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The line, the void and the current: Iron Age art from a Design Theory Perspective

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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Romankiewicz, T. (2018) The Line, the Void and the Current: Iron Age Art from a Design Theory Perspective. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 37: 45–59, which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/ojoa.12130. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-59
Number of pages15
JournalOxford Journal of Archaeology
Issue number1
Early online date10 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2018
EventThe Prehistoric Society EUROPA Conference 2016: Dynamics of Art, Design, and Vision in Iron Age Europe - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 3 Jun 20164 Jun 2016


Objects from the European Iron Age decorated with swirls and scrolls, faces and figures, and generally referred to as Early Celtic Art, can offer deep insight into later prehistoric notions of creativity. By drawing on archaeology and social anthropology, art and architectural design, this theoretical discourse investigates the design processes involved in the creation of Early Celtic Art. Rather than attempting to decipher a meaning behind decoration, this enquiry uses architectural Design Theory to explore the implications of certain design choices. It starts with the premise that these designs are integral to the objects in order to identify different layers of complexity, innovation and emulation and ends with wider reflections on who is creative and how. This approach borrowed from architectural analysis aims to open a new line of enquiry into the fascinating world of Iron Age creativity.

    Research areas

  • Early Celtic Art, European Iron Age, design theory, architectural analysis, archaeological theory

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