Barry Cunliffe introduced by Bryan Ward-Perkins


Savage and bloodthirsty or civilised and peaceable? The archetypal `barbarians from the north’, the Celts were feared for their ferocity in battle and admired as skilled craftsmen. For 2500 years they have continued to fascinate all who have come into contact with them. But from the ancient Romans to the present day, their real nature has been obscured by a tangled web of preconceived ideas and stereotypes. Barry Cunliffe, one of the world’s most celebrated archaeologists, seeks to reveal this fascinating people for the first time, exploring subjects such as trade, migration and the evolution of Celtic traditions. Exploring the archaeological reality of the Iron Age inhabitants of barbarian Europe, he traces the emergence of chiefdoms, patterns of expansion and migration and the development of Celtic ethnicity and identity. He also presents new ideas about the origins of the Celts, which still provoke heated debate.