Southwest Europe And The Celtiberians

With the demise of diffusionism as an explanation of culture change, older interpretations of the Celticization of South-West Europe and the Hispanic Peninsula, typified by Bosch-Gimpera's (1942) twin waves of trans-Pyrenean colonization, have been abandoned in favour of an ill-defined process of acculturation derived from Hawkes' concept of 'cumulative Celticity' (Alberro, 2003). The real issue is breaking the exclusive equation of Celts and La Tene culture, which is not simply to revert to the older view of indigenous Bronze Age Celts, though there may indeed have been Celtic-speaking communities already in Bronze Age Europe. It is instead to argue for the presence of communities, linguistically or ethnically Celtic, in Atlantic Europe that were contemporary with La Tene groups in Central Europe, but which were archaeologically non-La Tene in their material culture. Most of the problems of interpretation of the archaeological evidence in south-western France and the Hispanic peninsula have stemmed from the failure to make this distinction, and therefore from the expectation that the late and often modified manifestations of La Tene types must represent the expansion of Celts into South-West Europe.

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