The human face in Iron Age art

Suggested period: IRON AGE

There are an increasing number of Iron Age objects on the PAS database in the shape of, or decorated with, human heads or faces. They include harness fittings, sword pommels and vessel mounts. It would be worth collecting them up and asking several questions. What kinds of objects attract this decoration? Can the faces be characterised, to allow a distinction between an Iron Age and an early Anglo-Saxon way of depicting the human head (building on Lisa Brundle’s PhD for the Anglo-Saxon examples)? Do they vary across the regions of Britain? And what is their relationship to depictions of the human head in Roman art? A simple catalogue raisonné would make a good undergraduate dissertation, but extended to include the wider picture of head cults in the Iron Age (following, for example, Armit 2012) it could make a master's thesis.

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Created by: Helen Geake
Created: About one year ago
Updated by: Helen Geake
Updated: About one year ago

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