By Miranda Green
In Animals in Celtic existence and delusion, Miranda eco-friendly attracts on facts from early Celtic files, archaeology and iconography to contemplate the way during which animals shaped the foundation of complicated rituals and ideology. She finds that animals have been endowed with an exceptionally excessive prestige, thought of by means of the Celts as important of admire and admiration.
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Extra info for Animals in Celtic Life and Myth
15 Romano-British bronze figurine of a dog, Kirkby Thore, Cumbria. Paul Jenkins. 94 The guardianship aspect of dogs in Celtic life is amply illustrated by one of the stories of the early life of Cú Chulainn: he kills the hound of Culann the Smith and, in recompense, pledges himself to act as guard dog in its place (see chapter 7). Around the farm, dogs were useful not only as guard dogs but also as scavengers. 95 At Camonica Valley, sheepdogs are depicted,96 although Reynolds has argued that dogs are ineffective in controlling the wayward Soay sheep.
Weak or diseased stock might also be slaughtered young. Surplus new-born animals might be killed off in the spring and extra males or barren females might be dispatched before winter came with its necessity for supplementary feeding. 25 Whilst each species of stock had particular needs (see pp. 12–21), Iron Age communities had to come up with solutions to many problems common to the maintenance of all domestic animals. One was protection against predators (whether human or animal) and against the weather.
Flocks would have been carefully managed and their size may have been strictly controlled. 126 If we assume that Iron Age sheep were basically of Soay type, then their wool could have been gathered either by plucking or by shearing. 129 During the Iron Age there was an important technological advance in wool-winning with the invention of iron shears, which meant that the entire fleece could be removed and the farmers no longer needed to rely on the somewhat haphazard business of plucking during the annual summer moult.