THE ARCHÆOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
ARCHÆOLOGICAL TRACES OF THE CIVILIZATION OF THE CELTS. THE CIVILIZATION OF LA TÈNE. THE GALATIANS AND THE GAULS OF ITALY
A RCHÆOLOGY has often been mentioned in the preceding chapters, for it is next to impossible to separate archaeological and ethnological data completely in the history and prehistory of ancient peoples. Each set of facts helps to explain the other, and each fills gaps left by the other. Archaeology brings together the scattered data of the ethnography of peoples whose civilization is known chiefly by remnants which it has left in the ground. These are legitimate indications of vanished peoples, like their place- names, to the full extent to which the postulate of ethnography, which represents and distinguishes peoples by their civilizations, is justified. Unfortunately they are incomplete indications, since from the period in which they help us to find traces of the Celts nothing has come down to us but somewhat scattered objects and ruins.
We must now take a general survey, as we did with the language, and run over all that it is strictly necessary to accept as known, in order to visualize the Celts on the archæological map of Europe, at least at the height of their greatness and expansion, before we can follow the whole of Celtic archæology in the order of its obscure periods. It is, it is true, begging the question to describe archaeological finds as Celtic before we have tried to lay down the limits of the area covered by the Celts at the date of the objects discovered. But we can do so, starting from a certain point.
In drawing up the scheme of periods and ages by which time is measured with reference to prehistoric archaeology, archaeologists have distinguished a second Iron Age, which is