Controlling Celtic Pasts: the production of nationalism in popular British archaeology of Celtic peoples

Nicholas Christopher Cole Healey

Abstract


A textual analysis of four widely distributed books addressing Celtic peoples and intended for a general audience by prominent British archaeologists was conducted to examine how these materials enable the imagination of nations into the past. The analysed texts are argued to variously enable and inhibit differing forms of British Unionist, Celtic and European integrationist nationalisms by alternately projecting Celtic identities into the primordial past or erasing Celtic histories. This research calls attention to the need for archaeologists to engage with the political ramifications of their work and provides a basis for future research examining the contexts of archaeological knowledge production and consumption in their relationship to nationalism.

Keywords


The Celts; nationalism; identity; archaeology; discourse

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abu El-Haj, N. (1998).Translating truths: nationalism, the practice of archaeology, and the remaking of past and present in contemporary Jerusalem. American Ethnologist, 25(2), 166-188. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/646691

Abu El-Haj, N. (2001). Facts on the ground: archaeological practice and territorial self fashioning in Israeli society. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Abu El-Haj, N. (2012). The genealogical science: the search for Jewish origins and the politics of epistemology. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Anderson, B. (1991). Imagined Communities: reflections on the origin and spread of nationalism. London, UK: Verso.

Berresford Ellis, P. (1993). The Celtic dawn: a history of pan Celticism. London, UK: Constable.

Collis, J. (1996). Celts and politics. In P. Graves-Brown, S. Jones, & C. Gamble (Eds.), Cultural Identity and Archaeology: The Construction of European Communities (pp. 167-178). London, UK: Routledge.

Colmeiro, J. (2014). Bagpipes, bouzoukis and bodhráns: the reinvention of Galician folk music. In H. Miguélez-Carballeira (Ed.), A companion to Galician culture (pp. 93-115). Woodbridge, UK: Tamesis.

Corbett, R. (2007). British political parties and the dreaded ‘f’ word. In S. Henig (Ed.), Federalism and the British (pp. 104-115). London, UK: The Federal Trust.

Cunliffe, B. (1997). The ancient Celts. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Cunliffe, B. (2001). Facing the ocean: the Atlantic and its peoples. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Cunliffe, B. (2008). Europe between the oceans: 9000 BC-1000 AD. London, UK: Yale University Press.

Cunliffe, B., Moffat, A., Aldhouse, M., & Bragg, M. (2002, February 21). In our time: the Celts. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0054894

Dietler, M. (1994). “Our ancestors the Gauls”: archaeology, ethnic nationalism, and the manipulation of Celtic identity in modern Europe. American Anthropologist, 96(3), 584-605. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/682302

El-Agraa, A.M. (2007). A history of European integration and evolution of the EU. In A.M. El-Agraa (Ed.), The European Union: economics and policies (pp. 23-41). Cambridge, UK:Cambridge University Press.

European Coal and Steel community High Authority (1956). Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community. Paris, France: ECSC High Authority.

Fabian, J. (1983). Time and the other: how anthropology makes its objects. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

Fairclough, N. (2003). Analysing discourse: textual analysis for social research. London, UK: Routledge.

Fianna Fáil (2015). Policy documents. Retrieved from http://www.fiannafail.ie/content/pages/ 9528/

Gramsch, A. (2000). ‘Reflexiveness’ in archaeology, nationalism, and Europeanism. Archaeological Dialogues, 7(1), 4-19. doi: 10.1017/S1380203800001550

Hepburn, E., & McLoughlin, P.J. (2011). Celtic nationalism and supranationalism: comparing Scottish and Northern Ireland party responses to Europe. The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 13, 383-399. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-856X.2010.00426.x

Hussain, A., & Miller, W. (2006). Multicultural nationalism: Islamophobia, Anglophobia, and devolution. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

James, S. (1999). The Atlantic Celts: ancient people or modern invention? London, UK: British Museum Press.

James, S. (2011). Peoples of Britain. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/british_prehistory/peoples_01.shtml

Jeffery, C. (2009). Devolution, Britishness and the future of the Union. In A. Gamble & T. Wright (Eds.), Britishness: perspectives on the British question (pp. 112-121). Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

Jenkins, S. (2015). Britain is as tribal now as it has been for millennia. Retrieved from http://www. theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/22/britain-tribal-millennia-anglo-saxon

Jeries Sayej, G. (2013). Can archaeologists intervene in public debate on urgent questions of a social, cultural or political Nature? A reflection on the Israeli-Palestinian Archaeology Working Group (IPAWG). Archaeological Dialogues, 20(1), 58-65. doi: 10.1017/S1380203813000093

Jones, S. (1996). Discourses of identity in the interpretation of the past. In P. Graves-Brown, S. Jones, and C. Gamble (Eds.), Cultural Identity and Archaeology: The Construction of European Communities (pp. 62-80). London, UK: Routledge.

Jones, S. (1997). The archaeology of ethnicity: constructing identities in the past and present. London, UK: Routledge.

Karl, R. (2010). The Celts from everywhere and nowhere: re-evaluation of the origins of the Celts and the emergence of Celtic cultures. In B. Cunliffe & J.T. Koch (Eds.), Celtic from the West: alternative perspectives from archaeology, genetics, language and literature (pp. 39-64). Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.

Kohl, P.L. (1998). Nationalism and archaeology: on the constructions of nations and the reconstructions of the remote past. Annual Review of Anthropology, 27, 223-246.

Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/223370

Lloyd, D. (2003). The Spirit of the Nation. In C. Connolly (Ed.), Theorizing Ireland (pp. 160-172). Hampshire, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

McGuire, R.H. (2008). Archaeology as political action. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

McKee, A. (2003). Textual analysis: a beginner’s guide. London, UK: Sage Publications.

Nairn, T. (2003). The break-up of Britain: crisis and neo-nationalism. Melbourne, Australia:Common Ground.

Oppenheimer, S. (2006a). The origins of the British. London, UK: Constable & Robinson.

Oppenheimer, S. (2006b). Myths of British ancestry. Retrieved from http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/magazine/mythsof britishancestry#.U4E6y_ldWSp

Oppenheimer, S. (2010). A reanalysis of multiple prehistoric immigrations to Britain and Ireland aimed at identifying the Celtic contributions. In B. Cunliffe & J.T. Koch (Eds.), Celtic from the West: alternative perspectives from archaeology, genetics, language and literature (pp. 121-150). Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.

O’Sullivan, A., McCormick, F., Kerr, T.R., & Harney, L. (2014). Early medieval Ireland AD 400-1100: the evidence from archaeological investigations. Dublin, Ireland: Royal Irish Academy.

Renfrew, C. (2001). From molecular genetics to archaeogenetics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 98(9), 4830-4832. doi: 10.1073/pnas.091084198

Renfrew, C. (2013). Early Celtic in the West: the Indo-European context. In J.T. Koch & B. Cunliffe (Eds.), Celtic from the West 2: rethinking the Bronze Age and the arrival of Indo-European in Atlantic Europe (pp. 207-218). Oxford, UK: Oxbow Books.

Sharpe, L.J. (1985). Devolution and Celtic nationalism in the UK. West European Politics, 8(3), 82-100. doi: 10.1080/01402388508424543

Shnirel’man, V.A. (1996). The faces of nationalist archeology in Russia. In M. Díaz-Andreu & T. Champion (Eds.), Nationalism and archaeology in Europe (pp. 218-242). London, UK: University College London Press.

Sinn Féin (2015). Sinn Féin Policies. Retrieved from http://www.sinnfein.ie/policies

Tanner, M. (2004). The last of the Celts. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Tierney, M. (1998). Theory and politics in early medieval Irish archaeology. In M.A. Monk & J. Sheehan (Eds.), Early medieval Munster: archaeology, history and society (pp. 190-199). Cork, Ireland: Cork University Press.

Trigger, B.G. (1984). Alternative archaeologies: nationalist, colonialist, imperialist. Man, 19(3), 355-370. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/2802176

Weedon, C. (1987). Feminist practice and poststructuralist theory. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers.

Wiwjorra, I. (1996). German archaeology and its relation to nationalism and racism. In M. Díaz-Andreu & T. Champion (Eds.), Nationalism and archaeology in Europe (pp. 164-188). London, UK: University College London Press.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2016 NEXUS: The Canadian Student Journal of Anthropology

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.