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Jean M
06-05-2013, 12:07 PM
The discoveries at Cliffs End Farm on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, which caused such a sensation when revealed at the conference Rethinking the Bronze Age and the Arrival of Indo-European in Atlantic Europe (2010), are covered in an article in the July/August issue of British Archaeology (http://www.britisharchaeology.org/).


Death Pits at Cliffs End

An excavation nearly ten years ago at Thanet, Kent, uncovered extraordinary evidence for ancient bronze age burial and ritual – not least a large pit containing the remains of an elderly woman, male body parts and children, and animals. Scientific analysis added to the mystery by showing that many of the people had been born far from south-east England.

The scholarly write-up was published in Barry Cunliffe and John T. Koch (eds.), Celtic from the West 2: Rethinking the Bronze Age and the Arrival of Indo-European in Atlantic Europe (Celtic Studies Publications 2013), but a copy of British Archaeology is a lot cheaper if you just want the revelations from this particular site.

The great interest of the site is that of the 25 Bronze and Iron Age individuals tested, nine were local, eight (two Bronze Age, six Iron Age) were born probably in southern Norway or Sweden, and five (four Bronze Age, one Iron Age) came from the western Mediterranean. "These long distances are all the more remarkable as some travelled at an early age, between three and 12."

I don't want to read too much into a small sample, but I wonder if it is significant that the Mediterranean influence was strongest in the earlier period and tails off, and vice versa for the Scandinavian.

GoldenHind
06-05-2013, 07:31 PM
I remember your mention of this some time ago. I thought then that this indication of long distance maritime contact between England and Scandinavia dating back to the Bronze Age was significant. I suspect the amount of movement of people during the Bronze Age may be generally underestimated. As you say, it is only a small sample, but it is noteworthy that over half (13 0f 26) came from some distance. It's unfortunate we don't know the haplogroups of these people.

Jean M
06-05-2013, 07:58 PM
It seems likely that many of these people were related to some degree, but without aDNA we can't estimate the degree.

razyn
06-06-2013, 07:59 PM
The discoveries at Cliffs End Farm on the Isle of Thanet, Kent, which caused such a sensation when revealed at the conference Rethinking the Bronze Age and the Arrival of Indo-European in Atlantic Europe (2010), are covered in an article in the July/August issue of British Archaeology (http://www.britisharchaeology.org/).

And that, in turn, made The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/10100223/Britain-was-a-nation-of-immigrants-even-in-the-Bronze-Age.html

alan
06-06-2013, 08:58 PM
It sounds like some sort of unusual place like a emporium. I know it has been suggested that islands a little offshore a such liminal places may have served as neutral/protected trading emporia in the prehistory and the Dark Ages occupied by eclectic and partly non-local communities. Lambay Island and Drumanagh promontory fort on the east coast of Ireland have been suggested as ones too.

Jean M
06-06-2013, 09:43 PM
Yes I make that point in my forthcoming text, but it is also unusual for the sheer number of its barrows and the unexpected nature of the mortuary practices at Cliffs End.

Baltimore1937
06-07-2013, 01:24 PM
Rollo (1st Duke of Normandy) and his bunch were not the first Norwegians to move down to France. I read somewhere (probably Google) that there were already "Viking" settlers along the Norman coast before Rollo took over. I saw a map somewhere online showing "Viking" settlements strung out all along the coast down the Bay of Biscay as well. And I have an HVR1 match from Belle Isle off the SW coast of Brittany. I wonder, though, if perhaps Rollo didn't bring some Celts with him from the Orkneys. There may not have been enough Norwegians available for his exploits.

Jean M
06-07-2013, 05:27 PM
This thread is about much earlier movements, Baltimore1937, but I have something for you on Rollo and his band: http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/normans.shtml . They were not Norwegians, but Danes. However (as you say) they were not the first Vikings to harass France, and some Norwegian settlers were later included within Normandy it seems.

Anglecynn
06-09-2013, 01:54 PM
This is pretty incredible stuff. Kind of blows idea the idea that there was little real movement in the past, especially in prehistory, at least in some areas. I guess from the y-DNA side of things especially it could make things much less clear cut. People like to associate particular haplogroups to certain groups but that surely is not possible with impunity, unless it is within the genaeological time-frame and matches are recent and clear.

I think the fact that this is just a small snapshot and over half are from elsewhere is suggestive of very mobile groups, at least in coastal areas.

GoldenHind
06-09-2013, 07:26 PM
I agree entirely with Anglecynn, but this information has been known for some time, and doesn't seem to hinder some people at all.

rms2
06-09-2013, 09:54 PM
If there was so incredibly much mixing, and it was common for all the people of Europe, one wonders how those clines in the distributions of y haplogroups occurred, and how certain y haplogroups and/or subclades came to predominate in certain areas.

I think alan is right and this place was some sort of emporium.

Baltimore1937
06-10-2013, 01:19 AM
The Franks are said to have come down from Scandinavia before recorded history. They became pirates before moving inland. Maybe those early Norse people in Kent were part of that early exodus from the cold north.

Jean M
06-10-2013, 08:58 AM
Scandinavia was actually invitingly warm in the Bronze Age. An earlier climate shift made Southern Scandinavia as warm as present-day central Germany. So it attracted some of the Copper Age people who were moving out of the European steppe from around 3200 BC onwards, as it became colder and drier. Some of these people reached Scandinavia a few centuries later, where they are identified as the Corded Ware Culture, and in some cases the Bell Beaker folk (who were also moving into the British Isles c. 2400 BC). All this movement of people created trade routes across Europe which continued in use in the Bronze Age. So Thanet was most probably a Bronze Age trading site (or emporium) where traders came periodically, who could easily be part of a far-flung family who had been trading for generations.

The exodus of farmers from Scandinavia came after it turned cold in the decades around 700 BC. People moved south into what is now northern Germany and Poland. There they seem to have developed the Proto-Germanic language c. 500 BC, that split into daughter languages as groups began to spread and move away from that homeland, especially in the Post-Roman period. Among them were indeed the Franks.

Andrew Lancaster
06-10-2013, 11:46 AM
To avoid readers of this discussion getting the wrong message I feel it should be said that there is absolutely no record of "Franks" ever having been in Scandinavia, or of them even having existed in the Bronze age. What is being discussed here are some reasonable ideas about the Germanic speaking ancestors of the Franks. It is generally accepted that the Franks only came into existence as the Roman empire began to weaken, and then not from any pure pre-existing ethnic group, but rather a mixture of groups, all or most of whom had probably been living in the same general non-Scandinavian areas for centuries.

GoldenHind
06-10-2013, 11:42 PM
If there was so incredibly much mixing, and it was common for all the people of Europe, one wonders how those clines in the distributions of y haplogroups occurred, and how certain y haplogroups and/or subclades came to predominate in certain areas.

I think alan is right and this place was some sort of emporium.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I have never contended there was an incredible amount of mixing, or that it was common across Europe. Nor am I aware of anyone else who has taken such a position. The point is that this is proof that there was maritime traffic between England and Scandinavia (and other remote locations) dating back to the Bronze Age. I think it is a mistake to ignore the possible implications of such traffic. It may have been a trading center, but it may not have been the only one. Others may have existed along the east coast of England. We just don't know at this point.

I need hardly point out that a handful of individuals- or even one man- living in the Bronze Age could have a considerable number of descendants today.

Andrew Lancaster
06-12-2013, 12:38 PM
If there was so incredibly much mixing, and it was common for all the people of Europe, one wonders how those clines in the distributions of y haplogroups occurred, and how certain y haplogroups and/or subclades came to predominate in certain areas.

I think alan is right and this place was some sort of emporium.

Whatever the amount of mixing was, it is not strange to think that in generations after the mixing, a smaller and smaller number of Y haplogroups will come to dominate.

rms2
06-12-2013, 07:18 PM
Deleted. Better off not stirring the pot in this case.

Andrew Lancaster
06-12-2013, 08:26 PM
I need hardly point out that it isn't likely the men whose remains were found on Thanet have a considerable number descendants in that region today. Could have maybe, but not likely.


I think above statement can be misunderstood. If we are talking about the one single line of descent from father to son, which is the context, it is correct.

But if we are talking about any kind of descent then IF any of those people in Thanet have ANY living descendents, then it would be highly unlikely that there are not lots of locals, maybe all over Britain, maybe all over Europe, who have some amount of descendancy from those ancient folk with modern living descendants.

rms2
06-12-2013, 10:02 PM
I think above statement can be misunderstood. If we are talking about the one single line of descent from father to son, which is the context, it is correct.

But if we are talking about any kind of descent then IF any of those people in Thanet have ANY living descendents, then it would be highly unlikely that there are not lots of locals, maybe all over Britain, maybe all over Europe, who have some amount of descendancy from those ancient folk with modern living descendants.

I should have been clearer. I was talking about y-dna, which I think can be seen from the rest of my post. Just the same, I'm not sure it is likely those men on Thanet have any descendants still alive today. Maybe they do, maybe they don't.

My point is that although some people got around in the distant past, that fact doesn't mean that reasonable inferences cannot be made about certain y haplogroups and their connections to historical movements of peoples. However, since I would rather avoid arguing about this here in this thread, I am going to go back and wipe out my post, which I made in haste, anyway.

Baltimore1937
06-13-2013, 02:28 AM
This thread is about much earlier movements, Baltimore1937, but I have something for you on Rollo and his band: http://www.buildinghistory.org/distantpast/normans.shtml . They were not Norwegians, but Danes. However (as you say) they were not the first Vikings to harass France, and some Norwegian settlers were later included within Normandy it seems.

Rollo and his bunch were expelled from Norway, or left for whatever reason. They went to the Orkneys. He was given the title of Jarl of Orkney, but passed it on to his brother, since he didn't want to stay in the Orkneys. From there he went to Normandy, probably with Celts in his contingent. My interest is in the females who accompanied him, which may have included my U5 haplotype ancestress. Then again, my U5 haplotype ancestress may have come from Denmark, or from Sweden via Denmark (think Cyrid of Uppsala). On the other hand, my U5 haplotype ancestress may have been a local Norman girl.

GoldenHind
06-13-2013, 11:37 PM
I should have been clearer. I was talking about y-dna, which I think can be seen from the rest of my post. Just the same, I'm not sure it is likely those men on Thanet have any descendants still alive today. Maybe they do, maybe they don't.

My point is that although some people got around in the distant past, that fact doesn't mean that reasonable inferences cannot be made about certain y haplogroups and their connections to historical movements of peoples. However, since I would rather avoid arguing about this here in this thread, I am going to go back and wipe out my post, which I made in haste, anyway.

Note that I said the immigrants from Scandinavia "could" have a large number of descendants today, not that they did, or that they all stayed in the same area.

I applaud your suggestion that we cease arguing the point. I believe the difference in our positions is more a matter of degree than of substance anyway. We have both stated our arguments often enough that everyone should know what they are, and there isn't really any point in repeating them ad nauseam. That being said, I am constantly astonished how many people think I am proposing a massive migration from Scandinavia to England during the Bronze and pre-Roman Iron Ages- a position I have never in fact advocated.

So how about if we both avoid further references to the subject until some new evidence appears?

rms2
06-14-2013, 10:52 AM
I think a great deal of evidence is already in, and it suggests that probably most of the U106 in what is now England arrived with the tribes known collectively as the Anglo-Saxons and, later, the Danish Vikings. I think it is entirely reasonable to generalize like that, but it is not reasonable to tell this or that specific individual that his own y-dna ancestor was an Anglo-Saxon or a Danish Viking, at least not based on a U106+ result alone.

Two Bronze Age skeletons of people who may have been born in Scandinavia, based on oxygen isotope testing of their tooth enamel, does not alter what we know from history and the distribution of y haplogroups.

But I am all for dropping the controversy. I would rather focus on what I am interested in.

If the L21 subforum here wasn't so slow, I would probably never post in threads like this one.

MitchellSince1893
04-01-2017, 08:52 PM
Reading through Chapter 10 of Jean Manco's Ancestral Journeys and came across this section at the end of the chapter


The Isle of Thanet on the southeastern tip of England was probably an early landing site for Copper Age arrivals...Thanet has an outstandingly dense distribution of Bronze Age burials. Overlooking Pegwell Bay, an number of round barrows stand on the highest point of coastline where they could be seen from out at sea. The location was probably chosen to ensure that key figures among Copper Age arrivals would not be forgotten. As often found elsewhere, later burials cluster close to one off these barrows. This later cemetery was used from the Late Bronze Age through Middle Iron Age. Isotopic analysis revealed where these people came from. Of the 22 skeletons tested, eight were local, seven were from Scandinavia, and five from southwest Iberia. Interestingly the earliest phase was the most mixed: local, Norse and Iberian.
Late Bronze Age-1300 to 700 BC. Middle Iron Age 400 to 100 BC.

I figured this had been discussed at anthrogenica.com and found this old thread.

Appears this cemetery with over 1/3rd samples from Scandinavia and almost a quarter from Iberia was written off as an oddity, and not typical. Will be interesting to see if the new Bell Beaker changes this view in any way.

rms2
04-01-2017, 09:17 PM
Of course, that's after the Bell Beaker period, so I'm not sure how much impact the big paper we're waiting will on have on understanding those Thanet burials, unless some of the British Bell Beaker people turn out to be U106 or have some connection to Scandinavia, which I think is doubtful. But who knows? Sometimes I wonder if we ever will.