Northern England (Romano-British), 2nd-3rd centuries / Celtic Head / 100-300Northern England (Romano-British), 2nd-3rd centuries
Celtic Head

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Creator Nationality: European; British; Romano-British
Creator Active Place: Northern England
Creator Name-CRT: Northern England (Romano-British), 2nd-3rd centuries
Title: Celtic Head
Title Type: Primary
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 100
Creation End Date: 300
Creation Date: 100-300
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: sandstone with traces of original red paint
Dimensions: Overall: 33cm x 29.9cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1955.555
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Jacob Hirsch
Provenance: Walter Carl, Frankfurt-am-Main, c. 1904-1919; Rothschild (?); (Dr. Jacob Hirsch, New York, c. 1945-1955).

This stone head is complete as shown; it was never attached to a torso. The human head appears to have been central to Celtic iconography. Ancient literary sources indicate that the Celts-who originally occupied most of northern Europe from Hungary to the British Isles-practiced ritualistic veneration of the human head. For the Celts, the human head represented the seat of magical energy. Stone heads similar to this one have survived in large numbers, especially in the upland regions of northern England (the Pennines, the Peak District, and Cumbria) where this one was undoubtedly made by British Celts during the Roman occupation. The heads were probably placed in religious shrines or grottos that were near springs, well heads, or natural landmarks.

AMICA ID: CMA_.1955.555
AMICA Library Year: 2002
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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