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Thread: Upcoming paper on Anglo-Saxon migration period??

  1. #21
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    There is a reason why commercial companies tend to group the English with other British and Irish, rather than with continental population groups. For instance 23andMe have a "British&Irish" component rather than "British&German" or "British&Scandinavian". Sure there might be some politics (or geopolitics) involved in how they draw the borders of these components, but it must be based also on real genetic relatedness.

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    OK if not with Danes, they would cluster with North Dutch and Northwest Germans (Lower Saxons).

    But the English are closer to their "Celtic neighbours" than to either North Germans or North Dutch.

    As for depopulation, it seems that nearly all of Europe suffered a considerable depopulation at that time (with or without replacements by other peoples). Maybe it was just an era of frequent famine, frequent disease, etc.
    Pretty big coincidence in this case though given that we know from the sources and archaeology that a significant movement took place (I think the volcanic winter of 536 and Justinian plague will have had different repercussions in different parts of Europe and this is a specific case). I wouldn't be surprised if your 30-40 percent figure was right though and I'll bow out here and await the results. Thanks for the discussion.
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  5. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonikW View Post
    Pretty big coincidence in this case though given that we know from the sources and archaeology that a significant movement took place (I think the volcanic winter of 536 and Justinian plague will have had different repercussions in different parts of Europe and this is a specific case). I wouldn't be surprised if your 30-40 percent figure was right though and I'll bow out here and await the results. Thanks for the discussion.
    30-40% is from previous studies on the subject (such as Schiffels 2016 and https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10326). But samples such as NO3423, Northumbria Anglo-Saxon, dated to 650-910 AD - are significantly more Germanic than modern English (I mean if you compare NO3423 to the modern English from Northumbria, you will see a big difference).

    There was a Celtic resurgence (on a genetic level, not cultural) some centuries after the initial invasion.

    Probably as Anglo-Saxons expanded from eastern coasts towards the west, they assimilated more Celts.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 01-05-2022 at 10:36 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    The modern [meaning - 21st century] English are definitely not 80% Anglo-Saxon. If they were, they would cluster with Danes, and they don't (they are closer to their "Celtic neighbours"). Previous studies on the subject (which used modern English samples) already showed this. The authors of the study discussed here talk about Medieval English being 80% AS. To me it looks like a huge resurgence of Celtic British ancestry at some point, possibly even in recent centuries (for instance during the Industrial Revolution lots of people from Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and Scotland migrated into England to work in factories).

    But as I wrote above, I think they should again re-examine it, using the newly published 244 samples of England_IA.

    =====

    In this study for example (there are few more) only 38% (not 80%) of modern East English ancestry is Anglo-Saxon:

    https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms10408

    If Medieval English were 80% Anglo-Saxon then it means that the Anglo-Saxon DNA declined later down to 30-40%.
    Read the original quote those numbers were taken from and the context from that - post #7. Your response indicates you aren't following and are missing the context.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonikW View Post
    I'd personally put recent at post Medieval for this purpose, given the considerable numbers of Protestant refugees, so Tudor period onwards. But the Medieval Flemish incomers must have left some kind of mark.

    ADD: Given the amount of work I've done on some of them, I also suspect that some of our autosomal matches including around 7cM on the big testing sites may date back that far (added this after the thanks from JMcB in case he disagrees but appears not to here!).
    It's hard to say. What is easier to say is what we need - A complete, comprehensive study including samples from the Bronze Age to at least the Middle Ages, with the Iron Age, Roman Era, Anglo Saxon and Danish era(s), and early Norman era in between. We need this because, with the current new IA samples we have, many appear to be close to the modern English - and that MAY be. However, we don't know if these truly are the ancestors of the modern English or simply ancestors which possessed the same proportions of EEF/Steppe/HG admixture. It could be a coincidence, especially if a large influx of Steppe (A/S, Danes) came in, and then that large Steppe amount was brought back down by the nearby continent (Normans, Flemings, Medieval French, ect) in which case we would be roughly re-playing the earlier history of the high Steppe Bronze Age incomers and then the continental higher EEF incomers that we see playing out in the Iron Age.

    That's why we don't know for sure, and a high degree of population replacement could be what we are seeing, despite it not always appearing as such.

    We as the modern descendants of the British (largely) would very much love to know who our ancestors are but what seems absolutely clear to me is that overlapping and nearly indistinguishable northwestern European ethnic groups make this something which seems almost impossible to find out. It would be very romantic and appealing to think that these Iron Age Celts are our true ancestors, but that's not something I am comfortable celebrating until there is more certainty.
    Last edited by sktibo; 01-05-2022 at 10:48 PM.
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  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    It's hard to say. What is easier to say is what we need - A complete, comprehensive study including samples from the Bronze Age to at least the Middle Ages, with the Iron Age, Roman Era, Anglo Saxon and Danish era(s), and early Norman era in between. We need this because, with the current new IA samples we have, many appear to be close to the modern English - and that MAY be. However, we don't know if these truly are the ancestors of the modern English or simply ancestors which possessed the same proportions of EEF/Steppe/HG admixture. It could be a coincidence, especially if a large influx of Steppe (A/S, Danes) came in, and then that large Steppe amount was brought back down by the nearby continent (Normans, Flemings, Medieval French, ect) in which case we would be roughly re-playing the earlier history of the high Steppe Bronze Age incomers and then the continental higher EEF incomers that we see playing out in the Iron Age.

    That's why we don't know for sure, and a high degree of population replacement could be what we are seeing, despite it not always appearing as such.

    We as the modern descendants of the British (largely) would very much love to know who our ancestors are but what seems absolutely clear to me is that overlapping and nearly indistinguishable northwestern European ethnic groups make this something which seems almost impossible to find out. It would be very romantic and appealing to think that these Iron Age Celts are our true ancestors, but that's not something I am comfortable celebrating until there is more certainty.
    I said I was done, but just wanted sorry for not reading you more closely Tomenable. You reflect my own view on the similar population groups here Sktibo. I hope this all becomes a lot clearer with this paper. It's bizarre that for an island so overrepresented in aDNA studies, this period has been so neglected to date. We all have a lot of questions waiting to be answered.
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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    Read the original quote those numbers were taken from and the context from that - post #7. Your response indicates you aren't following and are missing the context.
    Okay I read that. I think that in Anglo-Saxon England there was probably a large spread of individual variation in terms of proportions of Briton vs. AS admixture. So for example in England of 1000 AD you could probably find some villages with people who were close to 100% Germanic, and some villages with people who were close to 100% Celtic Briton (but already spoke Old English). As well as everything in-between. In my opinion you will need some hundreds of DNA samples from many locations all over Anglo-Saxon England in order to get an accurate picture of the diversity that existed.

    In modern England you will not find such extremes, even if the mean for the whole population is similar as it was back then. Admixtures have become more homogenized over time, individual variation is smaller.

    We can see the same in Medieval Germany. All of Krakauer Berg samples seem to be 100% Slavic, even though they are from as far west as Sachsen-Anhalt (from the westernmost boundary of Slavic settlement) and even though three of them are from the 14th century, long after the beginning of German Ostsiedlung. But in modern Sachsen-Anhalt, except for recent immigrans, you will not find individuals who are 100% Slavic or 100% Germanic - but only mixed ones.

    As for the hypothesis of very high admixture from the Normans, Flemings, Medieval French in England - I think these admixtures are probably relatively minor, because they did not manage to cause the replacement of language. Modern English people still speak English, not French or Dutch. Only the elites were French-speaking after 1066.

    Quote Originally Posted by sktibo View Post
    We as the modern descendants of the British (largely) would very much love to know who our ancestors are but what seems absolutely clear to me is that overlapping and nearly indistinguishable northwestern European ethnic groups make this something which seems almost impossible to find out. It would be very romantic and appealing to think that these Iron Age Celts are our true ancestors, but that's not something I am comfortable celebrating until there is more certainty.
    I think there is no doubt that the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Cornish, Manx are largely descended from these Iron Age Celts, because they even speak (or spoke until recent centuries) their languages. The only doubts are about the English.

    But in Martiniano 2016 there is a heatmap showing that East Anglia is the least Celtic Briton area, and then this ancestry increases as you go north and west.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 01-06-2022 at 01:37 AM.

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  15. #28
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    The same could be true about the Slavic invasion of the Balkans. During the first few centuries after the arrival of the Slavs, probably there still existed villages/individuals who were close to 100% Proto-Slavic ancestry, as well as villages/individuals who were close to 100% Paleo-Balkan (even if already culturally and linguistically Slavicized). But if you collect DNA from a thousand of modern Serbs (for example), you will not find such extreme variation between individuals.

    Admixture between two populations is not an instant occurence but a long process. It is not like the Anglo-Saxons arrived and just after a few generations they all had Celtic British admixture. Surely it must have taken many, many generations. And initially there must have existed a patchwork of some areas with mostly local ancestry, and some other areas mostly settled by immigrants.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 01-06-2022 at 01:29 AM.

  16. #29
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    Does anybody here doubt that Non-English British are descended largely from Iron Age Britons? I'm asking because Sktibo is using interchangeably "British" and "English" as if they were synonyms. And then he is hypothesising that these "British" may be a mix of Anglo-Saxons + Danes, Normans, Flemish, Medieval French etc., but without any romantic Celtic input (who got extinct?).

    However, such a scenario is only possible (if probable, that's another question) for the English - not for the British as a whole.

    Let me also remind you that the 2020 Viking Age DNA study has some genomes which look like Iron Age British Celts. So at least we have evidence from this VA study that Iron Age British genetics survived intact until the Viking Age.

    So let's clarify that we are trying to figure out the ancestry of the English, specifically.

    Could it be that the English are completely unrelated to their other British neighbours.
    Last edited by Tomenable; 01-06-2022 at 11:34 AM.

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    In guess my case it's quite sure that I have a pretty high Anglo-Saxon-Jutes kind of ancestry (from the fifth/sixth century).

    My heritage has a group of most probably Anglo-Saxon/Jutes descendants in the Northern Netherlands:

    Nederland (Groningen, Drenthe en Friesland) en Duitsland (Nedersaksen)
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    And Ajeje has made this plot that point imo at the same direction:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajeje Brazorf View Post
    I just wonder: is this fact or fiction?

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