Even while studying Viking Age textiles and dress, I was reading anything I came across about the early Celts, and now it is finally time to start assembling my thoughts on my reading, and put to test some ideas I have had. This separate blog will cover that material, including textiles, beads and my attempts to build kits for the La Téne period in Central Europe.
For the moment I am, out of necessity, trying to center my research on the early La Téne period (LT A and LT B for the most part), and regionally I am looking at southern Germany (particularly Baden-Wurrtemberg and Bavaria) and western Austria, though I am tangentially also looking at Switzerland and eastern France. I have materials that reach further out in both time and place, but in an effort to reign in the research and start producing things, I am trying to contain things a bit in terms of time and place. Maybe. Hopefully.
To start, I have tracked down a number of catalogs of textiles from these areas and am compiling them into one spread sheet. I am reading everything I can on the topic and looking into not only the beads found in the regions, but in glass working centres there as well. I hope by late spring to have my loom warped up and in the meantime, I will start crafting test-garments from commercial textiles.
I do not think I can adequately express how energized and excited I am by this project and process. Viking Age research was difficult. I had to wade through a mass of difficult-to-source materials and work with little in the way of evidence to try to make intelligent reconstructions. Early Early Period (as I call it) is even more difficult. At least with Viking Age work, there were other reenactors who had assembled nice bibliographies from which I could bounce into piles of amazing papers. There is a wealth of information on my new focus area, but not in the same easy-to-get-started format. I am already hitting stumbling blocks in tracking down books I am sure I need (there are a few that have no copies in US libraries at all), and I think my mailman is sick already of delivering heavy packages from Germany to my house. And even once I get all of my sources lined up, there is far less in the way of extant garments to make sense of complete costume.
It is absolutely exhilarating.
I feel very refreshed (something I much need these days) and hope to make some other major changes in my SCA life going forward as well.