> Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 14:01:57 -0700
> From: David Walter Fortin <[log in to unmask]>
> What I was getting at in the below quotation is the theory that small
> groups of Celtic peoples were able to subsume the established cultures of
> the peoples already living in Wales and England (Ireland as well?). Prof.
> Davies earlier had stated that the majority of Wale's population was
> already present in the 6th C BC when the first of the Halstatt folks
Yes, that's the theory that's accepted by most scholars at the
moment, mainly because there is no evidence at all for a major change
in population and only little evidence for violent changes (in fact,
not more than can be found at any other time) in population. As such,
it seems to be most likely that, if at all, only a small number of
people migrated there.
> I have a problem with 'small groups'. There are darn few examples in
> history where a minority group of invaders is able to completely supress
> AND subsume the culture of the majority.
It has not been completely supressed, definitly not. Local traditions
can be found in most of the archaeological material, which are,
however, mixed with the new "Celtic" elements. It is also likely
that quite a number of the cultural traditions of the Celtic peoples
in the British isles in fact are not "Celtic", but go back to earlier
times. A number of Bronze Age traditions, for instance, can be
assumed for the Irish Sagas. It has also been speculated that the
similarities the Celtic languages share with the Hamito-Semitic
languages are due to an influence of a possibly Hamito-Semitic
speaking local population in the socalled "West-Atlantic group",
living along the western shores of Europe and in the British Isles
before the "Celts" came. As such, it is not only possible but also
likely, that a high number of "preceltic" influences was part of what
we call "Celtic culture" in the British Isles.
Similar examples to this process can be found numerously in history,
starting from the influence the Roman Empire had on its provinces
(even though there definitly weren't mass migrations of Romans into
those provinces, but only a negligable influx of people) to the
influence of "American" culture on the western world, or even all of
this planet, more or less.
RAY (Raimund Karl,University of Vienna,Dep.of Prehistory)
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