I have a great job: as Reviews Editor at the journal Antiquity, books on subjects ranging from early hominins to today’s car cemeteries pass through my hands. So what do I look for in a book? To my mind three ingredients make a good archaeological book: its subject has to be rooted in the core of our discipline: fieldwork; its author has to want to communicate; and its language must be as elegant as possible. The book that I have chosen, Les Celtes by Olivier Buchsenschutz, has all these qualities. Writing for a general readership, the author describes a landscape occupied by family-based dispersed settlements and expands into the better-known elements of the Celtic world, its rituals, warfare, social fabric, craftsmanship and urbanisation. Less concerned with Celtic identity than other books on the subject, Buchsenschutz writes eloquently about his conviction that it is the peasantry above all that shaped Europe in the Iron Age and beyond.
The book is in French, but an English translation by Ian Ralston will soon be published by The History Press. Reader, you will have heard of it here first.
This article is an extract from the full article published in World Archaeology Issue 38. Click here to subscribe