A prehistoric stone or metal implement shaped like a chisel or ax head.
A member of a European people who occupied Britain and Spain and Gaul in pre-Roman times; Also called: Kelt.
Prehistoric edged stone, bronze or iron implement.
Member of an Indo-European people that originated in Alpine Europe and spread to the Iberian peninsula and beyond. They were ironworkers and farmers. In the 1st century BC they were defeated by the Roman Empire and by Germanic tribes and confined largely to Britain, Ireland, and N France.
The Celts' first known territory was in central Europe about 1200 BC, in the basin of the upper Danube, the Alps, and parts of France and S Germany. In the 6th century they spread into Spain and Portugal. Over the next 300 years, they also spread into the British Isles (see Britain, ancient), N Italy (sacking Rome 390 BC), Greece, the Balkans, and parts of Asia Minor, although they never established a united empire.
Between the Bronze and Iron Ages, in the 9th–5th centuries BC, they developed a transitional culture (named the Hallstatt culture after its archeological site SW of Salzburg). They farmed, raised cattle, and were pioneers of ironworking, reaching their peak in the period from the 5th century to the Roman conquest (the La Tčne culture). They had pronounced musical, literary, and poetical tastes, and were distinguished for their dramatic talents. Their Druids, or priests, performed ritual-magic ceremonies which survived in the forms of ordeal, augury, and exorcism. Celtic languages survive in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and Brittany, and have been revived in Cornwall.