Rather strangely, these distributions do not appear to have been studied in relation to the migration theory. Pennanular and related brooches : secular ornament or symbol in action?
The main form of brooch in 4-6 century Ireland is the zoomorphic penannular brooch (Kilbride-Jones 1980).
The typological development and dating of these brooches has been controversial, but has been recently elucidated by Raghnal Ó Flóinn (forthcoming).
The form developed in the late 4 century in western Britain in the Severn Valley, but quickly spread to eastern Ireland where new forms were developed.
In this paper I will use the term Goidelic for the Irish/Scottish Gaelic branch of Celtic (Q-Celtic), and Brittonic for the British group including Welsh, Pictish and Cumbric (P-Celtic).
After a period of virulent sectarian debate on the origins of the Scots in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries (Ferguson 1998), the idea of a migration of the Scots to Argyll has become fixed as a fact in both the popular and academic mind for at least a century.
Much later the usage became associated exclusively with the peoples of Scotland, whether speakers of Gaelic or not. Genetics, linguistics, and prehistory: thinking big and thinking straight.
At this period there is good evidence that one way in which this was done was through the use of distinctive personal jewellery, particularly brooches (Nieke 1993) and most royal sites of the period have produced evidence of manufacture of silver and gold brooches (Campbell 1996). Artefacts in context: personal ornament in early medieval Britain and Ireland.
The distributions of different forms of early medieval brooches and pins show strong regional patterns, and though these may not coincide with political or ethnic boundaries, they do suggest a relationship with some form of group identity. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Insular Art.
Present-day archaeological textbooks show a wave of invasive black arrows attacking the west coast of Britain from Ireland in the late 4 centuries (eg Laing 1975, fig. Even the tide of anti-migrationism as explanation for culture change which swept through British prehistory in the 1970s and washed into Anglo-Saxon studies in the 1980s left this concept remarkably intact. The insistence on an explicitly colonialist terminology is somewhat ironic given the past reaction of many Irish archaeologists to what they perceived as intellectual crypto-colonialism of British archaeologists and art historians over the origin of the Insular illustrated manuscripts and items such as hanging bowls.
Irish historians still regularly speak of the ‘Irish colonies in Britain’ (n 1995, 18; Byrne 1973, 9), and British anti-invasionist prehistorians seem happy to accept the concept (e.g. Exactly why colonialist explanations should have survived in the ‘Celtic West’ while being hotly debated in eastern Britain is of considerable interest, but not the purpose of this paper, which is to provide a critical examination of the archaeological, historical and linguistic evidence for a Scottic migration, and provide a new explanation for the origins of Dál Riata.