November 21, 2008
Steve Collins
There was a small archaeological find in the Netherlands that supports an Israelite origin for the European Celtic tribes which resisted the military campaigns of Julius Caesar. A trove of gold and silver coins were found which archaeologists assert were minted by ancient Celtic tribes. The gold coins were attributed to an ancient Celtic tribe called the Eburones, and the report (see first link below) indicates that the Eburones’ coin had a “horse’s head” on it. There are two connections between these gold coins and the ancient Israelites.
As readers of this site know, the Bible asserts that the Israelites and the residents of Tyre, Sidon, etc. formed a very close alliance during the reigns of Kings David and Solomon of Israel and King Hiram of Tyre (II Samuel 5:11, I Kings 5). The Israelites and the city-states of Tyre and Sidon formed an Empire which historians call the Phoenician Empire. They had a common navy and trade fleet (I Kings 9:26-27, 10:22) which brought trade goods from other continents. It is well-known that the Phoenicians founded colonies in Carthage, Spain, the British Isles, etc. When the Kingdom of Israel fell and its people went into exile, many chose to flee to the extensive network of Phoenician/Israelite colonies to avoid Assyrian captivity. The original Hebrew name for Carthage was Kirjath Hadeshath, and the Hebrew name for the Israelite colony in Spain was “Iberia.” Iberia was named in honor of “Eber,” the namesake of all Hebrew offspring, and the European Peninsula containing Spain and Portugal is known as the “Iberian” Peninsula to this day. The British Isles were given their name by the Phoenicians based on the Hebrew word for “covenant” which has the consonants “B-R-T.”  The ancient Israelite presence in Europe was so strong that the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula preserve the ancient Israelite/Hebrew names for these geographical regions to this day (a fact understood by very few). When the kingdom of Israel fell, its colonists and refugees in Europe and the British Isles were later called “Celts.” The Celts who lived in the Iberian Peninsula were called Celtiberians.
My book, Israel’s Lost Empires, extensively examines the empire governed by Kirjath Hadeshath which rose after the fall of the kingdom of Israel. We know it as “Carthage” today because our history is taught from a Greco-Roman perspective and “Carthage” was the Roman name for this Hebrew city/empire. Carthage minted a host of coins during the centuries of its existence and the “horse head” coin was one variant of many horse-related images featured on Carthaginian coins (see the second link for an example of a Carthaginian “horse-head” coin). Carthage dominated the regions of Spain and Gallic France for a long time.
The Celtic culture continued to thrive in Europe despite the fall of Carthage. Later, this Celtic region of Europe was invaded by Julius Caesar and added to the Roman Empire. He was fiercely resisted by the Eburones, the Celtic tribe which minted the gold coins found in the Netherlands. This tribe, like the Celts of Iberia, preserved the name of Eber, the namesake of the Hebrew people. The fact that they had coins with horse-head images strongly argues that they had a Carthaginian origin as well.
Those who wish to learn more about the forgotten history of the very-large Israelite/Phoenician Empire and one of its successor empires, the Carthaginian Empire, are invited to read my books entitled The Origins and Empire of Ancient Israel and Israel’s Lost Empires. Both books may easily be ordered on-line at the publisher’s website: