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noman
26-07-17, 02:33
Hello,

Someone claims that Prehistoric British Isles was ethnically diverse, and posted these links to back up his claims.


independent.co.uk/life-style/history/evidence-of-upper-class-africans-living-in-roman-york-1914553.html

historyextra.com/article/romans/how-we-solved-mystery-roman-princess

museumoflondon.org.uk/discover/ancient-dna-written-bone

books.google.co.uk/books?id=J8rVeu2go8IC&pg=PA1&lpg=PA1&dq=black+soldiers+hadrian%27s+wall&source=bl&ots=MuT17fSIEX&sig=VGbfsaELXx6oTkVDcTM7J5kj7dM&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjD4cWLzKTVAhUnLMAKHT3LB9M4ChDoAQg-MAk#v=onepage&q&f=false


Was British Isles really ethnically diverse?

Fire Haired14
26-07-17, 03:08
Britain was probably never very racially diverse. I don't know anything about Roman history but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people who lived in Roman Britain were born in Britain. I know sometimes non-white people from other parts of the empire went to Britain but I really doubt they ever made a sizable portion of the population.

If you think about, few places on earth had ever been racially diverse before modern times. Every race, or in political correct terms a collection of people who share ancestry and physical appearance, formed because of some form of isolation. Only Asian people live in Asia, only African people live in Africa. The same goes for Britain.

Last year something like 8 Roman-era British men who had been ritually behaded had their DNA sequenced. All but one was from Britain or somewhere near Britain but one was clearly from the Middle East. He's really similar to DNA from ancient Egyptians and Canaanites. He was probably born somewhere around Egypt, Syria, Israel, etc.

spruithean
26-07-17, 04:11
Britain was probably never very racially diverse. I don't know anything about Roman history but I'm pretty sure the vast majority of people who lived in Roman Britain were born in Britain. I know sometimes non-white people from other parts of the empire went to Britain but I really doubt they ever made a sizable portion of the population.

If you think about, few places on earth had ever been racially diverse before modern times. Every race, or in political correct terms a collection of people who share ancestry and physical appearance, formed because of some form of isolation. Only Asian people live in Asia, only African people live in Africa. The same goes for Britain.

Last year something like 8 Roman-era British men who had been ritually behaded had their DNA sequenced. All but one was from Britain or somewhere near Britain but one was clearly from the Middle East. He's really similar to DNA from ancient Egyptians and Canaanites. He was probably born somewhere around Egypt, Syria, Israel, etc.

While it's true that most of the people living in Roman Britain were Britons, I think we may be confusing ethnicity and "race". Certainly there were people from Africa, Middle East and elsewhere in the empire living in Britain, there was also surely a contigent of non-British European people living in Britain, notably the German, Balkan, Iberian and other groups who composed various foederati/laeti troops for the Roman army.

But I would agree that it probably wasn't a radically diverse province.

I1a3_Young
26-07-17, 16:39
It was diverse in the sense of small differences of European ethnic groups. Within the Insular Celts there were Gaelic, Picts, North and South Welsh, Cornish, etc. There were varying degrees of Germanic tribes that had significant impact on the gene pool before the Vikings invaded. This all happened after the initial replacement of the Megalithic culture which was ethnically a HG/Neolithic farmer mix.

Britain has always been a very mixed European country but the levels of non-european population were very low historically.

Sent from my XT1080 using Eupedia Forum mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89698)

Johane Derite
26-07-17, 16:44
It was diverse in the sense of small differences of European ethnic groups. Within the Insular Celts there were Gaelic, Picts, North and South Welsh, Cornish, etc. There were varying degrees of Germanic tribes that had significant impact on the gene pool before the Vikings invaded. This all happened after the initial replacement of the Megalithic culture which was ethnically a HG/Neolithic farmer mix.

Britain has always been a very mixed European country but the levels of non-european population were very low historically.

Sent from my XT1080 using Eupedia Forum mobile app (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=89698)


Yep.
But I think that it's quite dangerous revisionism the way they are presenting "north africans" as "sub saharan africans" in the media (this is blowing up over the web right now) e.g:

8960

Angela
26-07-17, 18:46
Yep.
But I think that it's quite dangerous revisionism the way they are presenting "north africans" as "sub saharan africans" in the media (this is blowing up over the web right now) e.g:

8960

Some "actual" historians are biased and are pushing an agenda. The same goes for internet posters. Some want to fashion a history where everyone who migrated to Britain was lily white, while others want to push an agenda that there were massive amounts of admixture. The truth is probably somewhere in between,

That certainly doesn't look like a North African auxiliary soldier of the Romans, particularly when this is before the Arab slave trade probably added the biggest chunk of SSA to North Africans.

There is a cemetery recently discovered in London from the Roman era with a number of people from the Near East as well as perhaps North Africa, and even possibly two Asians.
https://phys.org/news/2016-09-bones-roman-era-grave-london-asian.html

"Prior to this latest find, only one instance of the remains of a person from Asia has ever been found in a Roman era gravesite, suggesting there was little to no immigration between people in Asia and Europe during the Roman Empire, despite the existence of the Silk Road. The prior find was a skeleton (https://phys.org/tags/skeleton/) of a man of East Asian ancestry discovered in a grave in Vagnari in Italy six years ago—and unlike the tests done with the newly found skeletons, his ancestry was proven by DNA testing."

Out of 22 sets of remains, "testing suggested that two of the skeletons were likely of Asian descent—and that four others were likely of North African descent."

People with origins from "Africa" have also been found in Roman cemeteries in York, Leicester, and near Hadrian's wall. It's unclear to me if they meant North African or SSA. I think they probably mean "SSA".
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-38172433
"The University of Leicester found 83 skeletons in a Roman graveyard dating back as early as the 2nd Century.
Six with possible African ancestry is the first evidence of migrants from the continent in the city, experts said."


Another example is the lady from York. Contrary to the implication made in the Guardian article, she was almost certainly a slave or the descendant of slaves.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/feb/26/roman-york-skeleton

Of course, whether these people died in bondage and so probably had no descendants, or had been manumitted and thus might have had progeny would have varied.

spruithean
26-07-17, 22:11
Some "actual" historians are biased and are pushing an agenda. The same goes for internet posters. Some want to fashion a history where everyone who migrated to Britain was lily white, while others want to push an agenda that there were massive amounts of admixture. The truth is probably somewhere in between,

That certainly doesn't look like a North African auxiliary soldier of the Romans, particularly when this is before the Arab slave trade probably added the biggest chunk of SSA to North Africans.

There is a cemetery recently discovered in London from the Roman era with a number of people from the Near East as well as perhaps North Africa, and even possibly two Asians.
https://phys.org/news/2016-09-bones-roman-era-grave-london-asian.html

"Prior to this latest find, only one instance of the remains of a person from Asia has ever been found in a Roman era gravesite, suggesting there was little to no immigration between people in Asia and Europe during the Roman Empire, despite the existence of the Silk Road. The prior find was a skeleton (https://phys.org/tags/skeleton/) of a man of East Asian ancestry discovered in a grave in Vagnari in Italy six years ago—and unlike the tests done with the newly found skeletons, his ancestry was proven by DNA testing."

Out of 22 sets of remains, "testing suggested that two of the skeletons were likely of Asian descent—and that four others were likely of North African descent."

People with origins from "Africa" have also been found in Roman cemeteries in York, Leicester, and near Hadrian's wall. It's unclear to me if they meant North African or SSA. I think they probably mean "SSA".
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-38172433
"The University of Leicester found 83 skeletons in a Roman graveyard dating back as early as the 2nd Century.
Six with possible African ancestry is the first evidence of migrants from the continent in the city, experts said."


Another example is the lady from York. Contrary to the implication made in the Guardian article, she was almost certainly a slave or the descendant of slaves.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/feb/26/roman-york-skeleton

Of course, whether these people died in bondage and so probably had no descendants, or had been manumitted and thus might have had progeny would have varied.

Agreed, it's definitely more likely middle of the road unless of course a huge amount of discoveries are made that state otherwise. Those are very interesting links thanks for sharing.

MOESAN
05-08-17, 18:53
Roman troops in Britain were very diverse (Moors among them), spite I don't believe Nubian legions or other possibly SSA marked legions were numerous (?); all the way, the most of these soldiers left few descendants there for I think. But Britain has not been a so isolated place in past, if the most of the "visitors" and settlers were europoids (I absolutely reject the notion of a celtic culture withtout celtic people). I think that even among Neolithic people there has been more than a wave. Concerning HG's I could have been diverse too, but I wonder what kind of them (and of what time) left descendants there.