Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The British are Basques?

Western Mail:

But what is the truth of our origins? Over to Professor Stephen Oppenheimer of Oxford University, who says some 81% of the Welsh have DNA evidence which shows a common link to ancestors who came to Britain from northern Spain many thousands of years ago.

In fact, many Britons share a gene pool that can be traced back to Basque. Around three-quarters of the Welsh, Scots and English can be traced to those who arrived from the Basque country between 7,500 and 15,000 years ago.

Based on research into DNA studies across the UK and Ireland over the past 10 years, the professor's theory on British origins challenges mainstream historical views. And it might horrify those who like to think they are a distinct race apart from the English.

Most people in Scotland, Ireland and Wales were assumed to be descended from Celtic farming tribes who migrated here from central Europe up to 6,500 years ago. The English were thought to largely take their genetic line from the Anglo-Saxon invaders of the Dark Ages who supposedly wiped out the Celts in England.

But that's all part of a "Celtic myth", says Professor Oppenheimer in The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story.

"The majority of the gene pool of the British Isles is very ancient and dates to the era after the last great Ice Age. It has nothing to do with Celts or Anglo-Saxons or any more recent ethnic labels.

"The Ice Age made Britain a polar desert and there was nobody living here around 13,000 BC until the first settlers came to the British Isles from the Basque country of northern Spain between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago.

"Something like three-quarters of the ancestors of our modern gene pool arrived then.

"The ancestors of some 88% of the Irish, 81% of the Welsh, 79% of the Cornish, 70% of Scots and 68% of the English arrived here during that period. None of the later immigrations contributed anything more than 5% to the gene pool."

So genetically speaking, according to the Professor, a member of Green College, Oxford, the Welsh have more in common with the English than they have differences.

"There is also no evidence of Celtic languages being spoken until much later, so most of these people probably spoke something like Basque, and though it is controversial, there is structural evidence of Basque influence on later Celtic languages and English as well."

Some historians believe cultural, political and social differences were much more significant in the development of the British peoples and many may dispute Prof Oppenheimer's theory that the first settlers, arriving around 9,000 years ago, came from one specific area as being very restrictive.

But Aberystwyth-born geneticist, Prof Steve Jones, concurs with the latest findings, saying the Welsh and the Irish are among the most homogeneous people in the world - though they remain markedly different from the English.

Prof Jones and colleagues at University College London, spent years creating a genetic map of the Y chromosome, which is passed by males from generation to generation.

The results show the Welsh are related to the Basques of northern Spain and southern France and to native Americans. All are descended from the Kets people of western Siberia.

Prof Jones, author of Y - The Descent of Man, said the Y chromosomes showed a marked difference between males on the Welsh and English side of the border.

"This shows that in the Dark Ages, when the Anglo-Saxons turned up, there was the most horrible massacre on the English side. They killed everybody and replaced them.

"The Welsh Y chromosome is similar to that of the Basques. In the male line, at least, the Welsh and the Basques are survivors or relics of a period before huge numbers of farmers filled Europe from the Middle East.

"There has been much less inter-breeding in Wales than you might expect. Wales and Ireland have the most homogenous group of males anywhere in the world."

The genetics show that the Welsh are not related to the Cornish, despite the similarity of their languages. "The Cornish are in effect Anglo-Saxons who for a time used a language that was hanging around."

The genes of Scottish males also showed considerable inter-mixing with outsiders. Prof Jones said genetics provided more reliable clues to the distant past than language. He said the Y chromosome common among Welsh males was an ancient one.

In 2001, scientists at the University of London, led by Professor David Goldstein, discovered that Welsh and Irish Celts were the "genetic blood-brothers of Basques".

Researchers concluded that the gene patterns of the three races passed down through the male line were all "strikingly similar".

Basques can trace their roots back to the Stone Age and are one of Europe's most distinct people, fiercely proud of their ancestry and traditions.

The research added to previous studies which have suggested a possible link between the Celts and Basques, dating back tens of thousands of years.

"The project started with our trying to assess whether the Vikings made an important genetic contribution to the population of Orkney," said Prof Goldstein, who was working on a BBC television programme on the Vikings.

He and his colleagues looked at Y-chromosomes, passed from father to son, of Celtic and Norwegian populations, and found them to be quite different.

"But we also noticed that there's something quite striking about the Celtic populations, and that is that there's not a lot of genetic variation on the Y-chromosome," he said.

To try to work out where the Celtic population originally came from, the team from UCL, the University of Oxford and the University of California at Davis also looked at Basques.

"On the Y-chromosome the Celtic populations turn out to be statistically indistinguishable from the Basques," Professor Goldstein said.

The comparison was made because Basques are thought by most experts to be very similar to the people who lived in Europe before the advent of farming.

"We conclude that both of these populations are reflecting pre-farming Europe," he said.

When is a Celt not a Celt?

Gene trail leads Scots and English 'back to Basque by same pool'

Scots, English share DNA

The Irish - more Spanish than Celtic?


At 2:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The welsh are of a predominantly meditteranean appearance. Most people in wales have black hair and brown eyes with white skin (some have dark skin like ruth madoc, imogen thomas and catherine zeta jones (whos mum is only 1/4 irish btw)). some welsh people have blonde hair or red hair with blue eyes too (about 5-7% at most).

In population genetics on y-chromosomesthe welsh are in haplogroup markers 88% r1b, 5% I, 4% e3b, 2% r1a and 1% j2.

Haplogroup r1b averages 90-95% amongst the basques
of northern spain and south-western france. The basques speak a language isolate and are descended from the people that lived there some 35000 years ago.

genetic marker r1b is 70% in spain , northern italy and 65% in portugal. R1b is only 22% in sweden and 1% in finland. r1b is 40% in germany.
R1b is found highest in atlantic britain, western ireland, western france, northern span and western portugal. Genetic marker r1b is found in greatest diversity in northern spain indicating it originated there.

The basques have no relationship with the celts or any north european ethnic group. None of the peoples of spain or southwestern france do.

Most welsh people are descened from people who arrived from the iberian refuge in the paleolithic and mesolithic. The celtic languages did not originate in central europe, they originated in north western spain and came to britain via the atlantic coast fo france. A roman general mistakedly located a river in the pyrenees for being the danube and the home of the celts hence the myth started.

Language spareading only requires a minority elite and most geneticists and historians agree that populations have changed very little in the last 7000-5000 years despite languages spreading very fast.

The welsh along with the people of western ireland, cornwall and scotland have significant middle eastern influences on maternal dna (from north africa via spain) that arrived in the mesolithic.

Evidence for welsh genetics:
http://www.prospect-magazine.co....ils.php? id=7817
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales...les/ 1256894.stm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wel...ki/ Welsh_People
http://mbe.oxfordjournals.org/cg...22/10/1964/ TBL1
http://www.geocities.com/littled...ect/ Cavalli.htm

Evidence for Welsh phenotype:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wiki...ace_- _Map_4.jpg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ima...e: Pobolycwm.jpg
http://www.misswales.co.uk/ hallo...halloffame.html
http://www.rhosjudokwai.co.uk/7)...)% 20PHOTOS.html

Youtube video of welsh tv programs spoken in welsh

At 11:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old Irish records make comments to different languages being spoken in Ireland. One source lists 5 languages with the language of the Gael being one and Iverni being another. Unfortunately, nothing has been found to elaborate on the list.

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At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My mother's family is from Iona, an island in the Hebrides. Some from the area supposedly arrived in Scotland in the Paleolithic era. Our family's crest has a ship on it with the Maltese Cross on the sail. I wonder if some of the coastal dwellers have long histories of shipping. Quite by coincidence, my paternal grandmother is Basque. I would like to get tests, but I lost my parents. I think you need samples from them, don't you?

At 1:34 PM, Blogger pedro velasquez said...

The Origins of the British says that, sportsbook about 16,000 years ago, Basques went to Ireland and Great Britain as hunter-gatherers before the land broke away from the mainland and divided into islands.
Medical geneticist at the University of Oxford Stephen Oppenheimer says in his recently-published book The Origins of the British that the principal ancestors of today's British and Irish populations arrived from the north of the Iberian peninsula about 16,000 years ago and spoke a language related to Basque.
Oppenheimer,bet nfl famous worldwide for his DNA tests, based on overall genetic similarities, points out that Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of years by a single people that have remained in the majority, with only minor additions from later invaders.
Everything started about 16,000 years ago in the Iberian Peninsula. Because of the glaciers, former inhabitants of northern Europe had sought refuge in warmer areas. After the melting of the ice caps but before the land broke away from the mainland and divided into islands, inhabitants of the Basque Country with a tongue related to the Basque http://www.enterbet.com language went on foot to Ireland and Great Britain.

At 10:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

actuall,you got the numbers backwards. the oxford journals study that you are quoting from stated that welshmen have the highest percentage of R1b, at 89%. the basques have the second highest percentage, at 88%. 81% of irishmen inherit R1b, although 98% of irishmen in connacht and munster inherit R1b. it has been found that 77% of scotsmen inherit that gene. approximately two-thirds of englishmen inherit R1b, and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDna)of english women is almost entirely made of indigenous basque-type stock, which means that the average english person is more than three-quarters indigenous basque. this information is derived from the latest genetic research, which pre-dates some of the earlier research conducted by goldstein and others.

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At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The welsh are of a predominantly meditteranean appearance.
That is not true, this "Mediterranean" category has long been discarded it was based on superficial observation. The majority of the Welsh people has indeed darker hair than the average Northern Europeans, but that does not mean they resemble Greeks or Napolitans. By the way Basques, who indeed resemble Welsh people are on average lighter than most Spaniards.

Basically in terms of complexion Basques or Welsh people are often pale, with dark hair (but a significant minority of blonds as well)and light eyed.

Also importantly the Western fringe of Europe is one of the area where the incidence of middle eastern genes is actually the lowest. People are mostly the offspring of Palaeolithic populations from the "Pyrenees refuge" rather than Neolithic new comers. Other populations in the North and East of Europe are also mostly Palaeolithic although they go back to North Italian and Ukrainian refuges.

At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Wales and i cannot see this "predominant" Mediterranean appearance, its a "total" misconception that is used to give the "impression" the Welsh are different. If you visit Wales and you expect to see Spanish looks, you will be disappointed.
Examples - Charlotte Church, Katherine Jenkins....most of my family have Green Hazel or Blue eyes.
I thought Geneticists were telling us that "all" the people of the Isles were descended from Basques ?
No, i don't believe this Basque theory because it does not work out with history.
R1b DNA is the most common DNA in Europe and is found in Germany etc. Denmark can have 77% R1b DNA.
According to Wiki, the Welsh have are thought to have more "Ancient input" than Basques.

At 12:21 PM, Anonymous Fabian said...

My father's brother is 100% basque, and he looks exactly like Rod Stewart.

A big share of people in my hometown -Ayacucho Argentina, are of basque ancestry. I find these people very similar to british, so I don't think this theory could be far from reality.

At 12:23 PM, Anonymous Fabian said...

The basques are not mediterranean. They live in the Cantabric Sea.

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, i live in wales an no way are they of predominantly mediterranean appearance. New test "also" show the Cornish and welsh are "definitely" related..

New evidence shows that R1b originated in Anatolia.

At 2:05 AM, Blogger sidoroffs said...

I don't know if they came from Spain, but they definitely spoke languages related to Basque.

At 2:42 AM, Blogger sidoroffs said...

That Anatolian paper did not check Central Asia.

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