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Celtic Dress Notes

Celtic Dress Notes

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Published by Brenda Gerritsma
notes on Iron Age Celtic dress
notes on Iron Age Celtic dress

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Published by: Brenda Gerritsma on Feb 12, 2013
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07/25/2013

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Textiles: Fibres
-wool (various weight; felted also known)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p98
-goat hair (for rough use fabric use)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p98
-hare’s wool (one example-insole sock)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p98
-flax (up to 200 count-found in Egypt, may not be period in N. Europe)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p98
-fragment of fabric made of fibres secreted by
 Pinna Nobilis
(a mollusc)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p98
-silk and cotton out of the reach of almost everyone at the time, but some extant
 Lloyd-Morgan, p98
-hemp, nettle (modern nettle fabric called ramie)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p98
-gold-shot fabric (Strabo on Gaulish aristocracy)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-Iron Age: sheepskin (capes and caps)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-silk textiles from east (Hohmichele tumulus; Heuneberg)
Wells, p230
-gold embroidery (Greifenbuhl; 6-5
th
BCE)
 Jope, p388
 -Chinese silk thread embroidery; Hohmichele
Green, p. 72
Textiles: Colours
-Hallstatt: white and coloured wool from undyed fibres
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-one white wool cloth had, woven in black or dark brown bands, like tartan
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-brown and black undyed sheepskin caps
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-Iron Age (Denmark) white sheepskin bag
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-grey sheep predominant in Iron Age
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-wool, in white, black, brown, grey, reddish, yellow or tan; all undyed (Pliny)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p100
-(Scythian, not Celtic) pink, blue, yellow, yellow/ginger, brown-woad:blue, oak bark:browns, madder and Lady’s Bedstraw:orangy-red (Pazryk and Bashadar-c. 400BCE)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p101
-multi-coloured tunics (Dio Cassius on Boudicca)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 101
-dyed and shot through with gold (Strabo on Gaulish aristocracy)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 101
-mostly in reds (Martial on Gauls)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 101
-coloured patterning on garments suggested by incised and punched decoration on extant sculpture
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 101
Dress: ClothingBronze Age:
-hairnets, tunics, cloaks, caps (Denmark)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 98
Iron Age:
-caps of sheepskin (Huldremose, Randers; Denmark)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 101
-6-5
th
BCE: clothes embroidered with gold (Greifenbuhl)
 Jope, p388
-sets of earring (too many for ears), may have been worn fastened to headdress
Champion, p413
Roman Contact:
-multi-coloured tunic; thick cloak, fastened with brooch (Dio Cassius
c.
60 CE)
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 103
-
 
Dress: BeltsHallstatt:
- leather belts, with hooks, sometimes decorative plates attached, hooks for males usuallyiron, with little decoration, bronze hooks engraved with geometric designs
Champion, p418
-early Iron Age: bronze belt-plates on wide leather belts
Champion, p418
-rows of ornate stamped patterns (mostly geometric, some bird and flower motifs)
Champion, p418
-reach width of 20cm, with length 60cm (one found was 1m long)
Champion, p418
-found mostly on front of belt
Champion, p418
-some belts from late Hallstatt decorated with rows of bronze studs
Champion, p418
-cast bronze plates on wide-leather belts
Green, p. 80
-found in both male and female graves
Green, p. 80
-decorated with elaborate openwork vegetal or animal motifs
Green, p. 80
-coral inlay
Green, p. 80
La Tene I:
- most common belt decoration highly decorated belt hook 
Champion, p419
-usually bronze
Champion, p419
-frequently decorated with openwork of vegetal or animal design
Champion, p419
-occasionally ‘plastic’ designs, engraved or coral inlaid
Champion, p419
-belt chain of bars with loop ends, joined by link-rings; sometime plain chains
Champion, p419
La Tene II & III:
-decorated belt-chains more wide-spread
Champion, p419
-worn by women
Champion, p419
-some just series of linked rings
Champion, p419
-may have decorated elements involving red enamel in patterned cut-out areas
Champion, p419
-cast bronze buckle late IA Ireland
Green, p. 80
-triskele design
Green, p. 80
Dress: FastenersIron Age:
-clothes held together with fibulae, the fashions in which changed rapidly during period
Wells, p220
-Hallstatt D: small fibula placed near head; may be fastening for headdress
Champion, p418
-Hallstatt C & D: long pins near head; may hold hairstyle or hairnet or head covering
Champion, p411
-La Tene 5
th
BCE: long pins elsewhere on body; possibly fasten clothes (or shroud)
Champion, p411
 -La Tene (early): more fibulae; pairs (sometimes with linking chain) at shoulders
Champion, p418
-most graves; 2-3 fibulae, some more than a dozen, unlikely worn all at once
Champion, p418
Roman Contact:
-3
rd
BCE: clothing fastened with simple brooches (Gussage All Saints, Dorset)
 Jope, p393
-4-2
nd
BCE: middle class settlement with plain common iron involute brooches (Yorkshire)
 Jope, p394
 
Dress: Body Decoration
-tattoos and body-painting not unlikely
Champion, p419
-hinted at in Classical literature
Champion, p419
-in Siberia in same time frame, evidence of elaborate tattooing
Champion, p419
-recorded use of woad may indicate regularly used decoration
Champion, p419
(personally, I find that unlikely, as it would not be practical on a regular basis)
Champion, p419
Hair: Women
-long
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 103
-advent of Rome affected hairstyles; hairpins now seen
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 103
-Osterby: woman with hair fastened in knot on right side of head
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 103
-York: one woman-auburn ringlets; one-hair in bun fastened with two pins
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 103
-Heuneberg: pin & coil headdress
 Jope, p383
-long-shanked pins near head, suggest hairpins, but may have fastened hairnet or headdress
Champion, p412
-change in status hairstyles in 5
th
BCE suggested by lack of hairpins in burials
Champion, p412
-small fibula by head, suggesting headdress fastener (Eberdingen-Hochdorf)
Champion, p412
Hair: Men
-shoulder-length, worn combed back 
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 103
-clean-shaven, or with long mustache
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 102
Jewelry: Torques
-appear as early as
circa
361 BCE
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 102
-gold, bronze, copper alloy
 Lloyd-Morgan, p 102
-large number of torques from East Anglia (1
st
BCE)
Wells, p 221
-some closed (most likely acquired as infants) C
hampion, p 413-4
-closing devices (if any) include mortise-and-tenon joint, hook-and-eye, covering sleeve, and complexkey twist mechanism C
hampion, p 413-4
-worn by Celts from at least 6
th
BCE-2
nd
CE; also by Bronze Age ancestors
Green, p. 73
-worn by gods in late pre-Roman and Romano-Celtic Iconography
Green, p. 73
-metal, usually gold or bronze, occasionally silver or electrum
Green, p. 74
-curves closely to fit around neck 
Green, p. 74
-plain or highly decorated; tubular, twisted bar, multiple wires twisted
Green, p. 74
-terminals may be massive; decorated in high relief, making them uncomfortable to wear 
Green, p. 74
-before 3
rd
BCE gold and bronze torques most often found in female graves
Green, p. 74
-stone sculptures show males wearing them
Green, p. 74
-after 3
rd
BCE function seems to have changed; now found mostly in male graves
Green, p. 74
-also more often found in votive offerings
Green, p. 74

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