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Ancient Celtic Coin Art

38 39 The most prevalent animal in coin art after the horse is the wild boar. Boar was the most formidable quarry of the hunt, emerging from dense vegetation with screams and crashing towards the hunter with dorsal bristles erect and long tusks bared. Its meat was the most favoured at feasts and the leg joints especially were reserved for the boldest and most honoured warrior. The image of the boar thus symbolises battle frenzy and the spoils of victory. Often the boar is shown with hackles raised in a high crest beneath the warriors horse see 25d, 25e, 13h, combining the noble equine symbol of tribal authority and freedom with the untamed headlong charge of the wild boar. Battle strategy among the Celts was notoriously akin to the boars mindless charge from forest undergrowthit only worked well where the enemy was taken by surprise or was intimidated by its fearsome appearance. The fondness amongst warriors for elaborate hair arrangements, often spiked and stiffened with lime, not only made them look taller and more ferocious but simultaneously summoned up and reflected the qualities of the boar with its stiff dorsal hairs bristling in defence of its mate and offspring. BIG HAIR and war hogs a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h.
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