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Topics: Bronze Age

The peoples known as the Celts are thought to have originated in central Europe, to the east of the Rhine in the areas now part of southern Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. From around 3,400 years ago, these proto-Celtic peoples expanded across the Continent, and eventually inhabited a large portion of central, western, and northwestern Europe. During the Classical periods of Greece and Rome, Celtic culture was predominant to the north of the Alps. Even today, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Cornwall, Cumbria and Brittany are basically Celtic in character. Despite the changes that time has brought, the influence of Celtic traditions is still fundamental. History tells us that there were two main Celtic groups, one of which is referred to as the 'lowland Celts' who hailed from the region of the Danube. They were skilled in the use of metals and worked in gold, tin and bronze. The second group, often referred to as the 'true' Celts, followed closely behind their lowland cousins, making their first appearance on the left bank of the Rhine at the commencement of the sixth century BCE. These people, who came from the mountainous regions of the Balkans and Carpathians, were a military aristocracy. Reputed to love fighting for the sake of it, they were frequently to be found among the mercenaries of the great armies of those early times. The early Celtic cultures consist of the Urnfield and Hallstatt cultures. The Late Bronze-Age Urnfield Culture in Central Europe lasted from approximately 1350 to 800 BCE. The name comes from the custom of cremating the dead and placing their ashes in urns which were then buried in fields. This late Bronze Age culture was warlike. The culture was with fortified settlements as well as bronze weapons. The consistency of the Urnfield culture and the perseverance of certain ceramic had a large influence on early Iron Age Culture. Hallstatt Culture followed after Urnfield. The spread of

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