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Ancient Celtic Coin Art

24 25 Our ancestors felt all their experiences were equally real, whether external sights and sounds, or internal beliefs and thoughts, and when studying Iron Age art it becomes easier to make sense of the complex imagery if this is remembered. Modern comic book art has similar conventions, using thought bubbles, sound effects, multiple viewpoints and other graphic devices to portray some of the more subjective elements of the story being told. Motifs that appear on coins in front of heads near the mouth may well represent some kind of significant utterance, with even the shape having a meaning. Several designs show chariotriders with ropelike extensions arcing out in front of their horses ending in rectangular box shapes. These have sometimes been interpreted as flags but they may also be the visual representation of spells, such as curses to bind, or incantations to confuse the enemy. A good example of this kind of storytelling shows a horse with a carnyx emerging from its mouth the carnyx was a large war trumpet that made a frighteningly loud braying sound, and in this context we can see the artist is skillfully juxtaposing images to convey the sound of a charging war horse. Where images apparently float in front of a persons eyes, some kind of vision, internal or external, may be being indicated. Where the hair is particularly animated and resembles creatures or landscapes, this too may be a representation of thoughts, beliefs, states of mind or visionary experiences. SPELLS INCANTATIONS shouting visions a. b. c. e. d. f.
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