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View Full Version : An end to Victorian idea of island Celts as pre-Celtic people who learned Celtic



alan
03-05-2015, 11:51 AM
I think ever since P312 was discovered and subsequently shown to be the main and latest large y line among all the former Celtic areas that the concept of continental Celts as real Celts and the island ones as Neolithic people who have learned Celtic from a tiny minority has been shaky. Now we know that P312 appears to have only spread in the beaker period to western Europe and that there was no subsequent significant y line movement it has become clear that this concept is wrong. The fact that we now know L23 was in Yamnaya and hasnt appeared anywhere else until after 3000BC shows the IE link and the link to Celto-Italic is very sound. We also have the autosomal signal of ANE/Gedrosian that appears to be post-Neolithic in much of Europe except the east and north-east. We also know the island Celts cluster very much with all NW Europeans.

So I think the old racial theories about the island Celts as pre-Celtic 'Iberians' have been shown to simply be Anglo-centric racisim. If anything, the island Celts are the ones that are more north-west clustered than the central European ones and French as a whole judging by modern populations.

Of course I realise that P312 is not exclusively Celtic by any means but as the last and most prevailing major yline input and having the L23 link and autosomal links back to Yamnaya I think it is fair to say that P312 was the main signal of the male lines of those who brought Celtic or the ancestral west European language of Celtic to western Europe. There is simply no other show in town.

I hope Celto-Skeptics take note. Somehow they think if you are not called 'Celt' or 'Gaul' in a Med. historical text that this invalidates the concept of Celtic - a pretty absurd concept and something it is noticeable that the same people dont apply to Germanic peoples.

alan
03-05-2015, 12:14 PM
Part of this idea of the island Celts as aboriginals who learned Celtic came from an over literal intrepretation of the descriptions of the Gauls as some sort of Nordic god like stereotypes. Those descriptions always were relative to Med. people of the period. Its also clear that they tended to describe a striking minority. There was only a grain of truth in their descriptions. For example they described the Caledonians as red haired. Now while it is true that one of the world peaks of red hair is in Scotland, even there it is not much over 10 percent, perhaps with a larger amount with reddish beards etc. I think probably the idea of the Gauls was similar. Probably a population with somewhat lighter hair - probably brown in the main - with perhaps a quarter of the population with shades from light brown to blonde and red. That is much more in line with the modern reality of both the Celtic fringe today and the fairer parts of France etc. Even today if a bunch of Scots or Irish go on holiday to the Med. they will still stand out as different in skin/eyes and hair pigmentation and features/build from the locals. Individual people can fit anywhere but if you have a crowd of people abroad they will be identified as not local. That is probably the core of what the Romans and Greeks were observing. The problem is the Victorians and early 20th century racial writers magnified the descriptions of the Gauls into the idea of them as Dolph Lundgren types.

In reality the island Celts and indeed the French and adjacent still carry most of the same yDNA and other genes of their ancestors observed by the Romans and Greeks and the Gauls probably looked very much like modern French, Walloons and French Swiss-albeit with some eclectic Roman empire overlay- except perhaps in places like southern France where a sequence of Med. peoples are known to have settled and SW France where the Aquitani predominated.

The Celts were a mix of the beaker incomers and indigenous people and the latter varied in mix and degree - in some areas the WHG element was stronger and in others were predominantly ENF. So, there would have been variation among the Celts in autosomal genes. That was probably much as seen today and likely derives from how early or late farming came to those regions in prior times. In areas where farming came early like the Med. and Portugal WHG is low and in areas where it came late its high - northern Europe and the Atlantic including the Basque area.

avalon
03-05-2015, 09:20 PM
I think ever since P312 was discovered and subsequently shown to be the main and latest large y line among all the former Celtic areas that the concept of continental Celts as real Celts and the island ones as Neolithic people who have learned Celtic from a tiny minority has been shaky. Now we know that P312 appears to have only spread in the beaker period to western Europe and that there was no subsequent significant y line movement it has become clear that this concept is wrong. The fact that we now know L23 was in Yamnaya and hasnt appeared anywhere else until after 3000BC shows the IE link and the link to Celto-Italic is very sound. We also have the autosomal signal of ANE/Gedrosian that appears to be post-Neolithic in much of Europe except the east and north-east. We also know the island Celts cluster very much with all NW Europeans.

So I think the old racial theories about the island Celts as pre-Celtic 'Iberians' have been shown to simply be Anglo-centric racisim. If anything, the island Celts are the ones that are more north-west clustered than the central European ones and French as a whole judging by modern populations.

Of course I realise that P312 is not exclusively Celtic by any means but as the last and most prevailing major yline input and having the L23 link and autosomal links back to Yamnaya I think it is fair to say that P312 was the main signal of the male lines of those who brought Celtic or the ancestral west European language of Celtic to western Europe. There is simply no other show in town.

I hope Celto-Skeptics take note. Somehow they think if you are not called 'Celt' or 'Gaul' in a Med. historical text that this invalidates the concept of Celtic - a pretty absurd concept and something it is noticeable that the same people dont apply to Germanic peoples.

If Beakers did bring P312 and Celtic then it looks like the Neolithic inhabitants of the Isles were largely replaced on the paternal lines but we also need to consider MtDNA and Autosomal DNA as the other part of the story.

The POBI project appear to have noticed strong genetic links between the rural Welsh and Western France. The Welsh appear to have more of an "Atlantic" vibe than all the other UK clusters, so I wonder if this is perhaps a trace of higher Neolithic survival amongst the Welsh compared to other Brits?

The latest POBI map also had some interesting "branch lines", which if I have read them correctly, show that the Scottish, Northern Irish and English clusters are all closer to each other than to the Welsh clusters. To my mind this is either because the rural Welsh have had less "Anglo-Saxon" or "English" input in historic times or this is down to some prehistoric difference between Wales and other parts of the Isles. POBI did say that when they analysed the clusters, the Orcadians were most different to all the other UK groups and then after that the Welsh were most separate.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GfBY7dXFSEE/VNrz4CIcBhI/AAAAAAAAJ6w/Hv38EASWsR4/s1600/UK.jpg

Motzart
03-06-2015, 12:18 AM
Yes, fully agree with everything posted by Alan.

rms2
03-06-2015, 12:31 AM
Well said, Alan.

Here's the pertinent piece about the Quedlinburg P312+ Beaker man circa 2296-2206 BC from Haak et al:



Another group of six graves was discovered at Quedlinburg reference site VII and attributed
to the Bell beaker culture based on form and orientation of the burials 32. We included a >50
year old male individual buried in an extreme flexed position.
• QLB28/I0806 (feature 19617, 2296-2206 calBCE, MAMS 22820) (p. 65 of 172).

I0806 (Bell_Beaker_LN)
The individual was assigned to haplogroup R1b1a2a1a2 based on mutation P312:22157311C→A.
Two Bell Beaker individuals from Kromsdorf, Germany were previously determined 2 to belong to haplogroup R1b. (p. 73 of 172)


Notice that the authors mention the two previous results from the Beaker site near Kromsdorf, Germany, both of which were R1b and U106- (and I think also likely to have been P312+).

Haak et al were unable to get reads on the Quedlinburg Beaker man for DF27, L21, and U152, unfortunately.

Still, I think these Beaker results lend credence to the hypothesis that L21 and an Italo-Celtic language arrived in the Isles with Beaker in the mid to late 3rd millennium BC.

ADW_1981
03-06-2015, 12:34 AM
So I think the old racial theories about the island Celts as pre-Celtic 'Iberians' have been shown to simply be Anglo-centric racisim.

Care to explain how you arrived at this conclusion?

rms2
03-06-2015, 12:42 AM
Care to explain how you arrived at this conclusion?

It would take me some time to come up with references for you, but if one looks at 19th - early 20th century English writings on the history and anthropology of the Isles, he will see disparaging references to the inhabitants of the Celtic Fringe countries, especially the Irish, who were sometimes characterized as "simian" and contrasted with the dolichocephalic, Nordic, "Aryan" Englishman. The idea advanced was as Alan described it, i.e., that the inhabitants of the Celtic Fringe countries were "non-Aryan" aborigines whose ancestors merely had Celtic languages imposed on them by the first wave of "Aryans", the Celts, to enter the Isles.

Implicit in all this was the right of the English, as the most purely and truly Aryan of the Isles' inhabitants, to rule all the rest.

ADW_1981
03-06-2015, 12:47 AM
It would take me some time to come up with references for you, but if one looks at 19th - early 20th century English writings on the history and anthropology of the Isles, he will see disparaging references to the inhabitants of the Celtic Fringe countries, especially the Irish, who were sometimes characterized as "simian" and contrasted with the dolichocephalic, Nordic, "Aryan" Englishman. The idea advanced was as Alan described it, i.e., that the inhabitants of the Celtic Fringe countries were "non-Aryan" aborigines whose ancestors merely had Celtic languages imposed on them by the first wave of "Aryans", the Celts, to enter the Isles.

Implicit in all this was the right of the English, as the most purely and truly Aryan of the Isles' inhabitants, to rule all the rest.

Is it not true that later 'Celtic' people imposed this language on the earlier inhabitants of UK/Ireland? My exception is also to the term Anglo, which would not refer to Celtic speakers anyhow.

newtoboard
03-06-2015, 01:00 AM
It would take me some time to come up with references for you, but if one looks at 19th - early 20th century English writings on the history and anthropology of the Isles, he will see disparaging references to the inhabitants of the Celtic Fringe countries, especially the Irish, who were sometimes characterized as "simian" and contrasted with the dolichocephalic, Nordic, "Aryan" Englishman. The idea advanced was as Alan described it, i.e., that the inhabitants of the Celtic Fringe countries were "non-Aryan" aborigines whose ancestors merely had Celtic languages imposed on them by the first wave of "Aryans", the Celts, to enter the Isles.

Implicit in all this was the right of the English, as the most purely and truly Aryan of the Isles' inhabitants, to rule all the rest.

Some old maps actually show Scotland as the most dolichocephalic region in the Isles. Although I don't think any large region in Europe (besides some regions in Western Iberia and Central Scandinavia) is truly dolico (CI index <75).

Motzart
03-06-2015, 03:15 AM
Some old maps actually show Scotland as the most dolichocephalic region in the Isles. Although I don't think any large region in Europe (besides some regions in Western Iberia and Central Scandinavia) is truly dolico (CI index <75).

Dolichocephaly is a trait which is associated with the Neolithic inhabitants of Europe. It should be obvious that the Yamnaya R1* migration brought Brachycephalic traits given their West Asian/Amerindian admixture and their proximity to East Asians on the Y DNA Tree.

Skull GOL XCB CI(Cranial Index) Ref
Loschbour x x 65.0 Squier (1955)
Neolithic British Isles (n = 53) x x 71.7 Morant (1926)
Bell Beaker Germany (n = 8) x x 81.6 Coon (1939)
Bronze Age Ireland (n = 7) x x 79.8 Coon (1939)
Bronze Age Scotland (n = 33) x x 83.1 Morant (1926)
Bronze Age England (n = 48) x x 81.3 Morant (1926)

< 69.9 Hyperdolichocephalic (very long head)

70 – 74.9 Dolichocephalic (long head)

75 – 79.9 Mesocephalic (medium head)

80 – 84.9 Brachycephalic (broad head)

85 > Hyperbrachycephalic (very broad head)


You can see that Loschbour is an extreme example of Dolichocephaly and later Bronze age groups were more Mesocephalic.

Jean M
03-06-2015, 01:57 PM
It should be obvious that the Yamnaya R1* migration brought Brachycephalic traits given their West Asian/Amerindian admixture and their proximity to East Asians on the Y DNA Tree.


That might seem a tempting conclusion, but it is wrong in every way. The Yamnaya did not have Amerindian admixture. Mal'ta Boy belonged to a people with no traits associated with modern East Asians. It so happens that his people were ancestral to both Europeans and Amerindians, but the East Asian traits in Amerindians came from another ancestral line. The Yamnaya were not brachycephalic. Neither were the Corded Ware people. This trait appears to have entered Bell Beaker somewhere in the region of the Carpathians and to have been carried into Britain with Bell Beaker.

Before the days of genome extraction from ancient human remains, people had to rely upon cranial shape to infer relationships between people, but nowadays we can dispense with this dubious method, thank goodness. I was never at home with it. :)

Shaikorth
03-06-2015, 02:05 PM
That might seem a tempting conclusion, but it is wrong in every way. The Yamnaya did not have Amerindian admixture. Mal'ta Boy belonged to a people with no traits associated with modern East Asians. It so happens that his people were ancestral to both Europeans and Amerindians, but the East Asian traits in Amerindians came from another ancestral line. The Yamnaya were not brachycephalic. Neither were the Corded Ware people. This trait appears to have entered Bell Beaker somewhere in the region of the Carpathians and to have been carried into Britain with Bell Beaker.

Before the days of genome extraction from ancient human remains, people had to rely upon cranial shape to infer relationships between people, but nowadays we can dispense with this dubious method, thank goodness. I was never at home with it. :)

It should be said that the Karelian EHG's skulls were classified as people with both West and East Eurasian looks by old Soviet anthropologists. There was no skull of Mal'ta boy for them to classify.

Anyway, it's clear that craniomorphological features aren't necessarily linked with big shifts in population genetics. The whole idea about a "paleoamerican" population who were displaced by modern Native Americans was based on differing craniomorphology of ancient Native American remains, and now genetics proved that wrong.



Here, we present genome wide data from pre-Columbian Central Andean individuals from various archaeological sites dating from 7000 BC to 1100 AD. Ancient DNA genomic libraries were analyzed employing both shotgun sequencing and targeted hybridization capture approaches. We compare this data with published genome-wide data from ancient and modern Native American populations and reconcile our results with craniometric studies. Our results show a striking genetic continuity in the Andes over at least 8000 years despite observed changes in cranio-morphological variability. Additionally, our observations support the hypothesis of a single-wave scenario, in which the early and later populations of pre- Columbian South America derived primarily from a single source population.

Jean M
03-06-2015, 02:23 PM
So I think the old racial theories about the island Celts as pre-Celtic 'Iberians' have been shown to simply be Anglo-centric racism.

It was not just one element in the old pseudo-histories which was seized upon as a slur. The idea that the Irish had Scythian ancestry was used in the Elizabethan period as an insult i.e. to describe them as 'barbarous'. The fact that the English had a recorded barbarian ancestry did not seem to strike the English writer. :biggrin1: But if we were to look for the people most admired from the Renaissance to the Victorian age, we would instantly find the Greeks and Romans. Iberia was part of Mediterranean civilization long before the Latins arrived in these islands at the end of Europe. We were still learning from the Greeks and Romans until modern times and only fully overtook them in technology in the Victorian age.

I think the Nazi adoption of a pseudo-Aryan identity was an attempt to boost the spirit of a northern nation sagging under the weight of its 'barbarian' history. It was designed to give people pride in their past and therefore hope for their future during terrible times. Britain instead took pride in being an industrial and colonial leader in the 18th and 19th centuries. But I don't mean to deny English racism. Any form of 'we are the greatest' no doubt boosts the confidence of the people proclaiming it, but does damage to the 'other' that they are excluding.

Jean M
03-06-2015, 02:27 PM
It should be said that the Karelian EHG's skulls were classified as people with both West and East Eurasian looks by old Soviet anthropologists. There was no skull of Mal'ta boy for them to classify.

His skull was not intact, but it was there: http://siberiantimes.com/upload/information_system_38/1/2/0/item_1201/information_items_1201.jpg

I was however referring to the conclusions from DNA.

Shaikorth
03-06-2015, 02:39 PM
His skull was not intact, but it was there: http://siberiantimes.com/upload/information_system_38/1/2/0/item_1201/information_items_1201.jpg

I was however referring to the conclusions from DNA.

Ah, right you are, there was a skull and apparently the Soviets did classify MA-1 as East Eurasian (http://i42.tinypic.com/1zzsqu.png) based on that. Another reason to not hastily connect craniofacial morphology and population genetics.

Hector
03-06-2015, 02:40 PM
As I said many times already, Malta boy's having no East Asian component was to indicate that NA-ANE admixture was from ANE to NA. It does not mean that he was actually a pure West Eurasian with no affinity to East Eurasians.
He was actually classified as Mongoloid by the Soviet scientists initially.

Malta boy's being the best proxy of ANE is just that. ANE is a statistical spectulation mainly from the study of modern populations and a limited number of ancient remains, only tentatively confirmed by a few ancient remains that turned up later.
It would be far fetched to assume that there was a "pure, unadmixed" population represented by ANE and Malta boy.

There are several layers of expertise in this field.
There are statisticians, population biologists, biochemical geneticists and people between.

Most authors, especially principal authors, tend to come from the third group, M Hammer and P. Underhill for example.
They have good accees to labs and they know how to assay but they don't necessarily have any more expertise than learned laymen as far as interpreting data is concerned.
But I am sure even they are wincing at some of the wild speculations you guys are having here.

rms2
03-06-2015, 02:44 PM
Some old maps actually show Scotland as the most dolichocephalic region in the Isles. Although I don't think any large region in Europe (besides some regions in Western Iberia and Central Scandinavia) is truly dolico (CI index <75).

I was referring to old 19th and early 20th century writings with references and drawings contrasting the Nordic superiority of the English to the "dark-white" aboriginal inferiority of the rest of the Isles' inhabitants.

Regarding dolichocephaly, a number of even the older writings pointed out that the Neolithic "Iberians" who inhabited the Isles had long skulls (although that was invariably coupled with short stature, a less-than-robust gracile skeleton, and, it was alleged, dark features).

Jean M
03-06-2015, 03:09 PM
As I said many times already, Malta boy's having no East Asian component was to indicate that NA-ANE admixture was from ANE to NA. It does not mean that he was actually a pure West Eurasian with no affinity to East Eurasians.

You are correct Hector. West and East Eurasians are descended from the same root stock. So naturally they will have more in common than they have differences. The scientists involved in the various papers reporting or including the genome of Mal'ta boy have focussed on the differences simply to draw conclusions about direction of genetic flow.

Hector
03-06-2015, 03:47 PM
...West and East Eurasians are descended from the same root stock. So naturally they will have more in common than they have differences...

That was not my point. I was talking about the classification into East-West Eurasians and the simplistic model in which the two populations diverged at some point with relatively little admixture afterward.

That model is the simpliest and most likely wrong, very wrong. It pertains to the study of modern populations and is mostly a statistical construct. Even if populations diffused in Eurasia with no specific event of isolation from each other you are likely to see two populations with a fictitious date of divergence. With a few natural barriers this effect is amplified and that is probably what happened.

It is hilarious that you guys take the divergence date between East - West Eurasians literally and look for certain event around that time to validate your theory. If one was to conduct an admixture analysis on Eurasian populations around the time of Malta boy you might get a different result. You probably would still get East and West Eurasians at K2 but their distribution would be different. Not certain even as to which side Malta boy would belong as his population had probably been mixed previously(probably with the "West Eurasians") but his closer affinity to MODERN West Eurasians is most likely the result of admixture that happened AFTER his time.

rms2
03-06-2015, 04:14 PM
Is it not true that later 'Celtic' people imposed this language on the earlier inhabitants of UK/Ireland?

Not without also imposing their dna.

Alan's point was that Victorian era English authors characterized the peoples of the Celtic Fringe countries as the descendants of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Isles who had Celtic imposed on them by a small, golden-blond, Celtic elite who had little genetic impact.



My exception is also to the term Anglo, which would not refer to Celtic speakers anyhow.

It wasn't meant to refer to Celtic speakers but to the Victorian era English, who were the main source of the racist commentary and stereotypes.

Since the 19th century racial theory of the Aryan ideal included the Celts among the Aryans, a way had to be found to exclude the peoples of the Celtic Fringe countries. That way was, as I said, to make them a mere caste of aborigines who learned the superior Aryan speech from a small minority of their betters.

Jean M
03-06-2015, 04:17 PM
That was not my point. I was talking about the classification into East-West Eurasians and the simplistic model in which the two populations diverged at some point with relatively little admixture afterward.

Yes I understand Hector. Inevitably this is simplistic.


It is hilarious that you guys take the divergence date between East - West Eurasians literally and look for certain event around that time to validate your theory.

'You guys' meaning all Western Eurasians? It is a fact Hector that some Western Eurasians are so foolish as to believe themselves superior to East Asians (who actually have some of the most impressive ancient civilizations on earth). So naturally they want to believe in 'pure' races. It is also a fact that a lot of Chinese were keen on the idea that they were descended from Peking Man, which would make them a special race apart. The Chinese have a long history of believing in their superiority to the rest of mankind. I do have some sympathy with this view when I look at their cultural achievements. But genetic reality is no more on their side than that of western bigots. What we have here is a case of genetic drift. There have been lengthy periods with relatively little inter-mixture between East and West.

That does not mean no inter-mixture. Ancient DNA is revealing a complex story of East-West contacts, in which I am particularly interested. However it is not the subject of this thread.

Motzart
03-06-2015, 04:23 PM
The Yamnaya did not have Amerindian admixture.

I think you are a little behind on the Eurogenes blog Jean. Mal'ta shows up with even more Amerindian on the K15.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QPTmyarOBBEZfXnLI5L64ueJNG34jgy4QgQ_1nSYtnM/edit#gid=917906623



Population ID Amerindian
Karelia_HG I0061 16.47
Samara_HG I0124 12.02
Yamnaya I0429 5.16
Yamnaya I0444 3.51
Yamnaya I0357 4.45
Yamnaya I0438 4.25
Yamnaya I0231 5.47
Yamnaya I0370 4.99
Yamnaya I0443 4.18
Corded_Ware_LN I0103 1.73
Corded_Ware_LN I0104 1.49
Corded_Ware_LN I0049 1.65
Corded_Ware_LN I0106 3.42
Bell_Beaker_LN I0108 0.62
Bell_Beaker_LN I0111 2.48
Bell_Beaker_LN I0112 1.03
Bell_Beaker_LN I0806 1.09
Bell_Beaker_LN I0113 1.91
Bell_Beaker_LN I0059 2.93
Bell_Beaker_LN I0058 2.64

Generalissimo
03-06-2015, 04:30 PM
I think you are a little behind on the Eurogenes blog Jean. Mal'ta shows up with even more Amerindian on the K15.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1QPTmyarOBBEZfXnLI5L64ueJNG34jgy4QgQ_1nSYtnM/edit#gid=917906623



Population ID Amerindian
Karelia_HG I0061 16.47
Samara_HG I0124 12.02
Yamnaya I0429 5.16
Yamnaya I0444 3.51
Yamnaya I0357 4.45
Yamnaya I0438 4.25
Yamnaya I0231 5.47
Yamnaya I0370 4.99
Yamnaya I0443 4.18
Corded_Ware_LN I0103 1.73
Corded_Ware_LN I0104 1.49
Corded_Ware_LN I0049 1.65
Corded_Ware_LN I0106 3.42
Bell_Beaker_LN I0108 0.62
Bell_Beaker_LN I0111 2.48
Bell_Beaker_LN I0112 1.03
Bell_Beaker_LN I0806 1.09
Bell_Beaker_LN I0113 1.91
Bell_Beaker_LN I0059 2.93
Bell_Beaker_LN I0058 2.64

That's not Amerindian admixture. It's the result of a lack of an ANE cluster in the K15.

rossa
03-06-2015, 04:32 PM
So I think the old racial theories about the island Celts as pre-Celtic 'Iberians' have been shown to simply be Anglo-centric racisim. If anything, the island Celts are the ones that are more north-west clustered than the central European ones and French as a whole judging by modern populations.


Even though the idea started like that, I think a ggod few Irish people like the idea of being different from everyone else. There was a thread on another forum about a deabte in Kilkenny on whether Irish people are Celts or not, and there seemed to be a good few scholars pushing the idea Irish people aren't Celts. From what I remember there was an audience poll after and they all fell on the side of Irish not being Celts either.

You're right about the idea that because people back in the day didn't call themselves Celts means they weren't Celts is pretty ridiculous. Many of the people who say that will then turn around and say irish are descendants of Basques or Berbers without a hint of irony.

rms2
03-06-2015, 04:47 PM
Even though the idea started like that, I think a ggod few Irish people like the idea of being different from everyone else. There was a thread on another forum about a deabte in Kilkenny on whether Irish people are Celts or not, and there seemed to be a good few scholars pushing the idea Irish people aren't Celts. From what I remember there was an audience poll after and they all fell on the side of Irish not being Celts either.

You're right about the idea that because people back in the day didn't call themselves Celts means they weren't Celts is pretty ridiculous. Many of the people who say that will then turn around and say irish are descendants of Basques or Berbers without a hint of irony.

Yes, there's even a young Irish guy at another discussion venue who regularly argues the Celto-sceptic line. It's infuriating.

Early theory on the origin of R1b in the Isles, and in Western Europe generally, seemed to flow from some of the same old 19th-century ideas, one of which was that the Basques were some sort of Paleolithic relic population. That had been part and parcel of the old notion that the people of the Celtic Fringe countries were the descendants of "non-Aryan" aborigines, but it resurfaced, minus the worst and most blatant of the racist language, in the work of Sykes and Oppenheimer. On Rootsweb and other dna discussion venues one got the drift of conversations about "invader dna" always entering Britain from the southeast, etc. It differed little from some of the stuff from the bad old days.

Celto-scepticism has really done a number on discussions of the Celts. Even the term Celt rarely appears without quotation marks around it to emphasize that the author is using the term out of merest convenience and not because he really believes that such a people ever existed.

In my view Celto-scepticism is ridiculous and pathetic. I suspect much of its motivation is political. In that, it differs little from what Alan attributes to Victorian era English racism.

Jean M
03-06-2015, 05:04 PM
In my view Celto-scepticism is ridiculous and pathetic.

My forthcoming book may make a dent in it. I hope so.

rossa
03-06-2015, 05:07 PM
I think the political aspect works both ways; people from Celtic areas want to differentiate themselves from the Empire, while the Empire wants to differentiate themselves from the plebs.
Also the term itself has different meaning to different people. Some see it as an ethnic term (as if the Celts were a simgular monolithic group of people, some see it as linguistic, some see it as the nice swirly designs and then there's the new age woo.
Alan has mentioned it before, stating that the people we now call Celts had broad cultural similarities.

rms2
03-06-2015, 05:15 PM
I think the political aspect works both ways; people from Celtic areas want to differentiate themselves from the Empire, while the Empire wants to differentiate themselves from the plebs.
Also the term itself has different meaning to different people. Some see it as an ethnic term (as if the Celts were a simgular monolithic group of people, some see it as linguistic, some see it as the nice swirly designs and then there's the new age woo.
Alan has mentioned it before, stating that the people we now call Celts had broad cultural similarities.

True, and there are people who are very fond of the idea of being primarily descendants of Europe's first inhabitants (even to the point of pugnacity). Of course, we are descendants of Europe's first inhabitants, but not to the exclusion of substantial input from later peoples like the Celts. I know WHG is generally the bulkiest slice of my autosomal pie whenever I run the various fun doo-dads in Gedmatch. But I also get over 16% ANE.

Jean M
03-06-2015, 05:19 PM
I think you are a little behind on the Eurogenes blog Jean. Mal'ta shows up with even more Amerindian on the K15.

In case you didn't follow David's explanation above, let me use layman's language (which is all I have when it comes to this stuff!)

Ancient samples are, well, ancient. These are ancestral to related modern samples. So when we see that Mal'ta Boy (24,000 years old) is related to modern Amerindians, that does not mean that Amerindians came out of America and mixed with the ancestors of Mal'ta Boy. It is an open question whether any humans had even entered the Americas at that time. It means people genetically similar to Mal'ta Boy were part of the trek into the Americas.

ADW_1981
03-06-2015, 05:28 PM
Not without also imposing their dna.

Alan's point was that Victorian era English authors characterized the peoples of the Celtic Fringe countries as the descendants of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Isles who had Celtic imposed on them by a small, golden-blond, Celtic elite who had little genetic impact.



It wasn't meant to refer to Celtic speakers but to the Victorian era English, who were the main source of the racist commentary and stereotypes.

Since the 19th century racial theory of the Aryan ideal included the Celts among the Aryans, a way had to be found to exclude the peoples of the Celtic Fringe countries. That way was, as I said, to make them a mere caste of aborigines who learned the superior Aryan speech from a small minority of their betters.

I did some very brief research as this was alien to me, but I have a hard time believing this was mainstream thought among English people. Let's be frank folks, the division is political, but ultimately it's rooted in religion.

rms2
03-06-2015, 05:33 PM
I did some very brief research as this was alien to me, but I have a hard time believing this was mainstream thought among English people. Let's be frank folks, the division is political, but ultimately it's rooted in religion.

No doubt some of it was rooted in the differences between Protestants and Catholics, but the Welsh and Scots are mostly Protestant, and they came in for the aborigine treatment, as well.

alan
03-06-2015, 05:43 PM
As was noted above, there was a lot more linking the Celts than just language - many of the political, learned and religious aspects can be seen to be pan-Celtic - several gods, druids, Bards, Vates etc in the religious sphere, aspects of miltary organisation, the system of clientship, obsession with lineage/clans, the champions portion, the system of a rider and two other assistants. I could go on. The Celts had their own pretty specific spin on IE culture and it seems to be a pan-Celtic thing. This is far more important than the variability in house shape, sword type etc. It contrasts with the Germanic system of a war leader and warband of often unrelated people and their lack of a large learned class such as the Celts had.

alan
03-06-2015, 05:51 PM
I did some very brief research as this was alien to me, but I have a hard time believing this was mainstream thought among English people. Let's be frank folks, the division is political, but ultimately it's rooted in religion.

There is a whole class of Victorian to early 20th century racial history books which were well known in their day. My local library has a whole shelf of them. I read them all in morbid fascination decades ago. What I think they tended to see was racial characteristics being suggested in what was really due to relative levels of poverty. The way they characterised Celtic people is a bit like taking a photograph of a street alcoholic in Moscow today. People tend to start looking none too pretty when life is extremely rough and marginal and the Celtic fringe in the 19th century had an incredibly hard way of life on top of the worst climate and land in the isles.

Motzart
03-06-2015, 06:18 PM
David and Jean, I must (Very :)) respectfully disagree. I think there is a better explanation of the admixture.

When the population containing Y DNA Q entered the Americas, whatever size it may be, it can be considered to be 'ancestral' to all Amerindians as there were no other humans in the Americas at the time. This Y DNA Q Population would be very closely related to its Y DNA QR ancestor and its Y DNA R brother group. Mal'ta boy's population moved west and interbred with other groups, retaining a small amount of the admixture of it's paternal ancestor, the Y DNA Q population on the other hand would only have mutations modifying it's DNA thus remaining very similar to the QR ancestor no matter how large the population grew.

Yes there was a secondary migration event into the Americas, a Y DNA C population, but that population (The Inuit) only spread to the northwest area of the Americas.

We can take any indigenous population of South America as a very close proxy to the QR ancestor. Thus we can know the QR ancestor is Mongoloid Brachycephalic.

If the QR ancestor was Brachycephalic, it seems to me the simplest and best explanation for the introduction of this trait into Europe, along with Amerindian admixture, came with the Y DNA R populations.

Jean M
03-06-2015, 09:23 PM
Srkz has posted an interesting map showing the degree of IBD sharing between Yamnaya and various nations and ethnicities:
http://s019.radikal.ru/i606/1503/2d/e97903629173.png

He has put the raw data in the comments section of David's latest blog post: http://eurogenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/bell-beaker-corded-ware-ehg-and-yamnaya.html

avalon
03-07-2015, 09:12 AM
No doubt some of it was rooted in the differences between Protestants and Catholics, but the Welsh and Scots are mostly Protestant, and they came in for the aborigine treatment, as well.

I think you and Alan are over-simplifying and over-playing this Victorian racism card. Sure, there were some English writers who wrote derogatory things about the Celts, a guy called Knox springs to mind.

But, I can name you several Welsh writers/historians of the early 20th century who held a traditional view of the history of the Isles - that the Celts arrived and mixed with an earlier, aboriginal people, sometimes described as dark and "Iberian." The whole "Iberian" thing basically stems from Tacitus.

John Rhys "Celtic Britain" 1905; Wyn Griffith "The Welsh" 1950; Rhys Davies "Story of Wales" 1947, AG Bowen 1930s; there are plenty more - this was the orthodox view of the time.

Are these Welsh writers/historians also "Anglo-Centric racists"?

alan
03-07-2015, 09:35 AM
Srkz has posted an interesting map showing the degree of IBD sharing between Yamnaya and various nations and ethnicities:
http://s019.radikal.ru/i606/1503/2d/e97903629173.png

He has put the raw data in the comments section of David's latest blog post: http://eurogenes.blogspot.co.uk/2015/03/bell-beaker-corded-ware-ehg-and-yamnaya.html

hahaha Looked at the blog. David's done some great stuff but Maju never gives up.

alan
03-07-2015, 09:43 AM
I think you and Alan are over-simplifying and over-playing this Victorian racism card. Sure, there were some English writers who wrote derogatory things about the Celts, a guy called Knox springs to mind.

But, I can name you several Welsh writers/historians of the early 20th century who held a traditional view of the history of the Isles - that the Celts arrived and mixed with an earlier, aboriginal people, sometimes described as dark and "Iberian." The whole "Iberian" thing basically stems from Tacitus.

John Rhys "Celtic Britain" 1905; Wyn Griffith "The Welsh" 1950; Rhys Davies "Story of Wales" 1947, AG Bowen 1930s; there are plenty more - this was the orthodox view of the time.

Are these Welsh writers/historians also "Anglo-Centric racists"?

As an Irish poster correctly pointed out, due to more recent history, the concept of Irish as aboriginal hunters or at least early farmers is popular in Ireland. Same with the idea of a distinct Atlantic origin. I think its partly political history but its also got a lot to do with the large most striking iconic prehistoric monuments often being Neolithic. With the exception of small Wedge Tombs most Bronze Age archaeology if subsurface remains and stray metalwork.

alan
03-07-2015, 10:00 AM
I think you and Alan are over-simplifying and over-playing this Victorian racism card. Sure, there were some English writers who wrote derogatory things about the Celts, a guy called Knox springs to mind.

But, I can name you several Welsh writers/historians of the early 20th century who held a traditional view of the history of the Isles - that the Celts arrived and mixed with an earlier, aboriginal people, sometimes described as dark and "Iberian." The whole "Iberian" thing basically stems from Tacitus.

John Rhys "Celtic Britain" 1905; Wyn Griffith "The Welsh" 1950; Rhys Davies "Story of Wales" 1947, AG Bowen 1930s; there are plenty more - this was the orthodox view of the time.

Are these Welsh writers/historians also "Anglo-Centric racists"?

I do think that the Welsh are a different mix in some way I am not clear about than the Irish and Scots.You can see that by the way the Irish and western Scots cluster together and its clear that this pre-dates the plantation of Ulster and is a wider thing. The Welsh have many types and similar looking people to the Scots and the Irish but they also have an element I think is much more common in Wales - a noticeable olive skin and dark eyed element, with an narrower oval faces. My hunch is the Welsh will have somewhat less ANE and WHG than the Irish and Scots but I have never seen any data.

alan
03-07-2015, 10:15 AM
Avalon-my main point though is that we now have proof L23 was located within the steppe and M269 is absent in Neolithic Old Europe. So its Occam's Razor stuff that the IE-isation of the west was brought with P312 in the main and that this was the ancestor of Celtic, perhaps via Celto-Italic. So, we do have a strong pan-Celtic signal on y lines and it looks very much like there was also a very significant autosomal input too. So, what I am saying is the idea the Celts had no common input in terms of DNA seems wrong and of course the idea that the isles Celts were Celticised Neolithic people with the tiniest Celtic input. Of course they didnt wipe out the Neolithic people - that would be going to the opposite extreme- but they do seem to have had a major genetic impact - or at least the copper age migrants who are pretty well the only show in town as the ultimate ancestors of west IEs like Celts clearly did have a major impact.

I do agree with you that I would like more data on the Wesh and I do suspect they have higher ENF and lower WHG and ANE than the Gaelic areas but I dont know of any data on this.

Jessie
03-07-2015, 11:53 AM
Yes, there's even a young Irish guy at another discussion venue who regularly argues the Celto-sceptic line. It's infuriating.

Early theory on the origin of R1b in the Isles, and in Western Europe generally, seemed to flow from some of the same old 19th-century ideas, one of which was that the Basques were some sort of Paleolithic relic population. That had been part and parcel of the old notion that the people of the Celtic Fringe countries were the descendants of "non-Aryan" aborigines, but it resurfaced, minus the worst and most blatant of the racist language, in the work of Sykes and Oppenheimer. On Rootsweb and other dna discussion venues one got the drift of conversations about "invader dna" always entering Britain from the southeast, etc. It differed little from some of the stuff from the bad old days.

Celto-scepticism has really done a number on discussions of the Celts. Even the term Celt rarely appears without quotation marks around it to emphasize that the author is using the term out of merest convenience and not because he really believes that such a people ever existed.

In my view Celto-scepticism is ridiculous and pathetic. I suspect much of its motivation is political. In that, it differs little from what Alan attributes to Victorian era English racism.

I guess my objection to being labelled Celtic is that I find it too ambiguous and I prefer the term Gael. Celtic now is used to cover so many populations that it has become a bit meaningless. Everyone can't be a Celt so I think there should be a definition of what people mean by Celt? I think it goes back to something Alan said and I think people do want to be part of something unique.

Jean M
03-07-2015, 12:26 PM
I guess my objection to being labelled Celtic is that I find it too ambiguous and I prefer the term Gael. ... Everyone can't be a Celt so I think there should be a definition of what people mean by Celt?

My definition of a Celt is someone who spoke or now speaks a Celtic language. The name 'Celt' was bestowed by the Greeks upon peoples they encountered in Gaul and Iberia and by Roman times it had become an ethnonym accepted by the Gauls, as Caesar tells us. 'The people who call themselves Celts, though we call them Gauls.' Within the British Isles everyone spoke what we now identify (from their similarity to Gaulish) as Celtic languages. So they did not need an ethnonym to distinguish themselves from non-Celts. Instead they had geographical ethnonymns to distinguish the people of the two main islands.

For modern Pan-Celtic institutions, the six Celtic nations are Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales. (Galicia is not quite officially recognised I think, though tends to be included and has Celtic festivals.) 'Celtic nation' here indicates a territory which has a Celtic language that is either still spoken or was spoken into modern times. Each has its own history. They all cherish their own particular identities.

sweuro
03-07-2015, 12:28 PM
David and Jean, I must (Very :)) respectfully disagree. I think there is a better explanation of the admixture.

When the population containing Y DNA Q entered the Americas, whatever size it may be, it can be considered to be 'ancestral' to all Amerindians as there were no other humans in the Americas at the time. This Y DNA Q Population would be very closely related to its Y DNA QR ancestor and its Y DNA R brother group. Mal'ta boy's population moved west and interbred with other groups, retaining a small amount of the admixture of it's paternal ancestor, the Y DNA Q population on the other hand would only have mutations modifying it's DNA thus remaining very similar to the QR ancestor no matter how large the population grew.

Yes there was a secondary migration event into the Americas, a Y DNA C population, but that population (The Inuit) only spread to the northwest area of the Americas.

We can take any indigenous population of South America as a very close proxy to the QR ancestor. Thus we can know the QR ancestor is Mongoloid Brachycephalic.

If the QR ancestor was Brachycephalic, it seems to me the simplest and best explanation for the introduction of this trait into Europe, along with Amerindian admixture, came with the Y DNA R populations.
Why are you so stubborn, we can't talk about "amerindian admixture" when he was ancestral to them. He can't be an admixture of modern populations. Rather, we are an admixture of ancient populations.

rms2
03-07-2015, 02:34 PM
I guess my objection to being labelled Celtic is that I find it too ambiguous and I prefer the term Gael. Celtic now is used to cover so many populations that it has become a bit meaningless. Everyone can't be a Celt so I think there should be a definition of what people mean by Celt? I think it goes back to something Alan said and I think people do want to be part of something unique.

I wonder why one would object to being called Celtic simply because it's not specific enough. That's a little like objecting to being called a Christian because one is a Methodist.

Jean M's answer was good, so I won't repeat all of it. Celt and Celtic are valuable terms because they denote a particular branch of the Italo-Celtic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages and the broadly similar culture that went with it.

Jessie
03-07-2015, 02:54 PM
I wonder why one would object to being called Celtic simply because it's not specific enough. That's a little like objecting to being called a Christian because one is a Methodist.

Jean M's answer was good, so I won't repeat all of it. Celt and Celtic are valuable terms because they denote a particular branch of the Italo-Celtic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages and the broadly similar culture that went with it.

Because so many claim to be Celtic not just Irish, Welsh and Scots. That's why I find Gaelic very descriptive. When people speak of Gaels it doesn't really need an explanation whereas people are always asking what is meant by Celtic. Is it language, culture or can most of Europe be called Celtic because they once had Celtic influence? Even the Celtic League had to look at this issue when Galicia wanted to join.

"Celtic is a linguistic term; a Celt is one who speaks or was known to have spoken within modern historical times a Celtic language. That is central. This brings us back to the future of the languages for if the languages and their attendant culture have no future then the Celts will become as extinct as the Etruscans. Celtic identity is intrinsically linked to language and culture and there can be no dilution of that fact. I was instrumental in persuading the Celtic League to reject an application from Galicia as a Celtic country. The last time a Celtic language was recorded as being spoken in Galicia was in the 9th Century. The language now spoken there (Galego) is a dialect close to Portuguese but influenced by Castilian. True, there are some Celtic words remaining. However, more Celtic words are remaining in French and indeed English. Indeed, Celtic was reported in Cumbria in England as late as the 14th century and even into the 20th century if one accepts the evidence of shepherds using Celtic prime numbers to count their sheep. So on the basis of accepting Galicia, the Celtic League would have to accept France, England (or at least Cumbria) as legitimate Celtic communities."

http://www.transceltic.com/pan-celtic/celtic-identity-language-and-question-of-galicia

Personally I just find the term confuses a lot of people and some people can get very ornery if they are not included in the Celtic family. So to avoid a lot of controversy I just use the descriptor Gael.

rms2
03-07-2015, 03:09 PM
Well, there are Irish, Scots, and Manx Gaels, and, no doubt, subsets within them.

Celt and Celtic are valuable terms signifying the broader ethnolinguistic identity, its history and culture. Those terms provide context for terms like Gael and Gaelic, whose peoples did not arise out of nothing.

Jean M
03-07-2015, 03:18 PM
So to avoid a lot of controversy I just use the descriptor Gael.

And why not? The same person can have a series of self-identifications, each more inclusive than the last (e.g. Cockney, Londoner, English, British, European) depending on the particular 'other' to whom they are comparing themselves. It's your choice. As it is for everyone. Your ancestors in early historic times didn't bother with the name Celtic. Tribal names and later family names were the crucial identifiers, plus a geographical identification if necessary.

authun
03-07-2015, 03:32 PM
there should be a definition of what people mean by Celt?

John Koch explains how difficult this may be:

"Thus the Celts have been assumed to be (1) all users of the iron age material culture called La Tene for the swiss type site, (2) all speakers of early celtic languages and (3) all groups called Keltoi or Celtae by Greeks and Romans. (The same ancient writers also repeatedly stated the equivalence of Keltoi/Celtae with Galli or Galatae and generaly regarded the former pair as more ancient and correct). Thus anyone of these three symptoms has often been taken to imply the other two and to be adequate to confirm the presence of Celts.

At best the three way modern synthesis is frayed at the edges. La Tene is rare to non existent in areas with well attested ancient celtic languages in South West Ireland, the Iberian peninsular and Anatolia. Greeks or Romans never used the terms Keltoi or Galli to describe the inhabitants of Britain and Ireland and, so far as we know, the inhabitants never applied such labels to themselves." (Koch, Atlas of Celtic Studies)"

Jean M
03-07-2015, 03:38 PM
John Koch explains how difficult this may be

He goes for the linguistic definition, naturally enough, as he is a linguist.

He wasn't the first to do so though. As Irish historian Eoin MacNeill sagely said in 1920, there is no Celtic race, any more than there is a Germanic race or a Latin race, if by 'race' we mean some set of physical features that clearly distinguishes one from another. He felt that all the present nations of Europe are a mixture of the same ancestral components in varied proportions. He was right, as we now know. MacNeill's definition of a Celt was an ancient person known to have spoken a Celtic language.

authun
03-07-2015, 03:46 PM
My definition of a Celt is someone who spoke or now speaks a Celtic language.

This leads to the problem of defining a celtic language. The divergent tree like structure of Indo European, where we have PIE => Proto Italo-Celtic => Proto Italic + Proto Celtic => Italic + Celtic Languages is itself only a theory and one which requires say, proto celtic speakers wandering around the landscape and settling down for the the various celtic languages to develop. This process has archaeologically, been difficult to demonstrate.

Researchers like Andrew Garrett in 'Convergence in the Formation of Indo European Subgroups: Phylogeny and Chronology (http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~garrett/IEConvergence.pdf)' suggest that italic and celtic languages converged into local dialects from a single southern indo european language and that the convergence occurred in situ. Thus, there is no need to look for a proto italo-celtic branch or posit where it might have been at any point in time. Language convergence also goes a long way to explain why some celtic languages do not even look celtic and why it is not necessary to explain which group may have transported it from A to B. A and B were only ever connected at the PIE or Southern IE stage and the languages spoken in A and B developed there respectively.

Jean M
03-07-2015, 04:04 PM
This leads to the problem of defining a Celtic language.

The definition of Celtic is not really controversial. The stages between Celtic and PIE, and the relationships to Italic, Lusitanian and Ligurian are another matter.

I have shifted away from accounting for Ligurian and Lusitanian by means of an early Italo-Celtic movement with the Stelae People. It always did puzzle me that if there was such a movement so early, why do we still have people called Ligurians all along the coast of the Med and right round to the Portuguese Atlantic coast called 'Ligurians' as late as the 6th century BC? By then we might expect more local ethnonyms to have arisen. I've moved towards the latest thinking by Spanish linguists like Maria Blanca Prosper, whereby the earliest IE arrivals spoke Alteuropäisch, or we could call it Southern IE if you prefer.

Though I think Andrew Garrett is on to something with Greek, I'm not persuaded that the formation of Celtic is best explained the same way. Celtic is certainly horribly complex. Perhaps I should tackle the Anglo-Saxons next. :biggrin1:

authun
03-07-2015, 04:23 PM
The definition of Celtic is not really controversial.

I'll rephrase then Jean. Rather than 'This leads to the problem of defining a Celtic language' I'll substitute your words and write, 'This leads to the problem of defining a "horribly complex" [set of] Celtic language[s].'

authun
03-07-2015, 04:25 PM
whereby the earliest IE arrivals spoke Alteuropäisch

I'll take it that you are wanting to annoy the hell out of someone using a term like that :-)

Jean M
03-07-2015, 04:40 PM
I'll take it that you are wanting to annoy the hell out of someone using a term like that :-)

No. I feel that I'm stuck with it, as this is the term that linguists seem to prefer, on the whole. It does annoy some people, because the translation 'Old European' suggests the term 'Old Europe' used by Gimbutas for non-IE Neolithic society. Here's my tree and map.

3970

3969

alan
03-07-2015, 09:44 PM
This leads to the problem of defining a celtic language. The divergent tree like structure of Indo European, where we have PIE => Proto Italo-Celtic => Proto Italic + Proto Celtic => Italic + Celtic Languages is itself only a theory and one which requires say, proto celtic speakers wandering around the landscape and settling down for the the various celtic languages to develop. This process has archaeologically, been difficult to demonstrate.

Researchers like Andrew Garrett in 'Convergence in the Formation of Indo European Subgroups: Phylogeny and Chronology (http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~garrett/IEConvergence.pdf)' suggest that italic and celtic languages converged into local dialects from a single southern indo european language and that the convergence occurred in situ. Thus, there is no need to look for a proto italo-celtic branch or posit where it might have been at any point in time. Language convergence also goes a long way to explain why some celtic languages do not even look celtic and why it is not necessary to explain which group may have transported it from A to B. A and B were only ever connected at the PIE or Southern IE stage and the languages spoken in A and B developed there respectively.

The idea of Celtic emerging from some more general dialect by contnuous insitu elite Interactionn in a checkerboard way until the network gets interrupted has been my favoured view since I read about undifferentiated IE river names in Nicolaesens go in the 80s. It sort of means there is no real end process and the edges will be blurred in a dialect continuoum. This fits the period 2500_500bc very well however I have always felt there had to be a basic IE migration event to set the base for this and beaker is the best option by far for western Europe..

rms2
03-08-2015, 02:23 AM
I think that is the general idea: the Bell Beaker people begin arriving in the mid 3rd millennium BC speaking an Italo-Celtic dialect or dialects. Celtic emerges in NW Europe (from Germany west) as a lingua franca among peoples who already spoke related dialects.

Agamemnon
03-08-2015, 02:41 AM
Personally, I find the term "Old European" pretty ambiguous, it can easily be mistaken as a synonym for "non-IE" and we owe this to the term coined by Gimbutas to describe pre-IE speaking Europe: "Old Europe". Personally, I think labels such as "Para-Italo-Celtic" [PaIC] or "Western IE" make more sense.

But again, this isn't my field of expertise, and I've always been staunchly opposed to the use of outdated linguistic labels such as "Semitic" or "Cushitic" (which I'd replace with "Syro-Ethiopian" and "Æthio-Somali" respectively). "Old European" is a term which reminds me of the two aforementioned labels in that they obfuscate more than they clarify. The use of this term will inevitably lead to confusion as well as a loss of neutrality and objectivity.

Dubhthach
03-08-2015, 09:03 AM
I was referring to old 19th and early 20th century writings with references and drawings contrasting the Nordic superiority of the English to the "dark-white" aboriginal inferiority of the rest of the Isles' inhabitants.

Regarding dolichocephaly, a number of even the older writings pointed out that the Neolithic "Iberians" who inhabited the Isles had long skulls (although that was invariably coupled with short stature, a less-than-robust gracile skeleton, and, it was alleged, dark features).

A prime example of such propaganda is the following:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fa/Scientific_racism_irish.jpg

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/files/2011/01/1.gif

Poor Hibernia has to be defended from it's "brutish inhabitants" it would seem:
https://ballymaclinton.files.wordpress.com/2014/11/tennier-2-fordesimg_0001.jpg

http://www.econlib.org/library/Columns/fenian.jpg

To the more extreme "Irish Monkey"

http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000V28FBzT8i0M/s/900/720/John-Leech-Cartoons-Punch-1848-04-08-147.jpg

Dubhthach
03-08-2015, 09:12 AM
Well at the most basic level the definition of what is and what in't a Celtic language is whether Proto-IE /p/ had undergone deletion. Thence the talk of Lusitanian been "para-Celtic" due to it having words that have retained /p/ (which had undergone deletion in proto-Celtic).

Contrast Latin pater to Irish Athair and English Father (p -> f in germanic ;) )

Generalissimo
03-08-2015, 11:10 AM
How's "Celtic from the west" looking nowadays?

authun
03-08-2015, 11:35 AM
however I have always felt there had to be a basic IE migration event to set the base for this and beaker is the best option by far for western Europe..

Yes the basic IE migration has to still be there. Speakers of some sort of IE have to move into a geographic location. The divergent branching model though requires celtic speakers around Noricum to be connected with celtic speakers in Iberia, on a firmly defined celtic branch attached to an italo celtic branch on an IE trunk. Garrett's convergent model still requires an IE 'seed' as it were, but the language evolution is not as orderly and the distribution of language twigs is much more stochastic in nature.

More like Japanese knotweed. The linkages are below ground and not visible. There is a reason why they emerge where they do, but it is not as obvious as a tree branching above ground. :-)

3974

See also A Stochastic Model of Language Evolution that Incorporates Homoplasy and Borrowing (http://www.cs.rice.edu/~nakhleh/Papers/WarnowRevComplete.pdf) which challenges homoplastic models:

"Most of the models used in studies of language evolution explicitly or implicitly assume that evolution is treelike, and that linguistic characters evolve without homoplasy."

authun
03-08-2015, 02:40 PM
The latest POBI map also had some interesting "branch lines", which if I have read them correctly, show that the Scottish, Northern Irish and English clusters are all closer to each other than to the Welsh clusters. To my mind this is either because the rural Welsh have had less "Anglo-Saxon" or "English" input in historic times or this is down to some prehistoric difference between Wales and other parts of the Isles. POBI did say that when they analysed the clusters, the Orcadians were most different to all the other UK groups and then after that the Welsh were most separate.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GfBY7dXFSEE/VNrz4CIcBhI/AAAAAAAAJ6w/Hv38EASWsR4/s1600/UK.jpg


The plot is autosomal and, according to those autosomal SNPs, the two clusters in North Wales look the same. However, when looking at the Y Chromosome, Weale found that thw two areas, Llangefni and Abergele were in completely different parts of the plot, the difference being due to a high frequency of E3b as far as I remember.

3978


It was suggested later that this may be due to the resettlement of miners as this Abergele area has ancient copper mines, such as those on the Great Orme. I don't think one could easily persuade local farmers to give up food production and start digging an extensive network of tunnels. They go down several levels. Bringing in specialists seems logical. Although the Y signature is still present, autosomally, there is no difference anymore.


http://www.myllandudno.com/placeimages/images1/22303_1_custom.jpg

Agamemnon
03-08-2015, 05:32 PM
How's "Celtic from the west" looking nowadays?

Some aspects of Koch's theory work better for Para-Italo-Celtic or Para-Celtic languages rather than Celtic proper, if you ask me Proto-Celtic has to come from the east at some point and its expansion fits with an east-to-west pattern IMHO.

Jean M
03-08-2015, 05:51 PM
Personally, I find the term "Old European" pretty ambiguous, it can easily be mistaken as a synonym for "non-IE" and we owe this to the term coined by Gimbutas to describe pre-IE speaking Europe: "Old Europe". Personally, I think labels such as "Para-Italo-Celtic" [PaIC] or "Western IE" make more sense.


'Western IE' is a good idea if only it would catch on. If I'm citing a bunch of linguists who insist on using "Alteuropäisch", I don't feel that I should invent a new term all by myself, so I have just translated as "Old European IE" or made it crystal clear in the same sentence that "Old European" is a dialect of IE.

Jean M
03-08-2015, 05:58 PM
How's "Celtic from the west" looking nowadays?

No better than it ever did. Profs. Koch and Cunliffe don't seem to be gaining a lot of converts among linguists, indeed I haven't noticed any enthusiasm at all from that direction. However I'd say that it was well worth while for them to pursue the idea, for all the interesting papers that have come out of the debate, and for the way that they have drawn attention to the complex linguistic landscape of Iberia.

newtoboard
03-08-2015, 06:00 PM
'Western IE' is a good idea if only it would catch on. If I'm citing a bunch of linguists who insist on using "Alteuropäisch", I don't feel that I should invent a new term all by myself, so I have just translated as "Old European IE" or made it crystal clear in the same sentence that "Old European" is a dialect of IE.

Given that the use of "Northwestern IE" to represent a possible grouping of Celtic, Germanic and Balto-Slavic languages this could end up getting confusing.

Jean M
03-08-2015, 06:24 PM
Given that the use of "Northwestern IE" to represent a possible grouping of Celtic, Germanic and Balto-Slavic languages this could end up getting confusing.

I have preferred not to use "Northwestern IE", but I certainly see what you mean.

Jean M
03-08-2015, 06:43 PM
A prime example of such propaganda is the following:

Pretty standard 'de-humanising' of the enemy. Makes it easier to kill people if you think of them that way. Makes it easier to justify an empire. It's not just psychological warfare, it's keeping your own people onside for a lot of nasty behaviour to their neighbours (to whom in this case a lot of them were related).

Honestly I can scarcely blame post-colonial archaeologists for such a hatred of colonialism that the mere idea of migration had to be eradicated from the menu of archaeological explanation for decades. I share their emotions. I just feel that we have to face facts. Migration happened. It wasn't all invasion and colonisation though.

authun
03-08-2015, 07:22 PM
Personally, I find the term "Old European" pretty ambiguous, it can easily be mistaken as a synonym for "non-IE" and we owe this to the term coined by Gimbutas to describe pre-IE speaking Europe: "Old Europe". Personally, I think labels such as "Para-Italo-Celtic" [PaIC] or "Western IE" make more sense.

But they might be pre IE and even if they are IE, they need not belong to an italo celtic branch. Rivers Wye and Wey cannot be derived by any words in Celtic or English (Cameron). They may belong to a different group than the rivers Bovey and Tamar which may be the same as Bobbio and Tambre in Italy and Spain respectively, but I doubt that the Don in Yorkshire with its counterparts in Russia and Germany, even if IE, would be classified as italo-celtic.

Rivers which have previously been classified as celtic, Amber, Clun, Hodder, Humber, Itchen, Kennet, Neen, Nene, Ouse, Parret, Soar, Tees, Test, Till, Tweed, Tyne, Ure, Wear, Welland and Witham are thought to have been wrongly classified and remain unclassified. I don't think we have pan european equivalents for them as we do for rivers like the Isar, Jizera, Isère, Isel, IJssel, IJzer, Eisack / Isarco which can be linked to a celtic ys root but can also be linked to a root which we find in the vasconic language of the Basques, supposedely a non IE language, (w)its, as in Vézère, Vizela, Weser and Vistula. There are others too, such as the apa hydronyms which may be an IE layer older than current IE languages.

3980

Fitting the names into any particular box just seems to create problems and we have to consider that our theories of the evolutionary development of languages is not best served by using simple tree like models.

authun
03-08-2015, 07:25 PM
A prime example of such propaganda is the following:

Those techniques were used at various points in time to describe women, the working classes and all foreigners - 'the only way to deal with an indian to is beat him with a big stick'.

In a Capital Court Case after the war, a Somali was described by his own defence council as 'a semi-literate sort of savage'. Despite being very probably innocent, he went to the gallows.

It wasn't just prejudice against the Irish. They cast a far wider net than that. 'We have been ruling this country for over 1000 years. We don't need Parliament to tell us how to do it'. Us and them still exists.

avalon
03-08-2015, 09:55 PM
Avalon-my main point though is that we now have proof L23 was located within the steppe and M269 is absent in Neolithic Old Europe. So its Occam's Razor stuff that the IE-isation of the west was brought with P312 in the main and that this was the ancestor of Celtic, perhaps via Celto-Italic. So, we do have a strong pan-Celtic signal on y lines and it looks very much like there was also a very significant autosomal input too. So, what I am saying is the idea the Celts had no common input in terms of DNA seems wrong and of course the idea that the isles Celts were Celticised Neolithic people with the tiniest Celtic input. Of course they didnt wipe out the Neolithic people - that would be going to the opposite extreme- but they do seem to have had a major genetic impact - or at least the copper age migrants who are pretty well the only show in town as the ultimate ancestors of west IEs like Celts clearly did have a major impact.

I do agree with you that I would like more data on the Wesh and I do suspect they have higher ENF and lower WHG and ANE than the Gaelic areas but I dont know of any data on this.

I am totally with you on the whole Y-DNA and dominance of P312 amongst the Celtic areas in NW Europe. I am just particularly struck by what the POBI project appear to be saying with regards the different autosomalDNA clusters in the UK and how the Welsh are more separated from the English, Northern Irish and Scottish.

I think this is more than just the effect 2,000 years of relative isolation in some parts of Wales - it probably goes deeper like you said. It does make me wonder if perhaps the Welsh have retained a higher level of Neolithic genes, perhaps linked to the megalith builders of the Atlantic. Specifically, Wales and Western France appear to have a close affinity.

Of course we do need more data for Wales, I feel it is often ignored in some DNA studies and the Welsh never seem to crop up in admixture programs, etc.

avalon
03-08-2015, 10:46 PM
The plot is autosomal and, according to those autosomal SNPs, the two clusters in North Wales look the same. However, when looking at the Y Chromosome, Weale found that thw two areas, Llangefni and Abergele were in completely different parts of the plot, the difference being due to a high frequency of E3b as far as I remember.

3978


It was suggested later that this may be due to the resettlement of miners as this Abergele area has ancient copper mines, such as those on the Great Orme. I don't think one could easily persuade local farmers to give up food production and start digging an extensive network of tunnels. They go down several levels. Bringing in specialists seems logical. Although the Y signature is still present, autosomally, there is no difference anymore.


http://www.myllandudno.com/placeimages/images1/22303_1_custom.jpg

I have also read that E-V13 may date from Roman times and another suggestion was the Neolithic although I have no idea how we can know either way.

Llangefni and Abergele have both at various times in history been part of the wider Kingdom of Gwynedd and they are close enough that it doesn't surprise me they cluster together autosomally. Llangefni still has many Welsh speakers, as does the moorland region to the south of Abergele.

Webb
03-09-2015, 12:19 AM
Yes I understand Hector. Inevitably this is simplistic.



'You guys' meaning all Western Eurasians? It is a fact Hector that some Western Eurasians are so foolish as to believe themselves superior to East Asians (who actually have some of the most impressive ancient civilizations on earth). So naturally they want to believe in 'pure' races. It is also a fact that a lot of Chinese were keen on the idea that they were descended from Peking Man, which would make them a special race apart. The Chinese have a long history of believing in their superiority to the rest of mankind. I do have some sympathy with this view when I look at their cultural achievements. But genetic reality is no more on their side than that of western bigots. What we have here is a case of genetic drift. There have been lengthy periods with relatively little inter-mixture between East and West.

That does not mean no inter-mixture. Ancient DNA is revealing a complex story of East-West contacts, in which I am particularly interested. However it is not the subject of this thread.

I really need to give due props to RM2 from a different post. To understand R's story, you must take into account Q and P as well. You can not just focus on the tips of R's branches but must also look at the trunk of P, and how R relates to Q. My wife is from China. When we started dating, she seemed surprised by my intelligence. I found out later that Americans are stereotyped as very good people, but not the most intelligent:)

authun
03-09-2015, 11:52 AM
I have also read that E-V13 may date from Roman times and another suggestion was the Neolithic although I have no idea how we can know either way.

The romans mined lead which they smelted at Flint, but I don't think they imported miners. The lead pigs are inscribed with the tribal name Deceangli. Romano british lead pigs appear in several places, such as Brough on Humber where the port of Peturia Parisorum was used to export goods to the empire. There is a map of lead mining during the roman period in this article, An Analysis of Romano British Lead Pigs (https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CCEQFjAA&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ucl.ac.uk%2Fiams%2Fnewslette r%2Faccordion%2Fjournals%2Fiams_21%2Fiams_21_2001_ gardiner&ei=Z4j9VLeoMITtaMingJgJ&usg=AFQjCNFq2BesApcnizSFe8JZOXipA1Wzwg&sig2=sBqPlBeP7V1wH2fUAgmxcw&bvm=bv.87611401,d.d2s&cad=rja) but only north wales shows the elevated E3 frequency. I don't think it has to do with roman lead therefore and I don't think the romans mined copper in that area.

authun
03-09-2015, 02:37 PM
The whole debate between demic or cultural diffusion can be condensed into a single image of the salt mines at Hallstatt. The green area at the top is the area where salt was mined during the bronze age. The red area immediately below it is where salt was mined during the iron age - the celtic age of Hallsatt:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/%C3%9Cbersicht_zu_den_Fundstellen_in_Hallstatt_und _im_Hallst%C3%A4tter_Salzbergtal.jpg

The wooden staircase was found in the bronze age mines. They date to the 14th cent. BC. The mummified miner was found in the iron age mines:

http://www.athenapub.com/hallst-tuschwerk-stiege05.GIF

http://media.tourdata.at/display/KuKdetailPic565x180/f11f4c05d1f760bd018e6c81e8a1e735.jpg

The entire mountain was producing and trading salt from 1500BC to 400AD. The Bronze Age and Hallstatt Iron Age mines were destroyed by flooding and landslips around 400BC, hence the La Tene sites are relocated to a different part of the mountain. There is nearly 2000 years of continuity on the mountain but we start to call Hallstatt celtic only from about the 8th century BC. What is the chance of those people who worked in the red area being descended from those in the green area?

Dubhthach
03-10-2015, 11:11 AM
It would make sense given that Hallstat is seen as a successor culture to Urnfield which the area fell into. We know that Golasecca material culture to south (in Italy) appears to have spoken a Celtic language given it's connections to Lepontic inscriptions, this material culture also developed out of Urnfield.

Jean M
03-10-2015, 04:00 PM
There is nearly 2000 years of continuity on the mountain but we start to call Hallstatt celtic only from about the 8th century BC.

What is this 'we?' :) I have simply divided my chronology into prehistory, in which the language spoken has to be deduced, and history, where we have written evidence. In the prehistoric section, I deduced:

2200-1700 BC: Late Bell Beaker: Early Celtic, Italic and Ligurian
1200-750 BC: Bronze Age Hallstatt (Hallstatt A & B ): Celtic
750-600 BC: Early Iron Age Hallstatt C: Celtic

Jean M
03-10-2015, 04:06 PM
It would make sense given that Hallstat is seen as a successor culture to Urnfield which the area fell into. We know that Golasecca material culture to south (in Italy) appears to have spoken a Celtic language given it's connections to Lepontic inscriptions, this material culture also developed out of Urnfield.

Urnfield covered a very wide territory, which was not necessarily uniformly Celtic-speaking, though this supposition seems common. Its intrusion into Iberia seems to have left a trail of Ligurian speakers. It has been a guess that Golasecca evolved from Urnfield, but we have a Late Bell Beaker intrusion into the region from the north-east at Sion and Aosta which could be the original source of Lepontic.

authun
03-10-2015, 06:11 PM
What is this 'we?' :) I have simply divided my chronology into prehistory, in which the language spoken has to be deduced, and history, where we have written evidence. In the prehistoric section, I deduced:

2200-1700 BC: Late Bell Beaker: Early Celtic, Italic and Ligurian


All right, all right.

If we're going to qibble, you can't support Koch's assertion that the language defines 'celtic' and then 'assume' it was spoken in Bronze Age Hallstatt. Who knows what those bronze age salt miners, pig farmers and bacon curers spoke?

Actually, given that we know that they reared pigs and salted the meat, one would assume that there are some fossil words in celtic which relate to those activities.

Jean M
03-10-2015, 06:18 PM
If we're going to quibble, you can't support Koch's assertion that the language defines 'celtic' and then 'assume' it was spoken in Bronze Age Hallstatt.

Can I not? Oh dear! It's too late to pulp the book. Blood of the Celts is already available for pre-order on Amazon. :biggrin1:

alan
03-10-2015, 06:41 PM
My own feeling is that we will never know exactly how Celtic evolved out of west IE or Celto-Italic although I think the concept that La Tene and Hallstatt were the initial mover of Celtic is busted. Its also true then that Urnfield doesnt help a lot because it didnt reach significant areas of the Celtic world except in a way of ripples of influence on metalwork trends which clearly are very generalised and totally inplausible as migration in many areas.

Early beaker of course was probably not specifically Celtic but likely ancestral to other branches too. I think we can probably say Celtic emerged within a late or post-beaker elite interaction network. I actually like the idea that Celtic emerged first in the Unetice-Wessex-Armorica triangle in the immediate post-beaker period and that those areas pretty well retained a strong elite trade network that doesnt look migratory - they had distinct burials, houses etc - through the whole period from the end of beaker to Hallstatt C.

IMO the spread of west IE with beaker was migration but this was followed in the period 2000-700BC by intense elite interaction. I think it was within this elite interaction that the Celtic shifts emerged and spread. I dont think we will ever be able to prove which areas within that north-west/central European long term interaction zone the shifts first happend.

If I had to guess I would say probably in west-central Europe because it tended to be the trend setter in metalwork, sort of the engine room of Europe, while in the isles and NW France they tended to then make their own localised versions. I would say it extremely likely Celtic emerged and spread by non-migratory - other than low level marriages etc - within the 2200-1200BC period and I suspect it emerged in that triangle and was finally extended to Iberia from the north around 1000BC from both the Atlantic and central European routes.

Once you go back or forward from these dates it gets harder to explain ALL Celtic speakers. It gets harder to justify narrowing this further IMO. As I said it was an ongoing process rather than a moment so it may be wrongheaded to seek a narrower timeslot.

My feeling is its wrong headed to think of dialects as arriving - they are more an on-going process of interaction with no destination or end unless the network is broken and an area breaks off from further innovation and become a branching off at a particular point in time. This is probably what is seem in the P-Q thing where Ireland became isolated from the network c. 750-350BC give or take 50 years and therefore made an exit from the party earlier than some areas.

Ireland of course rejoined some sort of network when La Tene material came in but up to 400 years of isolation and relatively modest participation in the La Tene network seems to have meant that the dye was cast. IMO the power of the Druids as a national force -represented by massive regional ritual sites like Tara, Emain Macha, Dun Ailline, Cruachan etc - compared to very fragmented political units and rather mobile looking way of life may be the reason why Q celtic remained in Ireland even after La Tene elements came in.

alan
03-10-2015, 06:59 PM
One promising avenue to consider for further dating Celtic is the Celto-Germanic unique stuff relating to ritual, war, clientship etc that seems to be common to both rather than borrowed from one to another as they all go back to the pre-proto languages. This suggests all of this was held in common at a remote date and not borrowed. It is far too specific to be chance. These strongly argue against Celtic from the west.

http://www.academia.edu/377059/The_Precursors_of_Celtic_and_Germanic

Unfortunately there is not much dating evidence in the vocab unless the horse riding stuff helps - not sure about that.

So the question is what is this common strata that led to this commonality between the Celtic and Germanic branches - beaker, corded ware or something a little later

Jean M
03-10-2015, 07:08 PM
I think we can probably say Celtic emerged within a late or post-beaker elite interaction network..

At least with Late BB we have archaeological evidence of movements from a core to the places where we later find Lepontic, Celtiberian and the Insular Celtic branches, plus there is a plausible trail from the latter to Galicia in the Atlantic Bronze Age. Interaction network is the right image, I think.

Makes me think of the site on Thanet, the monograph on which came out recently: Jacqueline I. McKinley, Matt Leivers, Jörn Schuster, Peter Marshall, Alistair J. Barclay and Nick Stoodley, A mortuary and ritual site of the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon period with evidence for long-distance maritime mobility http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/cliffs-end-farm-isle-of-thanet-kent.html

alan
03-10-2015, 07:15 PM
At least with Late BB we have archaeological evidence of movements from a core to the places where we later find Lepontic, Celtiberian and the Insular Celtic branches, plus there is a plausible trail from the latter to Galicia in the Atlantic Bronze Age. Interaction network is the right image, I think.

Makes me think of the site on Thanet, the monograph on which came out recently: Jacqueline I. McKinley, Matt Leivers, Jörn Schuster, Peter Marshall, Alistair J. Barclay and Nick Stoodley, A mortuary and ritual site of the Bronze Age, Iron Age and Anglo-Saxon period with evidence for long-distance maritime mobility http://www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/cliffs-end-farm-isle-of-thanet-kent.html

I think what makes it so hard to nail down any dialect is that there seems to have been a furious interaction elite process involving west-central Europe, the I=usles and NW France as well as less glorified areas in between through the entire Bronze Age so dialect evolution was probably always ongoing. I see that zone as the core of Celticity. Personally I suspect the renewal of elite interaction with the north Atlantic after 1000BC for a couple of centuries may have brought the Celtic shifts to Altantic Iberians. In that sort of model the isles and NW France was a stepping stone for the shifts shared with central Europe to head down the far west of mainland Europe. I even would take a stab that technology was behind the sudden further reach north of Atlantic Iberian contacts - the sail may have arrived around this sort of time in Iberia through first contacts with Phoenicians.

Jean M
03-10-2015, 07:16 PM
One promising avenue to consider for further dating Celtic is the Celto-Germanic unique stuff relating to ritual, war, clientship etc that seems to be common to both rather than borrowed from one to another. ... these strongly argue against Celtic from the west.

The inescapable fact that Proto-Celtic evolved in contact with an early precursor to Germanic is mentioned in Blood of the Celts as a key argument against 'Celtic from the West', citing the very paper you linked to, by some strange coincidence. :) It's been mentioned by other authors in this context as well, I'm pretty sure. It positively leaps to the eye.

alan
03-10-2015, 07:36 PM
The inescapable fact that Proto-Celtic evolved in contact with an early precursor to Germanic is mentioned in Blood of the Celts as a key argument against 'Celtic from the West', citing the very paper you linked to, by some strange coincidence. :) It's been mentioned by other authors in this context as well, I'm pretty sure. It positively leaps to the eye.

Its disappointing that Cunliffe and especially disappointing to me that Koch put his name to the crackpot Celts from the west theory. Koch otherwise is one of my favourite linguists.

alan
03-10-2015, 07:40 PM
The inescapable fact that Proto-Celtic evolved in contact with an early precursor to Germanic is mentioned in Blood of the Celts as a key argument against 'Celtic from the West', citing the very paper you linked to, by some strange coincidence. :) It's been mentioned by other authors in this context as well, I'm pretty sure. It positively leaps to the eye.

Do you think this is down to a common thread - beaker, corded ware in the interface zone between future Celts and Germans or dates to still later contacts. The vocab is a little vague in terms of material culture implications although the evidence of special horse vocab is interesting and raises issues of date.

alan
03-10-2015, 07:50 PM
I tend to feel that Koch is something of a victim of being advised by Cunliffe's with his unusual obsession with boats and his odd uncritical use of very soft focus broad brush distribution maps. Cunliffe seems to not let details get in the way of a good soft focus map that looks well as an illustration. Very odd given that prior to semi-retirement his books seemed generally a dry and detailed.

authun
03-10-2015, 08:25 PM
I think we can probably say Celtic emerged within a late or post-beaker elite interaction network.


Hallstatt is a problem for this. Although there are some wealthy graves at Hallstatt, containing an amber necklace for example, there are no elite graves despite the fact that the graveyard spans 1000 years.

authun
03-10-2015, 08:36 PM
Can I not? Oh dear!

No you can't and you know you can't just assume it. It's a circular argument. If it was a valid deduction you could just as easily assume it not to be the case as assume it to be the case and, if you assume it not to be the case, by Koch's definition, there were no celts in the bronze age.

This type of thinking doesn't really lead anywhere. You want fossils. Even the big bang left fossils. Bronze age ought to be a breeze by comparison :-)

alan
03-10-2015, 08:42 PM
The inescapable fact that Proto-Celtic evolved in contact with an early precursor to Germanic is mentioned in Blood of the Celts as a key argument against 'Celtic from the West', citing the very paper you linked to, by some strange coincidence. :) It's been mentioned by other authors in this context as well, I'm pretty sure. It positively leaps to the eye.

Agreed and the thing that has made that paper stand out is that the words go back to the pre-proto roots of both languages so there is no real wriggleroom for borrowing post-dating that to explain. I just wish there were more clues within that share vocab as to the date but there is no standout material object within it without wriggleroom.

Jean M
03-10-2015, 08:46 PM
Cunliffe seems to not let details get in the way of a good soft focus map that looks well as an illustration. Very odd given that prior to semi-retirement his books seemed generally a dry and detailed.

Prof. Cunliffe was already noted as a brilliantly versatile writer by the mid 1980s, when he was producing slick guidebooks for the Roman Baths at Bath, and the singing prose of The City of Bath (1986), while at the same time driven to publish timely, scholarly reports on his excavations. His incisive mind can cut through a mass of detail to the core point, which is as useful in academia as it is in works for the general public. His brilliance, originality and success have attracted a lot of jealousy within the profession.

One does not have to agree with everything Profs. Koch and Cunliffe have ever said in the whole of their careers to recognise their many achievements. 'Celtic from the West' may have to be jettisoned in the end, but they both knew that could be the outcome. Prof. Koch has stated that an alternative explanation for the archaic nature of Celtiberian was that it was an early offshoot that remained isolated from the more easterly core of Celtic which continued to evolve. Prof. Cunliffe is as well aware of Mallory's argument on IE as he is Renfrew's. He has tended to lean to the latter, as you did yourself for many years, but he has actively sought out the counter-arguments, including from ancient DNA.

alan
03-10-2015, 08:49 PM
Hallstatt is a problem for this. Although there are some wealthy graves at Hallstatt, containing an amber necklace for example, there are no elite graves despite the fact that the graveyard spans 1000 years.

I think by Hallstatt - I mean Hallstatt C and D as A and B are traditionally known as Urnfield-Celtic was long established through much of its range. Around the time of Hallstatt D the network contracted markedly and there is only very small amounts of material of that era in Britain and none in Ireland. Hallstatt D seems to be a case where the network of some Alpine Celts re-focused on the Med. This was essentially a local phenomenon of rich chiefs commanding trade roots to the Med although its influence was wider. IMO the only real significance of the Hallstatt D and La Tene Celts is that elements of them extended the Celtic language into areas it had not prevously been in in southern and eastern Europe. However I believe the Celtic core of west-central and far North-West Europe was Celtic far far earlier long before Hallstatt.

Jean M
03-10-2015, 09:07 PM
you know you can't just assume it.

Deduction is not the same thing as just assuming something, as well you know.

One deduces from the evidence, which is exactly what you were doing earlier in pointing out the continuity of culture and human occupation backwards from La Tene and Hallstatt D (which we can identify as Celtic from Classical sources) to Bronze Age Hallstatt. Then we look for a trail to link up to the IE homeland. This quest, in my view, should be informed by linguistics, archaeology, place-names, ancient DNA and anything else that might prove useful. My definition of a Celt as someone who spoke Celtic does not prevent me from plunging into prehistory, any more than my definition of the Germani as people who spoke Germanic stopped me from deductions about their prehistory in AJ.

alan
03-10-2015, 09:08 PM
Prof. Cunliffe was already noted as a brilliantly versatile writer by the mid 1980s, when he was producing slick guidebooks for the Roman Baths at Bath, and the singing prose of The City of Bath (1986), while at the same time driven to publish timely, scholarly reports on his excavations. His incisive mind can cut through a mass of detail to the core point, which is as useful in academia as it is in works for the general public. His brilliance, originality and success have attracted a lot of jealousy within the profession.

One does not have to agree with everything Profs. Koch and Cunliffe have ever said in the whole of their careers to recognise their many achievements. 'Celtic from the West' may have to be jettisoned in the end, but they both knew that could be the outcome. Prof. Koch has stated that an alternative explanation for the archaic nature of Celtiberian was that it was an early offshoot that remained isolated from the more easterly core of Celtic which continued to evolve. Prof. Cunliffe is as well aware of Mallory's argument on IE as he is Renfrew's. He has tended to lean to the latter, as you did yourself for many years, but he has actively sought out the counter-arguments, including from ancient DNA.

I agree that he has done a lot of great stuff and is very highly regarded - I own a few - but a lot of his Atlantean type stuff - and he has written a fair few on this theme-really skips over inconvenient detail to keep the basic theme which otherwise would look a lot weaker. I have been kind of amazed at this BECAUSE he normally cares a lot more about detail. Many of this Atlantean broad brush stuff just falls apart with any sort of scrutiny. In fact IMO it totally distorts the reality that the Atlantic is a wide, dangerous sea that took days to cross in prehistoric boats and in most periods there are huge differences between the cultures in the south and northern parts of the Atlantic with only sporadic evidence of this gap being closed for short periods perhaps in the beaker and c. 1000BC for a couple of centuries. I just feel a generation of people as a result have a hugely exaggerated concept of the Atlantic aspects. Genetics alone shows that European genes as a whole split more north-south than east-west.

Jean M
03-10-2015, 09:22 PM
but a lot of his Atlantean type stuff -... -really skips over inconvenient detail to keep the basic theme which otherwise would look a lot weaker.... I just feel a generation of people as a result have a hugely exaggerated concept of the Atlantic aspects.

Makes a change from having a hugely exaggerated concept of the role played by the Mediterranean in the affairs of Europe. Prof Cunliffe has just balanced things up a bit. ;)

Actually I'm just reading The Making of the Middle Sea by Cyprian Broodbank. It comes highly recommended and I'm enjoying it so far. (I feel I should say this before I get attacked as anti-Med. I assure all readers that I have no personal preference when it comes to seas and oceans.)

alan
03-10-2015, 09:42 PM
Makes a change from having a hugely exaggerated concept of the role played by the Mediterranean in the affairs of Europe. Prof Cunliffe has just balanced things up a bit. ;)

Actually I'm just reading The Making of the Middle Sea by Cyprian Broodbank. It comes highly recommended and I'm enjoying it so far. (I feel I should say this before I get attacked as anti-Med. I assure all readers that I have no personal preference when it comes to seas and oceans.)

I like his book on Pytheas and, although fairly dry, Iron Age Communities in Britain was pretty well THE book to have on the subject for decades - both the original and the update. One minor quibble I have about his books is some of them are so bloody expensive.

I heard on the grapevine that he was a major technophobe - a man after my own heart - and still used General Pitt Rivers Antiques Roadshow type technology like a plane table or aledade for recording on sites.

razyn
03-10-2015, 10:06 PM
I think emphasizing boats, over stuff one may dig up w/o getting too wet, is less of a procedural flaw (in Cunliffe specifically, or the archaeological literature more generally) than using 2004-06 phylogenetic guesswork -- rather than trying to keep up with one of the more dynamic scientific fields we could imagine. The Celtic from the West series benefits from the former and suffers from the latter, if you ask me. Which, of course, you didn't; but it's a figure of speech.

Also, the Atlantic vs Mediterranean coasts-of-Europe idea isn't preposterous. Maybe it isn't archaeologically demonstrable, though I'm not convinced we truly know that. But the genetic map is looking far more north-of-the-Alps than it used to. If one ever admits that moving megatons of people and stuff a few thousand miles (east-to-west) is easier by water than overland -- the latter to include over mountain ranges -- one's eye might be drawn to the relative merits of the Atlantic, along with other more hydrological options that are rarely discussed (the Volga, Vistula, Neva, portage across Jutland -- whatever). Then we are left wondering how old sailboats are, and so on. And believing people like the Phoenicians and Egyptians -- who had writing that survives, deserts that preserve wood and papyrus, and otherwise can talk to us about that sort of thing. Does that make them right? And if they are, does that make Cunliffe wrong? I don't think so, to either question.

authun
03-10-2015, 11:37 PM
Well I shall drop my sop to the modern canon of strict critical analysis and point out that, like Hallstatt A and B share some continuity with Hallstatt C and D, even if we can't demonstrate that continuity linguistically, The Brigantes of the West Riding show a good deal of continuity with the bronze age whereas their neighbours of the Arras culture do not. They appear in the mid 5th cent. BC.

But, there ought to be linguistic fossils. The river, Salzbach, Salzburg, the Salzkammergut etc all reflect the incoming germanic speakers using Salz for salt.. The former celtic speakers are still represented with Hall, celtic for salt, in places like Hall bei Innsbruck and Schwäbisch Hall. Hallstatt itself uses a celtic prefix and a germanic suffix and literally means, Place of Salt.

The german dialects spoken in Austria are Alemannic in the Voralberg and some parts of the Tyrol with a Romance substrate and Bavarian in the other parts of the Tyrol and the other 7 provinces. Whereas the rest of the Tyrol and Salzburgerland also have a Romance substratum, the eastern and southern parts have a more pronounced Slavic substratum. There should however be some clues in the toponyms for the language of bronze age and, as far as I understand it, current research is underway for pre celtic elements, though dating is bound to be difficult, if any are found that is.

For example, the river Raab/Rába (Burgenland, Steiermark), from Arrabona (Ptol) and Arrabo (Peut) is often taken to be celtic, the root being compared with Abon, cf Avon. However, it is a difficult case because Arrab may not be the same as Abon. It's one of those convenient explanations. Others include Botovio, later Iovia, which has both celtic and italic etymologies; Muroela (Ptol) PIE from root meu and several others which can be explained by either italo celtic or plain PIE etymologies. I think the clues to the language of the bronze age will be found in these.

Jean M
03-12-2015, 04:04 PM
..Hallstatt A and B share some continuity with Hallstatt C and D, even if we can't demonstrate that continuity linguistically ...

I wouldn't be so rash as to assert that this has never been challenged. Archaeologists love to argue. ;) But let's say that Koch and Cunliffe are not challenging it. They have simply joined the swell of academics arguing that the Bell Beaker Culture looks the best bet as the vector for the Celtic language, rather than the old favourite idea that Proto-Celtic spread much later with La Tene. I would agree, while going for Late BB.

All the argument is therefore over details of the BB routes and how they might tie in to the development from an IE dialect of Proto-Celtic and related languages. Prof. Koch seems rather taken with my Stelae People theory, which conveniently explains the route from the Danube to Portugal for him. The remaining issue in contention is therefore the language carried by these people and whether Lusitanian could be the direct precusor of Celtic. Prof. Koch would like the latter. Blanca Maria Prosper says absolutely not. I have fallen in line with her in the coming books.

authun
03-12-2015, 07:10 PM
I wouldn't be so rash as to assert that this has never been challenged.

I'm not too sure what you are claiming has never been challenged. Which part of my statement "Hallstatt A and B share some continuity with Hallstatt C and D, even if we can't demonstrate that continuity linguistically" do you see as controversial?

My own personal feeling is that no one model explains language evolution. Convergent dialects, where different types of celtic language converge out of a southern indo european in situ, each of those dialects is still open to influence of other celtic dialects, via trade or settlement as proposed by divergent tree like models. The language of the Hallstatt A and B settlements could have been a precursor to the celtic of the language of the settlements in the C and D periods, either at a proto celtic or an italo celtic stage according to a branching tree like model. The surrounding toponyms which are difficult to determine still appear to be celtic, italic or IE, we just cannot demonstrate which one(s) conclusively.

The language of the bronze age settlers in west yorkshire however is more problematic. Their 5th cent. BC neighbours in East Yorkshire, are distinctly La Tene but it is possible that the so called Brigantes spoke a different language during the bronze age and only acquired a celtic language quite late. This might explain the numerous toponyms which cannot be expalined by any known celtic language. However, as with some proposals for Pictish and the language of the Belgae, there is also the possibility that different celtic dialects were still spoken, as per a convergent model, but which then changed to more mainstream celtic languages as per the divergent tree like model. We still have celtic toponyms for which we have no meaning. Groups speaking one language but then splitting into two groups each of which evolve their own language is probably only part of the story.

Jean M
03-12-2015, 07:23 PM
I'm not too sure what you are claiming has never been challenged. Which part of my statement "Hallstatt A and B share some continuity with Hallstatt C and D, even if we can't demonstrate that continuity linguistically" do you see as controversial?.

I don't see any part of it as controversial. That is what I was saying. I don't know of anyone who has ever challenged it, but you being so erudite will probably confound me instantly by quoting some obscure person who in 1927 declared that Hallstatt C had arrived from Mars and was nothing to do with any other culture on earth, let alone Hallstatt B. :biggrin1:

authun
03-12-2015, 07:48 PM
some obscure person who in 1927 declared that Hallstatt C had arrived from Mars

If Mars was involved, it'll have been a roman though, to be honest, as they stayed in the valley bottom, I doubt they knew what was going on higher up on t'ill.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7c/%C3%9Cbersicht_zu_den_Fundstellen_in_Hallstatt_und _im_Hallst%C3%A4tter_Salzbergtal.jpg/800px-%C3%9Cbersicht_zu_den_Fundstellen_in_Hallstatt_und _im_Hallst%C3%A4tter_Salzbergtal.jpg

Jean M
03-12-2015, 07:50 PM
If Mars was involved, it'll have been a roman though

How do you know that Romans were worshipping Mars at that time. They were not yet literate. :biggrin1:

authun
03-12-2015, 08:45 PM
How do you know that Romans were worshipping Mars at that time. They were not yet literate. :biggrin1:

Well Ares then. He's the greek equivalent is mentioned in the Attica and also popular with the romans. Although they knew about him but couldn't write about him because the greeks hadn't invented the latin alphabet yet.


http://www.ancient.eu/uploads/images/preview-875.jpg?v=1391175907

Jean M
03-12-2015, 09:15 PM
the greeks hadn't invented the latin alphabet yet.

:)

I wonder why the Greeks didn't patent their inventions. A shrewd patent or two for about 3000 years and they would have no financial crisis right now.

Kopfjäger
03-12-2015, 10:02 PM
The language of the bronze age settlers in west yorkshire however is more problematic. Their 5th cent. BC neighbours in East Yorkshire, are distinctly La Tene but it is possible that the so called Brigantes spoke a different language during the bronze age and only acquired a celtic language quite late.

I read somewhere that there may be a "missing link", so to say, between Indo-European and Proto-Celtic that may have been spoken throughout Northwestern Europe. Is this also related to what you are saying, as well as a possible pre-Celtic, Indo-European language spoken in the Low Countries during the Bronze Age (Beaker period)?

authun
03-13-2015, 09:35 AM
:)

I wonder why the Greeks didn't patent their inventions.

Venetian invention apparantly, "The history of patents and patent law is generally considered to have started with the Venetian Statute of 1474 and the 1624 English Statute of Monopolies."

That's the problem with Greece, too much philosophy and not enough trade and commerce.

authun
03-13-2015, 09:47 AM
I read somewhere that there may be a "missing link", so to say, between Indo-European and Proto-Celtic that may have been spoken throughout Northwestern Europe. Is this also related to what you are saying, as well as a possible pre-Celtic, Indo-European language spoken in the Low Countries during the Bronze Age (Beaker period)?

Yes there are several theories from the Nordwest Block Hypothesis to Martinet's Venetic language. In a nutshell, it is about what language groups like the Harpstedt Nienburg culture spoke. These were apparantly highly mobile groups, moving from east to west, who stayed in a location for a generation or two before dismantling their settlements and moving on. They go into Netherland eventually and probably the lands of the Belgae too. A very good archaeological find is at Schnippenburg (http://www.schnippenburg.de).

http://eisenzeithaus.de/wb/media/gallery/alltag/alltag_01.jpg

Eisenzeithaus Venne (http://eisenzeithaus.de/wb/pages/de/bilder/haus-und-hof.php)

Jean M
03-13-2015, 01:43 PM
I read somewhere that there may be a "missing link", so to say, between Indo-European and Proto-Celtic that may have been spoken throughout Northwestern Europe. Is this also related to what you are saying, as well as a possible pre-Celtic, Indo-European language spoken in the Low Countries during the Bronze Age (Beaker period)?

The Nordwest Block Hypothesis https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nordwestblock that Authun mentioned is pretty specific geographically, but easily confused with the North-West Indo-European concept mentioned earlier in this thread by newtoboard: http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?3957-An-end-to-Victorian-idea-of-island-Celts-as-pre-Celtic-people-who-learned-Celtic&p=73366&viewfull=1#post73366

'North-West Indo-European' refers to the many cognates shared between the Celtic, Italic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic branches of Indo-European. It seems to me a rather confusing label, since these language families are spoken so widely across Europe. The term really just excludes Albanian, Greek, Armenian and their deceased relatives, which Mallory and Adams 2006 label 'Central'.

Debate on a possible 'missing link' has a long history. A trio of French scholars in succession chewed over this taxing topic. 19th-century Celticist Henri d'Arbois de Jubainville proposed that the Ligurians were the first Indo-European speakers of the European West. He noted the river-names of Liguria ending in -asca, which he declared to be unknown in Celtic. Furthermore he found the suffix -asco used in territorial names within the Ligurian region from the Alps to the Rhone. The idea was taken up with enthusiasm by philologist Camille Jullian. He argued that Ligurian was Italo-Celtic and spoken right across Western Europe in the Bronze Age. The eminent Celticist Henri Hubert could not conceal his impatience with the latter idea. He shared with Jubainville and Jullian the conviction that Celtic and Italic had a common parent. He conceded that Ligurian, as far as one could tell from its 'wretched remnants', was something like Celtic and Italic. He simply could not picture a Ligurian empire over the whole of western Europe. In his view the Ligurians were the ones left over, who did not become either Celts or Italics.

Meanwhile the linguist Julius Pokorny was developing the suspiciously similar concept of a widespread ancient Indo-European language which he labelled Illyrian. This was eventually re-worked by Hans Krahe into the Old European (Alteuropäisch) hydronymy – river names across Europe which appear to be Indo-European, but do not fit any known Indo-European language. Krahe saw such names as evidence of a lost language ancestral to the western branches of Indo-European. Critical dissection left this idea bleeding to death. Specific archaic Indo-European river-names range from reflecting the original Indo-European parent to dialects of it which had not quite become fully-fledged daughter languages. Nevertheless Krahe's work is important. It helps us to realise how complex the process of language spread can be. The term Alteuropäisch is still in use, as I mentioned earlier in this thread.

More specifically the Celtic and Italic language families have similarities that suggest a common ancestor more recent than the Indo-European parent. The alternative explanation for their shared features is that Proto-Celtic and Proto-Italic developed in such close proximity that they influenced each other. The case for a common ancestor was first made in 1861, countered in 1929, and has oscillated in and out of favour since. Calvert Watkins of Harvard University forcefully made the case against in 1966. He pointed out the many dissimilarities between Proto-Celtic and Proto-Italic. Indeed these suggest a comparatively short period of common evolution, followed by a long period of separate development, as argued by Dutch linguist Frederik Kortlandt. This does not dispose of the common ancestor, whose existence has continued to garner support among linguists.

Agamemnon
03-13-2015, 02:25 PM
More specifically the Celtic and Italic language families have similarities that suggest a common ancestor more recent than the Indo-European parent. The alternative explanation for their shared features is that Proto-Celtic and Proto-Italic developed in such close proximity that they influenced each other. The case for a common ancestor was first made in 1861, countered in 1929, and has oscillated in and out of favour since. Calvert Watkins of Harvard University forcefully made the case against in 1966. He pointed out the many dissimilarities between Proto-Celtic and Proto-Italic. Indeed these suggest a comparatively short period of common evolution, followed by a long period of separate development, as argued by Dutch linguist Frederik Kortlandt. This does not dispose of the common ancestor, whose existence has continued to garner support among linguists.

With good reason, since the Italo-Celtic traits which prompt such an association are relevant if we are to establish a genetic relationship, in other words not the kind of traits you'd expect to arise from convergence (as opposed to divergence from a common ancestor).

Net Down G5L
03-14-2015, 06:22 AM
I don't see any part of it as controversial. That is what I was saying. I don't know of anyone who has ever challenged it, but you being so erudite will probably confound me instantly by quoting some obscure person who in 1927 declared that Hallstatt C had arrived from Mars and was nothing to do with any other culture on earth, let alone Hallstatt B. :biggrin1:

If you want obscure...how about this one (not 1927 I am afraid).

http://www.proto-english.org/cba.html

Michael Goormachtigh seems to suggest that Hallstatt C/D is Germanic not Celtic. (He also seems to support Celtic from the West from a quick look at the site)

I do not know enough detail about the archaeology at Hallstatt to know whether it demonstrates continuity or not. (I do know I listened to a presentation at the Prehistoric Society conference last weekend that presented Bestwall as the model example of LBA/IA farming continuity in the Isles. I know the site/data well and I see a number of migration events during that period.)

But, in general terms it would be possible to construct an archaeology (and superficial DNA model) to support Halsatt C/D as an individual migration event. I am sure lots of people here would have fun 'destroying the model'.

However, I do like people who think outside the box;).

Jean M
03-14-2015, 10:27 AM
If you want obscure...how about this one ..

Oh golly! That takes me back a few years. I remember one forum I frequented getting invaded by crackpots who wanted to believe that English was spoken in England before the Anglo-Saxons arrived. They kept saying that this was supported by a chap called Stephen Oppenheimer. So it must have been 2006 or soon after. Authun might remember.

And here we are today, on the brink of getting the first ancient DNA published that shows that the Anglo-Saxon advent actually happened.

lgmayka
03-14-2015, 06:58 PM
I remember one forum I frequented getting invaded by crackpots who wanted to believe that English was spoken in England before the Anglo-Saxons arrived. They kept saying that this was supported by a chap called Stephen Oppenheimer.
Oppenheimer's book The Origins of the British (http://www.amazon.com/Origins-British-The-Prehistory-Britain/dp/1845294823) jumped to all kinds of bizarre conclusions based on 6-marker Y-DNA haplotypes:
---
Two thirds of the English people reveal an unbroken line of genetic descent from south-western Europeans arriving long before the first farmers.
---

Agamemnon
03-14-2015, 07:15 PM
Oppenheimer's book The Origins of the British (http://www.amazon.com/Origins-British-The-Prehistory-Britain/dp/1845294823) jumped to all kinds of bizarre conclusions based on 6-marker Y-DNA haplotypes:
---
Two thirds of the English people reveal an unbroken line of genetic descent from south-western Europeans arriving long before the first farmers.
---

The CMH also started as a 6-marker haplotype initially, things were "different" back then, to say the least.
As far as Oppenheimer's book goes, I remember reading it 5-6 years ago, and I think I'll read it again in a year or so, just to wonder at all the progress which has been made these last few years and also to have a good laugh at all the outlandish and self-contradictory claims this books contains.

Net Down G5L
03-14-2015, 10:25 PM
And here we are today, on the brink of getting the first ancient DNA published that shows that the Anglo-Saxon advent actually happened.

I just heard confirmation this week that Prof Martin Richards intends to test some remains from my Dark Ages cemetery in Dorset - as a pilot to test his new ancient DNA lab at Huddersfield Uni.

He has funding to start a new research programme in October that will include looking at the peopling of Europe. He sent me an advert he is just releasing to recruit the first 5 PhD students. He asked me to pass it on to anyone who may be interested. I would post it on this site but I am sure it would breach some rules of the forum. I can let anyone interested have the details.
Anyway, I am hoping for some approx. 7th-9th century AD (just about to send samples for radio-carbon dating) aDNA results. I am also hoping to get some Roman and Iron Age samples in the programme. The Iron Age samples would be very interesting as they are quite rare (for the Isles in the Iron Age) crouched burials.
Prof Richards specialises in mtDNA and the majority of his programme may focus on that. I just hope the pilot will test the yDNA as well. Fingers crossed.

Jean M
03-14-2015, 10:58 PM
I just heard confirmation this week that Prof Martin Richards intends to test some remains from my Dark Ages cemetery in Dorset - as a pilot to test his new ancient DNA lab at Huddersfield Uni.

Excellent news! When I met him last year I pleaded for more aDNA from Britain. It would be very disappointing if it is restricted to mtDNA though for this period.

Jean M
03-15-2015, 02:25 PM
For those interested in following the arguments on this thread in a more scholarly, but still accessible, format, the useful paper of 2011 by Catriona Gibson and Dagmar S. Wodtko has been reprinted with maps as: The Background of the Celtic Languages: Theories from Archaeology and Linguistics. Research Papers 31, University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies 2013. http://www.wales.ac.uk/Resources/Documents/Research/CelticLanguages/GibsonWodtko.pdf

Hando
03-16-2015, 02:12 AM
Oppenheimer's book The Origins of the British (http://www.amazon.com/Origins-British-The-Prehistory-Britain/dp/1845294823) jumped to all kinds of bizarre conclusions based on 6-marker Y-DNA haplotypes:
---
Two thirds of the English people reveal an unbroken line of genetic descent from south-western Europeans arriving long before the first farmers.
---
Just to confirm. The claim about two thirds of modern English being directly descended from SW Europeans is from Oppenheimer's book and therefore wrong?

lgmayka
03-16-2015, 03:41 AM
The claim about two thirds of modern English being directly descended from SW Europeans is from Oppenheimer's book and therefore wrong?
Yes, although I wouldn't say it's wrong because he wrote it--I would say it's wrong because DNA results tell us otherwise.

Wonder_Wall
03-16-2015, 04:57 AM
"If [Celtic] it was embedded in an already IE speaking, well-connected and prestigious
environment, its development into the most widespread western IndoEuropean
branch before the Roman conquest is easier to understand."

Well put. I like the node/network model suggested by this paper and the idea that the transmission of complex cultural ideas (material and otherwise) likely required a lingua franca of sorts to support.