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Thread: Ancient Gauls

  1. #1
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    Ancient Gauls

    Do we actually have autosomal DNA for any Gauls? By Gauls I mean people living in areas of the continent where contemporary records/tribal names etc make it certain they were Gaulish speakers. A lot of stuff about the Celts is not directly proven and it’s mostly educated guesswork that Urnfield or Hallstatt people spoke Celtic. Working forwards from an assumption is a silly method. i was taught the classic archaeological method that you should move outwards from what is known into what is unknown. That is much more sensible that just surmising who was Celtic the n 700BC then working forward in time.

    It would be better to start with the people of Gallic Celtica c last century or so BC to 0 and then work back from there. They are the only Gauls where there are contemporary records showing they spoke Celtic and there are no complications such as other languages like Aquitanian, Ligurians, Germanic or colonies of Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans etc. So choose the area without such complications and a timeframe where contemporary records prove a Gaulish speaking pop. That is essentially the people of France between the Loire/Garrone. Seine, massive central, middle Rhine and Switzerland c 200BC-0. Everywhere else either has complications of other languages/peoples/strata in the mix, while earlier periods usually mean no historical records so we are left surmising.

    So I say, let’s get ancient DNA from Gallia Celtica c 200/100BC-0. Establish the genetics of certain Gaulish speaking people’s in the Gaulish core of c 100BC abc then work backwards from them to find their ancestors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    Do we actually have autosomal DNA for any Gauls? By Gauls I mean people living in areas of the continent where contemporary records/tribal names etc make it certain they were Gaulish speakers. A lot of stuff about the Celts is not directly proven and it’s mostly educated guesswork that Urnfield or Hallstatt people spoke Celtic. Working forwards from an assumption is a silly method. i was taught the classic archaeological method that you should move outwards from what is known into what is unknown. That is much more sensible that just surmising who was Celtic the n 700BC then working forward in time.

    It would be better to start with the people of Gallic Celtica c last century or so BC to 0 and then work back from there. They are the only Gauls where there are contemporary records showing they spoke Celtic and there are no complications such as other languages like Aquitanian, Ligurians, Germanic or colonies of Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans etc. So choose the area without such complications and a timeframe where contemporary records prove a Gaulish speaking pop. That is essentially the people of France between the Loire/Garrone. Seine, massive central, middle Rhine and Switzerland c 200BC-0. Everywhere else either has complications of other languages/peoples/strata in the mix, while earlier periods usually mean no historical records so we are left surmising.

    So I say, let’s get ancient DNA from Gallia Celtica c 200/100BC-0. Establish the genetics of certain Gaulish speaking people’s in the Gaulish core of c 100BC abc then work backwards from them to find their ancestors.
    I'd love to see that DNA too. But I'd say archaeological evidence as well as Tacitus (a contemporary record) and his statement in Agricola that the language of Britain didn't differ much from that of the Gauls means there were Celts in Britain, not just Gaul.
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan View Post
    Do we actually have autosomal DNA for any Gauls?
    Currently no.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rozenfeld View Post
    Currently no.
    I wonder if this is going to be a problem, given DNA restrictions in France.
    Going back to the need for the evidence, I get alan's point on how it has to be unequivocal. We don't know from Caesar and others how far the peoples of Gaul might really have differed so you'd have to pick the region where we can be most confident the people called themselves "Celtic". Let's hope we live to see those samples come in.
    Last edited by JonikW; 06-16-2019 at 12:22 AM.
    Living DNA Cautious mode:
    South Wales Border-related ancestry: 86.8%
    Cornwall: 8%
    Cumbria-related ancestry: 5.2%
    Y line: Peak District, England. Big Y match: Scania, Sweden; TMRCA 1,280 ybp (YFull);
    mtDNA: traces to Glamorgan, Wales, 18th century. Mother's Y line (Wales): R-L21 L371

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonikW View Post
    I wonder if this is going to be a problem, given DNA restrictions in France.
    Going back to the need for the evidence, I get alan's point on how it has to be unequivocal. We don't know from Caesar and others how far the peoples of Gaul might really have differed so you'd have to pick the region where we can be most confident the people called themselves "Celtic". Let's hope we live to see those samples come in.
    I've wondered if France's restrictions would cause something like this to happen. I'm not aware of any Gaulish aDNA or Norman aDNA. Hopefully we can eventually get some data on that.
    Last edited by spruithean; 06-16-2019 at 01:13 AM.

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    BTW, as I said we don't have autosomal data, but there are some mitochondrial data: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0207459

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonikW View Post
    I'd love to see that DNA too. But I'd say archaeological evidence as well as Tacitus (a contemporary record) and his statement in Agricola that the language of Britain didn't differ much from that of the Gauls means there were Celts in Britain, not just Gaul.
    I think Tacitus also noted that the coastal areas of Britain were colonized by Gauls so perhaps that isn't as straightforward as it may seem
    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 alan View Post
    Do we actually have autosomal DNA for any Gauls? By Gauls I mean people living in areas of the continent where contemporary records/tribal names etc make it certain they were Gaulish speakers. A lot of stuff about the Celts is not directly proven and it’s mostly educated guesswork that Urnfield or Hallstatt people spoke Celtic. Working forwards from an assumption is a silly method. i was taught the classic archaeological method that you should move outwards from what is known into what is unknown. That is much more sensible that just surmising who was Celtic the n 700BC then working forward in time.

    It would be better to start with the people of Gallic Celtica c last century or so BC to 0 and then work back from there. They are the only Gauls where there are contemporary records showing they spoke Celtic and there are no complications such as other languages like Aquitanian, Ligurians, Germanic or colonies of Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans etc. So choose the area without such complications and a timeframe where contemporary records prove a Gaulish speaking pop. That is essentially the people of France between the Loire/Garrone. Seine, massive central, middle Rhine and Switzerland c 200BC-0. Everywhere else either has complications of other languages/peoples/strata in the mix, while earlier periods usually mean no historical records so we are left surmising.

    So I say, let’s get ancient DNA from Gallia Celtica c 200/100BC-0. Establish the genetics of certain Gaulish speaking people’s in the Gaulish core of c 100BC abc then work backwards from them to find their ancestors.
    In the north of the Marche region, in eastern central Italy, where I grew up, there was the tribe of the Senoni. People still speak a Gallo-Roman dialect over there. That was where the Roman war against the Gauls started, in eastern central Italy. There was a tribe by the same name in north eastern France, les Senons. I think you could say that also from Lombardy (the region of Milan) to the north of the Marche region (in eastern central Italy), they were Gauls.

    They probably had a little bit of Etruscan, Umbrian or Ligures dna but also in France, how could you be sure they didn't have some Ligures dna? We don't know anything about these people. The area with the highest concentration of y haplogroup R1b-u152 is between south eastern France and North Western Italy, which was the area of the Ligures.
    Last edited by patrizio22; 06-16-2019 at 07:46 AM.

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    I'm pretty sure that some of those North Euro-like samples from the Iron Age Empuries site in Iberia are Gauls. They're the samples marked with the blue X that are shifted so high up the plot here that they're in the main Europe LNBA cluster.

    There's no other way to explain why they cluster in this area.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Generalissimo View Post
    I'm pretty sure that some of those North Euro-like samples from the Iron Age Empuries site in Iberia are Gauls. They're the samples marked with the blue X that are shifted so high up the plot here that they're in the main Europe LNBA cluster.

    There's no other way to explain why they cluster in this area.
    Do you mean those Celtiberian samples or other?

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