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Supposed by some historians to have resulted from contact with Latin Roman numerals, the resulting ogham alphabet is unique to Ireland.

Its beauty and usefulness lie in its absolute simplicity - ogham can be easily cut into wood or carved into stone.

The second source is linguistics, in the form of Celtic names and words referred to in Classical records, or place-names.

These give philologists clues as to where the Celtic branch of languages may be placed in relation to other languages of the world.

They are visible, for example, hundreds of years later in some of the Shakespearean characters that people The Celts impressed the Greeks and Romans with their bold dress and powerful appearance.

Generally characterized by classical observers as a people of fair hair, of red or gold, and fair complexions, (although the people of the British Isles were described as small and dark-haired) most Celtic women apparently stood taller than the average Roman citizen.

The quality of Celtic metal-work was technically and artistically advanced.

Most Celtic people lived in well-populated farming villages, with larger towns linking smaller settlements and acting as meeting sites for economic and cultural activity.

The first of these is documentary sources, or texts.

Because concepts like language and cultural identity have no physical manifestation, written records are our only source for reconstructing them.

The lands occupied by Celtic peoples, whose existence can be traced over more than 25 centuries, were vast.

Celts occupied land in modern day Eastern Europe, Greece, Spain, Northern Italy, Western Europe, England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Brooches that held closed the openings of dresses and plaids were another common feature of Celtic dress.

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