Fierce warriors and skilled craftsmen, the Celts were famous throughout the Ancient Mediterranean World. They were the archetypal barbarians from the north and were feared by both Greeks and Romans. Napoleon III spent much time and money searching for the ancestral Gauls, and the concept of the Celt has been used many times by the nations fringing the Atlantic in their search for identity. In this fascinating new volume Barry Cunliffe explores the true nature of the Celtic identity and presents the first thorough and up-to-date account of a people whose origins still provoke heated debate. Examining the archaeological reality of the Iron Age inhabitants of barbarian Europe, he traces the emergence of chiefdoms, patterns of expansion and migration, and the development of a mature urbanized society, thus assessing the disparity between the traditional vision of the Celts and the archaeological evidence. Through his consideration of cultural diversity, social and religious systems, art, language, law, and oral traditions, Cunliffe is able to draw a distinction between societies which conform to an ethnic `Celtic' model and those subjected to `Celtization', and tease out a fascinating new picture of the identity of the Celts. This book is intended for scholars and students of European archaeology and prehistory.