Thursday, July 21, 2005

We are not Celts at all but Galicians

Brian Donnelly:

CELTIC nations such as Scotland and Ireland have more in common with the Portuguese and Spanish than with the Celts of central Europe, according to a new academic report.

Historians have long believed that the British Isles were swamped by a massive invasion of Iron Age Celts from central Europe around 500BC.

However, geneticists at Trinity College in Dublin now claim that the Scots and Irish have more in common with the people of north-western Spain.

Dr Daniel Bradley, genetics lecturer at Trinity College, said a new study into Celtic origins revealed close affinities with the people of Galicia.

He said: "It's well-known that there are cultural relations between the areas but now this shows there is much more. We think the links are much older than that of the Iron Age because it also shows affinities with the Basque region, which isn't a Celtic region."

He added: "The links point towards other Celtic nations, in particular Scotland, but they also point to Spain."

Historians believed the Celts, originally Indo-European, invaded the Atlantic islands in a massive migration 2500 years ago.

But using DNA samples from people living in Celtic nations and other parts of Europe, geneticists at the university have drawn new parallels.

Dr Bradley said it was possible migrants moved from the Iberian peninsula to Ireland as far back as 6000 years ago up until 3000 years ago.

"I don't agree with the idea of a massive Iron Age invasion that took over the Atlantic islands. You can regard the ocean, rather than a barrier, as a communication route," Dr Bradley said.

Archaeologists have also been questioning the links between the Celts of eastern France and southern Germany and the people of the British Isles and the new research appears to prove their theories.

The Dublin study found that people in areas traditionally known as Celtic, such as Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and Cornwall, had strong links with each other and had more in common with people from the Iberian peninsula.

It also found people in Ireland have more in common with Scots than any other nation.

"What we would propose is that this commonality among the Atlantic facade is much older, 6000 years ago or earlier," Dr Bradley added.

There are also close links between Scotland and Ireland dating back much further than the plantations of the 1600s when many Scots moved to Northern Ireland in search of fertile farming lands, the research showed.

However, the researchers could not determine whether fair skin, freckles, red hair and fiery tempers truly are Celtic traits.

Stephen Oppenheimer, professor of clinical socio-medical sciences at Oxford, said that the Celts of western Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cornwall were descended from an ancient people living on the Atlantic coast when Britain was still attached to mainland Europe, while the English were more closely related to the Germanic peoples of the interior.

He said: "The English are the odd ones out because they are the ones more linked to continental Europe. The Scots, the Irish, the Welsh and the Cornish are all very similar in their genetic pattern to the Basque."

More About Genes - The Irish Really are a race apart

Genes link Celts to Basques

English and Welsh are races apart

Chromosomes Sketch New Outline of British History

Are we the progeny of stone age Siberians?

Genetics make Welsh distinct

The Norse Code

Scientist mulls Anglo-Scottish split

4 Comments:

At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No surprises here.
This has been known to all racially aware persons for at least a 100 years.

 
At 1:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are we to make of the following newly released study? It seems to contradict some of those linked above.
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/07/0719_050719_britishgene.html
Despite invasions by Saxons, Romans, Vikings, Normans, and others, the genetic makeup of today's white Britons is much the same as it was 12,000 ago, a new book claims.

In The Tribes of Britain, archaeologist David Miles says around 80 percent of the genetic characteristics of most white Britons have been passed down from a few thousand Ice Age hunters.

Miles, research fellow at the Institute of Archaeology in Oxford, England, says recent genetic and archaeological evidence puts a new perspective on the history of the British people.

"There's been a lot of arguing over the last ten years, but it's now more or less agreed that about 80 percent of Britons' genes come from hunter-gatherers who came in immediately after the Ice Age," Miles said.

These nomadic tribespeople followed herds of reindeer and wild horses northward to Britain as the climate warmed.
(...)
New evidence for the genetic ancestry of modern Britons comes from analysis of blood groups, oxygen traces in teeth, and DNA samples taken from skeletal remains.
(...)
The notion that large-scale migrations caused drastic change in early Britain has been widely discredited, according to Simon James, an archaeologist at Leicester University, England.

"The gene pool of the island has changed, but more slowly and far less completely than implied by the old invasion model," James writes in an article for the website BBC History.

For the English, their defining period was the arrival of Germanic tribes known collectively as the Anglo-Saxons. Some researchers suggest this invasion consisted of as few as 10,000 to 25,000 people—not enough to displace existing inhabitants.

Analysis of human remains unearthed at an ancient cemetery near Abingdon, England, indicates that Saxon immigrants and native Britons lived side by side.

"Probably what we're dealing with is a majority of British people who were dominated politically by a new elite," Miles said. "They were swamped culturally but not genetically."

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then, what do you think about this new?
http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/this_britain/article1621766.ece

 
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