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Celts Exhibition Scotland

Celts Exhibition Scotland organised by the National Museum Of Scotland in partnership with the British Museum, unravels the complex story of the different groups who have used or been given the name ‘Celts’ through the extraordinary art objects they made and used. Spanning more than 2,500 years, the exhibition explores history through these powerful decorated objects and examines how art styles have changed considerably over time, often flourishing during periods when different cultures came into contact.

Discover magnificent Iron Age treasures adorned with intricate patterns and fantastic animals, rich with hidden meanings, which were used for feasting, religious ceremonies, adornment and warfare. Learn how these distinctive art styles were transformed and took on new influences in response to the expanding Roman world and the spread of Christianity. Then examine how the decorative arts of the late 19th century were inspired by different ideas about Europe’s past, and played a key role in defining what it meant to be Irish, Welsh, Scottish and British.

Celts Exhibition Scotland featuring more than 300 treasured objects from across the UK and Europe, assembled together in Scotland for the first time. This is a unique opportunity to explore the idea of ‘Celts’ as one of the fundamental building blocks of European history.

Families and schools can join Blewog the boar on a special tour of the exhibition. Track him down in ten places and complete his challenges to discover some of our favourite object stories. You can pick up a trail at the ticket desk or download the family and schools trails here. A Gaelic version is available here.

Ever wondered what an ancient Celtic war horn sounds like? Or how to wear an Iron Age torc that weighs over 1kg? Exhibition curators Julia Farley and Fraser Hunter introduce some key objects from the exhibition in this Periscope film.

The idea of a shared Celtic heritage across ancient Europe retains a powerful hold over the popular imagination. But many common ideas about the people known as ‘Celts’ are in fact more recent re-imaginings, revived and reinvented over the centuries.