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Thread: Who settled Ireland before the Celts?

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    Who settled Ireland before the Celts?

    Who settled Ireland before the Celts?

    Ten years ago, an Irish pub owner was clearing land for a driveway when his digging exposed an unusually large flat stone. The stone obscured a dark gap underneath. "I shot the torch in and saw the gentleman, well, his skull and bones," said Bertie Currie, the pub owner.

    The remains of three humans, in fact, were found behind McCuaig’s Bar in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. And though police were called, it was not, as it turned out, a crime scene, the Boston Globe reports.
    Instead, what Currie had stumbled over was an ancient burial that, after a recent DNA analysis, challenges the traditional centuries-old account of Irish origins.


    From as far back as the 16th century, historians taught that the Irish are the descendants of the Celts, an Iron Age people who originated in the middle of Europe and invaded Ireland somewhere between 1000 B.C. and 500 B.C.

    That story has inspired innumerable references linking the Irish with Celtic culture. The Nobel-winning Irish poet William Butler Yeats titled a book “Celtic Twilight.” Irish songs are deemed “Celtic” music. Some nationalists embraced the Celtic distinction. And in Boston, arguably the most Irish city in the United States, the owners of the NBA franchise dress their players in green and call them the Celtics.

    Yet the bones discovered behind McCuaig’s tell a different story of Irish origins, and it does not include the Celts.
    “The DNA evidence based on those bones completely upends the traditional view,” said Barry Cunliffe, an emeritus professor of archaeology at Oxford who has written books on the origins of the people of Ireland.

    DNA research indicates that the three skeletons found behind McCuaig's are the ancestors of the modern Irish and they predate the Celts and their purported arrival by 1,000 years or more. The genetic roots of today's Irish, in other words, existed in Ireland before the Celts arrived.

    “The most striking feature” of the bones, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science journal, is how much their DNA resembles that of contemporary Irish, Welsh and Scots. By contrast, older bones found in Ireland were more like Mediterranean people, not the modern Irish.

    Radiocarbon dating shows that the bones discovered at McCuaig's go back to about 2000 B.C. That makes them hundreds of years older than the oldest artifacts generally considered to be Celtic. And those were relics unearthed from Celt homelands of continental Europe, most notably around Switzerland, Austria and Germany.

    http://www.eveningtribune.com/opinio...d-before-celts

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    Rathlin Island samples again, of course heaven forbids you have a bit of media about Ireland in the US press that doesn't mention a pub.
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    This story has been doing the rounds of the media for months, with increasingly inappropriate titles. See http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...e-what-we-know

    The piece was written by Peter Whoriskey in The Washington Post on March 17 (St Patrick's Day) 2016, under the perfectly acceptable title: A man’s discovery of bones under his pub could forever change what we know about the Irish
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...out-the-irish/

    It was based on the discovery of the early Bronze Age bones at Rathlin Island, the DNA from which was published online at the end of 2015, and in print in January 2016. It is discussed on this thread: http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...f-the-insular-

    The sane and sensible (I think) interpretation is that the Rathlin Island men were part of the first wave of Indo-European speakers to reach Ireland. They were reinforced by later waves of much the same people, and by the time we have their language written down, it was Celtic. The Neolithic people who farmed in Ireland earlier would have spoken a different language. But because it was commonplace for decades, indeed centuries, to think that the Celtic language arrived in Ireland in the Iron Age, and this was taught in the school-books that most of the headline-writers will have read in their schooldays, they imagine that the Rathlin Island men must have been some unknown group who were there "before the Celts" or that Ireland's past "does not include the Celts", which is about the dottiest idea yet.

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    This is either a case of dumpster archaeology journalism (going through another newspaper in their trash for a story) or SND journalism (Slow News Day), where a stock story from a waiting pile is trotted out to fill a gap, or both. This story will be trotted out for months to come in various forms.

    As "Celtic" is misunderstood in a deep historical context by tabloid journalists, misinformation is almost guaranteed to follow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubhthach View Post
    Rathlin Island samples again, of course heaven forbids you have a bit of media about Ireland in the US press that doesn't mention a pub.
    Yes, when you say Irish in America, you automatically think of someone sitting in a pub drinking Guinness. Sorry, can't be helped. One also thinks of potatoes. Maybe Soda bread as well. Lots of fighting, just expanding my thoughts.

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    I am very interested in the relationship of L21 and DF27 in Ireland. Did one arrive before the other? Did they arrive together? If separately, then when and to what degree? Language impacts by both. Can we assume that Insular=L21? Can we draw correlations between Viking impact to Ireland and DF27 impact, if manners of settlements were the same if DF27 arrived later than L21. If they arrived hodgepodge together then a lot of my ramblings are obsolete.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Webb View Post
    I am very interested in the relationship of L21 and DF27 in Ireland. Did one arrive before the other? Did they arrive together?
    We don't know. The Rathlin Island men were in the right place to be on the Bell Beaker route from Britain to Ireland, which I presume carried L21 predominantly or overwhelmingly, and they were L21. If DF27* arrived in Ireland with Bell Beaker incomers from the Atlantic route, I would expect it at Ross Island or thereabouts. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Island,_Killarney We don't have early BB aDNA from southern Ireland.

    Subclades of DF27 not found in Iberia are quite a different story. Some might have travelled with L21. Some might indeed have arrived in Ireland with Vikings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dubhthach View Post
    Rathlin Island samples again, of course heaven forbids you have a bit of media about Ireland in the US press that doesn't mention a pub.
    But your pubs are among the best in the world, Paul. You should be proud of them.

    yoda and guinness.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by rms2 View Post
    But your pubs are among the best in the world, Paul. You should be proud of them.

    yoda and guinness.jpg
    I should have been more consistent with my Yoda-speak. Here is the revised version.

    yoda and guinness.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    This story has been doing the rounds of the media for months, with increasingly inappropriate titles. See http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...e-what-we-know

    The piece was written by Peter Whoriskey in The Washington Post on March 17 (St Patrick's Day) 2016, under the perfectly acceptable title: A man’s discovery of bones under his pub could forever change what we know about the Irish
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...out-the-irish/

    It was based on the discovery of the early Bronze Age bones at Rathlin Island, the DNA from which was published online at the end of 2015, and in print in January 2016. It is discussed on this thread: http://www.anthrogenica.com/showthre...f-the-insular-

    The sane and sensible (I think) interpretation is that the Rathlin Island men were part of the first wave of Indo-European speakers to reach Ireland. They were reinforced by later waves of much the same people, and by the time we have their language written down, it was Celtic. The Neolithic people who farmed in Ireland earlier would have spoken a different language. But because it was commonplace for decades, indeed centuries, to think that the Celtic language arrived in Ireland in the Iron Age, and this was taught in the school-books that most of the headline-writers will have read in their schooldays, they imagine that the Rathlin Island men must have been some unknown group who were there "before the Celts" or that Ireland's past "does not include the Celts", which is about the dottiest idea yet.
    Either that, or Iberian, imo.

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