of Britain.
A chieftain of the Corieltauvi tribe, which ruled parts of the Midlands and Yorkshire, is thought to have worn it.

A metal detectorist found the ring in Knaresborough in the 1990s and sold it to its current owner for a few hundred pounds.

The collector, a 66-year-old man who wants to stay anonymous, put it in a cupboard for 28 years before deciding to get it valued.

The ring's owner initially believed it to be Roman or Anglo Saxon, but when he took it to be valued at the British Museum, experts told him its true age.

"It's really quite a mysterious thing. We will never know for sure who owned it but it was probably a powerful Celtic chieftain.

The ring's distinctive abstract design is linked to the Iceni tribe, which ruled a large part of East Anglia before the Roman invasion.
1668171273195.png
 
Rainbow cups from heaven.

An extremely rare "rainbow cup" coin minted more than 2,000 years ago by the Celts has been found next to a river in Germany, according to the Bavarian State Archaeological Collection.

The gold coin, minted in the second or first century B.C., features a rare design of a four-pointed star surrounded by arches on one side, said Bernward Ziegaus, a senior curator in the State Archaeological Collection's numismatic department who is studying the coin. Like other rainbow cups, the coin is curved.

"The name rainbow cup coins come from the legend that they are drops of gold that fall to earth at the end of a rainbow," Ziegaus told Live Science in an email. "Another legend about these Celtic coins tells us that these coins can only be found by Sunday children," or a child of fortune.


"In fact, the finder was born on a Sunday and is indeed a Sunday child, a lucky child!" he said.

The finder, a collaborator with state archaeological officials, discovered the coin this spring about 45 miles (70 kilometers) west of Munich on the Lech River in the southern state of Bavaria.



The heads side of the rainbow cup shows a stylized human head with a large eye, with the nose and lips depicted as dots.



The "heads" side of the rainbow cup Celtic coin that displays a stylized human head. (Image credit: © Photo Stefanie Friedrich, Archaeological State Collection (Munich))

It's unknown how the 0.07-ounce (1.9 grams) coin ended up there, but the spot isn't far from a ancient road. This road went from what is now Trento in northern Italy and later became known as the Roman road Via Claudia Augusta that went across the Alps, Ziegaus said.

"Perhaps the coin was accidentally lost along the way," he said.

The "heads" side of the 0.5-inch-wide (13 millimeters) coin "shows a stylized human head with a large eye," with the nose and lips depicted as dots, Ziegaus said. A metal analysis revealed that the coin is 77% gold, 18% silver and 5% copper.

https://www.livescience.com/archaeo...by-celts-2000-years-ago-discovered-in-germany
 
Companions and food for the afterlife.

Almost two decades ago, when construction unearthed a 2,000-year-old Celtic cemetery in what’s now the Italian city of Verona, scientists found the remains of humans buried alongside the other species that were most important to them.

A menagerie of Iron Age animals including dogs, horses and pigs shared the graves with their human contemporaries, who would have lived in the area just before Roman occupation. Some animals were butchered, and those pig or chicken parts may have been food offerings. But others, including dogs and a horse, were buried whole alongside human bodies. Such animals were extremely valued among Iron Age Celts and had religious symbolism, which may account for their presence in some graves. Or, they may have been the much-loved companions of the humans with them, meant to maintain emotional bonds with their owners for eternity, say the authors of a new study describing the finds, published Wednesday in PLOS One.

The burials were uncovered at Verona’s Seminario Vescovile, a site where people of the Celtic Cenomani culture lived and died during the third to first centuries B.C.E. The burials were in the necropolis of the community that thrived on the bank of the river Adige.

Among the 161 people buried at the site, at least 16 were buried with at least some animal parts. Shotgun sequencing of ancient human DNA, collected from bone powder of each of those 16 individuals, shows that none of them are closely related. That finding suggests that burying the dead with animals wasn’t the practice of any one family.

Thirteen of the human burials include only what are believed to be food offerings: butchered pieces of animals, such as pigs and chickens, that were frequently consumed. Four other burials, from babies to middle-aged men and women, also contain nearly intact remains of dogs and horses—animals not commonly eaten but held in high esteem. Their burials suggest deeper meanings, including religious associations and the status of the animals as companions.

“These animals, possibly as a reflection of their tight relationship with humans, were also associated with specific symbolic elements,” explains co-author Marco Milella, a bioarchaeologist at the University of Bern’s Institute of Forensic Medicine in Switzerland. Milella says a range of Celtic deities are associated with dogs and horses—including Epona, a goddess of fertility and protector of horses, and Sirona, a goddess of healing and growth often depicted with a small dog. ...

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/scie...lts-were-buried-with-their-animals-180983796/
 
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