View Full Version : Basques raised L21 - what does it tell us?

10-06-2013, 04:38 PM
It kind of confirms that L21 is not out of isles - their STRs dont match isles people well anyway. IMO I find the most likely original position of the Basques based on tribal and placename evidence that they were in Aquitania with the exception of Navarre on the Spanish side of the border. It is only in this Gaulish provence that we see clear evidence of forerunners of the Basque language. So, IMO it is a fairly promising scenario to see L21 among the basques as down to movement from Aquitania after the Romans left.

Gallia Aquitania was a provence that contained a mixture of proto-Basque speaking Aquitani as well as a number of Celtic tribes. Apparently 20 and 14 tribes each. L21 elsewhere is very strongly associated with the north Atlantic Celtic speakers of Britain and Atlantic France. The Basque L21's are the exception. Apparently too a lot of it falls into a single Medieval period cluster. So, I tend to think Basque L21 is down to the early Medieval movement of Aquitanians into the coastal Basque areas and inland from there - an easy movement from Aquitania. The Aquitanian people included a Celtic element particularly in the northern part of the provence. I suspect that L21 among the Basques comes from this element.

Another thread of evidence that the L21 commonality among the isles people and a minority of the Basques is down to a French intermediary is the almost total lack of direct contact between this area and the isles in prehistory. The links between the isles and Iberia that stand out in prehistory are the beaker period and the Atlantic Bronze age but these are links with western Iberia where L21 is rare - which incidentally shows these links were generally non-migratory. It seems fair to conclude that L21 in the isles and among the Basque probably relates to an intermediate L21 population among the Celtic or proto-Celtic speakers of Atlantic France and probably only arrived in most of its present Basque locations in the post-Roman era with the Aquitani. I have head attempts to counter the evidence for this but it runs counter to what evidence there is and seems to come from partisan views.

However, despite this, I do feel the Basque L21 is a useful indicator of a significant L21 element among the Celtic tribes in Atlantic France that survived into post-Roman times. One other alternative is that L21 could even relate to the local Celtic substrate on the Spain-France border area where Celtic tribes are recorded by the Romans in much of the area where Basque later came to be spoken.

10-06-2013, 08:21 PM
One point that goes without saying is that the Basques were incapable of invading Ireland as Celts because they werent Celtic. That is why, now we know that L21 and P312 as a whole is not very old, it is pretty absurd when people indicate a direct connection rather than a shared common geographically intermediate distant ancestor. The cultural links in the beaker and Atlantic Bronze Age between Ireland and Iberia were indirect via France and indeed were with with the western parts of Iberia that have little L21 rather than the Spain-France border area where L21 is higher.

The Basques and P312 clades is nevertheless very interesting. I would assume L21 arrived from Atlantic France while I suppose its tempting to see DF27 as originating in the beaker cultures of Atlantic and southern Iberia and southern France. In both cases it seems easiest to intepret them as non-Basque in origin. I think the Basques 'difference' must lie in the other parts of their DNA. Is it not true that the Basques and Sardinians are the peak of the Med. autosomal component?

10-07-2013, 06:26 PM
I posted this map on the "deeper think Bell Beakers" thread in R1b General. It basically show some of the key metalworking sites and mines in the 2000-1000 BC timeframe.

I just noticed this recently. Look at the "tin road". It would be a nice path for some elements of L21 to reach the southwest part of France and the Pyrenees. This would probably fit the timing a little more nicely for the Basque elements of L21's estimated ages.