Siol nan Gaidheal
British Archaeological and Cultural Revisionism
“Deprive the people of their national consciousness, treat them as a tribe and not a nation, dilute their national pride, do not teach their history, propagate their language as inferior, imply they have a cultural void, emphasise their customs are primitive, and dismiss independence as a barbaric anomaly.”
Reinhard Heydrich - on the Germanisation of Czechoslovakia.
The term "Celtic" cannot possibly be properly understood by regarding it solely from the perspective of Anglo-Saxon and Norman based culture. The conventional "truth" propounded by those archaeologists accepted by the Establishment likes to say that there is no evidence of Celts having "migrated" to the "British" Isles, when in fact the best evidence we have are the modern people and the remnant linguistic evidence still extant in modern times. Now we might just possibly conclude that the Celts of the British Isles simply popped out of nowhere - perhaps they all landed in a huge flying saucer in anomalous fashion - and certain elements within the Establishment certainly wish that they would disappear from history altogether. Could it be true that the people of the British Isles simply "imported" all of the artefacts of Celtic culture? To believe so is to disregard all the other aspects of culture such as language, and the genetic evidence which is currently being undertaken.
Almost 80% of Scottish and Irish people belong to genetic Haplogroup 1. Haplogroups are essentially a genetic way of describing race, and they are based on a sequence of genes on the Y-chromosome. Sons almost always inherit an identical copy of their fathers’ Y chromosome, and the same applies for paternal grandfather, great-grandfather etc., etc. Prior to 3000 years ago, all of Europe’s inhabitants belonged to Haplogroup 1, and this has been established by analyzing the bones of people who lived in those times. So therefore at least this part of the Celtic fringe is entirely indigenous, despite the "wave of invasions" theory so beloved of earlier archaeologists. Further information on Haplogroups can be found at DNA Heritage. The female line of descent is traced via mitochondrial DNA.
The current vogue in television for vaguely archaeologically based programmes such as "Time Team" is yet another effort by the Establishment to force a "British" agenda on us through constant drip-feeding of the myth of Roman "civilisation". This cultic myth that the Romans brought civilisation to the British Isles is an Imperialist fantasy, begun in Victorian times when the expansion of Empire required that history be brought into line to "prove" the inherent rights of Imperialism. What better way than to reflect on another period of Imperialist expansion, and compare it to the Victorian one? Francis Pryor’s book and television programmes "Britain BC" did move this argument on a bit, proving the existence of a thriving, organised and culturally informed population for many hundreds of years prior to the Roman invasion, though many also took issue with some of his conclusions. These mainly took the form of a complaint that this, too, was an attempt at proving we were all "British" thousands of years before the formation of the British State. Perhaps he can be excused some of this, as he is of course looking at things from an English perspective, and also from an attitude contrary to perceived truths. Ultimately however, he is helping to perpetuate the myth whilst debunking one particular part of it.
Some within the archaeological community are starting to realise the stupidity of their previous position, whilst frantically attempting to either justify it or pour scorn on the new interpretations. To illustrate this, Simon Denison, the editor of "British Archaeology" recently wrote: "Eighty years ago Roman Britain was celebrated as an imperial triumph; now, in anti-imperial mood, we are more likely to find campaigns of Roman genocide in Scotland, evidence for the ‘multicultural’ character of Roman Britain, and plucky British natives resisting the pressures of Romanisation. In time, these interpretations too will change." (Keep on thinking free) Hardly a resounding endorsement of the current position, is it?
The fact that the Celts were a pre-literate people and left no written record of their existence is one of the major problems. What little we do know of them in writing tends to be from accounts written by their enemies, in particular the Romans, who were obviously keen to show them as barbarians, and in as poor a light as possible. This is not always the case, as Tacitus’ remarks on Calgacus show. But in the main the Celts got a rather poor press, as is only to be expected, from those intent on conquering them. These are not dissimilar tactics to those displayed by Longshanks and Cromwell, both of whom concentrated on either purloining or destroying the actual written records of Scotland during their invasions. Many of those stolen records did not survive – in December 1661 the "Elizabeth" of Burntisland was lost off the English coast with the Scottish records aboard, whilst these were being returned from London having been stolen by Oliver Cromwell. The Nazi Reinhard Heydrich knew well the benefits of destroying a native culture to help inculcate the mentality of the enslaved.
One of the best ways to try to understand the Celts is from within Celtic culture and their own mythology. Contrary to popular British Imperial perspectives of history, the Celtic civilization 3000 years ago stretched from the western isles of Europe clear to the Baltic and beyond, reaching back as far as into China and the Takla Makhan desert. So if there is any concerted attempt to regard this culture as being that of isolated, discreet little communities with their own idiosyncratic characteristics, then of course little knowledge can be gleaned from taking that approach. Naturally, there were previously existing cultures which the Celts had absorbed in their travels, but it is interesting to see the fervour with which Britophiles seek to de-civilise an entire culture which was so prevalent in Europe and the Indo-European continent.
A very interesting example is how tartan is regarded in modern times. According to the current Britophile "true" perspective, tartan did not even exist prior to the mid-17th century, because the Celtic people were thought prejudicially to be too uncivilised to weave such cloth, let alone wear it. Yet tartan which is 4000 years old has been discovered and documented archaeologically. This fact drives Britophiles into a rage simply because it does not fit with the view that they so strenuously and erroneously espouse. After all, was it not an Englishman who invented the kilt, and the Sobieski-Stuarts who invented all the patterns? The latter may well contain a certain truth, but the former is yet another "British" myth. British superiority is a form of ignorance which limits understanding, and the constant denial of the earlier existence of tartan in whatever shape or form is just one small example of this.
Therefore the outright denial of just such a civilisation is simply another complex cultural function to justify the genocidal history that the "civilised" British seek in order to fulfil complete negation in their role of attempting to make a whole culture and people disappear in modern times. Despite the range and number of ivory-towered academics who have been complicit in the denial of a race (or races) of people whose history and culture had evolved independently prior to the Roman invasion, and whose very existence is still being denied on prime time television. They are constantly referred to as "Iron Age" primitives, but the evidence and facts are slowly being unearthed from beneath the spoil heaps of British propaganda. The archaeological establishment is gradually coming to terms with the fact that much of the excavated evidence of these early peoples was produced locally, and not imported. The "wave of invasions" theory is slowly but surely being discredited, and the idea that whilst immigration did occur it was slow, in small numbers and that these integrated well with the local population is gaining ground. Thus did the newer ideas on agriculture spread across Europe and into the British Isles, to be assimilated by the local population who had arrived after the last Ice Age.
Certain realities do have to be faced by those of us intent on proving some form of Celtic heritage. Dr JD Hill, lecturer in Archaeology at Southampton University, makes a salient point: "No one is denying that people in Iron Age Britain spoke Celtic languages, or shared certain common cultural traditions with their contemporaries in mainland Europe, such as the use of La Tène 'art'. What has been shown to be untrue, however, is that there existed a single Celtic race whose members all had the same religion, psychological traits, and type of society, and who recognised themselves as 'Celts'. At the heart of this debate is the simple issue of evidence. Should we reconstruct the lives of Iron Age people from the actual archaeological evidence they left behind, or use contemporary Greek and Roman descriptions of other (possibly different) Iron Age societies, or should we draw analogies from later medieval Celtic speaking societies often far removed in time and space? And where the archaeological evidence is clearly at odds with the traditional picture of a Celtic Iron Age, do we ignore it because it does not fit?" ( Weaving the strands of a new Iron Age ).
There is a lot of truth in what he says. For Celtic society was in many ways disparate, and localised differences have been shown to exist. We do not know precisely, for example, whether there was a common tongue (this is unlikely) or whether there were several linked languages, as seems to have been the case. But the certainty exists through the evidence discovered that there was definitely a degree of commonality of purpose, culture and lifestyle, enough that the term "Celtic" could be applied to a wide area and the people inhabitant therein.
Any other conclusion is simply yet more revisionist history.
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