Celtic Danube Region
Bronze "Ring" or "Wheel" or "Roulles" money
23mm x 5mm (9.79 grams)
Circa 500-100 B.C.
The ancient Celts proto-money trading tokens like this to conduct trades before the introduction of coins to the area and possibly even afterwards.
Area Where the Danube Area Celts would have been located
The Danube is a river in Central Europe, the European Union's longest and the continent's second longest (after the Volga).
Classified as an international waterway, it originates in the town of Donaueschingen--which is in the Black Forest of Germany--at the confluence of the rivers Brigach and Breg. The Danube then flows southeast for 2,872 km (1,785 mi), passing through four Central European capitals before emptying into the Black Sea via the Danube Delta in Romania and Ukraine.
Once a long-standing frontier of the Roman Empire, the river passes through or touches the borders of ten countries: Romania (29.0% of basin area), Hungary (11.6%), Serbia (10.2%), Austria (10.0%), Germany (7.0%), Bulgaria (5.9%), Slovakia (5.9%), Croatia (4.4%), Ukraine (3.8%), and Moldova (1.6%). Its drainage basin extends into nine more.
The Celts or Kelts were an ethnolinguistic group of tribal societies in Iron Age and Medieval Europe who spoke Celtic languages and had a similar culture, although the relationship between the ethnic, linguistic and cultural elements remains uncertain and controversial.
Diachronic distribution of Celtic peoples: core Hallstatt territory, by the 6th century BC
maximal Celtic expansion, by 275 BC
Lusitanian area of Iberia where Celtic presence is uncertain
the six Celtic nations which retained significant numbers of Celtic speakers into the Early Modern period areas where Celtic languages remain widely spoken today
The earliest archaeological culture that may justifiably be considered Proto-Celtic is the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture of Central Europe, which flourished from around 1200 BC. Their fully Celtic descendants in central Europe were the people of the Iron Age Hallstatt culture (c. 800–450 BC) named for the rich grave finds in Hallstatt, Austria. By the later La Tène period (c. 450 BC up to the Roman conquest), this Celtic culture had expanded by diffusion or migration to the British Isles (Insular Celts), France and The Low Countries (Gauls), Bohemia, Poland and much of Central Europe, the Iberian Peninsula (Celtiberians, Celtici and Gallaeci) and northern Italy (Golaseccans and Cisalpine Gauls) and, following the Gallic invasion of the Balkans in 279 BC, as far east as central Anatolia (Galatians).
Beginning in 2010, it was tentatively proposed that the language of the Tartessian inscriptions of south Portugal and southwest Spain (dating from the 7th–5th centuries BC) is a Celtic one; however, this interpretation has largely been rejected by the academic community.
The earliest undisputed direct examples of a Celtic language are the Lepontic inscriptions, beginning in the 6th century BC. Continental Celtic languages are attested almost exclusively through inscriptions and place-names. Insular Celtic is attested beginning around the 4th century through ogham inscriptions, although it was clearly being spoken much earlier. Celtic literary tradition begins with Old Irish texts around the 8th century. Coherent texts of Early Irish literature, such as the Táin Bó Cúailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley), survive in 12th-century recensions.
By the mid 1st millennium AD, with the expansion of the Roman Empire and the Great Migrations (Migration Period) of Germanic peoples, Celtic culture and Insular Celtic had become restricted to Ireland, the western and northern parts of Great Britain (Wales, Scotland, and Cornwall), the Isle of Man, and Brittany. Between the 5th and 8th centuries, the Celtic-speaking communities in these Atlantic regions emerged as a reasonably cohesive cultural entity. They had a common linguistic, religious, and artistic heritage that distinguished them from the culture of the surrounding polities. By the 6th century, however, the Continental Celtic languages were no longer in wide use.
Insular Celtic culture diversified into that of the Gaels (Irish, Scottish and Manx) and the Brythonic Celts (Welsh, Cornish, and Bretons) of the medieval and modern periods. A modern "Celtic identity" was constructed as part of the Romanticist Celtic Revival in Great Britain, Ireland, and other European territories, such as Portugal and Spanish Galicia. Today, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton are still spoken in parts of their historical territories, and Cornish and Manx are undergoing a revival.