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Britain Begins

By Barry Cunliffe

Our Price: $22.50
The ancient Celts believed they were descended from Father Dis (Dis Pater), a god of the dead who resided in the west where the sun set. Today, ideas of our prehistoric origins are more likely based on ocean core samples, radio-carbon dating, and archeological artifacts. But as Barry Cunliffe reminds us in Britain Begins, an archaeologist writing of the past must be constantly aware that the past is, in truth, unknowable. Like the myth-making Celts, we too create stories about our origins, based on what we know today. Cunliffe here offers readers a vision of both worlds, looking at new myths and old, as he tells the fascinating story of the origins of the British and the Irish, from around 10,000 BC to the eve of the Norman Conquest. Using the most up-to-date archaeological evidence together with new work on DNA and other scientific techniques which help us to trace the origins and movements of these early settlers, Cunliffe offers a rich narrative account of the first islanders--who they were, where they came from, and how they interacted with one another. Underlying this narrative is the story of the sea, and Cunliffe paints a fascinating picture of early ships and sails and of the surprising sophistication of early navigation. The story told by the archaeological evidence is enhanced by historical texts, such as Julius Caesar's well-known if rather murky vision of Britain. Equally interesting, Cunliffe looks at the ideas of Britain's origins formed by our long-ago ancestors themselves, when they used what scraps there were, gleaned from Biblical and classical texts, to create a largely mythological origin for the British.
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(A Very Short Introduction series). This essential survey ranges from herodotus to Breton bagpipe festivals, and show how the Celts have been harnessed in support of both the European Union and Scottish and Welsh devolution. Further Reading, Index. 161p.
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The finding in 1727 of the gilded bronze head of the Roman goddess Minerva led to the discovery of the Roman temple and of the baths. Since then archaeologists have discovered more and more about the Roman city of Aquae Sulis. In this new edition of a work first published almost 30 years ago, Professor Barry Cunliffe brings the story right up to date. He deals in detail with the temple and its precinct and with the 'curse tablets' which have been deciphered to reveal the thoughts of Roman visitors. He then explains just how the bathing establishment was organized and explores the relationship between the spa and the town. We learn what life was like for the local inhabitants as well as for the visitors, and he charts the process of decline and decay during the 300 years after the Roman period.
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The Ancient Celts

By Barry Cunliffe

Our Price: $21.95
More than two hundred illustrationsincluding twentyfour color platesand thirty maps complement an authoritative account that draws on recent archaeological findings to trace the development of Celtic civilization and its influence on Europe past and present. Reprint.
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The Ancient Celts

By Barry Cunliffe

Our Price: $27.50
In this exploration of the nature of Celtic identity, the author presents the first thorough and up-to-date account of the archetypal barbarians from the north, feared by both the Romans and Greeks: the Celts. Through a considerationof cultural diversity, social and religious systems, art, language, law, and oral traditions, the author draws a distinction between societies which conform to an ethnic `Celtic' model and those subjected to `Celtization'.Illus., 24 color plates, 208 b&w text fig., 30 maps. 324p.
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A history of the journey of the Greek explorer Pytheas of Massalia (new Marseille) who set out around 330 B.C. to explore Northern Europe & the British Isles. Further reading, index. B&W illus. 195p.
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Provides an account of the fourth-century B.C. expedition of Pytheas, a Greek explorer who traveled from the Greek colony of Massalia to the distant lands of northern Europe, including Britain, Denmark, and, possibly, Iceland.
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