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Thread: Gallia Celtica and area of Urnfield influence

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    Gallia Celtica and area of Urnfield influence

    Its always struck me as odd that the area the Romans called Gallia Celtica 'Celtic Gaul' was (mostly) the very area where Urnfield influences had been weakest and where even later classic Hallstatt C burials are also not a thing and only influence ripples reached most of what the Romans called Gallia Celtica. This is even true in terms of the core richest La Tene area.

    http://celtsineurope.weebly.com/uplo.../820711799.jpg

    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qim...3f38d800307618

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/96/cc...fe2cbf8405.jpg

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/27/a0...75d50f1161.jpg


    This has really made me think that the term Keltoi might have originally been applied to the Bronze Age groups least influenced by Urnfield, Hallsatt and La Tene, all of whose cores seem to only slightly overlap with the easternmost area that was defined as Gallia Celtica.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    Its always struck me as odd that the area the Romans called Gallia Celtica 'Celtic Gaul' was (mostly) the very area where Urnfield influences had been weakest and where even later classic Hallstatt C burials are also not a thing and only influence ripples reached most of what the Romans called Gallia Celtica. This is even true in terms of the core richest La Tene area.

    http://celtsineurope.weebly.com/uplo.../820711799.jpg

    https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qim...3f38d800307618

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/96/cc...fe2cbf8405.jpg

    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/27/a0...75d50f1161.jpg


    This has really made me think that the term Keltoi might have originally been applied to the Bronze Age groups least influenced by Urnfield, Hallsatt and La Tene, all of whose cores seem to only slightly overlap with the easternmost area that was defined as Gallia Celtica.
    in terms of the ancient samples we currently have access to, I don't see a strong connection between urnfield or hallstatt and the modern Celtic fringe / insular peoples. I do notice a strong connection between the Dutch and British beakers, and of course the Bronze Age British samples. I'm personally not sold on the idea of what we call Celtic culture originating in Central Europe and spreading to the isles. I generally find myself to agree with your observations, so perhaps I am biased, but I think what you are putting forth here makes a lot of sense.
    Paper trail ancestry to the best of my knowledge:
    English (possibly containing some Welsh ancestry) 31.25%, Eastern European and Eastern German (Galicia, Poland) 25%, Scottish 17.96%, Scotch-Irish 12.5%, French 8.2%, Native American 1.95%, and Colonial American, 3.125%, which cannot be determined with complete certainty: there is Dutch (at least 1.36%) and some English. The rest could include Spanish, Norwegian, German, and French, but these percentages would be minuscule.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    in terms of the ancient samples we currently have access to, I don't see a strong connection between urnfield or hallstatt and the modern Celtic fringe / insular peoples. <<snip..>>.
    It is not possible to model English as derived solely from the aDNA samples we have from the Britain, so I reserve judgement on how much Hallstatt admixture they have until this is understood. Either the aDNA is not representative of the variation, which is what I expect, or there was a lot of Roman resettlement in England and Cornwall.

    In the PCA below, I plot PC1xPC1 to highlight the contrast between ancient and modern British, with the ancient DNA samples in lime green, and the modern British in Red and Blue. The two Hallstatt samples are Black.
    Clipboard0.png
    Last edited by Garvan; 03-06-2019 at 10:00 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvan View Post
    It is not possible to model English as derived solely from the aDNA samples we have from the Britain, so I reserve judgement on how much Hallstatt admixture they have until this is understood. Either the aDNA is not representative of the variation, which is what I expect, or there was a lot of Roman resettlement in England and Cornwall.

    In the PCA below, I plot PC1xPC1 to highlight the contrast between ancient and modern British, with the ancient DNA samples in lime green, and the modern British in Red and Blue. The two Hallstatt samples are Black.
    Clipboard0.png
    We'll have to see how it unfolds, for sure. Last I checked we're still waiting on Iron Age and Roman Era samples from England.. supposedly a large number of those were going to be examined to explore the question of Roman influence and other things.
    Last edited by sktibo; 03-06-2019 at 12:10 PM.
    Paper trail ancestry to the best of my knowledge:
    English (possibly containing some Welsh ancestry) 31.25%, Eastern European and Eastern German (Galicia, Poland) 25%, Scottish 17.96%, Scotch-Irish 12.5%, French 8.2%, Native American 1.95%, and Colonial American, 3.125%, which cannot be determined with complete certainty: there is Dutch (at least 1.36%) and some English. The rest could include Spanish, Norwegian, German, and French, but these percentages would be minuscule.

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    When you add in all the Celtici and similar named tribes in Atlantic Iberia, I just cant help but wonder if the term originally referred to the Atlantic Bronze Age peoples rather than the Urnfield group. The origins of the Celtic languages is a different matter. I am merely stating that the ethnic term Celt may have originally applied to the Atlantic group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    When you add in all the Celtici and similar named tribes in Atlantic Iberia, I just cant help but wonder if the term originally referred to the Atlantic Bronze Age peoples rather than the Urnfield group. The origins of the Celtic languages is a different matter. I am merely stating that the ethnic term Celt may have originally applied to the Atlantic group.
    Not very likely.

    Latin Celtae
    Borrowed from Ancient Greek Kελτοί (Keltoí), Κελταί (Keltaí), Herodotus’ word for the Gauls, from Proto-Celtic *kel-to, from *kellāko- (“fight, war”), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *kelh₂- (“to strike, beat”). Compare Gaulish theonym *Su-cellus (“good striker”)[1].
    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Celtae#Latin
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    Global25 PCA West Eurasia dataset Hidden Content
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruderico View Post
    Not very likely.

    Latin Celtae


    https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Celtae#Latin
    I am not implying the Atlantic group were not Celtic speakers - I am pretty certain they were. I just cant help but note that the Gallia Celtica area included a huge area where urnfield etc influences were minor and there are no classic burials. Yet they are undoubtedly speakers of Celtic where records begin. This is one of several reasons why I dont believe Celtic developed only in the late bronze age. It makes more sense if it developed earlier because neither the Urnfield groups nor the Atlantic groups alone explain the earliest distribution of Celtic. Both are only capable of explaining half the story and it takes a heck of a lot of special pleading to explain Celtic's distribution only by the urnfield-Hallstatt C- La Tene model. It is more likely that Urnfield, Hallstatt C and La Tene were internal phenomenon within an already larger Celtic speaking zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruderico View Post
    cLatin Celtae: Borrowed from Ancient Greek Kελτοί (Keltoí), Κελταί (Keltaí), Herodotus’ word for the Gauls, from Proto-Celtic *kel-to, from *kellāko- (“fight, war”), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *kelh₂- (“to strike, beat”). Compare Gaulish theonym *Su-cellus (“good striker”)[1].
    So a dynamic (vs. a woodenly literal) translation of Celtae might be "warriors." Which gives me an excuse to post this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwwY9y6O3hw

    You're welcome. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    I am not implying the Atlantic group were not Celtic speakers - I am pretty certain they were. I just cant help but note that the Gallia Celtica area included a huge area where urnfield etc influences were minor and there are no classic burials. Yet they are undoubtedly speakers of Celtic where records begin. This is one of several reasons why I dont believe Celtic developed only in the late bronze age. It makes more sense if it developed earlier because neither the Urnfield groups nor the Atlantic groups alone explain the earliest distribution of Celtic. Both are only capable of explaining half the story and it takes a heck of a lot of special pleading to explain Celtic's distribution only by the urnfield-Hallstatt C- La Tene model. It is more likely that Urnfield, Hallstatt C and La Tene were internal phenomenon within an already larger Celtic speaking zone.
    The first people the Greeks referred to as Keltoi lived around Marseilles, which did have Urnfield as did the entire coastal areas up to NE Iberia. So, I don't think there is any correlation between what the Romans called those areas and Urnfield, Hallstatt etc., nor who they considered Celts.
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    I think the degree of evidence for Urnfield, Hallstatt and La Tene material in the isles needs to be chewed over. The actual evidence for major incursions over most of the British isles outside the south-east and a couple of stray hotspots boils down to some metalwork trends. Places like Ireland and the bulk of Scotland outside the northern isles and Hebridean fringe zone were virtually pottery-free. The Hallstatt evidence really just consists of local copies of Hallstatt C Swords and chapes mostly found in rivers. The La Tene stuff mostly consists of a selection of high end metalwork. If entire language shifts can happen with such minor reflections in archaeology then archaeology is clearly simply incapable of picking up population movements in certain periods. And it also has to borne in mind that Ireland had an archaic form of Celtic which is highly unlikely to have come from late invaders in the La Tene period. Ireland has extremely limited evidence of Hallstatt C or D contact and only a couple of stray bits of metalwork that look Urnfield in origin.

    However, at the same time, Ireland was far from isolated in the late Bronze Age from say 1300-750BC. What archaeology shows is the constant taking on and adapting of ideas throughout that period rather than an invasion horizon. Ireland was clearly constantly in contact (often via Britain) with west-central European influences. However, the uptake of these influence was highly selective, nearly always metalwork based and usually given a local spin. In contrast the domestic aspect (house types, pottery etc) and burial rite preference are firmly rooted in the local Bronze Age. The same is true for much of Britain. A well known but very striking example is the isles preference for the round house right up to the arrival of the Romans.

    My own sense of what happened is that the isles got a massive shot of steppe genes that basically meant pre-beaker genes withered away. Some sort of Celto-Italic or para-Celtic dialect probably came with it. The trend after that was constant low to medium level contact with west-central Europe while largely maintaining there own distinct insular ways.

    The nature of that contact could have been of the sort we see much later in historical records of the Romans and the Irish records. These show ways in which contact low burn contact and geneflow could happen without any big invasion. All that constant contact we see reflected n metalwork could have behind it a constant high status flow of brides related to maintenance of alliances. If there was a strong trend for the mothers of the elite to come some distance then it would be absurd to think this could not have influence dialect shift and aided convergence/damped down divergence. It is also known that dowries of substantial numbers of warriors from the bride's home kingdom could come with the bride. Another major Celtic institution that could have had a major impact in spreading ideas, fashions and influencing dialect shift is the elite fosterage system whereby children of an elite dynasty would be sent to another allied royal family in another polity from infancy until they came of age as adults (17 for males, 14 for girls). The young princes would return at 16 or so after having spent many years absorbing another tribe's culture, social and military ways and language. These sort of relationships kept the two tribes very close and the returning prince could eventually be a king. There are known case in the annals where the forster father or brother would mobilise an army to help out his forster kin.

    I think people looking at this is a superficially invasion vs continuity way tend to overlook the middle ground that institutions like elite marriage, fosterage etc can bring.

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