Celt (tool)

From Academic Kids

Celt (pron. 'selt') is an archaeological term formally used to describe long thin prehistoric stone or bronze adzes and other axe-like tools and hoes. Its use came about from a misreading of Job 19:24 in the Sixto-Clementine edition of the Latin Vulgate Bible where the certe in Stylo ferreo, et plumbi lamina, vel certe sculpantur in silice was read as celte. A 'Celte' was wrongly assumed to be a type of ancient chisel when in fact is was a mistranslation of "indeed." During the late 11th century, the word appeared with this interpretation in scholarly medieval Latin. Eighteenth century antiquarians then adopted the word for the stone and bronze tools they were finding at prehistoric sites.

By the beginning of the twentieth century, the term had largely been abandoned by embarrassed archaeologists, who were also beginning to classify the tools into more precise sub-groups. However, its use remains fossilised in a few specific artefact types such as the Danubian Shoe-last celt.

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