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    The Cimbri - Celtic or Germanic?

    It has been years since I have considered the topic, however the thread on "The Blood of the Celts" has given me pause to reflect once again on this subject.

    The Cimbri appear to have been a Celtic - speaking people settled in an enclave deep within Germania. They burst on the world's stage about 119 BC after flooding and crop failures forced almost the entire tribe to leave their northern Jutland home and set about a perambulation which would take them across almost the entire extent of the Celtic world - from the Balkans to Iberia. After destroying a number of elite Roman troops (e.g., at Orange, France), they and their Celtic tribal allies, were decimated by the Romans (as I recall) in 101 BC along the Ligurian coast. The remnants fled north, returning to their former home in what is today known as Himmerland, Jutland, Denmark.

    Their story is epic, the archaeological treasures (most Celtic or Celtic - inspired) recovered from their homeland spectacular (I have seen them in the National Museum in Copenhagen), and the linguistic record (including toponyms) is decidedly Celtic. It has always surprised me that so little attention has been given to them in the literature - although given due contemporary consideration by Tacitus etc.

    Years back I was convinced that the Y chromosome haplogroups of descendants from Jutland would show Celtic traces (e.g., R-U152). While the data show that the original hypothesis cannot be ruled out, it seems clear that it requires substantial modification. It is interesting to note, however, that the pattern seen in Denmark today could be explained by Bede's statement that the Angle homeland was almost completely depopulated during the time of the migrations to Britain. The present distribution of R-U152 in England is predominantly in the Angle and Danish Viking settled areas of England (and almost none at all in Ireland or the west of the UK in general).

    I wrote a 96 page study of the Cimbri, and it occurs that before writing her new book on the Celts, Jean may wish to consider the controversy around the origins of the Cimbri, and the evidence that they were culturally Celtic. Here is the link to my study of many years past: http://www.davidkfaux.org/Cimbri-Chronology.pdf.

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    Well, R1b-U152 also seems to correlate with the presence of the La Tène culture in the Isles, so there's that. Personally, I think that associating R1b-U152 with the Anglo-Saxons isn't all that parsimonious, even though it still is a possibility of course.
    It's equally possible that a sizeable share of U152 in the Isles could've come with the Romans... We're in dire need of ancient DNA at this point anyway.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 04-21-2015 at 12:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    Well, R1b-U152 also seems to correlate with the presence of the La Tène culture in the Isles, so there's that. Personally, I think that associating R1b-U152 with the Anglo-Saxons isn't all that parsimonious, even though it still is a possibility of course.
    It's equally possible that a sizeable share of U152 in the Isles could've come with the Romans... We're in dire need of ancient DNA at this point anyway.
    Absolutely correct Agamemnon. I know full well that no one is going to accept my original association of the Cimbri and U152 without ancient DNA - and rightly so. Alas, the soil conditions in Jutland are very acidic and with some notable exceptions, most of the finds are from bogs into which people appear to have tossed (intentionally) broken swords and even combs (in one instance they could be traced to a specific fjord in Norway). Apparently the surviving warriors were hung and alas the bone material seldom survives unless in anaerobic conditions. The famous Tollund Man who was likely a Cimbri chieftain sacrificed to encouraged the gods to look more favourably upon the people, is virtually intact but I suspect that the acidic conditions of the bog has removed any hope of recovering ancient DNA - although any surviving teeth would be a best option. It always amazed me that one of the greatest of all ancient DNA specialists, Willerslev, is Danish, but has focused his interests elsewhere (e.g., the Americas) instead of his own backyard.

    About 10 years ago a study of the Cimbri people of the Tyrol region of Italy, who claim direct descent from the retreating Cimbri after the defeat of 101 BC, and the people of Himmerland was conducted. No relationship between the two "Cimbri" groups was detected - although this was before the days of the discovery of S28/U152. There is, however, a competing theory of origin of these Alpine peoples - as descendants of Bavarian zimmers (carpenters, wood workers) who arrived in the Middle Ages. Ancient DNA please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    Well, R1b-U152 also seems to correlate with the presence of the La Tène culture in the Isles, so there's that. Personally, I think that associating R1b-U152 with the Anglo-Saxons isn't all that parsimonious, even though it still is a possibility of course.
    It's equally possible that a sizeable share of U152 in the Isles could've come with the Romans... We're in dire need of ancient DNA at this point anyway.
    It seems to me U152 in Britain is more likely to have come first with the Belgae and then received a reinforcing shot with the Romans than it is to have had anything to do with the Angles or the Cimbri. It would be interesting to hear Rich Rocca's take on all this, however, since he is far more conversant with the latest U152 subclade developments than I am.

    In Britain, U152 is most frequent in what is now SE England, at least according to Busby, but it isn't nearly as frequent in Busby's Leeds sample location, which I believe would have been within the old kingdom of Northumbria, which was an Anglian kingdom.

    Still, as you said, ancient y-dna is what is needed. All these arguments from modern haplogroup distributions are so seven years ago.
     


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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    It seems to me U152 in Britain is more likely to have come first with the Belgae and then received a reinforcing shot with the Romans than it is to have had anything to do with the Angles or the Cimbri. It would be interesting to hear Rich Rocca's take on all this, however, since he is far more conversant with the latest U152 subclade developments than I am.

    In Britain, U152 is most frequent in what is now SE England, at least according to Busby, but it isn't nearly as frequent in Busby's Leeds sample location, which I believe would have been within the old kingdom of Northumbria, which was an Anglian kingdom.

    Still, as you said, ancient y-dna is what is needed. All these arguments from modern haplogroup distributions are so seven years ago.
    Could you clarify the time frame when you say the Belgae arrived in Britain?

    I ask because I recently learned some sources refer to the "first Belgic invasion" and the "Second Belgic invasion" of Britain. These sources equate the first one to La Tene's arrival in Britain and the 2nd refers to their arrival around the 100BC to 75BC time frame.

    Prior to learning this I assumed everyone was referring to the more recent time frame and thus all my previous posts on the Belgae were based on this later arrival. I've always referred to the "first Belgic invasion" as La Tene.

    Just want to make sure we all singing from the same sheet of music.
    Last edited by MitchellSince1893; 04-21-2015 at 11:37 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellSince1893 View Post
    Could you clarify the time frame when you say the Belgae arrived in Britain?

    I ask because I recently learned some sources refer to the "first Belgic invasion" and the "Second Belgic invasion" of Britain. These sources equate the first one to La Tene's arrival in Britain and the 2nd refers to their arrival around the 100BC to 75BC time frame.

    Prior to learning this I assumed everyone was referring to the more recent time frame and thus all my previous posts on the Belgae were based on this later arrival. I've always referred to the "first Belgic invasion" as La Tene.

    Just want to make sure we all singing from the same sheet of music.
    I had the later arrival in mind.
     


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    Could be L21 that far North as well. Bell Beaker went into Jutland....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reith View Post
    Could be L21 that far North as well. Bell Beaker went into Jutland....
    I think that L21 in the area can be explained via more recent movements - but once again, we are left to speculate until Dr. Willerslev or one of his students decides that Denmark presents an incredible tapestry upon which we can paint a detailed canvas of events that link with the astounding Bronze and Iron Age artifacts discovered in the area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by falconson1 View Post
    It has been years since I have considered the topic, however the thread on "The Blood of the Celts" has given me pause to reflect once again on this subject.

    The Cimbri appear to have been a Celtic - speaking people settled in an enclave deep within Germania. They burst on the world's stage about 119 BC after flooding and crop failures forced almost the entire tribe to leave their northern Jutland home and set about a perambulation which would take them across almost the entire extent of the Celtic world - from the Balkans to Iberia. After destroying a number of elite Roman troops (e.g., at Orange, France), they and their Celtic tribal allies, were decimated by the Romans (as I recall) in 101 BC along the Ligurian coast. The remnants fled north, returning to their former home in what is today known as Himmerland, Jutland, Denmark.

    Their story is epic, the archaeological treasures (most Celtic or Celtic - inspired) recovered from their homeland spectacular (I have seen them in the National Museum in Copenhagen), and the linguistic record (including toponyms) is decidedly Celtic. It has always surprised me that so little attention has been given to them in the literature - although given due contemporary consideration by Tacitus etc.

    Years back I was convinced that the Y chromosome haplogroups of descendants from Jutland would show Celtic traces (e.g., R-U152). While the data show that the original hypothesis cannot be ruled out, it seems clear that it requires substantial modification. It is interesting to note, however, that the pattern seen in Denmark today could be explained by Bede's statement that the Angle homeland was almost completely depopulated during the time of the migrations to Britain. The present distribution of R-U152 in England is predominantly in the Angle and Danish Viking settled areas of England (and almost none at all in Ireland or the west of the UK in general).

    I wrote a 96 page study of the Cimbri, and it occurs that before writing her new book on the Celts, Jean may wish to consider the controversy around the origins of the Cimbri, and the evidence that they were culturally Celtic. Here is the link to my study of many years past: http://www.davidkfaux.org/Cimbri-Chronology.pdf.
    If the Angles had significant amounts of U152 and the reason there isn't much U152 in Jutland today is because most the Angles left, one would also have to assume that the Saxons were genetically different, y-dna wise, from the Angles; because we know many/most Saxons stayed behind in Old Saxony for centuries after the Anglo-Saxons invasion of Britain.

    Charlemagne battled the Saxon tribes in the 800s. Yet percentage wise there is not a lot of U152 in the Old Saxon areas.
    Last edited by MitchellSince1893; 04-21-2015 at 05:43 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellSince1893 View Post
    If the Angles had significant amounts of U152 and the reason there isn't much U152 in Jutland today is because most the Angles left, one would also have to assume that the Saxons were genetically different, y-dna wise, from the Angles; because we know many/most Saxons stayed behind in Old Saxony for centuries after the Anglo-Saxons invasion of Britain.

    Charlemagne battled the Saxon tribes in the 800s. Yet percentage wise there is not a lot of U152 in the Old Saxon areas.
    Indeed, I would predict that ancient DNA will show the Saxons to have been largely I1a and R-U106/S21 (as is the case there today). U152 is largely found in the area south of Frankfurt to the Alps, and deep into the Italian Peninsula. Thus the Cimbri, whose artifact assemblage strongly suggests Celtic, were likely an enclave containing whatever Celtic haplotypes were common in say the area around Lake Constance (where they found their most staunchest allies). Indeed, U152 would have been likely but one of a number of key haplogroups. I am hoping that Jean addresses the probable Y haplogroups of the core Hallstatt and LaTene areas - which would in turn provide a hint as to what one might expect in Iron Age Himmerland, Denmark.

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