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rock hunter
06-22-2016, 03:03 AM
Who settled Ireland before the Celts?

Ten years ago, an Irish pub owner was clearing land for a driveway when his digging exposed an unusually large flat stone. The stone obscured a dark gap underneath. "I shot the torch in and saw the gentleman, well, his skull and bones," said Bertie Currie, the pub owner.

The remains of three humans, in fact, were found behind McCuaig’s Bar in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. And though police were called, it was not, as it turned out, a crime scene, the Boston Globe reports.
Instead, what Currie had stumbled over was an ancient burial that, after a recent DNA analysis, challenges the traditional centuries-old account of Irish origins.


From as far back as the 16th century, historians taught that the Irish are the descendants of the Celts, an Iron Age people who originated in the middle of Europe and invaded Ireland somewhere between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C.

That story has inspired innumerable references linking the Irish with Celtic culture. The Nobel-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats titled a book “Celtic Twilight.” Irish songs are deemed “Celtic” music. Some nationalists embraced the Celtic distinction. And in Boston, arguably the most Irish city in the United States, the owners of the NBA franchise dress their players in green and call them the Celtics.

Yet the bones discovered behind McCuaig’s tell a different story of Irish origins, and it does not include the Celts.
“The DNA evidence based on those bones completely upends the traditional view,” said Barry Cunliffe, an emeritus professor of archaeology at Oxford who has written books on the origins of the people of Ireland.

DNA research indicates that the three skeletons found behind McCuaig's are the ancestors of the modern Irish and they predate the Celts and their purported arrival by 1,000 years or more. The genetic roots of today's Irish, in other words, existed in Ireland before the Celts arrived.

“The most striking feature” of the bones, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science journal, is how much their DNA resembles that of contemporary Irish, Welsh and Scots. By contrast, older bones found in Ireland were more like Mediterranean people, not the modern Irish.

Radiocarbon dating shows that the bones discovered at McCuaig's go back to about 2000 B.C. That makes them hundreds of years older than the oldest artifacts generally considered to be Celtic. And those were relics unearthed from Celt homelands of continental Europe, most notably around Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

http://www.eveningtribune.com/opinion/20160616/al-bruce-who-settled-ireland-before-celts

Dubhthach
06-22-2016, 09:00 AM
Rathlin Island samples again, of course heaven forbids you have a bit of media about Ireland in the US press that doesn't mention a pub.

Jean M
06-22-2016, 01:37 PM
This story has been doing the rounds of the media for months, with increasingly inappropriate titles. See http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?6676-A-man%92s-discovery-of-bones-under-his-pub-could-forever-change-what-we-know

The piece was written by Peter Whoriskey in The Washington Post on March 17 (St Patrick's Day) 2016, under the perfectly acceptable title: A man’s discovery of bones under his pub could forever change what we know about the Irish
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/17/a-mans-discovery-of-bones-under-his-pub-could-forever-change-what-we-know-about-the-irish/

It was based on the discovery of the early Bronze Age bones at Rathlin Island, the DNA from which was published online at the end of 2015, and in print in January 2016. It is discussed on this thread: http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?6111-Neolithic-and-Bronze-Age-migration-to-Ireland-and-establishment-of-the-insular-

The sane and sensible (I think) interpretation is that the Rathlin Island men were part of the first wave of Indo-European speakers to reach Ireland. They were reinforced by later waves of much the same people, and by the time we have their language written down, it was Celtic. The Neolithic people who farmed in Ireland earlier would have spoken a different language. But because it was commonplace for decades, indeed centuries, to think that the Celtic language arrived in Ireland in the Iron Age, and this was taught in the school-books that most of the headline-writers will have read in their schooldays, they imagine that the Rathlin Island men must have been some unknown group who were there "before the Celts" or that Ireland's past "does not include the Celts", which is about the dottiest idea yet.

Saetro
06-22-2016, 09:05 PM
This is either a case of dumpster archaeology journalism (going through another newspaper in their trash for a story) or SND journalism (Slow News Day), where a stock story from a waiting pile is trotted out to fill a gap, or both. This story will be trotted out for months to come in various forms.

As "Celtic" is misunderstood in a deep historical context by tabloid journalists, misinformation is almost guaranteed to follow.

Webb
06-23-2016, 05:30 PM
Rathlin Island samples again, of course heaven forbids you have a bit of media about Ireland in the US press that doesn't mention a pub.

Yes, when you say Irish in America, you automatically think of someone sitting in a pub drinking Guinness. Sorry, can't be helped. One also thinks of potatoes. Maybe Soda bread as well. Lots of fighting, just expanding my thoughts.

Webb
06-23-2016, 05:47 PM
I am very interested in the relationship of L21 and DF27 in Ireland. Did one arrive before the other? Did they arrive together? If separately, then when and to what degree? Language impacts by both. Can we assume that Insular=L21? Can we draw correlations between Viking impact to Ireland and DF27 impact, if manners of settlements were the same if DF27 arrived later than L21. If they arrived hodgepodge together then a lot of my ramblings are obsolete.

Jean M
06-23-2016, 06:40 PM
I am very interested in the relationship of L21 and DF27 in Ireland. Did one arrive before the other? Did they arrive together?

We don't know. The Rathlin Island men were in the right place to be on the Bell Beaker route from Britain to Ireland, which I presume carried L21 predominantly or overwhelmingly, and they were L21. If DF27* arrived in Ireland with Bell Beaker incomers from the Atlantic route, I would expect it at Ross Island or thereabouts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Island,_Killarney We don't have early BB aDNA from southern Ireland.

Subclades of DF27 not found in Iberia are quite a different story. Some might have travelled with L21. Some might indeed have arrived in Ireland with Vikings.

rms2
06-25-2016, 02:25 PM
Rathlin Island samples again, of course heaven forbids you have a bit of media about Ireland in the US press that doesn't mention a pub.

But your pubs are among the best in the world, Paul. You should be proud of them.

9938

rms2
06-25-2016, 05:42 PM
But your pubs are among the best in the world, Paul. You should be proud of them.

9938

I should have been more consistent with my Yoda-speak. Here is the revised version.

9944

kevingnet
02-28-2017, 11:54 PM
This story has been doing the rounds of the media for months, with increasingly inappropriate titles. See http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?6676-A-man%92s-discovery-of-bones-under-his-pub-could-forever-change-what-we-know

The piece was written by Peter Whoriskey in The Washington Post on March 17 (St Patrick's Day) 2016, under the perfectly acceptable title: A man’s discovery of bones under his pub could forever change what we know about the Irish
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/17/a-mans-discovery-of-bones-under-his-pub-could-forever-change-what-we-know-about-the-irish/

It was based on the discovery of the early Bronze Age bones at Rathlin Island, the DNA from which was published online at the end of 2015, and in print in January 2016. It is discussed on this thread: http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?6111-Neolithic-and-Bronze-Age-migration-to-Ireland-and-establishment-of-the-insular-

The sane and sensible (I think) interpretation is that the Rathlin Island men were part of the first wave of Indo-European speakers to reach Ireland. They were reinforced by later waves of much the same people, and by the time we have their language written down, it was Celtic. The Neolithic people who farmed in Ireland earlier would have spoken a different language. But because it was commonplace for decades, indeed centuries, to think that the Celtic language arrived in Ireland in the Iron Age, and this was taught in the school-books that most of the headline-writers will have read in their schooldays, they imagine that the Rathlin Island men must have been some unknown group who were there "before the Celts" or that Ireland's past "does not include the Celts", which is about the dottiest idea yet.

Either that, or Iberian, imo.

JohnHowellsTyrfro
03-01-2017, 05:08 AM
Genuine question, from lack of knowledge, not trying trying to be a smart-arse, but is there any reason why the early inhabitants of Ireland should be any different to those of ( particularly Western) Britain and Western Coastal Europe?
You can get the impression that the early Irish were a different population which sort of arrived from someplace by-passing everywhere else en-route. John

Jean M
03-01-2017, 10:41 AM
Genuine question, from lack of knowledge, not trying trying to be a smart-arse, but is there any reason why the early inhabitants of Ireland should be any different to those of ( particularly Western) Britain and Western Coastal Europe?
You can get the impression that the early Irish were a different population which sort of arrived from someplace by-passing everywhere else en-route. John

Short answer: the first human arrivals in Ireland came via Britain and it would be absolutely amazing if they were not closely related to people who stayed in Britain.

Longer answer: The Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who entered Britain (after the climate warmed up again after the Last Glacial Maximum) walked across Doggerland, which connected what is now island Britain to the Continent. Some of them then crossed into Ireland. There has been some argument over whether or not there was a land bridge from Britain to Ireland. It seems unlikely, because Ireland had much more limited fauna than Britain and Continental Europe. (Famously no snakes, but it was limited in other ways too.) But with the sea level lower than now, it would not be a long crossing between the two closest points of these islands. Mesolithic people knew how to make and use boats.

Crucial footnote: The Mesolithic population of Ireland and Britain was tiny. Very, very, very small numbers, especially in Ireland. They were swamped and outbred by incoming farmers c. 4000 BC, or possibly just wiped out. We will only get the full picture on this when we have much more aDNA from these islands, including Mesolithic.

sktibo
03-01-2017, 11:03 AM
Short answer: the first human arrivals in Ireland came via Britain and it would be absolutely amazing if they were not closely related to people who stayed in Britain.

Longer answer: The Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who entered Britain (after the climate warmed up again after the Last Glacial Maximum) walked across Doggerland, which connected what is now island Britain to the Continent. Some of them then crossed into Ireland. There has been some argument over whether or not there was a land bridge from Britain to Ireland. It seems unlikely, because Ireland had much more limited fauna than Britain and Continental Europe. (Famously no snakes, but it was limited in other ways too.) But with the sea level lower than now, it would not be a long crossing between the two closest points of these islands. Mesolithic people knew how to make and use boats.

Crucial footnote: The Mesolithic population of Ireland and Britain was tiny. Very, very, very small numbers, especially in Ireland. They were swamped and outbred by incoming farmers c. 4000 BC, or possibly just wiped out. We will only get the full picture on this when we have much more aDNA from these islands, including Mesolithic.

Very Interesting Jean, I didn't know how tiny the Mesolithic population would have been. I assumed it would have been small, as I recall learning in anthropology classes that Hunter Gatherer groups are generally unable to include more than 55-60 individuals. From what I've seen in graphs which are supposed to depict modern populations by ancient ethnicity, it appears that places like Scotland and Orkney had a fair sized chunk of Hunter-Gatherer DNA. I always assumed Ireland would be similar, but I guess it is not so? Or, is it that these neighboring populations also may not have had much HG DNA either, and our findings in this area are currently limited due to lack of samples or something similar?
Apologies if this is off track, but I find this topic particularly interesting. Thank you!

Jessie
03-01-2017, 11:10 AM
Very Interesting Jean, I didn't know how tiny the Mesolithic population would have been. I assumed it would have been small, as I recall learning in anthropology classes that Hunter Gatherer groups are generally unable to include more than 55-60 individuals. From what I've seen in graphs which are supposed to depict modern populations by ancient ethnicity, it appears that places like Scotland and Orkney had a fair sized chunk of Hunter-Gatherer DNA. I always assumed Ireland would be similar, but I guess it is not so? Or, is it that these neighboring populations also may not have had much HG DNA either, and our findings in this area are currently limited due to lack of samples or something similar?
Apologies if this is off track, but I find this topic particularly interesting. Thank you!

Irish do get a good chunk of HG ancestry on Gedmatch calculators and also on FTDNA Ancient origins but most Irish today are largely descended from people like Rathlin anyway who most likely had their own HG component.

sktibo
03-01-2017, 11:13 AM
Irish do get a good chunk of HG ancestry on Gedmatch calculators and also on FTDNA Ancient origins but most Irish today are largely descended from people like Rathlin anyway who most likely had their own HG component.

Gotcha, so it wouldn't be so much the Hunter Gatherers indigenous to Ireland, rather the HG ethnicity "came back" to Ireland by way of Farmers and other migrants?

Jean M
03-01-2017, 11:42 AM
From what I've seen in graphs which are supposed to depict modern populations by ancient ethnicity, it appears that places like Scotland and Orkney had a fair sized chunk of Hunter-Gatherer DNA.

The graphs in question are simply including WHG from anywhere, not WHG that was originally native to Scotland or Orkney.

The first farmers to arrive in Europe picked up some WHG in their travels. That could have happened first in Anatolia. We can actually see it happen with one sample in Hungary [KO1]. But the admixture with hunter-gatherer gets higher in the middle and late Neolithic, presumably because the farming lifestyle by then dominated most of Europe. So the last remnants of hunter-gatherers in farming-dominated regions decided that if they couldn't beat them, they had better join them. Since the Neolithic happened late in Britain and Ireland (c. 4000 BC), we can expect that the farmers who arrived there would be carrying the same amount of WHG as Middle Neolithic people in Central Germany. I just pick Germany because we have data from there. We so far have only one farmer genome from Ireland and none from Britain.

Then the Indo-European speakers spread over Europe. They also carried WHG, along with ANE etc.

Jean M
03-01-2017, 11:50 AM
The one farmer genome is from Ballynahatty, northern Ireland. Here is what Cassidy 2015 said about her WHG component:



Along with other MNs, Ballynahatty displays increased levels of hunter–gatherer introgression compared with earlier farming populations. D statistics revealed that, out of the three Mesolithic hunter–gatherer groupings from Haak et al., eastern hunter–gatherer (EHG), Scandinavian hunter–gatherer (SHG), and western hunter–gatherer (WHG), Ballynahatty shares the most alleles with WHG and furthermore has the strongest preference for WHG over EHG and SHG out of all contemporaneous Neolithic individuals so far sampled. However, Ballynahatty forms a clade with other MN genomes to the exclusion of WHG and, symmetrically,WHG genomes form a clade to the exclusion of Ballynahatty. Of the three WHG individuals, Ballynahatty appeared to share the least amount of affinity with LaBrana (Spain) and the largest amount of affinity with Loschbour (Luxembourg).

Angoliga
03-02-2017, 07:02 PM
Short answer: the first human arrivals in Ireland came via Britain and it would be absolutely amazing if they were not closely related to people who stayed in Britain.

Longer answer: The Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who entered Britain (after the climate warmed up again after the Last Glacial Maximum) walked across Doggerland, which connected what is now island Britain to the Continent. Some of them then crossed into Ireland. There has been some argument over whether or not there was a land bridge from Britain to Ireland. It seems unlikely, because Ireland had much more limited fauna than Britain and Continental Europe. (Famously no snakes, but it was limited in other ways too.) But with the sea level lower than now, it would not be a long crossing between the two closest points of these islands. Mesolithic people knew how to make and use boats.

Crucial footnote: The Mesolithic population of Ireland and Britain was tiny. Very, very, very small numbers, especially in Ireland. They were swamped and outbred by incoming farmers c. 4000 BC, or possibly just wiped out. We will only get the full picture on this when we have much more aDNA from these islands, including Mesolithic.

Could the few detected A Y-haplogroups from the British Aisles (http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?7187-A-M13-in-an-Englishman) be remnants be of these first arrivals?

I noticed my European A3b2* matches on ySearch (http://www.ysearch.org/)are predominantly from northern regions of Ireland (Antrium, Drumcliff, Armagh, Moss-Side - surnames Boyd, Barrett, Robinson, Logan). Perhaps the concentration of these haplogroups on the "fringes" of the British Aisles explains how it wasn't completely taken over by incoming farmers.

I'm no expert with tmrca calculations but I'm guessing the connection with these Irish y-dna matches are more likely from a Mesolithic time period than the Roman era; the closest Irish match has a genetic distance of 18 on 37 markers.

Any experts have an estimate for this time range?
(ySearch user ID: SUD2Z)

lgmayka
03-02-2017, 08:11 PM
Could the few detected A Y-haplogroups from the British Aisles (http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthread.php?7187-A-M13-in-an-Englishman) be remnants be of these first arrivals?

I noticed my European A3b2* matches on ySearch (http://www.ysearch.org/)are predominantly from northern regions of Ireland (Antrium, Drumcliff, Armagh, Moss-Side - surnames Boyd, Barrett, Robinson, Logan).
According to the yDNA Haplogroup A project (https://www.familytreedna.com/public/Haplogroup_A/default.aspx?section=yresults), the Boyd cluster has tested BY2283+ . On YFull's haplotree, BY2283 is at the A-PH804 level (https://yfull.com/tree/A-PH804/), which has a formation (initial divergence) date of 10,500 years ago, and a TMRCA of 8700 years ago. However, YFull has only seen 4 examples of this clade: 2 Saudi customers and 2 Sardinian academic samples.

The Y-SNP page of the yDNA Haplogroup A project (https://www.familytreedna.com/public/Haplogroup_A/default.aspx?section=ysnp) indicates that many of these Boyd-cluster men have taken the Big Y test. But apparently, none of them have submitted their results to YFull for inclusion on the haplotree.

Notice the early offshoot, classified as A-YP4735 (https://yfull.com/tree/A-YP4735/)*, who diverged from (what would become) A-M13 over 45,000 years ago.

Jean M
03-02-2017, 08:39 PM
Could the few detected A Y-haplogroups from the British Aisles be remnants be of these first arrivals?

It is extremely unlikely, as the British Isles was populated after the ice sheets melted away by people who had been living in the south European refuges, mainly the Franco-Iberian one. That explains why the Mesolithic population of Europe was pretty similar genetically (Y-DNA I2 mainly) except along the eastern fringes. http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/mesolithicdna.shtml

Sub-Saharan Africans were rare in Roman Britain and we don't have any DNA from the few skeletons that are suspected to be at least part SS African. The Romans did not take Ireland.

I'd go for something more recent. I have a theory about the A1a (M31) in a family of the Yorkshire surname Revis. http://www.ancestraljourneys.org/surnames.shtml

But that is not much help to you.