INDIGENOUS WOMEN IN GAUL, BRITANNIA, GERMANIA,
AND CELTIC HISPANIA, 400 BC – AD 235
LAUREN ALEXANDRA MICHELLE HAMMERSEN
Review: This is an absolutely stellar thesis. My background is in anthropology (archaeology) and art history, so always felt that, image wide, Celtic women really needed a closer look. Hell, women everywhere need a closer look. We have this stereotype of what a Celtic woman is supposed to look like: wild hair, swirly bangles and simple plaid peplos. She screams wildly at a battle field, spear in hand, ready to crack skulls with the men.
It doesn’t take much looking at art in transitional period to see that there were preferences for other images of a Celtic woman, hair tied up, layers of fine linens, pride in their talents by way of the objects she held in symbolism. The Romans touched on the spiritual and mediation contributions of the women in Gaul, for example, and there are records of women in commerce. There was more, but why weren’t we really looking at it in great deal? Is the “Wild Boudica” the only image we have to really lean on? Heck naw.
I feel as if every decade or so there is a new term, a topic of research that gains speed. For me, I was coming of age during the intense research into globalization both past and present and how we define and analyze it. Feminist archaeology is gaining momentum and this wonderful thesis certain bangs the gong and brings attention to a sorely neglecting topic of research.
While I have multiple degrees in anthropology/archaeology and art history, I do not work in the field anymore (because you can only work for “experience” for so long) I still read. A lot. And this is something I read twice and will certainly read a few more times. If something has a high re-readability then it’s A+ in my book.
Whether a researcher, casual and serious re-enactor, or just for personal enjoyment Hammerson’s thesis will touch on something you are looking for. This touches on each of the major geographic regions under the “Celtic Umbrella” so whether you are looking at populations in the British Isles, Gaul, Germania, or Hispania, you are covered.
Hammersons looks at Celtic women in the home, within marriage, in commerce or in spiritual matters, even touching on visual identity this feels like a multi-disciplinary approach. When it comes to persona research a source that has a holistic method of sharing information is a great jumping off point. Ladies, we needed this.
I do not want to give too much away, but I highly recommend reading it for yourself.