Sunday, 21 April 2019

Celtic World - Hallstatt museum


I visited Austria back in Summer 2012, and, as a Celtic history enthusiast, one of my stops had to be Hallstatt, a lakeside town in Upper Austria known for its salt mines (dating back to prehistoric times). This town gave its name to the Hallstatt Culture, "the archaeological culture linked to Proto-Celtic and early Celtic people of the Early Iron Age in Europe, c.800–450 BC" (Source). Not only was the scenery of the mountain-encircled lake surrounding the town breathtaking (not to mention the gorgeous forests and the architecture) - The Hallstatt Museum had an amazing collection of items dating back to the Hallstatt Culture, and I had a blast visiting it. 

Hallstatt culture
So here's a pic spam of said museum - Enjoy! 
(click on pics of open in new tab for more resolution and larger pics)



The Museum: 

About the Hallstatt Culture (Open in new tab or click for larger text)
 Clothing reproductions:

Early La Tène sword from Hallstatt Grave

Iron Mindelheim sword
Decorated axe with horse ornament

Late Urnfield spiral pins and fibula


I got a reproduction of this horse at the shop :D

A Sword-woman posing with Celtic swords :) ^^
 As a birthday gift, I ended up getting two lovely reproductions at the shop - One Hallstatt horse and a boar -, as well as a beautiful copper Hallstatt Culture-style jewelry set. Sadly, I lost the ring back in 2014 at my uni, though :'(I have the remaining three things, though :) xD

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Caixaforum Madrid 'Faraón' - Ancient Egyptian art exhibition

Last month I visited a Caixaforum exhibition featuring Ancient Egyptian art and objects from the British Museum, especially focusing on the Pharaohs ("Faraón. Rey de Egipto").

Some pics I took:

➡️Stela depicting the Roman emperor Tiberius (14-37 AD, Karnak)

➡️The Great Harris papyrus (20th dynasty, 1184-1153 BC, Thebes)

➡️Statue of Sennefer, senior official concerned with financial matters under the reign of female pharaoh Hatshepsut, wrapped in a mantle (and looking mighty pleased with himself xD) (18th dynasty, ca 1450 BC) .

➡️When you have to spell your name without an 'e' xDD
➡️When you already have a huge to-read book pile, but you still get three books at the exhibition's shop because they tempted me with books, science and feminism, Frodo 😂!! 📚♀️🔭 And of course, they also tempted me with lip balms and notebooks xD

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Celtic World - Castro of A Garda

Back in September 2011, I visited Galicia for a weekend trip, mostly focusing on the castro culture of the Gallaic Celts (as well as a lovely day trip to the Cíes Islands). The former post featured pics from my visit to the Castro of Vigo, and in this one I'll be posting those from my visit to the breathtaking Castro de Santa Tecla in A Garda (La Guardia). Enjoy!

-Some info about this castro (source): "The Castro de Santa Trega is a Galician fort and archaeological site located on the hillsides of Mount Santa Trega. At 341 meters (1118 feet) above sea level, the fort can be found in the southwestern Galician municipality of A Guarda (Pontevedra). The site is strategically located overlooking the mouth of the river Miño. Belonging to the Castro culture, it is the most emblematic and visited Galician fort."

"Santa Trega is a ‘Castro-Roman’ settlement. which was inhabited between 100 BC and 100 AD, in a period when the process of Romanisation of the northwest of the Iberian peninsula had already begun. Despite this, the construction system reflects techniques that respect the Castro tradition and has seen very little Roman influence. This style is dominated by the use of circular structures. Only a small percentage of the estimated size of the settlement has been excavated so far. At present only the northern part, excavated in the 80s, and some structures at the top of the mountain are open to visitors. It is bordered by a wall which surrounds a stretch of land more than 700 metres (2300 feet) north-south by 300 metres (984 feet) east-west."
 "Barring a few exceptions, almost all of the stone structures are free-standing dwellings with circular or oval foundations. The vast majority of these houses are of small dimensions and sit directly on the bedrock with their walls being covered with a lime and sand mortar. Traces of pigmentation found indicate that the plaster on the walls would have been tinted different colours. Many of the dwellings have a foyer which is considered by experts to be a sign of Mediterranean influence adapted to maintain the characteristics of indigenous construction. Many monolithic door jambs and lintels have been found decorated with intertwined geometric shapes and rope-like moulding. In addition, embedded in the walls, cylindrical monolithic blocks of small dimensions have been found decorated with geometric shapes such as spirals, triskelions, Celtic roses, or pinwheel designs. Other elements such as plinths present similar decorations in addition to representations of animals."

 "Not all of the stone structures discovered at Castro de Santa Trega served a residential purpose. In particular, one type of building appears to be storehouses which possess a less elaborate and less careful construction than the neighbouring houses. Inside these buildings, remains of amphoras, a mill, carving stones, etc. were found. The urban distribution of the settlement is characterized by groups of buildings forming individualized clusters. These clusters are known as “family or household units” and are formed by dwellings and storehouses set around a small, often paved, communal courtyard. The site's urban planning includes a complex network of rainwater drainage channels located under the pathways, as well as sometimes on the surface, sculpted on the base rock and covered with slabs."
-Note and clarification: I tag this post as 'Celtic Spain' and 'Gallaic Celts', but it's to be noted that according to Classical authors, the "southwest corner of modern-day Galicia was populated by the Grovii or Grovios community" and that "Pomponius Mela stated that all the populi [of this area] were Celtic, excepting for the Grovii. Pliny also rejected that the Grovii were Celtic, he considered them to have a Greek origin. They cooperated with the local Gallaeci tribes as seen in the aftermatch of Viriatus death" (Source). So if this is true, this castro would not have been populated by a 'Celtic' people. Still, it's a people very much related to Castro culture and influenced by nearby Celtic peoples (the Celtic-style decorations in the houses is a sign of this). This, in addition to the fact that Castro culture is mostly associated with Gallaic Celts and other Celtiberian peoples,  is why I have decided to still tag the post about this specific castro as 'Celtic world' and the like.

And the rest of the pics (for larger sie, click or open in new tab):

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Celtic world - Castro of Vigo

Back in September 2011, I visited Galicia for a weekend trip, mostly focusing on the castro culture of the Gallaic Celts (as well as a lovely day trip to the Cíes Islands). This post will feature my pics from my visit to the Castro of Vigo, and in a future post I'll be talking about the breathtaking Castro de Santa Tecla in A Garda (La Guardia).

-Castro culture: "Castro culture (cultura castrexa in Galician, cultura castreña in Spanish) is the archaeological term for the material culture of the north-western regions of the Iberian Peninsula (present-day northern Portugal together with Galicia, Asturias, Castilla y León, Cantabria and Basque Country) from the end of the Bronze Age (c. 9th century BC) until it was subsumed by Roman culture (c. 1st century BC). It is the culture associated with the Celtiberians, closely associated to the western Hallstatt horizon of Central Europe.  The most notable characteristics of this culture are its walled oppida and hill forts, fortified settlements known locally as castros (from Latin castrum "hillfort"), and the scarcity of visible burial practices, in spite of the frequent depositions of prestige items and goods, swords and other metallic riches in rocky outcrops, rivers and other aquatic contexts since the Atlantic Bronze Age" (Castro culture; Castros)

Dolmen statue in the Monte del Castro  at the start of my visit of the Castro of Vigo
Walking down to the castro
Info on the castro of Vigo in Galician
 -The Castro of Vigo (Iron Age): "El castro de Vigo es un poblado castreño situado en una pendiente del Monte del Castro de Vigo, en Galicia. Los restos excavados pertenecen a una pequeña parte del poblado que se extendería por las caras del monte, habitado entre el siglo II a.C. y el siglo III d.C. Fue abandonado pacificamente, probablemente por el traslado de sus habitantes a la zona del Areal, más próxima al mar. Basándose en la información proporcionada por el yacimiento y por otros castros similares, se reconstruyeron tres de las viviendas del poblado, que ilustran un momento inicial de ocupación romana. Estas son una vivienda circular con vestíbulo anexo, un almacén y una vivienda cuadrangular posterior a la conquista romana"  (Wikipedia).

"The castro of Vigo is a castro village situated on a slope of the Monte del Castro in Vigo, Galicia. The excavated remains belong to a small part of the settlement, covering all sides of the mountain, inhabited between the 2nd Century BC and the 3rd Century AD. It was peacefully abandoned after its inhabitants moved to the Areal area, closer to the sea.  Based on the information provided by the site and other similar castros, three of the village houses were reconstructed, depicting their probable appearance at the beginning of the Roman occupation period. These reconstructions include a circular house with an adjoining doorway, a warehouse, and a square dwelling from after the Roman conquest."  (Wikipedia, my translation).

 You can find more info on this castro here.

So without further ado, here are the rest of the pics (click or open in new tab for larger size). I enjoyed this visit very much. The road to the castro in the Monte del Castro park was beautiful; the remains of the castro were very well kept; there were helpful informative panels at hand; and the  reconstructed houses were very well made as well:

2011 Celtic enthusiast me is enjoying herself :D

The info panels at the site (also in Galician):

Next stop, the castro de Santa Tecla in A Garda!