The Celts are an indigenous people of central Europe with large numbers in the United Kingdom, in France, and in Ireland where they are in the majority.

The first literary reference to the Celtic people as keltoi or hidden people, is by the Greek Hecataeus in 517 BC.

“Celt” is pronounced /kelt/, and “celtic” as /keltIk/ (in SAMPA). The pronunciation /seltIk/ should only be used for certain sports teams (eg. Boston Celtics NBA team).

The Origins of the Celts
The Urnfield people were the largest population grouping in late Bronze Age Europe and were preeminent from c. 1200 BC until the emergence of the Celts in c. 600 BC. The period of the Urnfield people saw a dramatic increase in population probably due to innovations in technology and agricultural practices. The spread of iron-working led to the development of the Hallstatt culture (c. 700 to 500 BC). The Hallstatt culture effectively held a frontier against incursions from the east by Thracian and Scythian ethnic tribesmen.

The subject of the succession of Halstatt culture by La T