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Thread: Celtic DNA in the British Isles

  1. #11
    Senior Member Carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    Several Celtic waves makes sense. It parallels what was seen in Ireland too.

    [Nobody seems to believe any more that there was a massive Celtic influx from the Continent.... ].

    Nobody? Except me?** I am a language teacher. You don't get the linguistic transformation of a huge island merely by selling a few fancy pots and daggers.
    Almost the entire toponymy of the island is Celtic in Ptolemy. That goes for rivers right up at the top of Caledonia even. Some pre-Celtic survives here and there, but only really prominently in the case of the Humber and Solent, and uncertainty must forever reign on this point anyway. Perhaps the best Celtic etymology just hasn't been thought up yet.

    Caesar was only talking about the most recent wave.
    Your 'may' and 'some' really are absurdly cautious when Ptolemy presents us with the fait acoompli of Celtic colonisation. There are clear tribal groupings in all corners of the island with clear Celtic names, and whose archaeology shows clear commonalities with their kin elsewhere.
    ** --eyes:

    - you know just how compicated this subject matter is. I agree with you, we are looking at the realities of thousands of years of Britain before the classical world even heard of us! From the aborigines who were the stone age people emerging from the original homelanders & those Doggerland folk who opted to come west rather then east, I am sure that we also then have to mix in any groups who crossed the seas to be here and settle - including any arriving in the age of the megaliths (and influencing those cultures) right up to the time of the ultimate Celtic Cultures of the continent. It is quite obvious that then ,the Celts were the dominant cultural group in Western Europe; texts speak of Hallstatt influence in northern Scotland (c600BCE) as well as southern England. By the fourth century, La Tene immigration is identified from Yorkshire to the south coast. And when it comes to the Belgae of NE Gaul, it is said they settled even before 100BCE. One, Stabo , singles these out, I read -

    " Amongst (the Celts)... the Belgae are the bravest. They are divided into 15 tribes between the Rhine & the Loire. And so they alone are said to have resisted the attack of the German Tribes ( sic., NB ) the Cimbri and the Teutones......they say that in earlier times, there were perhaps 300,000 Belgae capable of bearing arms".....

    .... so large enough perhaps to have gone almost anywhere they liked. And we do have a sizeable Belgae grouping located in the south.... within the lands that oneday became the Kingdom of Wessex.

    I am freaked by some of the discussion concerning these things. Some years ago, the British Museum published one of their Booklets revelant to these "continental influxes". They were neo-critical of the whole thing, maintaining that it was all easily over-exaggerated and that the British were basically what they always have been! eyes: ( The BM is ,of course, headed up by the Queen's cousin, The Duke of Gloucester). I began to feel from the acedemic text , that there might just be a certain agenda.

    I've another text , a heavy French work , which takes a quite different line, entirely matter of fact, especially on the language question. The first wave, the Goidels, went to Ireland where they settled, inbred and imposed their own language. The second wave* , the Brythons ( whence Britain, Brittany etc) , invaded the Island ( then known as Albion) ....presumably doing the same thing. Language problem solved! eyes: *Well, we can settle for waves - over what time period who knows - and that really only leaves the question of what kind of language change did this represent. How radical change was it for the ancients in Britain to (gradually) change to speaking a Celtic tongue throughout the entire Land (?) Can this even be known ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu
    Nobody? Except me?
    0000:

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    though the old caveat is valid about 'bringers of Celtic speech (from Central Europe)' and 'most long-term retainers of Celtic speech (out on the western periphery)' being respectively a former adstratum on a preIndoEuropean base and the result of the fusionsubstrate plus adstrate plus several subsequent substrata.

    Is everyone following this? LOL.

    Indeed, it is a hard question: how do we reconcile the Celtic tongue(s) of the Isles and the plethora of Celtic toponyms and yet very little in the way of genetic evidence of a mass Celtic migration from the continent? --unless the invaders had the exact same genetic signatures as the locals (which I very much doubt).

    It seems that languages can take hold both by an incoming, numerically inferior elite (Spanish in Central & South America, English in India, to name a couple) or of course by what amounts to a basic & thorough population replacement (English in America is the first that comes to mind)....or something partway between the two.

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    Ancient Britons lose out to German blood


    Ancient Britons lose out to German blood


    Research suggests that Anglo-Saxons - people from what is now modern Germany - came to quickly dominate the gene pool of early Medieval England and supplant Ancient Britons (or Celts) because of a kind of racism, not dissimilar to South-African apartheid.

    "We're all Germans!" gasps today's Daily Mail, "and we have been for 1,600 years". "[The research] would send Basil Fawlty spinning in his grave", adds the Daily Express, with its trademark lightness of touch on matters multi-cultural.

    It has been a matter of debate for years between historians, archaeologists and geneticists about how a relatively small number of Anglo-Saxon immigrants came to dominate England (Danes and invaders from what is now the Netherlands also had an impact).

    Archaeologists have only been able to find evidence for a small number of Anglo-Saxons, between 10,000 and 200,000 immigrants in the years after AD 410, compared with a native population of Ancient Britons numbering around two million.

    After arriving, the Anglo-Saxons came to dominate England's gene pool in only a few hundred years, or around 15 generations.

    The new study, available online as a pdf, by a team led by Mark Thomas, of University College London, includes computer models which show computer models of the process of the colonisation by Anglo-Saxons.

    Thomas says that the outnumbered, but quickly dominant, Anglo-Saxons blocked inter-marriage with Britons, bred at a greater rate and enjoyed other advantages which helped them thrive.

    Thomas said: "An initially small invading Anglo-Saxon elite could have quickly established themselves by having more children who survived to adulthood, thanks to their military power and economic advantage. We believe that they also prevented the native British genes getting into the Anglo-Saxon population by restricting intermarriage in a system of apartheid that left the country culturally and genetically Germanised."

    The researchers cite ancient texts that show seventh century laws which put a far greater value on the life of an Anglo-Saxon than on that of a native Briton. If an Anglo-Saxon was killed, the blood money, or Wergild, payable to the family was between two and five times more than the fine payable for the life of a native.

    The Telegraph's report on the study says that Ancient Britons' refusal to let their daughters marry Anglo-Saxons also had an impact, and added to the factors which effectively led to "our genetic ancestors ... ethnically cleansing" the future England.

    The Telegraph says the study shows Ancient Britons "were the same as their modern counterparts, contemptuous of foreigners and snobbish about their neighbours".

    source:The Guardian

    .Scear

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    Senior Member Kreis AnnA's Avatar
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    There is an excellent debate of Celtic taxonomy as it applies to Britain, here:

    http://www.indigogroup.co.uk/edge/celtic.htm

    In it, a British anthropologist throws down the gauntlet by declaring there weren't any Celts among the Britanni. Two responses follow. The first supports questioning Celt taxonomy while offering evidence of Celtic settlement in Eastern Britain (The Parisi). But here's an interesting quote:

    What can we conclude from this? Only that some Celts called themselves Celts; some Celts called themselves by other names; all Celts may, at some point in the dim and distant past, have called themselves by a form of the word Celt; some non-Celts only called some Celts by that name; and some non-Celts used the word to describe all Celts.

    The second rebuttal is a direct reassertion of a Celtic nationalism based on historical injustices.

    The first rebuttal offers that the Belgae may have spoken a Celtic-Germanic hybrid Patois. (I believe OldPretan spoke of this in an earlier post.). Since continental Belgae are considered to be Germanic speakers, it's not hard to imagine such a thing occuring in Britain given that Celtic tribes were settled in the west of the island first. And it is in keeping with cultural diffusion without demic replacement. One could argue in favor of similar occurences in Continental Europe.

    I don't think the Roman accounts have a firm grasp of what was occuring in "Gaul" until it was too late. However, this is important reading that has to be considered:

    Myths of British Ancestry

    From the October 2006 issue of The Prospect:

    http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/a...ls.php?id=7817

    Some geneticists still cling to the genocide story. Research by several genetics teams associated with University College London has concentrated in recent years on proving the wipeout view on the basis of similarities of male Y chromosome gene group frequency
    between Frisia/north Germany and England. One of the London groups attracted press attention in July by claiming that the close similarities were the result of genocide followed by a social-sexual apartheid that enhanced Anglo-Saxon reproductive success over Celtic.

    The problem is that the English resemble in this way all the other countries of northwest Europe as well as the Frisians and Germans. Using the same method (principal components analysis, see note below), I have found greater similarities of this kind between the
    southern English and Belgians than the supposedly Anglo-Saxon homelands at the base of the Danish peninsula.

    These different regions could not all have been waiting their turn to commit genocide on the former Celtic population of England. The most likely reason for the genetic similarities between these neighbouring countries and England is that they all had similar prehistoric settlement histories.

    When I looked at exact gene type matches between the British Isles and the continent, there were indeed specific matches between the continental Anglo-Saxon homelands and England, but these amounted to only 5 per cent of modern English male lines, rising to 15 per cent in parts of Norfolk where the Angles first settled. There were no such matches with Frisia, which tends to confirm a specific Anglo-Saxon event since Frisia is closer to England, so would be expected to have more matches. When I examined dates of intrusive male gene lines to look for those coming in from northwest Europe during the past 3,000 years, there was a similarly low rate of
    immigration, by far the majority arriving in the Neolithic period.

    The English maternal genetic record (mtDNA) is consistent with this and contradicts the Anglo-Saxon wipeout story. English females almost completely lack the characteristic Saxon mtDNA marker type still found in the homeland of the Angles and Saxons. The conclusion is that there was an Anglo-Saxon invasion, but of a minority elite type, with no evidence of subsequent "sexual apartheid."

    So who were the Britons inhabiting England at the time of the Roman invasion? The history of pre-Roman coins in southern Britain reveals an influence from Belgic Gaul. The tribes of England south of the Thames and along the south coast during Caesar's time all had
    Belgic names or affiliations. Caesar tells us that these large intrusive settlements had replaced an earlier British population, which had retreated to the hinterland of southeast England. The latter may have been the large Celtic tribe, the Catuvellauni, situated in the home counties north of the Thames. Tacitus reported that between Britain and Gaul "the language differs but little."

    The common language referred to by Tacitus was probably not Celtic, but was similar to that spoken by the Belgae, who may have been a Germanic people, as implied by Caesar. In other words, a Germanic-type language could already have been indigenous to England at the time of the Roman invasion. In support of this inference, there is some recent lexical (vocabulary) evidence analysed by Cambridge geneticist Peter Forster and continental colleagues. They found that the date of the split between old English and continental Germanic languages goes much further back than the dark ages, and that English may have been a separate, fourth branch of the Germanic language before the Roman invasion.

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    Senior Member Imperator X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oswiu View Post
    I believe I know you to be fairly well read up on Indian culture, and am utterly gob-smacked to hear you talk like this about your own people. Might I tentatively suggest that all that Hindu stuff might more sensibly have been left till you'd familiarised yourself with your own heritage?
    That's a bit like saying Edith Hamilton should've worked on a translation of Beowulf before her compilation of Greek myths. eyes:
    SVMDEVSSVMCAESARSVMCAELVMETINFERNVM

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    The Telegraph says the study shows Ancient Britons "were the same as their modern counterparts, contemptuous of foreigners and snobbish about their neighbours".
    Except that we're not!

    It's ridiculous to say that there isn't any Celtic DNA in Britain and Ireland. You only have to look at the gradient of difference of physcial type running South-East to North-West. It's fairly subtle but it's there. Britain is not by any means the pinnacle of Germanicism and my feeling is that the strong survival of the Brethonic language, as well as pre-Germanic folklore and superstition is evidence that Britain has retained plenty of 'Celtic' blood. I'm not pro-Celtic and anti-Germanic. On the contrary - I'm proud to count both among my ancestry. Obviously, the larger part is Germanic seeing as my mother is Dutch and my father English, and I think we Brits have no choice but to embrace our Celtic element.
    "If by being a racialist, you mean a man who despises a human being because he belongs to another race, or a man that believes one race is inherently superior to another in civilisation or capability of civilisation, then the answer is emphatically no." - Enoch Powell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Imperator X View Post
    Some people have claimed that there isn't any Celtic DNA still in the British Isles. My uncle told me about this. Many times he doesn't know what he's talking about.. To the genetic experts on this forum.. How much Celtic DNA is still in the Isles?

    I would bet that there is substantial DNA along the western coast of Ireland, in the Scottish highlands, and Wales of course, but that's my cursory amateur opinion.
    Yes, the modern populations of Ireland, Wales and Scotland are genetically closest to the Celtic people who arrived there in the Bronze Age from Central Europe ( precisely Germany). This has been confirmed recently in 2016 by the Trinity College Dublin ( Ireland) studies on the genomes of Bronze Age materials from Rathlin ( Northern Ireland). It was these people (Proto-Celtic tribes) who brought the R1b-L21 Y-DNA chromosome to the British Islands, which is found in its highest frequency in Ireland and Wales, as the "Celtic" curse Haemochromatosis, lactose tolerance ( highest in Ireland too), blue eyes (very frequent in Ireland), distinctly pale skin. I hope this now settles your questions about Celtic DNA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Germaniathane View Post
    Yes, the modern populations of Ireland, Wales and Scotland are genetically closest to the Celtic people who arrived there in the Bronze Age from Central Europe ( precisely Germany). This has been confirmed recently in 2016 by the Trinity College Dublin ( Ireland) studies on the genomes of Bronze Age materials from Rathlin ( Northern Ireland). It was these people (Proto-Celtic tribes) who brought the R1b-L21 Y-DNA chromosome to the British Islands, which is found in its highest frequency in Ireland and Wales, as the "Celtic" curse Haemochromatosis, lactose tolerance ( highest in Ireland too), blue eyes (very frequent in Ireland), distinctly pale skin. I hope this now settles your questions about Celtic DNA.
    Yes, indeed. Modern genetics is finally shedding light on the true origins of the Celtic peoples in the British Isles. Funny to think just a few years ago some geneticists were saying that Irish/Scottish/Welsh people were descended from Paleolithic people. They now estimate from further studying Bronze Age remains from the British Isles that the Neolithic gene pool was replaced by more than 90% starting with the Beaker period and continuing through the Bronze Age.

    For further reading: http://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/05/09/135962

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