Cambs Uni Publications


Amulets in The Celtic World

24th August 2015
Posted by S Taylor

Roman_7The wheel and its analogues – including the Swastika – were frequently-used symbols in the Celtic world, representing the movement of the sun across the sky. Tiny models of wheels have been found, undoubtedly of ritual significance. In practice, these models would often be worn as amuletic “good luck” symbols. Swastika marks on pottery seem to have been particularly popular in southwest France, and a number of Swastika and Wheel brooches have been found, concentrated around the Rhine frontier.

Two Swastika brooches have been found in Britain to date. One is from Benwell, a fort near the end of Hadrian’s Wall, the other from Denholm Farm in south Scotland. Both of these are of the type found on the Rhine frontier, and were not made in Britain.

A great many wheel and Swastika examples can be traced to grave goods found in northern Italy, dating to around 900-525BC. There is also a link between axe and Swastika symbolism, both images of the sky cult. One example, from a Romano-Celtic shrine at Woodeaton in Oxfordshire, is a miniature axe bearing a Swastika symbol.

Much more detail is to be found in The Fylfot File [2006].


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