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The Celtics of the British Isles The Celts were a people who originated in central Europe from Indo-European stock and became a distinct people in the Iron Age They are distinct from their predecessor peoples archaeologically named the Urnfield cultures principally in their use of iron their art style the role of the horse in their lives and the social stratification of their society The people living in the archaeological period called Hallstatt were the first true Celts The La Tene period is most representational of the Celts at their peak There were several migrations westward into the Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles during the Hallstatt and early La Tene periods Opinions differ regarding whether the Irish Celts arrived via Britain around Scotland directly to Ireland or north from or around the Iberian Peninsula However it seems apparent that whichever route they took the first true Irish Celts arrived during the early Hallstatt period The expansion of the Roman Empire put great pressure on the continental and British Celts whose culture was eventually wiped out through a combination of outright destruction and assimilation into Roman culture Ireland was never directly impacted by Rome and retained its Celtic identity well into the fifth century AD Christianity spread in Ireland in that century and although much of the Celtic identity remained and still does to this day it was altered by exposure to and acceptance of the Christian faith Seemingly in opposition to their warlike and belligerent demeanor was the Celts love of music whether vocal or instrumental and their religion which was very much in harmony with their natural surroundings The Celts measured time by nights followed by days not the reverse as we do today They even had a calendar kept by the druids which was based on lunar motion rather than solar Months as well as days within each month were believed to be auspicious or inauspicious and feasts raids and
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