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Thread: R-L21+ = Bell Beaker?

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    R-L21+ = Bell Beaker?

    What is the current general consensus on this? or is R-21+ associated with Celtic speakers?

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    My own guess, based on my understanding of the available evidence, is that, while Beaker wasn't limited to a single y haplogroup or subclade, much of it was probably P312+, or came to be, anyway. And some of that was L21+, especially the part that ended up going to the British Isles and Ireland. Something gave Beaker men a social advantage, perhaps advanced metal working skills, and they were able to out-reproduce the native men in the Isles. In time, L21 came to be the dominant y haplogroup there.

    Here is something from the book, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland during the Middle Ages, by Kenneth Nicholls, that could help provide an example from later history of how that process probably worked. It was first posted by Paul Duffy on another forum. Although it deals with the top-down expansion in medieval Ireland, I think the same principle could easily (and probably accurately) be applied to the rapid expansion of L21 in the British Isles beginning in the Bronze Age.

    One of the most important phenomena in a clan-based society is that of expansion from the top downwards. The seventeenth-century Irish scholar and genealogist Dualtagh Mac Firbisigh remarked that 'as the sons and families of the rulers multiplied, so their subjects and followers were squeezed out and withered away'; and this phenomenon, the expansion of the ruling or dominant stocks at the expense of the remainder, is a normal feature in societies of this type. It has been observed of the modern Basotho of South Africa that 'there is a constant displacement of commoners by royals [i.e. members of the royal clan] and of collateral royals by the direct descendants of the ruling prince', and this could have been said, without adaptation, of any important Gaelic or Gaelicized lordship of late medieval Ireland. In Fermanagh, for example, the kingship of the Maguires began only with the accession of Donn Mór in 1282 and the ramification of the family - with the exception of one or two small and territorially unimportant septs - began with the sons of the same man. The spread of his descendants can be seen by the genealogical tract called Geinelaighe Fhearmanach; by 1607 they must have been in the possession of at least three-quarters of the total soil of Fermanagh, having displaced or reduced the clans which had previously held it. The rate at which an Irish clan could multiply itself must not be underestimated. Turlough an fhíona O'Donnell, lord of Tirconnell (d. 1423) had eighteen sons (by ten different women) and fifty-nine grandsons in the male line. Mulmora O'Reilly, the lord of East Brefny, who died in 1566, had at least fifty-eight O'Reilly grandsons. Philip Maguire, lord of Fermanagh (d. 1395) had twenty sons by eight mothers, and we know of at least fifty grandsons. Oliver Burke of Tirawley (two of whose sons became Lower Mac William although he himself had never held that position) left at least thirty-eight grandsons in the male line. Irish law drew no distinction in matters of inheritance between the legitimate and the illegitimate and permitted the affiliation of children by their mother's declaration (see Chapter 4), and the general sexual permissiveness of medieval Irish society must have allowed a rate of multiplication approaching that which is permitted by the polygyny practised in, for instance, the clan societies of southern Africa already cited.
    As for Celtic, I think the Beaker Folk brought an early form of it to the British Isles. That has been the view of a number of scholars, including Henri Hubert, Myles Dillon, and Nora Chadwick, among others.
    Last edited by rms2; 12-23-2013 at 12:30 PM.

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    Re the Beaker/Celtic connection, here is something from David Anthony's book, The Horse the Wheel and Language, p. 367.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Anthony
    The many thousands of Yamnaya kurgans in eastern Hungary suggest a more continuous occupation of the landscape by a larger population of immigrants, one that could have acquired power and prestige partly just through its numerical weight. This regional group could have spawned both pre-Italic and pre-Celtic. Bell Beaker sites of the Csepel type around Budapest, west of the Yamnaya settlement region, are dated about 2800-2600 BCE. They could have been a bridge between Yamnaya on their east and Austria/Southern Germany to their west, through which Yamnaya dialects spread from Hungary into Austria and Bavaria, where they later developed into Proto-Celtic. Pre-Italic could have developed among the dialects that remained in Hungary, ultimately spreading into Italy through the Urnfield and Villanovan cultures. Eric Hamp and others have revived the argument that Italic and Celtic shared a common parent, so a single migration stream could have contained dialects that later were ancestral to both.
    Here is something from The Celtic Realms, by Myles Dillon and Nora Chadwick.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nora Chadwick and Myles Dillon
    About 2000 BC came Bell Beaker people, whose burials are in single graves, with individual grave-goods. The remarkable Wessex Culture of the Bronze Age which appears about 1500 BC is thought to be based upon this tradition. The grave-goods there suggest the existence of a warrior aristocracy 'with a graded series of obligations of service . . . through a military nobility down to craftsmen and peasants', as in the Homeric society. This is the sort of society which is described in the Irish sagas, and there is no reason why so early a date for the coming of the Celts should be impossible. We shall see that there are considerations of language and culture that tend rather to support it. (The Celtic Realms, p. 4.)

    If we suppose that the Celts emerge as a separate people about 2000 BC, Goidelic may be a very early form of Celtic, and Gaulish (with British) a later form; and the first Celtic settlements of the British Isles may be dated to the early Bronze Age (c. 1800 BC), and even identified with the coming of the Beaker-Folk in the first half of the second millennium. (Ibid, p. 214.)
    Last edited by rms2; 12-23-2013 at 02:06 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    My own guess, based on my understanding of the available evidence, is that, while Beaker wasn't limited to a single y haplogroup or subclade, much of it was probably P312+, or came to be, anyway. And some of that was L21+, especially the part that ended up going to the British Isles and Ireland. Something gave Beaker men a social advantage, perhaps advanced metal working skills, and they were able to out-reproduce the native men in the Isles. In time, L21 came to be the dominant y haplogroup there.

    Here is something from the book, Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland during the Middle Ages, by Kenneth Nicholls, that could help provide an example from later history of how that process probably worked. It was first posted by Paul Duffy on another forum. Although it deals with the top-down expansion in medieval Ireland, I think the same principle could easily (and probably accurately) be applied to the rapid expansion of L21 in the British Isles beginning in the Bronze Age.
    Kenneth Nicholls wrote ("Gaelic and Gaelicised Ireland during the Middle Ages"),
    "One of the most important phenomena in a clan-based society is that of expansion from the top downwards. The seventeenth-century Irish scholar and genealogist Dualtagh Mac Firbisigh remarked that 'as the sons and families of the rulers multiplied, so their subjects and followers were squeezed out and withered away'; and this phenomenon, the expansion of the ruling or dominant stocks at the expense of the remainder, is a normal feature in societies of this type."

    Richard or Paul, I can confess I don't really understand the clan-based system. What are the characteristics of clans in Celtic societies that contributed to this? Was it concentration in villages to go with polygamy? or was it a feudal type system where field working males were literally ground to bone and didn't live long? or some kind of apartheid like system where royal males had so much power that father-in-law's wanted their daughters to marry into them?

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    Mike,

    I'd recommend Nichol's book the Kindle version is $9.78
    http://www.amazon.com/Gaelic-Gaelici...icised+ireland

    -- basically going from memory (I've the physical book at home) but he explains the "Clann" basically as a "family corporation". Each member thus would have "a share". It's a feature of land holding elites. The leadership been decided by membership of a 4 generational grouping called the "Deirbhfhine" (Deirbfine). It's a form of "agnatic kinship", not based on primogeniture but technically on "democratic" election, to be candidate you have to be at least within four generations of a previous ruler.

    So for example the MacWilliam Burkes of Mayo (Cambro-Norman's who became more Irish then Irish themselves) had four branches, the rotated the "Lordship" between each branch. If member was "Lord" (Tiarna) at the time obviously he would gain income both from his own personal lands but also from the mensal lands associated with the lordship.

    Underneath the Lords obviously there was a fully developed system of clientship. With large farmers (freeholders and tenants) all way down to peasants. As a "client" one was epected to provide stuff like lodging/dining to your Lord (certain number of nights per year), provide accomadation for troops (Kern and Gallowglass) etc.

    Anyways a quick glossary:

    Fine -> Family -- actual word in Irish that is used instead of "Clann" -- Clann been more restrictive use
    Clann -> literally one's children eg. Clann Mhike = "Children of Mike", loanword from Latin (Planta) via Welsh (Plant)
    Slíocht -> "Sept" -- literally "seed of" -- a branch within wider family
    righdamhna -> "Kingly body" -- literally members of the Deirbhfhine who were eligble for Kingship

    One of 17th century writers (it might have been "Mac Firbsigh") decried the peasants as curls who didn't even know who their "Great-Grandfather" was. In context of a Deirbhfhine it was essential someone in a Lordly family knew their full pedigree, if one couldn't get your hands on reins of power of course your specific "sub-lineage" would drop out of the Deirbhfhine and fall gradually down the pecking order.

    Generally Irish society was very must pastoralist, so for example large parts of society were "semi-nomadic" which was driven by the large herds of Cattle (the main source of wealth) which would be moved to winter pastor etc. This has a knock on effect when it comes to lack of urbanism and even to remarks that the "houses of Lords" seemed minimalistic. Mainly as they were built to be "thrown away" if needs be. So I don't think you can compare it directly to Feudal society, though of course you had the idea of division of society into Classes (with "Honour prices" linked to each class in society).

    -Paul
    (DF41+)

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    Guess i need to do some research into Celtic culture and linguistics...I wonder if there are any signs of such a linguistic tradition in Western Norway during the time, especially a region famed for its Copper deposits and very early settlements (Its capital named Copper bay):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karm%C3%B8y

    But so far ive not found any L21+ or YDNA links to this region, while further north where i currently live in the medieval trading center of Bergen ive found several of both Autosomal and YDNA links it seems:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bergen#History

    I will be eager to check if Celtic languages have the same commonality ive found between a Extinct Iranic language (Sogdian) and modern European languages, which i found fascinating..

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    Quote Originally Posted by evon View Post
    What is the current general consensus on this? or is R-21+ associated with Celtic speakers?

    R-L2 is the main/founding line of the celts, this incorporates the 2 main centres of celtic influence in the alps, La Tene and other.
    Mix in raetic, vindelic, illyric, camuni and venetic peoples with their very very similar script languages of camunic, raetic, venetic and lepotic and there you get the birth of celtic...........my opinion

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    Quote Originally Posted by vettor View Post
    R-L2 is the main/founding line of the celts, this incorporates the 2 main centres of celtic influence in the alps, La Tene and other.
    Mix in raetic, vindelic, illyric, camuni and venetic peoples with their very very similar script languages of camunic, raetic, venetic and lepotic and there you get the birth of celtic...........my opinion
    I disagree. I won't deny that there were Celts who were R-L2, but there are large parts of the Celtic beat where L2 dwindles to next to nothing. I don't claim L21 was the "main/founding line" of the Celts either. I think it was farther upstream, probably at the P312 level, and the founders were Beaker Folk.

    P312 is the common denominator. Various subclades, like U152, L21, and DF27, predominated in different areas, but they were all Celtic, and no one of them can, I think, lay claim to being the "main/founding line".
    Last edited by rms2; 12-23-2013 at 07:02 PM.

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    Interestingly my maternal side is U152, so both my paternal and maternal Males have lineages "associated" with Celtic culture...

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    Paul,
    Thanks for the link and clear explanations. I can almost admit to understanding the line of succession a bit more now. However, in my case, when the line has a Senior and Junior branch, I gotta wonder, what the heck caused THAT? Physical distance? Political in fighting? Survival during the influx of English dominion?
    Decisions in the past are rarely accompanied by "reasons", we just have to dig more.
    Brad

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