View Full Version : filiation of the IE peoples of NW Iberia during the Bronze age

29-11-13, 15:27
Hello Maciamo and all eupedia forum users : ) It’s some time now I follow this site which I found very interesting..

I would have a question to pose about a very controversial theme here in my homeland, Galicia:

So were there a significative celtic presence down here? for decades, there have been two views, and today it is still difficult to draw a conclusion, since politics and prejudices are often involved on both sides..

I mean a significative presence of Celts because those who deffend there were not a Celtic culture here often associate celtic names found in stelae or in the etymology of many toponyms as being of elements arrived as mercenaries for Roman legions; or as being not Celtic at all; but Italic or “alter-europaische”-

On the one hand, we have celtic-like names in this area, but it seems they are rather archaic. We don’t have any Gallaic inscription found. On the other hand, Lusitanian language filliation is still a mystery, since it shares many aspects with Celtic languages, but it keeps the initial p- and shows other similarities with Italic languages.

So the question would be: what can say mtDNA / yDNA tests about this? I’ve noticed R1b is relatively low in these areas, in comparisson with other parts of Iberia and the Atlantic facade. Maciamo thesis of R1b collonization of Western Europe from the East sounds pretty convincent to me… does this put an end to Sykes / Oppenheimmer studies about (northern) iberian (including Galicia) links to the Islands? what indo-european culture(s) settled in NW Iberia before Roman; and how deeply? (some pre-IE language remains were still present at Roman times; and it seemed to have been a certain degree of diglossia: Strabo reports that there were two words used to define Minho river, Minios (probably of Celtic origin) and the even more common Bainis or even Baites (that would be pre-IE; close homonim with andalusian Baitis, and anyway similar to basque ibai (river) and iberian baika (riverside land))

I used to think there has been one non-IE speaking people; maybe around 40 % of population by the I Century B.C; that would have been the remains of Neolithic and Mesolithic Farmers linked to the Megalithic culture (native I; H and U and E1b1b; with large contributions of middle easterns since Neolithic times (G2a; J2...); about 40 % of people would belong to an pre-Celto-Germanic-Italic-split-IE language (the first IE that would have arrived here, around 1800 B.C ?) and the remaining 20% would have been a true Celtic minority close relative to Celtiberians; arrived after the VIII Century B.C...) I don't know if it makes sense looking at DNA data, specially because the pre-Celto-Germanic-Italic language seems not have arrived at all to Iberia; as migrations of the first IE wave would have been groups of bronze armed soldiers focused on ruling the conquered lands; as Maciamo's theory states that happened in Basque case. But then, from which language / period Lusitanian comes from?

Thanks and sorry for the English

04-12-13, 09:51
No replies?

04-12-13, 09:52
No replies?

i never saw it

01-03-14, 11:43
Hello, does anyone know something about this subject?

01-03-14, 13:23
Hi, welcome to Eupedia.

I have moved this thread to "History and Civilizations" as it not only involves genetics but also archaeology, history and linguistics and fits in better in that cathegory, rather than genetics.

Now, regarding your questions, by the time that the Romans conquered the areas, the entire north and west of the Iberian peninsula (along with the centre) was heavily Celticized, and if you exclude Gaul and the British Isles, the north and northwest of Iberia also had the highest density of Celtic place names, and there is no conclusive evidence for a presence of pre-Indo-European languages in the northwest of Iberia (unlike the east and the south of the Iberian peninsula).

With regard for Lusitanian, I would argue that it is affiliated with the Celtic languages, despite the preservation of the *p sound from Proto-Indo-European (which is lost in all other Celtic languages, including Celtiberian), and it may thus stem from an earlier stratum of Celtic languages that were introduced in Iberia. Also Gallaecia was probably a "mixed" language area, as both Lusitanian and properly Celtic names can be found in the area.

The exact mode of how Celtic languages in Iberia arrived there is not clear, but my opinion is that the traditional Hallstatt/La-Tene model (ie, an introduction of Celtic languages with the iron age) cannot explain the presence of Celtic languages so far in the west. Since 2009, John Koch of the university of Aberystwyth proposed that the Celtic languages originated in the Atlantic Bronze Age, rather than in the Hallstatt Culture of Central Europe, but there are several problems with this idea: the first is that in virtually all scenarios on the origin of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European languages were introduced from the East, and it makes no sense to assume that (this is also the problem of the so-called 'Stelae People' hypothesis, which Maciamo disassembles here (http://www.eupedia.com/forum/threads/29290-Why-R1b-couldn-t-have-been-spread-around-Western-Europe-by-the-Bell-Beaker-people)), and also as far as the archaeological record goes, there is no credible evidence of a west-to-east expansion from the Atlantic Bronze Age. Koch also proposed that Tartessian (the language of the southwest of Iberia) was Celtic but this has been ripped apart by his critics. However, while the language itself was not Celtic, the Tartessians were in contact with Celtic-speaking peoples living in other areas of the Iberian peninsula (as evidenced by the recorded name of their king, "Arganthonios").

On the other hand, if one removes the "absoluteness" of archaeological cultures as far as their language affiliation goes, its plausible to assume that Celtic languages evolved on two fronts one (the more advanced Celtic languages) in Central Europe (which were introduced to Britain at the start of the Iron Age), and the other (the more primitive ones) in the Atlantic region.

01-03-14, 14:24
I had written a long post but something failed when submitting it; so I'll try to make a resume

Some authors deny an ancient presence of celts in NW Iberia based on archeological findings, which instead points to a stronger mediterranean / phoenician connection than traditionaly thought. In fact, it seems that there is no hint here of the most properly celtic items (burials, chariots... (to sustain this, some authors have pointed that "castros" (hillfort) entrances had stairs)) deities (some consider Navia, Cossus, Reve, Bandua as non celtic; while others claim that Lucoubos could be linked to Lug) and social organization; arranged here in "Centurias" and not "gens"; that is, people was self-identified with his own village / area; and not with family roots). In fact, many of the presumably celtic elements of old Gallaecia seem to have been developed in roman times (this seem to be the case the "castros" culture itself; which, though based on indigenous precedents achieved is top development in 1st century AD). Even the personal and place names could have arrived only in roman times, when some auxiliar troops and settlers from Celtiberia would have come. Interestingly, some of the place names given usually as genuine celtic; those ended in -briga; have sometimes non-celtic first elements; both pre-celtic (Conim-briga...) or latin (Augustobriga; Flaviobriga...); which could indicate that "briga" was a borrowed world from celtiberians to mean "hillfort" (as the related word "burgo" was used later in Middle age Iberia borrowed from German)

Now, for me the question here is: if R1b NW Iberians (on the other hand; relatively scarce (under 60%) in comparison with other areas) were not proper celts... what they were? should we consider them as being proto-celtic (and thus, speaking an elder stage of celtic language that any other celtic dialect had passed through) or para-celtic (that is, belonging to an all-new branch of IE dialects; sister of italo-celtic and germanic languages; but divergent with them) ? When was this area Indo-europeanized and which peoples might have taken part on this process; attending to DNA data?