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Ancient Celtic Coin Art

50 51 Iron Age coin art provides a vivid doorway into the heart of our ancestors beliefs. Like visual poetry, the imagery reveals multiple meanings that can be teased out from the apparent, obvious layers of content. Meaning here resides behind and beyond the image, and it can be helpful to try and see the image as clearly and as culturally uncluttered as possible. The freshness, visual skill, play of pattern and power of imagery of Celtic coins deserve to be far better known. Indeed this art could be as much a part of the vocabulary of contemporary art and design as the betterknown Celtic interlace patterns and knotwork of the Christian era. Modern students of this subject, Romanised, Classicised, urbanised, objectified and rationalised as we are, cannot get a real sense of the preChristian Iron Age Celt without feeling slightly alienated and scared by the power of their art. The Iron Age Celts were fighting for survival against the modern civilization of their daythe pragmatic, economic dominance of the Roman Empire. Then, as now, the Celts represent the unpredictable, intuitive, elemental world of wild Nature, impressive closeup but very romantic at a comfortable distance. Iron Age art still carries the magical force that created it, because the reason for its creation was to carry and transmit that magical force to whoever beheld it, for as long as it existed. CONCLuSION windows into the past a. b. c. d. e. f. g. h. i.
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