The Ancient Island Celts: Modern Invention or Rediscovery?

Archaeologist Dr Simon James gives the first lecture in the Exploring Culture series

Who were the Celts? Were there any Celts at all in the British Isles? Are Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Celtic nations? These are questions that archaeologist Dr Simon James, of the University of Leicester, has sought to answer through decades of research and debate. According to James's theory, the concept of the Scots, Welsh, Irish and other groups in the British Isles being called 'Celtic' evolved during the 18th and 19th centuries.

W5, the 'interactive discovery centre' was an apt setting for James's lecture 'The Ancient Island Celts - Modern Invention or Rediscovery?', the first in a new series of Exploring Culture lectures from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

Speaking at the launch of the lecture series, Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure Nelson McCausland said: 'The Exploring Culture lecture series will facilitate discussion on diverse issues of who we are and what we believe. A society confident and open in exploring and debating such issues is a society that can build a shared future.

'The lecture series will also hopefully spark new ideas for developing content, programming and products by our local creative industries. Our cultural wealth and heritage can be brought alive by the vision and talent of creative companies and entrepreneurs.'

Watch all of James's lecture below, as well as the post-lecture interview with broadcaster William Crawley.

Introduction from Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Nelson McCausland

1. Celtic Peoples: Culture and Social Organisation

2. What Constitutes a People?

3. It Started With Languages

4. Island Celticness, A Modern Invention?

Post-Lecture Interview, Part 1

Post-Lecture Interview, Part 2