Celtic origin: location in time and space? Reconsidering the “East-West Celtic” debate
Tatyana Mikhailova (Lomonosov Moscow State University, tamih.msu@mail.ru)
Journal of Language Relationship, № 13/3-4, 2015 - p.257-279
Abstract: The article constitutes primarily a review of recent publications concerning the problem of the Celtic homeland. Until recently, the classic ‘Central European’ model used to locate it near the High Danube (according to Herodotus) and linked the Celtic linguistic and cultural unity with the so-called Hallstatt archaeological culture. However, new discoveries in South Portugal opened a series of long debates, spearheaded by such specialists as the well-known linguist, Prof. John Koch, who allegedly identified Tartessian funeral inscriptions as Celtic, and the archeologist Barry Cunliffe, who suggested that ‘Celticʼ evolved in the Atlantic Zone during the Bronze Age, where it arrived from the East by the Mediterranean. This theory was harshly criticized by other Celtologists, but the matter remains unsettled. Other historical models, distinct from both the ‘Central European’ and the ‘Atlantic’ theory, are also possible, including an ‘Eastern homeland’ hypothesis that is proposed here by the author. In addition, the article also includes the text of “Celtic from the West?”, an address by Prof. Wolfgang Meid, provided specially for the Journal of Language Relationship.
Keywords: migrations, Celts, Iberians, Tartessian language, archaeology, genetics, Celtic homeland