GENEALOGY-DNA-L ArchivesArchiver > GENEALOGY-DNA > 2004-09 > 1094660070
From: Havelock Vetinari <>
Subject: Re: [DNA] The Irish are not celts, say experts
Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 12:14:30 -0400
References: <email@example.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Research has been carried out previously on the Y-chromosome and the
current research was to see how closely the mitochondrial evidence
matched the Y-evidence. Here is some Y-chromosome related research:
Also, from the way I understand it, there has never been much evidence
from an archaeological perspective to back up a Celtic invasion of
Ireland. Since the pre-Christian Irish were not literate there is no
way of knowing how many pre-Celtic words made their way into Irish
Gaelic since we have no way of knowing what that language was like. It
may have been similar to ancient Basque but then we have no idea how
close modern Basque is to ancient Basque since the pre-Christian
Basques were also non-literate.
On Tue, 7 Sep 2004 18:26:55 -0700 (PDT), ellen Levy
> You always find such interesting articles for the
> List. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
> Unfortunately, I can't access this article without a
> membership. Anyone else have any luck?
> I have some questions about this study. It appears to
> be primarily based on MtDNA results? What about
> Y-chromosome results? Because it seems to be the case
> in the literature that MtDNA within Europe was
> extremely homogenous. This seems to be true even in
> Eastern Europe, where many of MtDNA results are
> indistinguishable from Western European samples. They
> say they compared "genetic traits" with other European
> and Near Eastern samples: which genetic traits and
> with what populations?
> And it raises the question (sorry, can't resist the
> linguistic end of this) - How did the Celtic language
> migrate to the British Isles, particularly if a large
> migration of mainland Celtic peoples was NOT involved?
> Are we talking merely about linguistic defusion here?
> How likely is this? And if true, there should be
> significant borrowings within the Gaelic languages
> from the pre-Gaelic native inhabitants of Ireland,
> particularly if they were just adopting Gaelic and
> giving up their native tongue (this seems to be the
> case with German and Greek, both borrowing almost 1/4
> of their words from the earlier inhabitants). Does
> anyone know if this is the case?
> Most importantly, what specific MtDNA results are they
> reporting that connects Ireland (Scotland & Wales)
> with Spain, but not with the rest of Western Europe?
> Ellen Coffman
> --- Havelock Vetinari <> wrote:
> > The Sunday Times - Ireland
> > September 05, 2004
> > The Irish are not celts, say experts
> > Jan Battles
> > THE long-held belief that Ireland's population is
> > descended from the
> > celts has been disproved by geneticists, who have
> > concluded that they
> > never invaded Ireland.
> > The research at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) into
> > the origins of
> > Ireland's population found no substantial evidence
> > of the celts in
> > Irish DNA, and concludes they never settled here en
> > masse.
> > The study, part-funded by the National Millennium
> > Committee, has just
> > been published in The American Journal of Human
> > Genetics. It was one
> > of four projects funded by the government under the
> > Genetic History of
> > Ireland programme, which aimed to provide a
> > definitive survey of the
> > origins of the ancient peoples of Ireland.
> > Part of the project's brief was to "discover whether
> > there was a large
> > incursion by Celtic people about 2,500 years ago" as
> > was widely
> > believed. After comparing a variety of genetic
> > traits in Irish people
> > with those of thousands of European and Near Eastern
> > inhabitants, the
> > scientists at TCD say there was not.
> > "Some people would go as far as saying there was
> > total replacement of
> > the population (of Ireland) 2,500 years ago," said
> > Brian McEvoy, one
> > of the authors. "But if that happened we would
> > definitely be more
> > related to people in central Europe, because the
> > celts were supposed
> > to have come from there. We're just not seeing that.
> > We're seeing
> > something earlier. Our legacy is the result of the
> > first people to
> > settle in Ireland around 9,000 years ago."
> > About 15,000 years ago, ice covered Ireland, Britain
> > and a lot of
> > northern Europe so prehistoric man retreated back
> > into Spain, Italy
> > and Greece, which were still fairly temperate. When
> > the ice started
> > melting again around 12,000 years ago, people
> > followed it northwards
> > as areas became habitable again.
> > "The primary genetic legacy of Ireland seems to have
> > come from people
> > from Spain and Portugal after the last ice age,"
> > said McEvoy. "They
> > seem to have come up along the coast through western
> > Europe and
> > arrived in Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It's not due
> > to something that
> > happened 2,500 years ago with celts. "We have a very
> > old genetic
> > legacy."
> > While we may not owe our heritage to the celts, we
> > are still linked to
> > other populations considered Celtic, such as
> > Scotland and Wales.
> > McEvoy said: "It seems to be more a cultural spread
> > than actual people
> > coming in wiping out and replacing everyone else."
> > A PhD student in Trinity's department of genetics,
> > McEvoy will present
> > the findings tomorrow at the Irish Society of Human
> > Genetics annual
> > meeting.
> > He and Dan Bradley of TCD took samples of
> > mitochondrial DNA, which is
> > inherited from the mother, from 200 volunteers
> > around Ireland using
> > cheek swabs. They also compiled a database of more
> > than 8,500
> > individuals from around Europe and analysed them for
> > similarities and
> > matches in the sequences.
> > They found most of the Irish samples matched with
> > those around Britain
> > and the Pyrenees in Spain. There were some matches
> > in Scandinavia and
> > parts of northern Africa.
> > "Of the Celtic regions, by far the strongest
> > correspondence is with
> > Scotland," said Bradley. "It corresponds exactly
> > with language." While
> > that could be due to the Plantation of Ulster,
> > Bradley said it was
> > more likely due to something much older because the
> > matches occur
> > throughout the whole of Ireland and not just the
> > north.
> > The geneticists produced a map of Europe with
> > contours linking places
> > that were genetically similar. One contour goes
> > around the edge of the
> > Atlantic, around Wales, Scotland, Ireland and
> > includes Galicia in
> > Spain and the Basque region.
> > "This isn't consistent with the idea of a large
> > invasion here around
> > 500BC," said Bradley. "You would expect some more
> > affinity with
> > central Europe if we owed the bulk of our ancestry
> > to a movement from
> > central Europe but we don't."
> > Some archeologists also doubt there was a Celtic
> > invasion because few
> > of their artifacts have been found in Ireland.
> > ==============================
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|Re: [DNA] The Irish are not celts, say experts by Havelock Vetinari <>|