Encompasses present-day Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales
In the period from 1000 B.C. to 1 A.D., the Celts conquered and settled much of western and central Europe, acquiring wealth through raids and conquests. Archaeological evidence suggests that they mastered sophisticated metalworking technology and engaged in trade with distant partners. By the end of the period, Celtic society had attained relative stability, punctuated by increasing conflict with armies of the Roman empire.
- ca. 5000900 B.C.Rock
faces in the Alps, such as Val Carmonica in northern Italy, Monte Bego
in France, and Totes Gebirge in Austria, are carved with animals, buildings,
and warriors, perhaps engaged in martial rituals.
- ca. 800 B.C.Ironworking becomes
widespread. Artisans skilled in bronze probably also work the new material,
using techniques developed for bronze.
- ca. 750 B.C. Exploitation
of salt sources, trade, and ironworking contribute to the wealth and distinction
of the settlements near Halstatt in modern Austria. The site has an exceptionally
rich cemetery. Among the objects found in the graves are fibulae, or brooches
for clothes, indicating a refined metalworking aesthetic and a taste for
personal adornment. The horse, which often appears as a decorative motif,
suggests the values of an aristocratic culture.
- ca. 700 B.C.Transportation
and trade engage energy and creativity in central Europe. People build
wooden trackways over marshy areas to facilitate the movement of carts.
The scale of these enterprises suggests regional organization of workforces
and apportionment of materials. At about the same time, magnificent burials
for a few involve inhumation of the body in the cart used for the funeral
- ca. 500 B.C.Trade items from
Massilia (present-day Marseille), a Greek colony founded around 600 B.C.
on the Mediterranean, travel up the Rhône valley and are welcomed as prestige
objects among the peoples of northern Europe. An example is the Vix tomb
in Burgundy, which contained a meter-high bronze krater as well as a complete
wine service, Attic ceramics, and fittings for a funerary wagon.
- ca. 450 B.C. A period of mass
migration begins, as the Celtic-speaking peoples of northern Europe move
- ca. 250 B.C.Celtic
culture has overtaken most of western Europe, including Great Britain and Ireland and northern Italy. But Italian Celts begin to face an ever
more powerful opponent: the Roman
- 5851 B.C. Julius Caesar's
campaigns subdue Gaul
(the region roughly corresponding to modern France) to Roman dominion.
Although the initial shock to local culture is considerable, later generations
in Gaul are increasingly receptive to Roman culture in all its forms.
"Western and Central Europe, 1000 B.C.1 A.D.". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000–. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/ht/?period=04®ion=euw (October 2000)