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The Celtic Fringe Phenomenon:


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Thought this was worthy of being a "news" article. Just wanted to share.


The Celtic fringe of Britain: insights from small mammal phylogeography: RSPB

Proc. R. Soc. B 22 December 2009 vol. 276 no. 1677 4287-4294


Recent genetic studies have challenged the traditional view that the ancestors of British Celtic people spread from central Europe during the Iron Age and have suggested a much earlier origin for them as part of the human recolonization of Britain at the end of the last glaciation.


...colonized Britain in a two-phase process following the last glacial maximum (LGM), with climatically driven partial replacement of the first colonists by the second colonists, leaving a peripheral geographical distribution for the first colonists.



I'm thinking of populations in France and the W. Hemisphere that may fit into this "Celtic Fringe" category also, eh? Maybe even into the heart of distant legends....


~ :turtle:

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The future of Genealogy is DNA testing. I'm looking forward to a cheap "at home" test to trace my ancestry. ;)

Mine, recently- was Celt/Irish and Yorkshire. So you want to fight about that?:)


. . . the new science of 'genetic archaeology' which has discovered through paternal DNA that a significant majority of those who live in the UK today are descended directly from the Ice Age hunters who first came here it seems from the Iberian peninsula. The figures are 88% of the Irish, 81% of the Welsh, 79% of the Cornish, 70% of the Scots and 68% of the remainder of England (over 2/3rds). (figures from 'The Origins of the British' by Stephen Oppenheimer).

So despite invasions of Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Norse and whoever the ethnic makeup of the UK has hardly been altered.

One of the side effects of this research is to massively undermine ideas of Celtic difference. It suggests that there is precious little such thing, if anything any difference predates and Celtic retreat from Anglo Saxons by 5,000 years.

A Nation of Immigrants | The Brussels Journal

"The Orkney isles, for example, were controlled by the Vikings until the 13th century," says Professor Bodmer. "The original populations probably represent a relic of the so-called Celtic population of the British isles which was there before agriculture arrived there from the middle east about 5000 to 6000 years ago, and so well before the Viking invasions that came in 700–800 AD from North Denmark and Norway."


"There is a particular Y type that is relatively common in both Orkney and Scandinavian, as well as northern Russian males, though not in most of the rest of the UK, but the mitochondrial DNA of the Orkneys appears to be very similar to the rest of the UK population. So the evidence suggests that the influx was male – the raiders on the boats settled and married the Orkney women who were there already."

Gene geography: History's genetic legacy | The Human Genome

Ancient Britons come mainly from Spain

Last updated at 12:37pm on 20.09.06


Scientists have discovered the British are descended from a tribe of Spanish fishermen. DNA analysis has found the Celts — Britain's indigenous population — have an almost identical genetic "fingerprint" to a tribe of Iberians from the coastal regions of Spain who crossed the Bay of Biscay almost 6,000 years ago.


People of Celtic ancestry were thought to have descended from tribes of central Europe. But Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University, said: "About 6,000 years ago Iberians developed ocean-going boats that enabled them to push up the Channel.

Ancient Britons come mainly from Spain| News | This is London

The fact that the British and the Irish both live on islands gives them a misleading sense of security about their unique historical identities. But do we really know who we are, where we come from and what defines the nature of our genetic and cultural heritage? Who are and were the Scots, the Welsh, the Irish and the English? And did the English really crush a glorious Celtic heritage?

. . .

The genetic evidence shows that three quarters of our ancestors came to this corner of Europe as hunter-gatherers, between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago, after the melting of the ice caps but before the land broke away from the mainland and divided into islands.

Our subsequent separation from Europe has preserved a genetic time capsule of southwestern Europe during the ice age, which we share most closely with the former ice-age refuge in the Basque country. The first settlers were unlikely to have spoken a Celtic language but possibly a tongue related to the unique Basque language.


Another wave of immigration arrived during the Neolithic period, when farming developed about 6,500 years ago. But the English still derive most of their current gene pool from the same early Basque source as the Irish, Welsh and Scots.

Myths of British ancestry « Prospect Magazine


Thanks Essay for the post.

Some interesting comments here too


The common view is that the Celts were pushed from the centre/edges/(Russia?) of Europe to the edges of Europe-- Ireland, Scotland, Wales,Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany (Fr.)

Given that they seem such belligerent bastards i am surprised they went --or was that the reason they were sent? :) The Romans certainly had their problems with the Gauls. I suspect, only their inability to organise and take orders allowed the Romans to prevail.

Although that "accepted" view that i was taught may be changing

Many archaeologists still hold this view of a grand iron-age Celtic culture in the centre of the continent, which shrank to a western rump after Roman times.

It is also the basis of a strong sense of ethnic identity that millions of members of the so-called Celtic diaspora hold.

But there is absolutely no evidence, linguistic, archaeological or genetic, that identifies the Hallstatt or La Tène regions or cultures as Celtic homelands.

Myths of British ancestry « Prospect Magazine


I am interested in common Celtic food intolerances to wheat and sometimes cow's milk(?). These may give clues to their origins, old culture and society.

Celiac disease (gluten sensitive enteropathy) is a condition affecting the small bowel, characterized by permanent intolerance to dietary gluten, and giving rise to varying degrees of malabsorption and diarrhea. With the advent of sensitive screening tests, the condition is being increasingly diagnosed. Celiac disease is more common in the Irish and in those of Irish descent. Simoons (1978, 1981) hypothesized that the present-day prevalence of celiac disease across Europe is related to the interaction between genetic gradients, largely determined by the advance of agriculture, and historical patterns of cereal ingestion.


More recently, it has been noted [7] that the distribution of the gene for lactase persistence apparently originating near the Baltic Sea between 4,800 and 6,000 B.P. indicates a spread from there to both the British Isles and to Iberia later than the original paleolithic population spread.

Celts - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I also suspect that intolerance to wheat can cause aggression and disordered/altered/different thought processes;--which may account for their unusual creativity. Still Ireland has far more Nobel prizes for the English language than England has.

i can't find any support for my theory on the web, but this is what i think might be happening

the incomplete breakdown of gluten and casein during the digestive process, probably due to the absence or inactivation of an enzyme called DPP-IV. When these proteins are not completely digested, they can retain opioid characteristics and, in fact, opioid peptides have been found in the urine of autistic children since the early 1990’s. Because the . . gut is generally “leaky,” these peptides can pass out of the gut and into the bloodstream, ultimately crossing the blood-brain barrier. These peptides mimic neurotransmitters (the chemicals responsible for communication between nerve cells) and cause all sorts of neurological mischief.

Living Without Magazine - Food As Medicine

Being Scottish could increase your risk of contracting multiple sclerosis, according to new study


This may be genetic or it could just be vitamin D deficiency

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What is it?


The Tain Bo Cuailnge, translated as The Cattle Raid of Cooley is an Irish prose epic and one of the best, IMO. Everyone hears about the Iliad or Odyssey, but I like the Tain better. Cuchulainn can warp himself with a battle-fury and hold back even entire armies.


[The Tain] is a legendary tale from early Irish literature, often considered an epic, although it is written primarily in prose rather than verse. It tells of a war against Ulster by the Connacht queen Medb and her husband Ailill, who intend to steal the stud bull Donn Cuailnge, opposed only by the teenage Ulster hero Cúchulainn.


Traditionally set in the 1st century AD in an essentially pre-Christian heroic age, the Táin is the central text of a group of tales known as the Ulster Cycle. It survives in two main written versions or "recensions" in 12th century manuscripts, the first a compilation largely written in Old Irish, the second a more consistent work in Middle Irish.


Táin Bó Cúailnge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


As for the Mabinogion, one of the earliest and most important repositories of Welsh and Arthurian mythology. It has fragmentary tales and strange, pre-Christian symbols.


...the title given to a collection of eleven prose stories collated from medieval Welsh manuscripts. The tales draw on pre-Christian Celtic mythology, international folktale motifs, and early medieval historical traditions. While some details may hark back to older Iron Age traditions, each of these tales is the product of a highly developed Welsh narrative tradition, both oral and written. Lady Charlotte Guest in the mid 19th century was the first to publish English translations of the collection, popularising the name "Mabinogion" at the same time.[1]


Mabinogion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Both make for excellent reading and insight into a pre-Christian Celtic world. I'm particularly fascinated by the relationships and developments of Celtic symbols, tales, and mythology with those of the Arthurian stories. If you have the chance, procure a copy of Tolkien's translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and compare some of the tests and challenges Gawain and Cuchulainn face.


Mythology has been one of my great loves and obsessions.

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