Archaeological developments east of the Rhine in the fifty years before 15 BC, such as the abandonment of oppida, collapse of complex manufacturing systems and diversification of material culture suggest that Caesar encountered a society in the process of change, although once broadly similar to that of “Gauls” west of the Rhine. The significance of Caesar’s distinction between “Gauls” and “Germans” has long concerned archaeologists and historians. An approach based on anthropological studies of cross-cultural contacts in colonial situations offers a new perspective on the question. By distinguishing between the ways that indigenous groups represented their identities through their material culture, and descriptions of those groups that Caesar and other writers left, we can gain a clearer understanding of the native peoples in temperate Europe at the time of the Roman conquest.
|Translated title of the contribution||Identities, Material Culture, and Change: “Celts” and “Germans” in Late-Iron-Age Europe|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of European Archaeology|
|State||Published - Sep 1 1995|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
I thank Jonathan Hill, Oliver Nicholson, Frederick Suppe, and the anonymous peer reviewers for helpful advice in connection with this paper. Some of the research upon which this paper is based was conducted with the support of National Science Foundation Grant SBR-9506958, and of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota; I thank those insitutions for their support. I also thank Franz Steiner Verlag and Konrad Theiss Verlag, both of Stuttgart, Germany, for permission to reproduce illustrations in Figures 2 and 3. The quotation from Tacitus was reprinted by permission of the publishers and the Loeb Oassical Library from Tacitus, Germania, translated by M. Hutton, Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1980.