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Old April 21st, 2017, 01:16 AM   #1
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Bronze celtic horse. What is the meaning of concentric circles


A bronze horse excavated in Cornwall (St Ives) during the 70's.
Weighing 218g and almost 15cm long.
Anyone know what theses concentric circles were meaning?
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Old April 21st, 2017, 04:08 AM   #2
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We don't know for sure but it is a common motif on bronze age shields and sun disks and appears to be connected to either the sun or solar cycles, in a shamanistic way. This gold sundisc dates to the early bronze age and is only 4 or 5 centimetres in diameter:

sundisc.jpg

whereas this is a large ceremonial shield from Foslunda:

Click the image to open in full size.


The bronze age Trundholm sun chariot combines the shield and horse on a cart:

Click the image to open in full size.


This image shows the sun disk detail better:


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 04:09 AM   #3
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We don't know for sure but it is a common motif on bronze age shields and sun disks and appears to be connected to either the sun or solar cycles, in a shamanistic way. This gold sundisc dates to the early bronze age and is only 4 or 5 centimetres in diameter:

Click the image to open in full size.

whereas this is a large ceremonial shield from Foslunda:

Click the image to open in full size.


The bronze age Trundholm sun chariot combines the shield and horse on a cart:

Click the image to open in full size.


This image shows the sun disk detail better:


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 04:42 AM   #4

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If I remember well, there was a kind of philosophical meaning in this: the concentric circles represented the never-ending evolution of the divine [passing from the central state to the external ones].

The core of such a system was the "oiw".
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Old April 21st, 2017, 04:47 AM   #5
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Thx for your answer. Yep i saw that the horse was closely linked to the sun and thus calling it a "solar horse" which appears on numerous celtic gold staters.

The design here appears for me to have been derived from late greek geometric period (7th/8th Century B.C.). Does anyone know if there has been a transmission from greek or even etruscan civilization to celtic tribes (begining from Hallstatt culture in the middle of Europe and then spreading allover the continent and also British island)?

We know there had been an "hellinization" regarding the language (greek and latin alphabet used by celtic tribes), maybe also concerning art?

Last edited by K43op5; April 21st, 2017 at 05:02 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 04:48 AM   #6

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I've always seen them referred to as "sun circles". They show up all over the place, and date back well into the Bronze Age, before what we generally think of as "Celtic" cultures appeared. So they are not a specifically Celtic emblem.

There also seems to be some overlap between sun circles and spirals (and double-spirals), but no idea what the current wisdom is on that! Variations on the same thing? Totally different things? Don't know!

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Old April 21st, 2017, 07:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K43op5 View Post
The design here appears for me to have been derived from late greek geometric period (7th/8th Century B.C.). Does anyone know if there has been a transmission from greek or even etruscan civilization to celtic tribes (begining from Hallstatt culture in the middle of Europe and then spreading allover the continent and also British island)?

We know there had been an "hellinization" regarding the language (greek and latin alphabet used by celtic tribes), maybe also concerning art?
As I understand it, the 'iconic' Celtic art style is specifically the style from the La Tene culture. That's the culture that continued from before the Roman era (in Britain, this is) right through to the post-Roman era. La Tene culture is widely recognised as having strong Greek and Etruscan influences (though the Etruscans themselves copied the style of the Greeks in some ways, so perhaps - though I don't know enough specifics to really comment on the plausibility of this idea - the 'Greek' elements present in La Tene culture can be attributed to the Etruscans as well).

I don't think there's any evidence of such influences in the Halstatt culture though, but I could be wrong.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 08:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K43op5 View Post
Does anyone know if there has been a transmission from greek or even etruscan civilization to celtic tribes (begining from Hallstatt culture in the middle of Europe and then spreading allover the continent and also British island)?
Compare your horse from cornwall with this axe head from the Hallstatt C period, 800BC - 650BC

Click the image to open in full size.


Cornwall was known to the Phoenicians as the Cassiderites, meaning Tin islands, tin being an element used in bronze. Hallstatt is a salt mining area but neighbours the copper mining area of Bischofshofen, the other metal used in bronze making.


Solar discs from bronze age Hallstatt necropolis:

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by authun; April 21st, 2017 at 08:56 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2017, 09:00 AM   #9
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Those circles on the horse might be attachment points for spruing if the bronze was cast using the Lost Wax method.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost-wax_casting
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Old April 21st, 2017, 10:48 AM   #10

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Try this (German)


Was sind Schalengruben?
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