Recent findings are forcing a rethink on the origins of the Irish, as a ‘Celtic’ people, suggesting a radical reconsideration of the migration of the Celts and their culture. An insightful article that reminds us of the complexity of our genetic heritage and serves as a caution against crudely linking a Haplogroup with a particular ethnography. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/17/a-mans-discovery-of-bones-under-his-pub-could-forever-change-what-we-know-about-the-irish/?
Remember Otzi the ice-mummy discovered in September 1991 by German tourists in the Alps?
His 5,300-year-old remains have been subject to intense investigations and much has been revealed about this man who lived during the Copper Age. Most recently DNA examination indicates some interesting features about his genetic ancestry. Why is this of relevance to you as someone belonging to R1b-U106?
Well let’s first outline the relevant discoveries about Otzi. In 2012 it was revealed by a study conducted by Stanford University that his paternal line (Y-DNA) is most similar to farmers’ from Sweden and Bulgaria. This finding shows that ancient migrations were extensive and no doubt complex.
Meanwhile in the latest study scientists at Eurac said they cannot be sure why Ӧtzi’s maternal lineage appears to have disappeared while his paternal line G2a still exists in Europe.
Take a moment to digest that last emphasized point, so ancient lineages from distant times do manage to survive up to the present, if so then we must again ask. Is it not reasonable to consider that R1b-U106 lines presently located in Britain, Ireland or continental Europe may well be derived from a paternal heritage of ancient migrants to those lands?
There still remains a dogma, most evident across the internet, which insists that anyone of Irish, Welsh, Scottish or English origins who is R1b-U106 cannot be anything else but derived from a ‘Dark-Age’ Germanic expansion into The Isles, and indeed elsewhere in Europe.
To blindly deny that the Haplogroup could have migrated and settled into such areas at a far earlier time runs counter to reason and is continuously challenged by findings that expose just how widely our ancestors migrated.
A recent Genome analysis shows that Irish DNA originated in Middle East and eastern Europe, a result of mass migrations during the Stone Age. According to a report in The Guardian:
“These settlers were followed by people, initially from the Pontic steppe of southern Russia, who knew how to mine for copper and work with gold….. also brought with them the inherited variation that permits the digestion of milk in maturity – much of the world becomes intolerant to the milk sugar lactose after infancy – and they may even have brought the language that became what is now Irish. Some of them, too, had blue eyes.” (emphasis added)
Now as readers of this Blog will be aware those who insist that R1b-U106 Haplogroup indicates a Germanic origin and refuse to accept that the Haplogroup reached Ireland at some ancient period are forced by this latest finding to question such dogma. Why so? Well again the insistence that early R1b-U106 populations were bottle-necked in the region of present-day Netherlands and thus prevented from reaching Britain and Ireland is exposed as lacking credibility by the obvious fact that if migrants from the area of Southern Russia could spread across Western Europe then why not groups of R1b U106?
In defending and maintaining the dubious assertion that R1B U106 did not reach the British Isles or Ireland until the coming of Germanic invaders in the 5/6th Century ACE the argument often cited is, that unlike its ‘cousin’ R1b L21,our Hapolgroup was unable to migrate prior to to that period. Yep, you got it, seems that your R1b U106 ancestors were somehow ‘bottled-up’ in North Western Europe, not able to travel further. This ridiculous claim, that lacks any meaningful evidence whatsoever, will be presented to you as a ‘fact’ on numerous websites and forums, yet it is little more than a speculation.
For me ancient migrations must have been a complex and diverse process, involving different Haplogroups and various combinations of Haplotypes, a genetic soup on the move, not some homogenous grouping. Meanwhile the patterns of such movements are not as clear cut as some would have you accept, take for example a recent finding that has concluded a certain Amazonian tribe ‘had an ancestor more closely related to indigenous Australasians than other present-day populations.’ See article here: http://www.archaeology.org/news/3502-150721-amazonian-australasian-link?utm_campaign=Contact+SNS+For+More+Referrer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=snsanalytics
Now presumably at some stage a common ancestor had managed to migrate between those two hugely distant lands? Surely not, right? I mean the distances, vast oceans, level of technology during those times, it’s not possible is it? Anyone proposing such a likelihood would be dismissed, as are those suggesting R1b U106 arrived in Britain and Ireland prior to the so-called ‘Dark Ages’, and no doubt carefully assembled arguments would be offered to explain this genetic connection. Can you imagine the discussion on forums, suggesting that it would be explained by an indigenous Australian who had been a sailor during the 19th Century and had jumped ship in Manaus, Brazil, only to journey up the Amazon and father children of the tribe featured in the article! Those of a more detached and objective attitude may suggest that there’s insufficient data to form any opinion, while others hostile to the notion of such ancient migrations may criticize the authors of the study, or find fault with the methodology!
The plain truth is that we are not in a position to assert empirical truths when it comes to the field of ancient YDNA and its associations with early migrations. As this particular study has shown there are curious unknowns that may well reveal the extent and diversity of such movements, one thing for sure if these tribes are indeed sharing a YDNA Australasian ancestor it’s one hell of a journey. Which makes a mockery of the idea that your R1b U106 ancestors having reached the coast of NW Europe were stranded there, incapable of further travel across the narrow waters of the North Sea and English Channel!
For a few years now a small group of self-asserted experts on Y-DNA have been claiming that Haplogroups can identify which ethnological group your ancestors belonged to, this optimistic and naive idea is based upon a combination of assumptions and extrapolation. Prominently it assumes that the DNA profile of ancient population groups was homogenous, secondly it interprets present-day distribution of Haplogroups as constituting an accurate reflection of ancient patterns. Such ‘reasoning’ has resulted in a somewhat rigid mindset that has sought to declare as fact what remains a flawed interpretation, unfortunately due to the nature of the internet such views have proliferated, one reason for my efforts here to offer a different take on this subject and call for a more open and considered examination.
So you can imagine my reaction on reading a BBC report today titled ‘DNA shows Celts are not a unique genetic group’ a study of 2000 individuals across Britain, its conclusions and the questions it raised provide further reason to treat with caution claims that because you have been YDNA tested as belonging to a particular Haplogroup does not of itself mean that your ancestry is definitively ‘Celtic’ or ‘Germanic’. So for example across various forums on the internet you will read folks composing impressive sounding arguments insisting that Haplogroup R-L21 is ‘proof’ that your genetic lineage derives from the Celts, while if you are R-U106 then your ancestry is drawn from Germanic-type origins. This extremely simplistic view is as I say based on assumption and a selective interpretation in which the present frequency and distribution of Haplogroups is projected upon an ancient past, while claiming that peoples migrated as a uniform genetic entity, with no Y-DNA diversity within such groupings. This myopia is clearly at work in regard to our own Haplogroup which has been asserted as being proof of Germanic origins, based upon a view that associated its contemporary presence in the Netherlands and England as evidence of 6th Century Saxon, Angle and Friesian migrations to Britain! Hmmm if only life was so simple 🙂
Anyway back to this latest study, which blows a very large hole through such thinking, I present the following extracts for your reference, while the main article can be seen here: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31905764
Prof Mark Robinson, an archaeologist who works with Prof Donnelly at Oxford University, said he was “very surprised” that Celtic groups in Cornwall, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland had such different genetic patterns.
“I had assumed at the very early stages of the project that there was going to be this uniform Celtic fringe extending from Cornwall through to Wales into Scotland. And this has very definitely not been the case,” he told BBC News.
“We did not find a single genetic group corresponding to the Celtic traditions in the western fringes of Britain”
“Although people from Cornwall have a Celtic heritage, genetically they are much, much more similar to the people elsewhere in England than they are to the Welsh for example,” said Prof Donnelly.
“People in South Wales are also quite different genetically to people in north Wales, who are both different in turn to the Scots. We did not find a single genetic group corresponding to the Celtic traditions in the western fringes of Britain.”
So there you have it another reasoned study that reveals how misplaced it is to regard our ancient DNA origins in simplistic terms, it is not quite as some would have you believe, meanwhile I maintain that it is probable our distant R-U106 ancestors reached Britain and Ireland long before the Dark Age migrations associated with Anglo-Saxons. Interestingly the study revealed what is described as ‘a modest level of Saxon DNA, suggesting that the native British populations lived alongside each other and intermingled with the Anglo Saxons to become the English’
As you may see on various posts and pages on this Blog I have raised this matter and questioned the dogma which insists that the fairly high frequency of R U106 in England is ipso facto evidence of Germanic migration into Britain. If that significant percentage cannot be explained by what is increasingly regarded as small scale Anglo-Saxon migration and settlement then of course the question must be asked, what contributed to such a presence of our Haplogroup in Britain? It could be explained had your R-U106 ancestors arrived in the British Isles and Ireland at a far earlier time, contributing to a diverse and many layered YDNA population, one that is beginning to reveal itself to studies such as this.
Photo: Historic Scotland
Recent analysis of flint tools found in in South Lanarkshire,Scotland has concluded that they date from around 14,000 years ago, it has been claimed that these artifacts are evidence of Scotland’s earliest occupation.
For those who would seek to misinform you that your R U106* Haplogroup was able only to migrate during the so-called Germanic expansion and so Ipso-facto your ancestors were either Angles, Jutes or Frisians then this latest finding renders such a claim as a somewhat fact-less assertion.
Why do I suggest this? Well taken in consideration with other archeological findings, that provide evidence of early migrations into Ireland and Britain during the Neolithic and Bronze Ages (a time when R U106 could well have formed part of such a movement). Mindful too of the nonsensical claim that only specific Haplogroups were capable of migration during that period, the results of this latest find suggest a possible migration to Scotland of people, from what is now Northern Germany and Denmark, around 12, 000 years before Germanic culture even existed!
In light of the age of R U106*, which is thought to have emerged in the Neolithic, we can only wonder at how much more common and relatively easier it would have been to travel for such people, compared to those first settlers to Scotland.
Article Here: http://linkis.com/blogspot.com/cfU6W
Recent findings by Spanish researchers are indicating that our Mesolithic ancestors traveled far and wide across Europe and shared a similar genetic profile. Working on an 8000 year-old skeleton scientists were able to reach a number of groundbreaking conclusions.
“The first finding, Lalueza-Fox and other researchers say, is consistent with a number of other recent studies, which have found that modern Europeans descend largely from the migrant farmers who spread across Europe and not from the hunter-gatherers who preceded them. But the finding that the Spanish skeletons share the U5b genetic profile with Mesolithic individuals from as far away as Poland, Lithuania, Germany, and the United Kingdom, is “amazing,” Lalueza-Fox says. Although the first farmers spread quickly across Europe, trading and exchanging culture across thousands of kilometers, many researchers had assumed that Mesolithic nomadic hunter-gatherers lived in small, isolated bands with little contact over long distances. But the genetic picture, Lalueza-Fox says, suggests “highly mobile” groups that kept in touch and interbred continent-wide.”
Given such mobility was taking place long before the Neolithic and Bronze Ages this latest discovery is yet further evidence that makes a mockery of those fossilized arguments that claim R1b U106 was not able to migrate, during those periods, into Ireland or Britain. Clearly our ancestors had the capacity, determination and skill to settle across Western Europe at an early time and clearly did!