1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

DNA study shows Celts are not a unique genetic group

Discussion in 'World History' started by Knight-Dragon, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Knight-Dragon

    Knight-Dragon Unhidden Dragon Retired Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2001
    Messages:
    19,963
    Location:
    Singapore
    Specifically British Celts...

    http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31905764

     
  2. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
  3. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    The main problem is that vast majority of immigrants / invaders of Britain took the same route - the Celts and Belgians, the Romans, the Angles and Saxons, the Normans and French - all of them came to South-Eastern England first and only later expanded into other territories.

    So technically the English people should not only be "more genetically Anglo-Saxon" than the Welsh, the Scots and the Irish people. The English should also be more genetically Celtic, more genetically Belgian, more genetically Roman (Mediterranean), and so on, and so on.

    While the Welsh and the Irish should represent the oldest, pre-Celtic population, with less significant admixtures from all invaders (not just Germanic ones).

    The only exception here are the Norwegian Vikings, whose patterns of settlement were a bit different (mostly parts of Scotland and Ireland).

    But the Danish Vikings once again settled mostly in England (the Danelaw) - like almost all other immigrants.

    Even today, in the 21st century, London alone probably has more immigrants than entire Wales. :p
     
  4. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    "The fine-scale genetic structure of the British population":

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14230.html

    You need to pay to read the whole study, but supplementary figures are for free.

    Another article discussing this study:

    http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/News/Media-office/Press-releases/2015/WTP058941.htm

    And more comments from Dienekes:

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com/2015/03/british-origins-leslie-et-al-2015.html

     
  5. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    So it turns out that:

    - regions of South+Central+East England are only* between 10% - 40% Anglo-Saxon
    - Norwegian Viking ancestry is rather small and peaks at only 25% in Orkney
    - Danish Viking ancestry is very small, hardly detectable throughout "the Danelaw"
    - Wales was, relatively, least affected by all immigrations since the Stone Age


    * I write "only" because some previous studies estimated the Anglo-Saxon ancestry to be between 40% - 100%.
     
  6. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,704
    Location:
    Scotland
    I wasn't aware that anyone had assumed that "the Celts" were a discrete genetic group.

    I mean, in Britain, "Celt" really just means "person whose ancestors spoke a Celtic language more recently than some other people's ancestors". We didn't come from the Moon.

    So... thanks, science? I guess?
     
  7. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    It says "Celts are not a unique genetic group", not "Celts were not a unique genetic group".

    The same study confirms a substantial Celtic migration into the British Isles before the Roman conquest of Britain:

    After the original post-ice-age peopling, but before Roman times. So either Celts or earlier Indo-Europeans, or both.

    =================
    =================

    Obviously modern Celts (people of Celtic language & culture in the British Isles) are not genetically the same as ancient Celts.

    To start with, the center of the Celtc world was in continental Europe, not in the British Isles. Britain was the periphery of the Celtic world.

    So British Celts originated as mixtures of ancient Celtic immigrants from continental Europe and local Non-Celtic British populations.

    Well - indeed. For example Germans also have a lot of Celtic ancestry. Especially in southern and western regions of Germany.

    But in case of Germans this is deep ancestry from ancient times, while in the British Isles many people still remember their Celtic heritage.
     
  8. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    Anyway, maps from this new study show that roughly along the Offa's Dyke there was - among our great-grandparents (before the recent increase in people's mobility)- a sharp genetic boundary in terms of autosomal DNA, with people to the east of it having 10%-40% Anglo-Saxon ancestry, while people to the west of it 0%-10% Anglo-Saxon ancestry.

    A similar sharp boundary is observed when it comes to the frequency of R1b-S21 (also known as U106) haplotype of Y-chromosome - it also corresponds to the Offa's Dyke (as the map that I will post below shows). This haplotype is frequently found among Germanic-speaking populations, though is not exclusive to them - it could be present at a lower-than-today frequency already in Ancient Britain, being spread over it by Belgian (Belgae), Celtic and Roman immigrants. However it seems that Anglo-Saxons brought with them more of this haplotype, causing the increase of its frequency in areas where they settled - hence today it can be found at much higher frequencies among people whose grandparents were born in villages located to the east of the Offa's Dyke, than among people whose grandparents were born in villages of Wales:

    http://www.eupedia.com/genetics/britain_ireland_dna.shtml#frequency

    Spoiler :
     
  9. Swammerdami

    Swammerdami Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Thailand
    I want to make a few unrelated points. To save bandwidth for those with slow modems, I'll combine the points into a single post.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Eventually one will want to distinguish at least two types of migration:
    (a) movements of mtDNA and autosomal DNA as wives travel short or medium distances to their husband's home. This leads to blurring of mtDNA signature. (Some societies are matrilocal instead of patrilocal, but I recall no European cultures that have been described as matrilocal.)
    (b) intrusion of Y-dna specifically (and some autosomal) as male adventurers raid or emigrate and assume an elite status, passed father-to-son, that gives the invaders a procreative advantage. This leads to "crisper" Y-dna signatures than those of mtDNA. Several distinct clades just of R1b are visible in the British Isles, possibly reflecting separate migrations.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Breaking down British history very crudely:
    (a) During an "historical" period from 100 AD to 900 AD, multiple waves of migration to Britain from its Southeast or Northeast occurred.
    (b) There were probably many migration waves during the 2500 BC to 100 AD period also, about which very few details are known, though this is three times the time-span of the "historical" period. 2500 BC, roughly the arrival of Beakers in England, is taken arbitrarily.
    (c) There were migrations before 2500 BC about which even less is known.

    For these reasons, as well as general blurriness of autosomal genes in Western Europe, I'm doubtful how much confidence can be placed in detailed reconstructions of Saxon invasions from the genetic evidence. Genetic data is accumulating by leaps and bounds and a detailed picture may emerge soon, but I'm not sure we're there yet. Can we even be completely certain that R1b-L11 arrived with Corded Ware rather than copper workers who arrived by a southern route? Remember: the L11 Y-chromosome started from a single "royal family," not mass migration. Immediately sibling to R1b-L11 is R-Z2115 found in ... Sardinia, far from obvious Corded Ware influence.

    There were migration paths from Portugal to British Isles via Atlantic ocean, and from southern France via rivers and Brittany. 5000 years ago, might not some of these migration routes been largely one-way, involving once-in-a-lifetime adventures rather than cyclic trading?

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Nitpick: I think "haplogroup" is preferred here over "haplotype." The latter doesn't mean deep clade (i.e., clade with recent MRCA) but rather distinguishes clades derived from STR markers rather than haplogroups defined by SNPs. (Of course haplogroup can be guessed from haplotype.)
     
  10. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    How do we know it? That could as well be a "tribe", not a single "royal family".

    BTW I have found alternative TMRCA (or age?) estimates - in thousand years:

    R1b-M269 7.5 (7.0-8.1)
    R1b-L23 7.2 (6.7-7.7)
    R1b-Z2103 6.4 (5.9-6.9)
    R1b-L51 6.7 (6.2-7.2)
    R1b-L11 5.7 (5.2-6.2)
    R1b-P312 5.6 (5.1-6.1)
    R1b-U106 5.5 (5.0-6.0)

    R1a-M417 6.2 (5.7-6.7) ------------ and according to Underhill: (4.8-6.8)
    R1a-CTS4385 5.8 (5.3-6.3)
    R1a-L664 4.8 (4.3-5.2)
    R1a-Z645 5.6 (5.1-6.1)
    R1a-Z93 5.4 (4.9-5.9)
    R1a-Z282 5.4 (4.9-5.9)
     
  11. Swammerdami

    Swammerdami Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Thailand
    More-or-less by definition there was a line of males each of whom was the agnatic ancestor of the entire R-L11 "tribe." The final male in this series had two sons, one ancestral to the P312 tribe, the other ancestral to U106. Thus there really were three specific men -- a father and two of his sons -- defining a "royal family", just as Denmark's King Christiaan III (1503-1559) had two sons, Frederik and Johan, who were agnatic ancestors of two royal Danish dynasties. Unlike Christiaan, Frederik and Johan we'll never know the names of the man (L11 MRCA) and his two sons (P312-"Adam" and U106-"Adam"), but they surely existed, and existed in some specific place and time, perhaps Corded Ware circa 3000 BC, or perhaps Yamna or the Aegean several centuries before 3000. As more and more genetic evidence accumulates the time-and-place of this family should be narrowed down.

    Within a few generations, this trio had fanned-out into a large "royal family" whose members were ancestral to the various subclades of U106 and P312.

    As a separate event, these "royal chiefs" separated, traveling different directions, and sowing their seeds throughout Western Europe. This fanout might have occurred centuries after the time of L11 MRCA, but I think it's more probable the geographic fanout began relatively soon after the births of P312-"Adam" and U106-"Adam".
     
  12. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    How do we know that they were both sons of the same man and that they both lived exactly at the same time? We don't (or do we?). What we know is that they lived within few centuries from each other (but not necessarily as parts of the same generation) and had a common direct male ancestor, but not necessarily their father. IMO these age estimates are not accurate enough to prove that they were brothers.

    Perhaps not within a few generations, but rather within a dozen or even more generations.

    Which makes a difference.
     
  13. Swammerdami

    Swammerdami Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Thailand
    It's a simple matter of family tree definitions. Perhaps I and my grand-nephew (George III) are considered the founders of two dynasties, because George's father (George II) and grandfather (George I) died early (or absconded to an island never to be heard from again), but Georges I and II did exist. If you define "P312-Adam" to be the grand-nephew of "U106-Adam", what about P312-Adam's grandfather? That there were two brothers ancestral to the two lines is a simple fact intrinsic to genealogy.
     
  14. Swammerdami

    Swammerdami Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Thailand
    I see the possible confusion. From the man I call "P312-Adam" to the P312-MRCA is a delay of perhaps 300 years,about 11 or 12 generations. (The link shows "R-P312 formed 5000 ybp, TMRCA 4700 ybp".) The actual mutation P312 could have occurred at any of those 11 generations -- precisely which is irrelevant (at least until a new SNP discovery divides P312* further). Thus the actual P312 mutation might have occurred in P312-Adam's son, or grandson, or ... gt-gt-gt-gt-gt-gt-gt-gt-gt-gt grandson.

    That P312-Adam is the son of L151-MRCA is seen in that the "formed date" of R-P312 is the same as the TMRCA of its immediate parent, and so on as shown at the link. E.g., "R-L151 formed 5500 ybp, TMRCA 5000 ybp." (Strictly L151-MRCA should be shown 27 years earlier than R-P312-"Adam", which is the son of L151-MRCA.)
     
  15. Swammerdami

    Swammerdami Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Thailand
    I want to thank forum participants, especially Domen, for encouraging me to take a closer leak at the Bell Beaker culture, probably ancestral to the proto-Celtic speakers. I found especially useful the Beaker propagation map at Wikipedia, which clearly shows relevant one-way migrations alluded to above, and (though some of its conclusions seem doubtful) pages 141ff in Peer polity interaction and socio-political change.

    It appears that the L151-->P312 origin coincided exactly with the spread of Bell Beaker from an upper-Rhine culture sibling to Corded Ware, south and west to Iberia, with very nearly the 3000-2700 BC timeframe suggested at yfull.com. In this construction, genetic and archaeological findings fit together like hand and glove.
     
  16. daft

    daft The fargone

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New World
    Baile Atha Cliath and Caerdydd, Celtic town names. They sure differ from the modern Dublin and Cardiff names the Germanic Anglo Saxons gave them.
    The history of the British Isles and it's people is a very interesting one indeed.
     
  17. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2005
    Messages:
    32,704
    Location:
    Scotland
    Those are both Anglicised Celtic names, actually. "Dublin" is an Anglicisation of the Middle Irish "Dubhlind", which means "the black pool"- the official Irish name of "Baile Átha Cliath" is just a traditional alternative, historical sources use both- and both "Cardiff" and "Caerdydd" derive from the Middle Welsh "Caerdyf".
     
  18. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    From this British genetic study it appears that Anglo-Saxons to a large extent assimilated previous Romano-Briton populations, rather than completely exterminating them. The story could be similar with Germans and Slavic populations in what is now East Germany and beyond. My current avatar shows a 16th century bas-relief from a town hall in Großbrembach (near Weimar), Thuringia. It shows two people - a Slav (left, with a moustache) and a German (right) - under one hat, which commemorates the 16th century merger of two towns - Slavic Windischenbrembach and German Brembach - into one, Großbrembach.

    Here is an interesting article (in English):

    Roman Zaroff, "Germanisation of the land between the Elbe-Saale and the Oder river. Colonisation or assimilation?":

    http://luzicane.narod.ru/RZaroff.html

    Too bad that nobody in Germany seems interested in a similar genetic study to this British study.

    What is important is of course to examine where did grandparents of each person live, just like British scholars did in their study. Knowing where did grandparents of people live allows scientists to research the genetic structure of populations prior to the population movements of the 20th century.

    ================================

    However, life for Celts (Britons) under Anglo-Saxon rule as well as for Slavs under German rule was not a bed of roses.

    Anglo-Saxon ethnic laws did discriminate against ethnic Celts (Britons) - see for example private law of the Kingdom of Wessex.

    Also laws in the Holy Roman Empire did discriminate against ethnic Slavs - the Sachsenspiegel being just one example:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sachsenspiegel

     

    Attached Files:

  19. daft

    daft The fargone

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Messages:
    1,398
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    New World
    The poor Slavic guy, always on the outside looking in.
    Wonder why nobody in Germany seems interested in such genetic studies, dear Domen.
    Is this because Germans consider themselves superior to Slavs?
    Welsh and Cornwall Britons were treated worse than Anglo Saxons?
    Was this the reality after the conquest of Wales? (and Cornwall)
     
  20. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2009
    Messages:
    8,088
    Location:
    Doggerland
    Welsh & Cornish Britons were independent at that time, living in their own realms, so they weren't under Anglo-Saxon rule. I was talking about Britons living in areas conquered by Anglo-Saxons, like the kingdom of Wessex. But after the final subjugation of Wales discrimination applied to Welsh people too:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wales_...he_Black_Death_and_Glynd.C5.B5r.27s_rebellion

    As for the kingdom fo Wessex - in private law of that kingdom values of weregild were different for Britons and Saxons:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weregild

    If an Anglo-Saxon killed a Romano-Briton noble, he had to pay 600 schillings.
    If a Romano-Briton killed an Anglo-Saxon noble, he had to pay 1200 schillings.

    If an Anglo-Saxon killed a Romano-Briton free commoner, he had to pay 120 schillings.
    If a Romano-Briton killed an Anglo-Saxon free commoner, he had to pay 200 schillings.

    So value of a human in the kingdom of Wessex was different depending on class / estate and ethnicity of each person.

    1 Saxon noble = 2 Briton nobles = 6 Saxon commoners = 10 Briton commoners

    =================

    Here another scene from Sachsenspiegel - this time a for-Slavs-only court:



    Spoiler :
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page