Sunday 28 August 2016

Celtoscepticism Two

Celtoscepticism Two

(This follows a posting on ‘The new celticity’ on this website and is about ethnocentricity.)

This starts with a link between very recent blogs on this site. The link is to do with group identification. If you see people doing archaeology with the basic rule of finding who their ancestors were 3000 years ago, and what they were doing, to the exclusion of any other tribes or customs, you get the reason why doing poetry is ethnocentric and why identification as a core practice of poetry does not necessarily make it outward-looking and able to assimilate what is alien. Looking at the emotional flaws of archaeology suggests that the basis for consuming modern British poetry is also ethnocentric and has a problem with taking on the literary talents of people who are ethnically other.

1. Ethnocentricity

A certain nationalist project involves a kind of structure shaped like a Greek delta- linking the ego of the observer with a site in the Deep Past. This delta-shaped arrow leads through two or three thousand years. It is rigid, and makes rigid however many centuries and provinces it stretches across. It establishes territory, possession, and boundaries. Rather than being a rational thing, it is felt to be organic and alive -an extension of the body. All this sounds notably phallic. It is a phallic appendage which subdues the past and glorifies the observer, or fantasist. Moreover it is supposed to be full of blood (transmitting the “bloodline” of the ethnos) and to transmit hereditary rights and assets. A pipeline carrying blood and ancestry. It is procreation in diagrammatic form. Its owners are hypersensitive about it being interfered with.

The point here is not to break the relationship between a 21st C human and the imagined humans of the last millennium BC or even later, but to disconnect the factor of “belonging” and expose a set of relations a hundred time more complex, the whole of iron Age Europe. Getting up the whole spatial extent is just good for your brain. To be frank, history is not the History of Me. And prehistory is not the prehistory of Me. In fact, prehistory has no centre. Erasing these boundaries makes everything possible.

We may speculate that the link between an observer in the present day and the “observed” a hundred generations ago is largely fictitious. Another speculation is that the boundaries between Me and Not-me are much more blurred than this vision demands. Also, that the possibility of enclosing a domain of the past, of establishing rights to it, is much slighter than in the vision.

When I am looking at this project of asking “what was Me three thousand years ago” what I am thinking about is the problem of ethnocentricity in poetry. Nationalist archaeology is so utterly ethnocentric that it crystallises, rather painfully, the ethnocentric factor in attraction to poetry: people want extensions of themselves. Seeing one hundred or two hundred generations of Europeans as an extension of the self is megalomaniac but seems to be emotionally satisfying. Why don’t you want to identify with all the domains of European prehistory that didn’t involve your ancestors? Wouldn’t that offer more imaginative and literary pleasure by rather a large factor? But the ego seems to see an invisible wall: where what it doesn’t own is quite unattractive and the imagination turns off, pressure and colour draining out of it. Actually, archaeology is a way of describing what separates English people (let’s say) from people from South Asia - all those generations of mostly very slow change, accumulating rubbish as deposits and the customs or character of an individual as another kind of inert deposit. Are people really different or is it more about lack of trust? do we really carry the Past about inside us or is that a speculative and mostly wrong way of explaining why humans come to act the way they do? do we actually know enough about the past to say that being Scottish (let’s say) depends, tangibly, on what Scottish life was like 1000 years ago?
Enclosure is applied to the past and to the imagination, almost as lagging to prevent warmth from leaking out of it. Territorialisation allows affect to remain coherent and assert its identity. To avoid mixing, perhaps? This project of ethnocentricity in archaeology makes me strongly suspect that identification in poetry is ethnocentric as well. More positively, this value is one that can reduce over time and give us a different poetry world with more room for “non-White British” as well as “non-English British”. Maybe reflecting on identification will make us freer and less slaves to compulsions.

I can’t really believe that the pursuit of archaeology is about tracing the history of the self and yet that the practice of poetry is not ethnocentric. Once it is centric it’s ethnocentric. I have great difficulty in thinking that the identification /projection process in acquisition of poetic objects is anything but ethnocentric. This can decline as reference groups become less ethnically defined, as is foreseen for a multi-racial society like modern England. It has not necessarily declined very rapidly up till now.

2. Is there an Irish Sea Culture province?
After suggesting that the idea “Irish Sea culture province” could replace the idea of “Celticity” as a domain of study, I came across this: “‘the Mediterranean’ was invented in 1959 and had already outrun its usefulness in the 1980s” [.] Irritating! An editor describes the anthropologist Michael Herzfeld around 2005 as ‘implying’ that the concept “the Mediterranean” is a leftover or hangover from the 1980s and 1990s. Maybe the Irish Sea concept is also obsolete. Maybe the assumption that there are common features between Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Cornish cultures at some date (which date, exactly?) also needs critical scrutiny. Which features? Herzfeld’s point is that Aleppo is not Marseilles and never was. What does “the Mediterranean” mean, then? It is a turn-on but that may be the hunger of Northern Europeans for wine and sunshine.
Talk about the Atlantic fringe usually picks out the lack of centres, i.e. of cities or cultural centres, as a feature of the region. But actually this is not a unifying feature, it rather means that there was a lack of shared cultural models and any cultural creativity was bound to make any district evolve away from the others. How many foci of decentrality can you contemplate?
While sitting in Cambridge University Library working on the Celtic book, I strayed a few feet away to the section for folklore, where I was looking through the Scandinavian shelf. At random, I picked up a book called Stav og sagn (poems and narratives, obviously) which turned out to be in Faeroese. This offers a wonderful opportunity to ask whether the characteristics of areas like the Hebrides and Ireland, felt to be “Celtic”, really differ from those of the Faeroes, Orkneys, the Central Belt, felt to be “Germanic”. Geography or ancestry? Yes it’s all different from “inner western Europe”, but has “celticity” given us anything useful? The linguistic barriers are formidable and that is especially true for comparatists. How similar are the Faeroes to Ireland or Skye or Caithness or Anglesey? The Atlantic fringe is different from the rest of Europe. Does a Celtic ancestry affect this? aren’t the Norse/Anglian bits just as Atlantic fringe as the notionally celtogenous bits? am I being taken for a ride?

In looking at the Irish Sea province we may not be seeing celticity at all. What, really, came here from far away, from the area between the Danube and the Loire? do we even know what the culture of the La Tene region, between 500 BC and the Romans, was like?

3. Dissolving the myth of the Celts

When I was studying Celtic things for a degree in Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, 40 years ago, we did not hear anything about theory. But there is now a volume called Theory in Celtic Studies, edited by David Stifter and Raimund Karl, one of a set of four volumes which tell you awesome amounts about ancient north-west Europe, or the realm of the “Celts” if you believe in that kind of thing. A large part of the volume is dedicated to papers for and against the celtosceptic thing. (I described this movement, which began roughly in the 1980s, in a previous posting.) The two papers by JV and R Megaw published in Theory in Celtic Studies are near-scandalous in their attribution to Celtosceptics of motives which they simply don’t have. They ascribe the whole of this long-term moment of questioning ideas about the reality of “Celtic society”, as developed in the 20th century, from say 1910 to 1970, to English political bias against the rest of the United Kingdom and against Europe. They offer no evidence to show that any of the archaeologists involved actually occupy any of these nationalist-anglocentric attitudes. They apparently have the vital knowledge by intuition - they know what silence is not saying. Meanwhile they pass over the possibility that the new models might have other sources - for example the accumulation of a vast amount of new data which destroys the generalisations of earlier prehistorians, and the critique of the cultural assumptions and unexamined projections underlying those generalisations. They do not mention that the advance of narratives about prehistory took place during the era which saw the climax of nationalism in Europe, as an unchallenged collective fantasy of intellectuals. If we see people constructing nations as the agents of prehistory, we have to ask if that is a reflection of reading modern history entirely in terms of national movements and the building of nation-states. How could you miss the chronological context which shows that the critique of nationalism following the bloodbath of 1939-45 gives rise to a critique in prehistory which leads, through a long process of evolving critique, to celtoscepticism?
Questioning the value to archaeology of 19th century ethnic and ethnographic labels is not “ethnic cleansing” - as the Megaws say. In the Megaw version of British celtology, extreme left-wing scepticism about nationalist ideologies, and the anglocentric, nationalistic, wish to discredit Scottish and Irish nationalism, are present in the same person and co-write the same academic papers. This is lunacy. These papers accuse the celtosceptics both of “ethnic cleansing” and “political correctness” - a combination of Far Left and Far Right attitudes which would be miraculous if it were true. For them, developments in archaeological theory, in the rules by which we build the dumb material remains into imagined patterns of social behaviour and relationships, are based on the wish to repress peripheral nationalism within the United Kingdom and on a quite different wish to fight off European immigrants and European control within the framework of the European Union. They do not establish the political position of any single prehistorian of the movement they wish to discredit.

The Megaws state that questioning nationalistic views of the Iron Age is a form of ethnic cleansing. Developing new ideas about that remote time is destroying the ancestors of minority nations (those of the Atlantic fringe, indeed) and so, in this view, is the cleansing of ethnic loyalty groups out of the village and hill-forts of 100 generations ago. It's like a colonial war moved up into fantasy level. I can see no reason why self-possession as a 21st century Irish or Scottish person should bring a need to seize and freeze some part of Europe in 1000 BC. This is surely a fantasy relationship. And surely it is a corollary that understanding of that deep past is obscured and hindered by the deposit of those fantasies, a kind of gigantic dump of scrap or effluent. The project of recovering the past as it really was must pass through a stage of washing off the deposits of 19th and 20th century nationalist fantasies. This is a kind of clearing up of flood damage.
One problem is that an explanation is being offered in terms of political and emotional bias for a wave of errors which in fact did not take place. Another problem is that the political bias being proposed is wildly implausible for the individuals engaged in the interpretive acts and could not be valid as an explanation. Consider this minimised argument:

La Tene is clearly the successor of Hallstatt as an artefact style or group of styles
There is no evidence that Celtic languages were spoken in the Hallstatt area
Therefore an equation of La Tene with Celticity is in doubt
Spain is the location of the oldest known Celtic linguistic material
There are virtually no La Tene artefacts from Spain
Therefore an equation of La Tene craft- and art-work activities with being ethnographically Celtic is not valid

But also:

The Romans knew about the languages of the people they were trying to conquer because employing interpreters was basic to military intelligence
The Romans frequently used the words Galli or Celtae to describe ethnic affiliation
The Romans never applied these words to the inhabitants of the British Isles
Therefore the late Iron Age and Roman-era inhabitants of the British Isles were not Celts or Gauls

These arguments are not obviously flawed, so searching for an explanation in political terms of why someone is making them may be a perverse enterprise. The proposal that “someone questions the celticity of the people who made the Hallstatt artefacts because they are an English nationalist who hates the European Union and loathes European immigrants to the UK” is bizarre and plucked out of nowhere.
Again we hear:

The movement of the Hallstatt- La Tene stylistic domain was from East to West
Celtic languages moved, so far as we know, from West to East
So equating the primary peoples of Hallstatt- La Tene with Celtic-speakers is unlikely
Therefore the borders of the La Tene style are unlikely to be the borders of Celtic speech

I should add that Ruth and Vincent Megaw, jointly, wrote a book called Celtic Art (2001, originally 1989), which would represent an investment which they have to defend from erosion by subversive punks. I have just been reading this and it is very good. Hardly any of it would need to be changed to accommodate arrant celtoscepticism, you would just re-name it “La Tene Art”. Moreover, it is halfway towards celtoscepticism. Key features are the absence of any discussion of the ”Celtic spirit” as a suprahistorical principle which acts like pornography for 20th century nationalists; discussion of objects in terms of how they are made and physical qualities rather than projective “ethnic" qualities; discarding of Hallstatt as a part of what used to be defined as the Celtic realm; chastity about linking Hiberno-Saxon manuscript art with any pre-Christian antecedents and with La Tene; omitting any connection of La Tene art with literature and folkways of Atlantic-fringe societies of a thousand or two thousand years later; and omission of 19th century-style descriptions of a Celtic people or peoples as having “national character“ and otherwise having historical substantiality. All of this is extremely distant from the sentimental and possessive view of “the Celts” which is still the most popular and saleable image of the Western European deep past. So it is hard to make a connection between this widely used book and the contentious papers attacking celtoscepticism. This is straightforwardly a standard archaeological book and not vulnerable to new theories post-1970.
The discarding of Hallstatt from the classic and “high tide” idea of The Celts is an interesting move. It seems to follow a different chronology from the scepticism about La Tene. But isn't it really part of the same thing?

4. Dissolving the unconscious

This era is one in which people want to know the unconscious processes which precede intellectual and aesthetic decisions, to know what they were, and to criticise and reject them. These processes are nowhere recorded and invisible by definition. The ability to see what is invisible is an “envy object” which would give you superiority over your rivals, always supposing that it is not pure fantasy which becomes deception when you articulate it. I have to say that this whole enterprise is fatally flawed!
I am wondering where we can retrieve anything from the “projective” method of reading, where the unconscious of the writer is assumed to be dominant over conscious processes and the critic can define the real meaning of the text by blasting away and throwing out the explicit and verbal content of the text. Certainly the ideological fit-out of nationalist historians in England is highly coherent and distinctive, and as they are a very self-confident group their attitude is obvious from the way they write, evidenced by thousands of elements of meaning. There are daily newspapers which retail their ideas, in rapid but rather explicit form, every day of the week. This is why we can discard the idea that any of the celtosceptics are English nationalists. However, if we were reading an English nationalist we could legitimately doubt what they have to say about Irish, Scottish or French people. The unconscious here would not truly be hidden and would not be the product of a single scholar exploiting intuitions which no-one else can follow or agree with.

There is a moment where the Megaws talk about a group of artefacts (patellas, which they translate as “skillets”) from a fairly late stage of the Roman rule in Britain as “tourist art”. This must be right - there is a thing, a sort of plate, in the museum in Stoke on Trent, which includes a set of names of places on Hadrian’s Wall. This can only be a souvenir for someone to take away and look at while living somewhere else. It follows, probably, that in 3rd century Britain there was a Late La Tene style which co-existed with the usual Roman art based on Mediterranean models, and that clients recognised that this was the indigenous, older, ‘barbarian’ way of making precious objects. This must have drawn art into being “ethnic” in a specific way. As they point out, it was made by local craftsmen even if for Roman clients. The plate is exactly like a plate which you would buy in Bavaria or somewhere and take home to hang on your wall as a souvenir.

Once you get into making the rules of deduction conscious, you come up with a whole range of inherited ideas about the deep past which crumble in plain sight – celtoscepticism is an impressive result of this but hardly the only one.

Another idea is that the unconscious is like the dream state, prolific but inconstant from second to second, so that you cannot deduce anything reliable about it. It cannot become an object of knowledge.

The thought does arise that projecting motives into silent archaeological remains is closely akin to this projection of vile unconscious motives into the writings of poets and academics. In fact, that this is what the Megaws are doing in their professional lives!

Empathy is so much the core of poetry as we have it. People involved with poetry are much more empathetic than the population at large and the rewards of poetry are only reached through empathy, so that people with weak empathy find poetry uninteresting and unpleasurable. This arrangement is so obvious to members of the poetry world, through long familiarity, that it is hard to visualise what it would be like without it - and especially to realise that empathy has a large projective element and that this may have some quite negative consequences. You can project onto someone motives and ideas which they just don’t have.

Hearing silent messages about inexplicit but deep emotional processes is evidently akin to hearing processes that actually aren’t happening at all, and building a fictional version of the other person - which you may then try to force on them as the real version of what they are. Laing referred to this as ”projective identification”. Empathy is too powerful not to be risky.

5. Scepticism as crypto-Marxism?

The Megaws describe at length the “Southampton Conference”, (was it 1983? 1984?) where a session of the world association of archaeologists banned the South African delegates from appearing because of their links to their government, at that time consisting of white supremacists. The Association subsequently split. The Megaws insinuate that the mainstream conference delegates were ultra-Left, and that the celtosceptics are ultra-Left. It follows from this, in some not clearly specified way, that their Marxist extremism has led to the questioning of the Hubert-Powell myth of the Celtic expansion, and that there is no other explanation. This is blared out simultaneously with the explanation that celtoscepticism is due to intransigent English nationalism aimed, with almost homicidal force, at the peripheral nations of Scotland, Wales, Ireland (and Cornwall?). This double explanation is just nasty, witless, rubbish and even that is a generous description. There were more than a thousand archaeologists at that conference, from all over the world.

I think there may be a link between Marxism and post-processualism, but I don’t think it affects the issue, for reasons I will outline. To start with, I am not convinced that celtoscepticism has anything to with the more baffling theory uttered by, say, Shanks and Tilley. To go on with, I don't have any evidence that the celtosceptics are Marxists or ex-Marxists. But, and this may be worth exploring, the further adventures of the generation of academics who were radicalized in 1968 (and a few heady years thereafter) involved such a break that links with the European communist parties of 1968 are almost invisible, and in fact this was such an opening to speculation and theory that its outcomes were absolutely not there in 1968 and for that reason unrelated to a political doctrine formulated just after 1848. So what we are seeing may be the product of thought, of intellectuals, rather than of allegiance to Marx. There is a difference between people writing articles justifying the Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the winter of 1979, and people writing critical archaeology. Both might be Marxist in some sense, but the difference is profound and the commonality is invisible. Certainly there were Western Marxists explaining, in 1980, why Russia had to invade Afghanistan.
A 'generation' of 1968-ers wanted to follow academic careers. They were also very bright. The universities were full of people who were quite keen to fight the Cold War, who were in positions of authority, and who hated the whole smell of 1968. The radicals depend on non-Marxists for exam grades, essay grades, funding, promotion, reviewing and reputation. Other people want that money, those grades – many of them. The non-Marxists include people who are professional Cold Warriors and who had structural links to the military-industrial complex and the intelligence services. How did this game play out? It’s like a game of tennis – if you make certain strokes you will lose but if you can find a zone in which your opponent can’t counter and your abilities don’t let you down you will win – so you move into that zone. The Marxists of 1968 were extremely intelligent and highly motivated. There is no doubt that they foresaw how to win (and stay in the game), and that there was a whole zone of academic archaeology where you could pursue Marxist themes without committing any faults, by the rules of science, which would halt your career. This is the “solution zone” and it is such a good place to be that it is also populated by non-Marxists.
Coincidentally, there is an article in this month's issue of Current Archaeology, a wide-audience magazine, which quotes David Mattingly as saying “what we think of as the 'typical' archaeology of Roman Britain associated with town living, stone buildings, fine dining, bathing, and even burial practice, was that of an elite 3% of the population and that it is entirely unrepresentative of the lives of the other 97%.” (The article is by Chris Catling.) You may not find this interesting but surely most people would find it so. It is a “Marxist fact” which is also a fact. This was an opportunistic example - there is a whole world of things which attract Marxists but which are also true, relevant, and intellectually productive. Themes of “Marxist melodic flavor” include the archaeology of inequality, of elites, of conspicuous consumption, of social roles and heritability of roles, of military expansion, of productivity and technology. All these were melodies which appeal to Marxist sensibility. All are of great interest to a wider audience. (Theory as elaborated by Shanks and Tilley is unlikely, though, to reach a wider audience – or wide assent.) The idea that romanity primarily affected an elite is conducive to wondering why Hallstatt and La Tene, both of them deposition sites dominated by elaborate prestige goods, represented an ethnographic people or an elite style which was rather easy to import or export. And then to wonder if there were Hallstatt or La Tene ”peoples”, and if the farming economy was correlated with expensive jewelry and display weapons. So there is a whole domain where you can follow the ideals of 1968 and simultaneously win by the rules of science, and the gatekeepers. All you have to do is find that zone which satisfies both criteria. And this is what happened.
To be honest, I don’t see anything in the linguistic ‘outer field’ around critical archaeology which is detectibly Marxist. I am sure there was a Marxist current in universities, in 1968 and still to some extent in 1978, and that some of these archaeologists were Marxists as students. This was the atmosphere of my student days. But they were also theorists moving into what was the unknown, what was attractive to theorising because it was the unknown. It is not, in any degree, a confirmation of dogmatic truths accepted, improperly, at the outset of the search for truth.
To uncover a dogma you would have to uncover errors of interpretation. The Megaws have strikingly failed to do this. They disagree with the new archaeology but they haven’t actually produced an intellectual basis for their disagreement. It sounds more like sentiment and attachment to stories which were founded on literary, and nationalist-sentimental, rules of construction, two or three generations ago. Understanding the post-processualists is of some importance, criticising them is worthwhile, but you can't start with a literary/ sentimental/ nationalist critique. You will be wasting your time!
To be honest, I don’t think being anti-apartheid was ultra-Left. There is a source of the “post-processualist” archaeologists in Marxism, a very modern and philosophical Marxism which spread in the universities after 1968. But this only has a real explanatory force if the proposals of certain “target” scholars can be shown to be wrong and irrational. Failing that, they are simply scholars and the whole train of anti-Marxist detective work à la Mickey Spillane can just be left in dusty filing-cabinets. More than that, the era of nationalist wars has discredited nationalism and there is a whole “insolvent business” of old-fashioned archaeology based on nationalist fantasy which has to be broken up and scrapped. What we are seeing is not a war based on the projection of late 20th C political positions, but just the clearing-out of a legacy of nationalist mythology in order to get a clearer and less obstructed view of the deep past. This new view is alarming because it is so unfamiliar.

Systems thinking and big data

The currents which tended to chill and dissolve comforting 19th century Romantic fantasies about the deep past included not just Marxism but also one which drew on general systems theory and which for that reason had links with people in the research wing of the American military-industrial complex. There was an underlying factor here, which we can simply call Big Data. Large-scale digging had, by 1960, produced far better information than was available to the “traditional” theorists of 1900. It is hardly surprising if the torrent of data disproved some older theories which emerged, in that process, as fantasies. The fantasies were, generally, motivated by appeal to the reader. As it turned out, readers could also be interested by archaeological facts. If modern archaeology has more theory than it used to, that is because far more questions can be answered by this new affluence of data. The questions that don’t get answered, of course, are the ones that don’t get asked. Theorising is made inevitable and desirable by the abundance of facts. Ignoring this accumulation of genuine old data would seem to be reactionary and benighted, even if that attitude protects certain cherished scenes and narratives. To some extent, the prevalence of big vague concepts like “the Celts” was a product of ignorance and was bound to disappear, gradually, as thousands of digs and dozens of laboratories produced data to compete with extrapolations from a small number of Classical texts with their distracting biases of exoticism and military administration. This shift is associated to a great extent with Meso-American material cultures and with American archaeologists who didn’t have any (legible) texts to distract them. I don’t know very much about this American school but I know a little about Lew Binford, who did affect British archaeologists a great deal in the Sixties. Binford was radical but didn’t come from nowhere. I may be wrong, but I don’t think this “systems approach”, and its ambition to look at a society in its totality, had any links with Marxism.

There is an argument analogous to celtoscepticism in which someone called Shennan suggested that the Bell Beaker Culture was not a “people” at all, but a consumption process, involving the production, exchange, and use of prestige goods. This was proposed at a 1974 conference on the Bell Beakers, at which the participants, mainly non-British, seem frankly to have lost faith in the very idea of a Bell Beaker people who migrated all over Europe. This was a bit easier than disbelieving in the “La Tene = Celts” fable, because there were no nationalist groups around, in 1974, who regarded those who drank from Bell Beakers as their ancestors. So the critique wasn’t anything to do with English dislike of Irish and Scots, or with dislike of Euro migrants. It is a less confused picture. But the whole Bell Beaker critique can be transferred and applied to the idea of Celts swarming all over Western Europe, and is visibly the same genre of critique as celtoscepticism. So the arrival of celtoscepticism was really ten years later than it should have been, or even more. We can attribute this time-lag to emotional investment in inherited and beautiful stories.
I was reading this symposium (held at Neuwied, I think) because Jean Manco’s book on prehistory as reconstructed by genetics (Ancestral Journeys) describes (pages 158-161) the Bell Beaker People as perhaps being the Celts, as they were in the upper 3rd millennium BC. The comparison of this with the story of the rise of La Tene, around 500 BC, being the spread of the Celts, is interesting. If there was no Bell Beaker people they probably weren’t the Celts. But in line with other theories showing Indo-European as entering eastern Europe around 3000 BC, we would be thinking of the Celts as the westernmost outliers of that expansion, being in Western Europe sometime around 2500 BC, so at the apogee of the Bell Beaker thing. So quite possibly some users of Bell Beakers spoke an early Celtic with the earliest shifts in sounds and tense systems. The distribution map of Bell Beakers certainly covers most of the places where we later find Celtic languages spoken. It also doesn’t look like the territory of a people, more like trading distribution areas really. A 2012 paper by Kristian Kristiansen also identifies a Proto-Celtic group in around 2500 BC, a fusion of the Bell Beaker carriers and the Corded Ware Culture, in a mixing zone basically in North Gaul. This dating would make it difficult for La Tene to be identical with the Celts and to represent a nucleus prior to their expansion. It does allow Celtic speakers to get to Spain, Britain, and Ireland.