Graffic semiology on Celtic coins

Katherine Gruel

Eneko Hiriart

Elodie Paris 


If the Celtic language has left little written evidence for the protohistoric periods, the Iron Age Celts provided important iconographic documentation, especially monetary, which has only been very partially analyzed. However, a closer examination of the corpus of images shows a use of the fullness of the pictorial space and the introduction of a complex but visibly codified stylistic vocabulary that can be found on all the decorated objects of the period (scabbards, torches, coins…). The various coins present around the central element of the image seem to be highly codified both for their position on the coin and for their treatment. This deserves to be exploited both statistically and cartographically in order to gain a better understanding of the perceived phenomena and their meaning. Although limited to certain series, the coin inscriptions sometimes combine several alphabets. Digital resources offer new work opportunities. The first objective here is to create from the bases of several researchers a unique and collaborative base accessible on the net, to be developed in open source and with the possibility of an English version in the future. At the same time, a search engine and storage of digital documents related to the creation and 3D exploitation of coins scans will have to be developed. Two data sets will be used as a test, the first corresponds to the Riedonian coins of the treasure of Liffré (Armorica), the second will include Padanian coins (Cisalpine Gaul, Italy) which will have to be scanned within the framework of this project, in order to tackle the problems of alphabets and monetary legends in rare languages. This project therefore falls under both in A AXIS. WRITINGS AND LANGUAGES, COMPLEX WRITINGS (logo-phonetic) and heterography (writing of one language with the graphic signs of another): linguistic and cognitive dimensions; added value of the logographic sign, graphic games, interactions with visual culture, in C AXIS. EXPOSED WRITING, WRITING IN SPACE and in the F AXIS DIGITAL EDITING with the will to inform our documents from new 3D supports, by adapting the TEI (Text Encoding Initiative) with a referencing in dublin core. It is thus the question of making visible on the net several years of collaboration between the ENS -PSL and MinesParistech -PSL and the first results of a thesis supported by PS Land to federate the work carried out by the CNRS in this field.


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